The Eternal Optimist Presents: An INSTANT Review Of Evolution

Hi kids.

The first ever all women’s PPV, Evolution, is in the books. How did the WWE do? Check out my match by match grade and analysis below.

Trish Stratus & Lita defeated Mickie James & Alicia Fox.

I really felt like this show was going to be made or broken by the crowd reaction. Holy cow was this a good sign. I couldn’t believe how hot the crowd was for the tag match. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be. Trish and Lita are the two biggest stars in the history of the women’s division.

The match itself was about as good as what I thought it would be. It was sloppy at points and some spots were missed. However, Trish really does still have it. Her involvement with Mickie was amazing and she managed to pull a clearly washed up Lita through the match.

This was a great choice for the opener. The crowd is amped up and I hope that the remainder of the show can keep up the momentum.

Match Rating: 3 stars.

Nia Jax Wins The Battle Royal.

First off, the WWE did a couple smart things right off the bat. They announced each competitor individually. There were so many legends that needed to be paid homage to, and it’s almost impossible to do so in a battle royal format. Introducing them allowed the WWE to eliminate them early and focus on the current superstars instead.

I thought this was an amazing battle royal. The pacing was fantastic. I loved that each elimination was treated as its own separate entity, and we weren’t treated to a mass string of eliminations within a short period of time.

I thought we saw incredible performances from Naomi, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Asuka, Tamina, and ESPECIALLY Ember Moon. The heat on this match and the NXT chants are a great sign for some of the matches that are still to come.

The one interesting thing for me – none of the NXT women that were advertised for the show were in this match. Could there be another match added to the show?

All in all, this was an A+ battle royal. Nia winning made sense. I’m happy to see her run it back with Ronda Rousey or square off against Nikki. Either match works for me.

Match Rating: 4 Stars.

Toni Storm defeated Io Shirai to win the 2018 Mae Young Classic.

There have been women’s matches in the WWE and NXT that had more importance and emotion to them, but Storm v Shirai from strictly a physical standpoint was the most athletically pleasing women’s match in WWE history.

I felt like I was watching the future of women’s wrestling – the type of high flying high impact spectacles that you only see from the very elite on the men’s side of things. I absolutely loved this match. Toni Storm and Io Shirai were doing things in the ring that simply haven’t been seen from the female wrestlers in the WWE until now.

This was one of the matches that I thought would ultimately make or break Evolution, and it sure did. Awesome match.

Match Rating – 4.75 Stars.

Sasha Banks, Bayley & Natalya defeated The Riot Squad.

This one had its ups and downs. It was shocking to watch Sasha and Bayley wrestle in back to back sequences. Sasha is really on another level, whereas Bayley looks like she’s moving in quicksand.

I liked that they allowed the Riot Squad to get in a ton of offense. Both Sarah Logan and especially Liv Morgan showed a lot more than they had previously been able to show.

The match pacing and sequencing was clunky at times and I really hope that Sasha never tries anything like that top rope plancha ever again, but I think the match ultimately served its purpose. It allowed the WWE to showcase Bayley and Sasha, two of the pioneers, without sticking them in the battle royal.

Match Rating – 3 Stars.

Shayna Baszler defeated Kairi Sane to win the NXT Women’s Championship.

I love everything about Baszler. She’s incredibly unique and much like Brock Lesnar, her matches have a look and flow to them that are completely different than what everyone else is doing.

Baszler and Sane have incredibly good chemistry together, so it was no surprise to me that they tore the house down. This was their best match in their series.

I loved the introduction of the other two members of the MMA 4 Horsewomen. They aren’t likely to be able to do anything reasonable on their own, so it made sense to bring them in as goons for Baszler. A heel female stable should add tremendous value to the NXT division.

Absolutely no complaints about this match – what a card this has been so far.

Match Rating: 4.75 Stars.

Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Unbelievable match with a Wrestlemania main event caliber crowd reaction. I don’t know what else to say but to take my hat off to both women for an amazing performance.

I thought for sure this would end in a draw to set up an I Quit match as the blow off. Instead, we got a clean win from Becky – a surefire sign that the WWE is all in on her title run. I really think that Becky v Ronda at Wrestlemania 35 is a real possibility at this point.

Awesome awesome awesome stuff. One of the best women’s matches of all time, and a serious contender for WWE Main Roster match of the year.

Match Rating – 5 stars.

Ronda Rousey defeated Nikki Bella to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.

I wouldn’t say that my expectations were sky high for this, but Nikki and Rousey definitely exceeded them.  I really need to take my hat off to Nikki Bella.  She takes a lot of crap, but she’s quite good in the ring and took some tremendously hard bumps to make Ronda Rousey look like a million bucks.

Big picture, the outcome was never in doubt, yet they did a great job of convincing me on several occasions that Bella was going to win.  Rousey is a special kind of star and I’m glad that the WWE booked her accordingly.

A really fun match with a great ending.

Match Rating – 4 stars.

Overall.

No one really knew what to think about Evolution going in.  The WWE and the women delivered in the biggest way possible.  This was quite possibly the most well-rounded Pay Per View that the WWE has put on in recent memory.  There wasn’t a bad match on the show and there were three absolute classics.  This was easily the Pay Per View of the year.

Evolution Grade – 5 stars.

That’s a wrap kids.  Agree or disagree with my match ratings for Evolution?  Sound off below!

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