Giving every woman her own entrance to the battle royal was a nice touch. The match played off
the few storylines it had. Mandy Rose turned on Sonya Deville and eliminated her (let’s hope more
comes of this), Carmella started a dance party, Tamina and Jax squared off and Moon and Asuka reignited
their old NXT rivalry. Alundra Blayze made her return to a WWE ring for the first time since 1995 (not enough
was made of this), and Ivory lasted the longest out of the legends. Also, the seemingly obligatory
person hiding until the end and then thinking they won, but didn’t — this time Zelina Vega — just seemed to
be there to be there.
To no surprise, the NXT women’s championship match had some of the best storytelling of the night and
the television debut of the remaining Four Horsewomen of MMA. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir
interfered to help friend Shayna Baszler defeat Kairi Sane to win the belt for a second time.
Sane, whose crossbody from the top rope to the outside was one of the moves of the night, was kicked in the
head by Duke and landed in Baszler’s grasps for the Kirifuda Clutch. Sane passed out and the match was called.
With her friends officially by her side, Baszler, who was booed heavily by the Long Island crowd, has a chance
to become a monster heel, and the next brick to the Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen feud has been
More is to come here, just like the Evolution pay-per-view likely needs to continues for years to come after a
successful night. Lita and Trish Stratus over Alicia Fox and Mickie James.
Lita and Trish Stratus’ tag match lost a little luster with Alexa Bliss out because of injury. Bliss was at ringside and did get
involved physically in a small way.
Still, the match delivered what was needed to open the show. The recognizable names from different eras reminded
that Evolution is a celebration of past and present.
Stratus and Lita certainly showed ring rust, but hit the big moves fans remember. Lita’s moonsault is still something to
see, and Stratus — who went toe-to-toe with longtime rival James — hit a Chick Kick on James to end it.
Sasha Banks, Bayley and Natalya over The Riott Squad
There was nothing wrong with the match from a technical standout, but really lacked bite because of the
absence of stakes and story. Also, how many times do we need to watch the Riott Squad carrying each
other away in defeat?
Bayley lying on top of Banks to save her from being hit was an OK moment. Still, how much better would it have
been if it had happened during their rocky moments as friends? Now it may have been a wasted piece of
Banks ended up hitting a Frog Splash for the win and a happy moment for the crowd.
Toni Storm over Io Shirai (Mae Young Classic Final)
There wasn’t a great story told here, but the match delivered everything you want. Storm and Shirai worked
physically and showed off their athleticism. Shirai’s fast-developing and fluid moonsault to the outside
really was a thing of beauty.
Storm, who needed a second Storm Zero driver to put Shirai away, really has the potential to be a future star
as she takes her momentum to the NXT UK brand.
Crown Jewel booed
Crown Jewel, the all-men’s payper-view taking place in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 2, did get one plug
on Evolution after the Lynch-Flair classic. The crowd booed it heavily. It was worth being left alone
for one night because local law prohibits the women performing at Evolution from being on the card,
and there is plenty of controversy around WWE going there. Yet, the reminder was a little dose of reality.
The Riott Squad
Match of the night:
Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair