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Evolve Wrestling: A brief history of the promotion

Sanjay Dutta
ANALYST
Feature
381   //    11 Jul 2019, 13:36 IST

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Founded in the year 2010, Evolve Wrestling has become a breeding ground for independent wrestlers trying to get to the next level and become the next big thing in the business.

Several of the current NXT, 205 Live and main roster Superstars along with some big names in the independent circuit got their first big break whilst working for the Philadelphia-based promotion.

Names like Johnny Gargano, Apollo Crews, Ricochet, Matt Riddle and many more wouldn't have made it to WWE, had it not been for their time in Evolve.

Evolve was founded by Gabe Sapolsky, who was founder and head-booker for Ring of Honour n 2010. Prior to ROH, Sapolsky was the protege of Paul Heyman, doing a wide variety of jobs when Heyman was running ECW. Following ECW's closure, Sapolsky along with Rob Feinstein founded ROH in 2002. Sapolsky parted ways with ROH in October 2008.

Following his exit from ROH, Sapolsky announced the formation of Dragon Gate USA, the American branch of Japanese promotion, Dragon Gate, in April 2009. In November 2011, Dragon Gate USA merged with Evolve with both the promotions sharing the same roster but following a period of inactivity, Dragon Gate USA ceased its operations.

Although the history of Evolve might seem a bit a confusing, given the various incarnations it has been through over the past decade, it is slowly but surely becoming one of the top independent promotion in North America.

Evolve formed a partnership with WWE in 2015, which allowed Vince McMahon's company to scout talent from the promotion for NXT and the main roster. Evolve also held several qualifying matches for the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic.

On July 13, 2019, Evolve will hold their 10th-anniversary event titled, Evolve 131, from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event will be streamed live on the WWE Network, the first non-WWE show to be streamed on the network. 

Evolve 131 is going to be a landmark event for the promotion as they will get to showcase their brand of wrestling in front of a worldwide event.

With names like Adam Cole, Drew Gulak, Austin Theory and Matt Riddle competing at the event, this is going to be one hell of a show.  

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