As confirmed by PWInsider, WWE has officially purchased EVOLVE. It was noted that the deal between WWE and EVOLVE was closed after months of negotiations. WWE has the rights to use the EVOLVE name and produce events under the banner if needed.
Dave Meltzer had reported last month that EVOLVE was in a significant financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there was a possibility that WWE ends buying everything from EVOLVE.
The cancellation of WrestleMania 36 weekend and the subsequent move to the Performance Center was a big blow to EVOLVE, and the company's financial troubles had reached a point wherein a sale was inevitable.
EVOLVE was founded in 2010 by Gabe Sapolsky as a Dragon Gate USA off-shoot, and it went on to organize 146 events. EVOLVE entered into a partnership with WWE in 2015, which saw a few WWE talents work EVOLVE shows over the years. WWE even streamed EVOLVE's tenth-anniversary show on the WWE Network.
What does WWE's purchase mean for EVOLVE talents?
It was revealed that WWE has purchased EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA's video library, possibly including other content as well, such as the early phase of Full Impact Pro.
When it comes to the talents, the belief is that the contracted EVOLVE talents could be signed and absorbed into the NXT system. PWInsider could not get the names of the talents, but it was reported that WWE would sign at least four EVOLVE wrestlers.
Various current WWE Superstars used EVOLVE as a stepping stone towards securing contracts with Vince McMahon's company. It was a promotion that allowed many talents to work on their craft and get the attention of the bosses in WWE.
Matt Riddle, Austin Theory, Johnny Gargano, Keith Lee, Apollo Crews, Drew Gulak, Oney Lorcan and Ricochet are some of the Superstars who worked in EVOLVE before getting signed by WWE.
Drew McIntyre also revitalized his career, to a degree, in EVOLVE and many other promotions before he returned to WWE.
Despite having the backing of WWE, EVOLVE's financial issues were too severe. After some reported back and forth, WWE decided to takeover EVOLVE, and it's entire video library.
Regarding the talents, we should get more updates on which of them get signed by WWE in the weeks and months to follow.