Why WWE Evolution was such a success
Wrestling fans witnessed a truly historic event last night. No, I'm not just saying that because it's what WWE wanted you to believe, it's simply because it's true. Though it has been done in other promotions, there has never been an all-women's pay-per-view.
While WWE has introduced many firsts for their women over the past couple of years (first Hell in a Cell, first Royal Rumble and first Money in the Bank to name a few), they all pale in comparison to WWE Evolution and its importance in wrestling history.
When first announced, we were all certain that this event would not get the coverage or the time that it deserves. The former was true, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that the latter was far from the truth. Despite all odds, Evolution delivered one of the more cohesive and overall enjoyable pay-per-views of the year. Why?
What usually makes NXT TakeOvers so memorable is the crowd involvement. The fans are loud, whether they're booing or cheering, and they always look like they're having fun. Save for the occasional Big Four event, the crowds at a main roster pay-per-view can be lukewarm at best. Not that they don't have their moments, but they usually treat things as business as usual. But last night in the Nassau Coliseum, we saw a much different atmosphere.
The New York crowd was raucous from beginning to end, injecting energy and excitement into even some of the lesser matches on the card. A pay-per-view is only as good as the crowd watching it, and this crowd was a perfect reflection of how well put-together this event was.
TIme was on their side
I would say one of my biggest worries for this pay-per-view was just how much time each match would be given. Would they breeze through each match just to get it over with, or will they all get a chance to get warmed up and deliver to the best of their ability? I am happy to say that, save maybe for the Mae Young Classic final, each match on the card was paced appropriately.
The lesser matches like the opening tag match didn't go on too long, but they did not feel inconsequential. The more promoted matches like the NXT Women's Title match were given the proper time to show off what each woman can do in the ring.
Most importantly, the two major title matches on the card more than delivered both in quality and quantity. Nothing felt too out of place and each match came to an understandable conclusion, minus a mistake here and there. Mistakes will happen when you have firsts of anything, so that gets a pass. Overall, though, anyone who worried that the women wouldn't get the time to strut their stuff were pleasantly surprised.
Match of the Year Candidates
Going into Sunday night, I was certain that match of the night would come down to one of two matches: Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm and Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch. Now that I have watched both, I cannot choose which I like more. Though Io vs. Toni was shorter, I felt they did just what they needed to with the limited amount of time given. They showed just what they're capable of when the bright lights are on and delivered an amazing match that ended with Toni Storm avenging her semi-final loss last year.
On the other hand, though, you would be foolish to think that Becky vs. Charlotte didn't steal the show. Everything about this match was perfect: the pacing, the action, the hatred between both women as they battered each other, it was all very captivating. The final spot made me jump out of my seat with just how brutal it was. A lot of the matches on this card delivered - even the main event which I assumed would be rather blasé - and none more so than this one.