Welcome to POST Wrestling’s coverage of the WWE Evolution event from NYCB Live on Long Island, New York.
Wai Ting and I will have an Evolution POST Show later tonight. The live video stream of the POST Show is available to Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. The free podcast version will be posted late tonight.
The kickoff show was hosted by Renee Young with Paige and Beth Phoenix.
There was a red carpet set with Charly Caruso speaking to various personalities, beginning with Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss. Ric Flair was spotted in the background. Charly asked them about their match in Abu Dhabi several years ago
Guests on the panel included Michael Cole, Carmella, R-Truth and Eve Torres.
Brie Bella interviewed two of the stars from Nobody’s Fool and ended with Brie getting up and walking off when they said Ronda Rousey would knock out Nikki tonight.
They taped a dark match with Rhea Ripley and Dakota Kai.
The show proper opened with a great video of the performers talking about the evolution, footage of past stars, childhood photos and a preview of the key matches on the show.
Michael Cole was trying to do his introduction and you could hear someone explaining to Cole his microphone wasn’t working. He is calling the show with Beth Phoenix and Renee Young.
Nita Strauss was in the ring and there was a live performance.
TRISH STRATUS & LITA VS MICKIE JAMES & ALICIA FOX
Lilian Garcia was in the ring to introduce the match. The crowd was immediately hot and popped big for Stratus’ entrance.
Alexa Bliss came out, she made fun of their age and told them to turn up their hearing aids before welcoming James and Fox. The three were dressed as characters from Alice in Wonderland.
For whatever reason, the lights were darkened, and this looked more like a house show than a pay-per-view event, but the crowd was very loud.
Trish told Fox to tag in James and the place went nuts. The forearm strikes had the audience unglued.
Stratus hit a top rope huracanrana for a two-count. The heels bailed to the floor and went to leave, but were stopped by Stratus and Lita on the floor.
Lita attempted a moonsault and was yanked off by Bliss behind the referee’s back. They got the advantage on Lita in their corner.
Stratus was tagged in, she countered a DDT and hit Stratusfaction, Fox was way too late for the save and the referee held up his count. Lita hit a Twist of Fate to Fox and a moonsault to both Fox and James. Stratus dropped James with a chick kick and won.
WINNERS: TRISH STRATUS & LITA AT 11:03
The audience was a big difference maker and were rabid from the start of the match. Despite the missed save at the end, a fun opener and hopefully the audience can stay near this level throughout the show.
Kayla Braxton interviewed The Bella Twins and was asked about insulting Ronda’s mother. Brie said a journalist is supposed to put words into context and Ronda started it by using their personal relationships to insult them. Nikki is dedicating tonight’s match to Dr. AnnMaria DeMars, Ronda’s mother and she is a “do something Bella.”
20 WOMAN BATTLE ROYAL
The entrants are Naomi, Michelle McCool, Alundra Blayze, Carmella, Zelina Vega, Kelly Kelly, Tamina, Ember Moon, Lana, Maria Kanellis, Mandy Rose, Molly Holly, Dana Brooke, Nia Jax, Ivory, Asuka, Torrie Wilson, Peyton Royce, and Billie Kay.
There were several crowd shots with Jimmy Uso, Mike Kanellis (with their child), The Miz, and Maryse watching the match.
The IIconics got mic time and insulted Long Island getting to host such an important and made fun of how they sounded. They are going to send these childhood heroes of theirs back into obscurity. They called them “losers”.
Everyone went after The IIconics and both were eliminated immediately as the audience booed their eliminations.
The current women circled the women from the past (Maria Kanellis sided with the women of the past) and everyone started fighting.
Sonya Deville kicked Molly Holly off the apron. Sonya and Mandy Rose double-teamed and eliminated Kelly Kelly next. Next, Rose eliminated Torrie Wilson with a running knee and then knocked Deville off the apron to eliminate her partner.
Nia Jax tossed Blayze over the top and kicked her to the floor.
Jax headbutted Kanellis off the apron for the next elimination.
Jax and Tamina had a stare down but then roared together and attacked the other women. Lana tried to attack them, and they stood there. Tamina tossed Lana out.
There was an eight-person vertical suplex spot and everyone was down except for Carmella. She called for a dance break, Ivory started dancing with her too. Rose tried to eliminate but Ivory, but Carmella tossed her out first.
Moon lifted Dana Brooke and dumped her out with her face hitting the edge of the apron on the way down.
Moon superkicked McCool off the apron to the floor.
Naomi ran at Jax and was sent over the top and out.
Moon and Carmella tried a tilt-a-whirl spot, which was mangled and Cole simply said, “very unique”.
Moon knocked Carmella out with a forearm strike.
Ivory hit a top rope crossbody, was placed onto the edge of the apron and eliminated with a hip attack from Asuka.
It was down to Asuka, Ember Moon, Tamina, and Nia Jax.
Moon and Asuka had a great sequence, ending with a superkick in the ropes and Asuka was tossed out.
Moon hit Tamina with the Eclipse and dumped her out. Moon and Jax are the final two and everyone was cheering for Moon.
Zelina Vega showed up and had never been eliminated and tried to dump Jax over, but failed. Jax military pressed Vega and dumped her out.
Jax ran over Moon and threw her to the floor.
WINNER: NIA JAX AT 16:25
The battle royal was way better than you would have expected. There were lots of creative ideas mixed into the match and the audience loved the match. This one over delivered.
Charly interviewed Jax in the ring and she said whoever wins the Raw women’s title match won’t have the title for long.
Tegan Nox, Rhea Ripley, Taynara Conti, and Meiko Satomura were shown ringside for the next match.
TONI STORM VS IO SHIRAI IN THE FINALS OF THE MAE YOUNG CLASSIC
Shirai dropkicked Storm off the top turnbuckle and sent her to the floor and followed with her own Golden Triangle.
Storm and Shirai were on the edge of the apron and Storm hit a release German onto the edge. Shirai recovered way too fast and attacked Storm with strikes in the ring. Storm came back with Storm Zero for a near fall.
Shirai hit the 619 and a springboard sunset flip for a two-count. Shirai landed the double knees and went for the moonsault off the top and landed on Storm’s knees. Storm hit Storm Zero to win the match.
WINNER: TONI STORM AT 10:10
They had a very good match, but it felt rushed in a lot of places. This was a 16-minute match condensed into 10. The finish was a bit surprising as I thought they would go with Shirai.
It wasn’t at the level of the top matches from the tournament but was better than most of this year’s tournament matches.
Paul Levesque, Stephanie McMahon and Sara Amato were in the ring to congratulate Storm.
There was an ad for Crown Jewel with no mention of the location.
THE RIOTT SQUAD VS NATALYA, SASHA BANKS & BAYLEY
The Riott Squad were dressed as horror characters Jigsaw, Pennywise, and Leatherface. Liv Morgan had a balloon that Riott popped.
Natalya and Banks hit the Hart Attack onto Morgan.
Bayley hit a sliding dropkick under the bottom turnbuckle onto Logan from the floor, she went for another one to Riott and Morgan, and Logan dropkicked her into the post. They kept Bayley in their corner.
Bayley fought and finally tagged in Banks for a big reaction.
Banks made the blind tag to Bayley, hit the backstabber to Riott and into the Bayley-to-belly but the pin was broken up.
Banks went for a somersault dive that was too short, the Riott Squad lifted and threw her into the guardrail. Banks was set up for a top rope splash, Bayley covered her and Riott hit a senton onto both. Banks escaped and tagged Natalya.
She applied a double sharpshooter to Riott and Logan.
It ended with Bayley hitting a top rope elbow to Morgan and suicide dive. Banks landed a frog splash as a tribute to Eddie Guerrero and pinned Morgan.
WINNERS: BAYLEY, SASHA BANKS & NATALYA AT 13:40
This was another very good match, it’s been a great show so far.
Every match feels important and the audience has been incredible.
All the women worked hard and the audience went nuts for the frog splash finish.
KAIRI SANE VS SHAYNA BASZLER FOR THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE
There was an “NXT” chant when the match started.
Baszler got the advantage after throwing Sane into the steps. Baszler stomped the left elbow inside the ring.
Baszler landed a flying knee to the chest and then ran into a spinning back fist by Sane that was off. Sane hit a spear coming out of the corner.
Baszler stopped Sane on the apron and lifted her into the arm with a submission applied to the damaged arm.
Sane caught her with a DDT, went to the top and Baszler rolled to the floor and Sane turned and landed a crossbody to the floor. The place chanted “NXT” loudly.
Sane knocked Baszler into several of the NXT performers in the front row, including Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Both tried to attack Baszler. Sane hit Duke with a spinning back fist and knocked Shafir off the apron. Sane was caught in the Kirifuda Clutch, Sane rolled on top for a two-count.
Duke nailed Sane from the floor and Baszler re-applied the hold. Sane passed out and the match was stopped.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER AT 12:30 TO WIN THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE
I don’t think many thought Baszler would be winning the title, so that was a surprise. This also was the introduction of Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir and didn’t harm the match with interference.
The match was building well, I don’t think it got to that dramatic level because of the nature of the finish
BECKY LYNCH VS CHARLOTTE FLAIR IN THE LAST WOMAN STANDING MATCH FOR THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
The audience was behind Becky and against Charlotte. The crowd is treating this like the main event.
Early on, Becky brought out a kendo stick and attacked Charlotte on the floor. The two filled up the ring with chairs as the crowd chanted, “ECW”. Becky attacked her with chair shots on the floor after stopping Charlotte from setting up a table. They chanted, “you deserve it” at Charlotte.
In the ring, Charlotte suplexed Becky onto numerous chairs.
Becky took over, she set up Charlotte onto a table in the ring, climbed to the top and was stopped by Charlotte as fans booed.
Becky was placed onto the table, Charlotte attempted a top rope moonsault but the table turned over instead of breaking. Charlotte returned to the top and put Becky through the table with a somersault off the top.
Charlotte brought a ladder into the ring, they fought, and the ladder briefly balanced itself upright until Becky shoved it over. She wrapped Becky’s knee around the ladder and attacked it. Charlotte applied the figure-four in the ladder and bridged into Figure 8. Becky tapped but it doesn’t count. Becky breaks free by using a chair.
Becky took her title and tried to leave through the crowd, Charlotte caught up and they chopped each other. They fought back to ringside. Becky nailed Charlotte with a belt shot. She placed Charlotte onto the announcer’s desk, she climbed the ladder and hit a leg drop through the desk. Charlotte got up at nine and Becky attacked her further and covered her with chairs. Charlotte emerged.
Charlotte attacked with kendo stick shots and speared Becky. She placed Becky onto a table on the floor. Charlotte climbed, was stopped and Becky put her through the table with a powerbomb. Charlotte struggles and cannot get up in time.
WINNER: BECKY LYNCH AT 28:38 TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE
This was excellent, the show stealer and audience it from start-to-finish.
RONDA ROUSEY VS NIKKI BELLA FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE
Brie Bella was in Nikki’s corner waving a Bellalution flag.
Rousey received a thunderous ovation. The audience was super-heated during the introductions.
Rousey started throwing Nikki around. The tide turned on the floor when Brie distracted Ronda and she was shoved hard into the post. Nikki took over control of the match. She applied a head scissors while doing push ups.
Ronda was placed on top, she went to kick Brie off the apron, didn’t connect but Brie fell anyway.
Rousey dove off the top and missed with a crossbody. Nikki missed a baseball slide and slid to the floor.
Rousey lifted Nikki, Brie tried to stop her, and she lifted both on her shoulders and dumped them both to the mat with the standing reverse kata guruma.
Rousey was talking trash as she attacked with strikes and threw Nikki around.
Brie was thrown over the announcer’s desk when she tried to attack Rousey. She went back for Nikki and was caught with an Alabama slam. Rousey went shoulder first into the post and Nikki hit the Rack Attack 2.0 for a near fall. Nikki threw a tantrum.
Rousey flipped her off the turnbuckle into the center and applied the arm breaker for the win.
WINNER: RONDA ROUSEY AT 14:08 TO RETAIN THE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE
The audience made this come off much better than it was. I didn’t like the match that much and from a technical side, it was the worst match on the show.
There was a lot of instances they seemed off and they were following one of the best WWE matches of the year.