WWE Evolution 2018 was a history-making night on many fronts and for a show that was decades in the making, it lived up to expectations and then some.
The first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view WWE Evolution 2018 had a lot to live up to, but this banner night for women’s wrestling did so with flying colors in a night that will be remembered forever in the annals of WWE history.
The opening match of the night was the marquee tag team match pitting Trish Stratus and Lita against Mickie James and Alicia Fox, who filled in for the injured Alexa Bliss who accompanied them to ringside. Despite Trish and Lita being in their low-40’s and not having wrestled in a long time, this was a very solid match. They both looked great and despite one botch at the end, this was a great way to kick off the show with the Hall of Famers getting the win.
The battle royal to determine who gets a future championship opportunity was next featuring past stars and current stars. This was a very enjoyable match and several dynamics played out throughout it. It came down to Nia Jax and Ember Moon and just when it looked like Moon had it won, Jax turned things around and wound up getting the win and a future Raw Women’s Championship opportunity.
The finals of the Mae Young Classic followed when Toni Storm battled Io Shirai in what turned out to be a great match. These two women left everything they had in the ring while pulling out many innovative moves before Storm outlasted Shirai to get the big win to be crowned Mae Young Classic champion for 2018.
Six-woman tag team action was on deck when The Riott Squad took on Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Natalya. Despite the match not quite being on the level of most of the matches on this card, this was still pretty good. The Riott Squad did look impressive, but in the end, it wouldn’t pay off with a win as Banks connected with a Frog Splash in honor of Eddie Guerrero to get the win for her team.
The NXT Women’s Championship took center stage when Kairi Sane defended against Shayna Baszler in a very physical, hard-hitting match that held everyone’s attention from start to finish. It was a very good match, but it was harmed a bit by the screwy finish that featured Baszler’s Four Horsewomen friends helping her get the win to regain the NXT Women’s Championship.
The rivalry between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair came to a head next when Lynch defended her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte in a Last Woman Standing match. And not to get into too much hyperbole, but this very well could be the best match of the entire year in the WWE in 2018. It was nothing short of phenomenal from start to finish.
The storytelling involved here was second to none and the action involved was something to behold. These women did things that would have seemed unfathomable for women’s wrestling in years past, but after the dust had settled, Lynch finally was able to put Charlotte down for the count of 10 to retain her title by the skin of her teeth after a powerbomb through a table from the top rope.
Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella had the unenviable task of following an all-time classic when they main evented the show with the Raw Women’s Championship on the line. Despite not having a lot of expectations heading in, this was a very solid match. It was one of the better matches Rousey has had this year and one of Nikki’s best matches in a long time.
The Baddest Woman On The Planet was able to overcome the Bella numbers game and she made Nikki tap out to the armbar. While it wasn’t as good as Lynch vs. Charlotte, this was still a very solid match that admirably closed out the show given what match it had to follow. The show fittingly ended with all of the women involved standing in unison at the top of the ramp.
This show had a lot to live up to being a first-ever event, but it did so in arguably the best main roster pay-per-view of the year in the WWE. This was a historic night for women’s wrestling and the women involved proved just how far they have come over the years. It was special to see this night take shape and the live crowd in attendance was fantastic from start to finish as well.
Hopefully, this pay-per-view will stick around annually now because the first installment of this event was a total knockout that will have fans talking for years to come.