Get caught up on the latest wrestling news in this massive update!
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Check out this week’s gigantic news update.
-WWE purchased independent promotion EVOLVE from owner Sal Hamaoui, which was run by head booker and current WWE consultant Gabe Sapolsky, per PWInsider.com.
EVOLVE was founded in 2010 by Hamaoui and Sapolsky and featured many standout wrestlers over the years including Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre (Drew Galloway), Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, TJP, Timothy Thatcher, Zack Sabre Jr., Cedric Alexander, Ethan Page, Kyle O’Reilly, Jimmy Jacobs, Trent, among many others.
WWE and EVOLVE maintained a close working relationship since 2016 with EVOLVE’s 10th anniversary show even being featured on the WWE Network in 2019. WWE has most likely been funding EVOLVE since 2016 as the promotion appeared to be on its last legs following its deal with FloSlam/FloSports unraveling within a year.
As of press time, WWE hasn’t confirmed the acquisition and it’s unknown if EVOLVE will remain a promotion or solely be used for WWE Network content purposes. With a video library spanning a decade with great matches and moments featuring many current WWE wrestlers, don’t be surprised to see a new collection or two pop up on the Network later this year.
Of course with any corporate acquisition, there are always layoffs. Hopefully, everyone laid off will land on their feet.
-Kairi Sane is likely moving back to Japan and retiring from pro wrestling according to WrestlingObserver.com’s Dave Meltzer. The former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion and STARDOM standout has a history of concussions and was notably banged up thrice in matches with Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax since WWE TLC in Dec. 2019. WWE also played a part in miscasting such a likable character as a heel (which predictably backfired and only made her a bigger babyface).
It’s hard to blame Sane for wanting to enjoy the married life and head back home when you factor in her injury history, WWE’s creative incompetence, and the bungled COVID-19 response by the U.S. Best wishes to Sane in whatever she chooses to do.
–Current WWE Extreme Rules 2020 card for Sunday, July 19:
- Non-title SWAMP MATCH: WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt – Eater of Worlds version
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
- WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Nikki Cross (w/ Alexa Bliss)
- WWE Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) vs. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Sasha Banks
Rumored Matches: Rey Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins, Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley for the WWE United States Championship, Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles vs. Matt Riddle for WWE Intercontinental Championship
-Impact Wrestling’s Slammiversary 2020 takes place Saturday, July 18 at Skyway Studios in Nashville, TN and airs live on PPV. Current Slammiversary 2020 Card:
- Vacant Impact World Championship Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Trey Miguel vs. Ace Austin vs. Mystery Opponent (potentially EC3 or another major free agent)
- Impact Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Deonna Purrazzo
- Impact X Division Championship: Willie Mack (c) vs. Chris Bey
- Impact World Tag Team Championship: The North (c) – Ethan Page and Josh Alexander vs. Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan
- Gauntlet Match (Battle Royal): Alisha Edwards vs. Kiera Hogan vs. Kylie Rae vs. Nevaeh vs. Rosemary vs. Susie vs. Tasha Steelz vs. Taya Valkyrie vs. Havok vs. Kimber Lee
-This week’s MLW Anthology profiles Marshall Von Erich and Ross Von Erich, son of the legendary Kevin Von Erich. Featured matches include:
- WAR CHAMBER: The Von Erichs, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor & Low Ki vs. CONTRA Unit
- The Von Erichs vs. The Dynasty – MLW World Tag Team Championship Bout
-MLW recently signed Saieve Al Sabah who is already out of the company per POST Wrestling and his official Twitter account, due to the company’s association with the controversial Team Vision Dojo wrestling school. For those that don’t know, the dojo is run by registered sex offender Chasyn Rance, who is linked to fellow problematic wrestler Teddy Hart, the ex-boyfriend of Samantha Fiddler. Fiddler disappeared in 2016 and was last seen at the dojo.
-WWE Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley is official for Monday Night Raw 7/6. Asuka, Bayley, and Banks have been on fire lately and are the real WWE MVPs, along with Drew McIntyre. Go out of your way to watch the great Banks vs. Io Shirai match from NXT Great American Bash Night 1. Like NOW.
-WWE is extremely late to the party, but the company has finally instituted a mandatory mask policy per PWInsider.com. First offense results in $500 fine, while second strike is $1000. It’s too bad the Florida and Connecticut state governments can’t/won’t fine Vince McMahon for negligence after reportedly THIRTY POSITIVE TESTS.
-Two matches are official for Friday Night SmackDown 7/10. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Big E) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Plus: WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss in a non-title match.
-WWE better hope ratings get better following July 4th weekend, as the 7/3/20 edition of SmackDown averaged 1.77 million viewers — the lowest since debut on FOX in Oct. 2019. Brutal.
-On the bright side, WWE NXT defeated AEW Dynamite in rating seconds for the second straight week. NXT Great American Bash Night 1: 792,000 viewers. AEW Fyter Fest: 748,000 viewers. In reality, both shows and companies overall aren’t doing great numbers due to the pandemic and quite frankly, lack of interest in the products.
It’s understandable that numbers would/should be down when real world news is far more important right now, but numbers like that will make any network think twice as we proceed in a ravaged economy.
That being said, it’s pretty damn impressive Shirai vs. Banks outdrew Kenny Omega/Hangman Page vs. The Best Friends 900,000 to 645,000 viewers in the shows’ respective main event segments. As I was saying… Sasha Banks is the real WWE MVP.
-Check out this cool WWE 2K20 Entrances Compilation. Well, somewhat cool as the game is still relatively broken nearly a year after launch.
- Wednesday, July 15: NXT 7/15 and 7/22
- Friday, July 17: SmackDown/205 Live 7/17/20
- Sunday, July 19: WWE Extreme Rules PPV on WWE Network that night
- Monday, July 20: Raw/Main Event/Raw Talk 7/20 and 7/27
- Tuesday, July 21: SmackDown/205 Live for 7/24 and 7/31
- Wednesday, July 29: NXT 7/29 and 8/5
- Monday, August 3: Raw/Main Event/Raw Talk 8/3 and 8/10
- Tuesday, August 4: SmackDown/205 Live for 8/7 and 8/14
- Wednesday, August 12: NXT 8/12 and 8/19
- Monday, August 17: Raw/Main Event/Raw Talk 8/17, SmackDown/205 Live 8/21
- Saturday, August 22: NXT TakeOver on WWE Network
- Sunday, August 23: WWE SummerSlam PPV on WWE Network