WWE Reportedly Acquires Ownership Of Evolve Wrestling
Evolve, an independent wrestling promotion that’s also acted as a farm territory for WWE for the last four years, will not survive the COVID-19 pandemic. After struggling to pay refunds for this year’s WrestleMania weekend events following their mass cancellation, PWInsider is confirming that WWE is purchasing the company from Sai Hamaoui’s World Wrestling Network. WWE will acquire the entire tape library of the promotion as well as the shows of Dragon Gate USA, the promotion’s short-lived predecessor. Gabe Sapolsky will also reportedly come along into WWE.
While sources indicate that WWE is interested in several of the talents currently signed to evolve, talent contracts were not a part of the deal, and WWE would have to negotiate with individual wrestlers to sign them. WWE and Evolve were already growing closer pre-pandemic, with WWE airing their 10th-anniversary show on WWE Network and reportedly planning on airing “five to seven” WWN branded WrestleMania week events on the streaming service this year.
WWE will now have access to taped events featuring talents ranging from Daniel Bryan to Walter as well as Darby Allen and The Young Bucks from AEW. It will be a boon to their video efforts as their new crop of talent matures into superstars. As for WWN, they’re planning on continuing on once refunds are paid out with the three other promotions in their stable, Full Impact Pro, SHINE, and ACW. There’s no word on if WWE will continue their relationship with WWN once this purchase is complete or if Evolve events will continue in some fashion in a time where wrestling events can actually occur.