Back in July, it emerged that WWE had purchased EVOLVE Wrestling and its extensive tape library. The deal came about after several months of negotiations and WWE now owns the rights to use the EVOLVE brand and can produce EVOLVE shows. Matches from the promotion's video library have since been added to the WWE Network.
Former owner of EVOLVE Gabe Sapolsky released a statement yesterday and revealed he is no longer part of WWN. He also admitted he now considers himself retired as an independent wrestling booker and promoter.
"With WWN announcing the new Eddie Kingston Grindhouse show on September 26th, it is the right time for me to clearly state I have parted ways with WWN. This is amicable and mutually decided. I look forward to seeing new minds and ideas come to the forefront on the independent scene. I feel Eddie Kingston is perfect to lead the charge.
I still love working with talent, have a passion for talent development and enjoy the bell-to-bell aspect of putting on shows. However, the down time due to COVID-19 has made me realize how much I do not miss the day-to-day aspects of running an independent promotion. I no longer have the drive to continue the constant grind of running an independent wrestling promotion.
I consider myself retired as an independent wrestling promoter and booker.
I want to give my most heartfelt and sincere "thank you" to everyone who supported any independent promotion I was associated with over the years. I also give my deepest gratitude to everyone who worked with me.
The final stats are:
507 shows from Feb. 23rd, 2002 to March 1st, 2020.
Ring Of Honor – 208
EVOLVE – 146
Full Impact Pro – 81
Dragon Gate USA – 50
Style Battle – 9
WWN Supershow – 5
WWN China – 4
Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup – 2
WWN Recruitment Camp Do Or Die – 2
Thank you for all the good times! I am excited to follow independent wrestling as a fan. I hope I can be a positive influence and help talent. I look forward to seeing most of you again down the road. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
Sapolsky won't be stepping away from professional wrestling altogether, however. He started working for WWE in 2018 as a consultant and the former EVOLVE owner remains involved in NXT creative.