Report: WWE Buys EVOLVE Wrestling

They had been locked in negotiations for months...

Two weeks ago, it emerged that EVOLVE Wrestling would be going on an indefinite hiatus. WWN Live Vice President of Talent Relations, Creative, and Marketing Gabe Sapolsky posted on the promotion's private message board and said he would be deleting the private Facebook group because EVOLVE had no plans to run events in the future. Sapolsky did say, however, that this was just a "fork in the road" for the company and asked talent to stay in touch.

Sapolsky's announcement came amidst reports that EVOLVE was in serious financial trouble because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and had been in negotiations to sell the promotion and its tape library to WWE. 

While the wrestling behemoth and EVOLVE denied the reports at the time, Mike Johnson at PWInsider revealed last night that WWE has purchased EVOLVE Wrestling and its extensive tape library after several months of negotiations. WWE now has the complete rights to use the EVOLVE brand and can produce EVOLVE events going forward if they want to. The promotion's video library will be available on the WWE Network down the line. 

EVOLVE and WWE have had a working relationship since 2015 and the promotion was often used a feeder system for NXT as talent yet to appear on WWE TV would regularly wrestle at EVOLVE events. 

EVOLVE's demise ends an 11-year journey for the independent wrestling promotion. The company first started as an off-shoot of Dragon Gate USA back in January 2010 and ran 146 shows during its lifetime. Their last event was EVOLVE 146 on March 1, 2020. The promotion hosted numerous stars before they signed with WWE including Apollo Crews, Johnny Gargano, Timothy Thatcher, Shotzi Blackheart, Ricochet, Austin Theory and Kalisto. 


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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Cultaholic's resident newshound.