EvolveWrestling.com - Davey Richards (via EvolveWrestling)
Possibly bad news for Ring of Honor: former booker Gabe Sapolsky and former DVD cover/website design man and Florida Impact Pro owner Sal Hamaoui, and current ROH Tag Title holder Davey Richards have announced a new promotion, EVOLVE Wrestling. Fight Game Blog has a bunch more information, including that Sal has applied for a New York State promoter's license. They've also started a YouTube account which currently features a video with Richards, which is assumed to be the first in a series of viral videos. To that same effect, they have launched a bare-bones website which features a countdown clock to the website's next "Evolution" with the idea that fans can watch the information about the promotion be revealed a piece at a time.
Given Gabe's relationship with the new Dragon Gate USA promotion and their willingness to go head-to-head with ROH on WrestleMania weekend in Arizona in March, and given Richards' apparent commitment to Gabe and Dragon Gate in that situation, the writing may be on the wall that Richards may not be with ROH that much longer. Add into the equation that Richards is FIP's current heavyweight champ and the only public face of EVOLVE, as well as one of the singles stars of DGUSA, and it's not too difficult to see where this is going.
ROH has been rumored to be having problems or in danger of folding for a year or two now, but has shown no real outward signs of that being the case. If they were to lose one of their big stars and champions so soon after the losses of Bryan Danielson to WWE and Nigel McGuinness to TNA, however, the cracks may be beginning to show. EVOLVE would certainly be in a good position by launching in 2010 if ROH were to fold within the next couple of years, and having a bona fide indie superstar with a ton of buzz onboard certainly doesn't hurt. It's also no secret that Gabe is well-liked with indie workers everywhere and he shouldn't have any problem getting top-level talent booked, assuming he has the right money men backing him.
iIt's certainly going to be interesting seeing where EVOLVE goes from here. Stay tuned.