One of the big questions about the launch of independent wrestling streaming service FloSlam was how it would effect the WWE/EVOLVE relationship.
Triple H and Gabe Sapolsky have been chummy for a while, and that’s resulted in a steady stream of EVOLVE talent on WWE Network and even Raw over the past year. But when it was announced that EVOLVE and its fellow WWNLive promotions would anchor the FloSlam network, many wondered if that would continue.
WWE is an investor in FloSports, the parent company for FloSlam, but with what is reportedly a small, "silent" stake in the venture, and word was Vince McMahon and his team were not happy the new service could be driving up the cost for indie wrestling content they hope to put on their own streaming player.
If WWE is angry with Gabe and company, you sure won’t be able to tell by next weekend’s EVOLVE 72 and 73 shows... at least if you're checking out the shows live in Queens, New York of Joppa, Maryland.
That’s because as word came down that Drew Galloway’s injury (the status of which he updated here) would prohibit him from working those shows, Sapolsky revealed Tommy End would replace him. And if that names sounds familiar to you, it’s because WWE just announced his signing a couple weeks ago, and he made his first NXT appearance just last night.
Now, like past appearances by WWE stars on EVOLVE shows like Sami Zayn and William Regal (who will be taking part in a training seminar/tryout and autograph signing at the Nov. 13 Maryland show), End's matches will not be filmed. So while these are EVOLVE’s debut events on FloSlam (their first broadcast of a new WWNLive show is tonight (Nov. 4), when they’ll feature women's promotion Shine), the Dutch Superstar won't be helping to sell $20/month subscriptions.
But it still doesn't seem like a courtesy WWE would extend to a company with whom they had beef.
No word yet on who End will be facing. Galloway was set to face Matt Riddle in New York City and defend the tag belts with his partner DUSTIN in Joppa, but it's unlikely Riddle will be featured in a dark match, and a loaner talent isn't working a title match, so Gabe's got some re-shuffling to do.
But this is still an interesting development in what's been a wild year in pro wrestling.