On Tuesday (Nov. 27), less than 24 hours after Impact World Tag Team Champions LAX were announced as wrestling Evolve Tag Team Champions the Street Profits in two different matches at Evolve 117 & 118, word came down from Evolve mainman Gabe Sapolsky that Impact had pulled their talent from the shows.
In a newsmail sent out earlier today, the World Wrestling Network expounded on the situation further.
We are sorry to inform you that Impact Wrestling has pulled LAX off the upcoming EVOLVE dates.
EVOLVE officials were contacted by LAX and informed that they were needed for something else that weekend. No other explanation was given. Impact Wrestling didn’t contact EVOLVE officials and left it up to LAX. There is no heat on LAX as WWN understands the situation they were put in.
EVOLVE officials had told LAX that the plan was to have matches with EVOLVE Tag Team Champions The Street Profits of Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins that weekend. EVOLVE was informed that LAX would not be able to lose in those matches. In order to avoid any political issues, EVOLVE made one night a triple threat match and the other night a six man tag. This would give the fans the LAX vs. Street Profits matches they wanted, while protecting all parties politically.
Unfortunately, Impact Wrestling waited until the matches were announced and then pulled the talent the next day. This all could have easily been avoided by not allowing LAX to take the dates in the first place. EVOLVE will no longer consider booking Impact Wrestling contracted talent moving forward. EVOLVE officials are currently working on a replacement and will have news early next week.
We apologize for the lineup change, but assure you that EVOLVE will produce something special on for EVOLVE 117 December 15th in Queens, NY and EVOLVE 118 on December 16th in Deer Park, NY. Thank you for your support.
Declaring an end to booking Impact talent is a big move, even if it seems like it doesn’t mean that much, given that Evolve hasn’t exactly been working with a lot of Impact Wrestling-contracted superstars over the past year or so. However, there was a time shortly before the WWE working agreement came along where it seemed as if WWN might end up having a similar relationship with Impact instead, as seen by this slightly surreal video from 2015 thanking Impact for letting Davey Richards and TJ Perkins wrestle on Evolve shows.
In any case, the biggest immediate knock-on effect seems like it might involve Evolve’s distaff counterpart Shine. The official statement only notes that Evolve will no longer be booking Impact talent, and not the World Wrestling Network as a whole, but if Shine is included in the new policy, their roster will take at least two significant hits, as brand-new Impact superstar Jordynne Grace has been making waves there recently, including a brutal attack on her Team PAWG tag partner LuFisto, and former Knockouts Champion Su Yung has returned after a year-plus absence to again be a major player.
But... it might not be as simple as the newsmail makes it sound. Ryan Satin over at the Wrestling Sheet had additional information, noting that his sources within Impact were unaware of the bookings entirely until they were announced to the public. Which, grain of salt because lord knows the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing in pro wrestling, but it’s an interesting wrinkle.
Regardless of the hows and whys of how all this went down, this sucks, and it’s a real blow to 2018 pro wrestling’s “anything can happen” vibe. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to have foreseen this kind of thing happening, it’s been clear for a while that the indies are increasingly being drawn into separate groupings, with less and less overlap between them, but it’s still a bummer to see it actually occur.
There you have it, folks
You’ve got the official explanation for what went down with LAX, Cagesiders