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Evolve 10th Anniversary show to stream on WWE Network opposite AEW Fight for the Fallen

The Wrap

We’ve been hearing about Evolve and other independent promotions who’ve partnered with NXT being offered on WWE Network, possibly as part of a more expensive programming tier, for quite some time. We’ve also been wondering how WWE would counter-program against All Elite, if at all.

Today (June 26) might be a step toward both answers on both fronts. The Wrap exclusively revealed that Evolve 131, the Gabe Sapolsky-booked promotion’s tenth anniversary show the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia, will stream live on WWE Network, Sat., July 13 at 8PM eastern.

“Evolve was the birthplace for many current WWE and NXT Superstars so it is only fitting that their 10th Anniversary Celebration will be showcased live on WWE Network,” Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE executive vice president of talent, live events & creative, told TheWrap.

Two matches are announced in the article, both featuring current WWE Superstars with history in Evolve:

  • NXT champ Adam Cole will defend his title against 205 Live’s Akira Tozawa
  • Matt Riddle will face Cruiserweight champion Drew Gulak in a non-title match

That’s all that’s revealed for the card. Evolve has two shows this weekend which will advance their storylines and set up other matches. The Wrap does note that NXT Superstars Arturo Ruas (formerly Adrian Jaoude) & Babatunde, Evolve champion Austin Theory and the Evolve Tag Team champs Joe Gacy & Eddie Kingston are set to appear on July 13.

The placement on the calendar allows the show to serve as a TakeOver-like pre-Extreme Rules show for WWE Network. It also puts it head-to-head with All Elite Wrestling’s Fight for the Fallen event in Jacksonville, Florida, which will stream free on B/R Live. This follows the announcement NXT UK would have their TakeOver: Cardiff show the afternoon before AEW’s All Out show on Aug. 31.

There won’t be a ton of new storyline advancement for Cole vs. Tozawa and the latest Gulak/Riddle match. If NXT and 205 Live build toward the show, it’ll have to take place on the purple brand, since NXT has already taped all their shows up to August’s TakeOver: Toronto 2.

Will this will lead to Evolve, Progress and other indies being featured on the streaming service? Are Triple H’s brands WWE’s answer to AEW?

Stay tuned. The answer might depend on whether or not you watch Evolve 131.

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