It had been building for a while. After the announcement WWE Network would air Evolve’s 10th Anniversary show on Sat., July 13 - opposite All Elite Wrestling’s third show, the free streaming Fight for the Fallen - WWE released a steady stream of online content promoting the show.
In addition to tweets and stories on WWE.com, a video was released describing how Gabe Sapolosky’s promotion “shaped the future of wrestling”. Several were released featuring current Superstars who’d spent some time working for Evolve during its history, including one with Daniel Bryan discussing coming up with the company’s name:
Then on the July 8 Raw, hyping the broadcast became a priority. It’s standard operating procedure for WWE to talk up shows set to air on their streaming service, of course. But it was still wild to hear Michael Cole talk about Evolve on USA Network:
Fans took notice on Twitter, and exchanges like this one between Raw’s new Executive Director and a guy who worked for him back in the original ECW days caught more than a few eyes:
While we have to acknowledge this a big “SHOT FIRED” moment in the nascent AEW/WWE war, there is another motive for Vince McMahon’s company. A tiered Network offering has long been discussed, with shows from the various indies Triple H has partnered with like Evolve, the United Kingdom’s Progress and Germany’s wXw being part of a more expensive subscription. How this show does in terms of interest and viewers will be market research for such an offering.
Did the Raw hype make you more likely to check out Evolve’s 10th Anniversary show? Will you watch it live? Are you choosing it instead of Fight for the Fallen?
The future of wrestling could depend on your answers!