WWE has had a working relationship with Philadephia-based indie promotion Evolve Wrestling for some time now. Back in the good old days when live wrestling events were still happening in front of live audiences, WWE would frequently let NXT Superstars go there for matches. Last summer, in fact, the WWE Network ran Evolve’s 10 Anniversary Show live, the first and, to date, only time the Network has featured an indie wrestling event like that. WWE has also been known to recruit a lot of talent from Evolve, including Austin Theory and Shotzi Blackheart, who were both featured in the aforementioned Anniversary event and have debuted for NXT in the year since (and already moved to Raw, in Theory’s case.
Today there are reports, courtesy of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, that WWE may soon own Evolve outright. According to WON, Evolve is in serious financial trouble. Like other indie promotions, they had to cancel their planned Wrestlemania week shows that were expected to bring in a bunch of money, and that lack of income has been “catastrophic” for them. It sounds like things have only gotten worse since then, as the Pandemic has dragged on and there’ve yet to be anymore live shows, and now they’re considering selling “pretty much everything” to WWE, including their tape library.
So far, neither WWE nor Evolve has commented, but we’ll let you know if more comes out about this.