WWE has purchased EVOLVE Wrestling. Originally founded in 2010 by Gabe Sapolsky, EVOLVE developed a working relationship with WWE, acting as a feeder system for WWE developmental since 2015.
Several current WWE Superstars wrestled for EVOLVE prior to signing with WWE. Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle, Ricochet, Austin Theory, Keith Lee and current WWE Champion Drew McIntyre are just some of the names to have been associated with EVOLVE Wrestling.
According to PWInsider, the deal was finally completed after months of negotiations between the two companies. This acquisition means that WWE now has access and rights to EVOLVE’s brand name. It can also run EVOLVE Wrestling events and now owns the promotion’s entire video library.
This tape library includes the work of talents like AR Fox, Eddie Kingston, The Young Bucks, Zack Sabre Jr., Trent, and several other non-WWE wrestlers.
EVOLVE Wrestling was reportedly suffering from financial issues. The coronavirus pandemic is said to have significantly impacted the company, especially after WrestleMania 36 was canceled. Per the report, existing EVOLVE/WWN contracts are not a part of the sale. Additionally, the purchase did not include WWNLive, which will reportedly continue.
WWE had previously featured footage and clips of EVOLVE events on their website. EVOLVE’s 10th Anniversary special was also hosted on the WWE Network last year. This was done in an attempt to bolster ticket sales and interest. It is not known at the time of writing if WWE intends to offer any existing EVOLVE talent new deals or if it plans to include EVOLVE’s shows on the WWE Network.