The letters "WWE" might as well have stood for "Women's Wrestling Evolved" Sunday night, as the NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum hosted the company's first-ever all-female pay per view event. A sold-out crowd packed the Uniondale arena for WWE Evolution, which aired live on the WWE Network and around the world on pay per view television.
The event marked a major milestone for WWE, which for years presented featured its female matches as little more than a titillating sideshow on cards dominated by men. The wrestling promotion has taken steps in recent years to rebrand its women division, including by amping up the athletic content and compelling storylines and showcasing women in main event matches.
“I’ve never felt this kind of camaraderie in my life,” WWE Raw Women’s champion, and former UFC headliner, Ronda Rousey said during a red carpet ceremony before the show. “Everyone here knows this is something bigger than all of us individually . . . So much depends on the success of this event.”
Rousey was set to take on WWE veteran and reality show star Nicki Bella in the main event of Evolution. Other bouts include Smackdown women’s champ Becky Lynch defending her title against second-generation star Charlotte Flair — daughter of “Nature Boy” Ric Flair — in a “last woman standing” match, and another former UFC fighter, Shayna Baszler, taking on NXT women’s champion Kairi Sane.
Earlier in the night WWE Hall of Fame inductees Lita and Trish Stratus returned to the ring to win a tag team match against Alicia Fox and Mickie James and Nia Jax won a 20-women battle royal.