WWE Evolution Pay-Per-View Announcement Reactions And First Impressions - Triple Threat POV | Smark Out Moment
Welcome to another edition of Triple Threat from Smark Out Moment, where three of us get together to discuss three questions based on one big topic going down in the week of professional wrestling.

This week, Robert DeFelice, Ben Guest, and Jordan Chaffiotte will be giving their feelings on the historic announcement of WWE Evolution!

An all-women WWE event coming October 28, 2017! It was an announcement that has been many years in the making, but will it live up to the hype? Let's discuss…

Question 1: First and foremost, how excited are you for the announcement of this all women's Pay-Per-View event? What were your feelings when you first heard the announcement?

GUEST: My biggest problem with an event like this is that I don’t think it represents a positive change for the women’s division. Giving women their own Pay-Per-View is, in my eyes, a way of saying that women can’t compete with men for time ‘real’ PPV, so they have to have their own. The only way having a women-only show can work, is if they completely separate the men and the women’s divisions, which has problems of its own, but is way better than this.

That being said, I think this was inevitable and should be a really interesting show. Assuming they actually book some good storylines and allow people to put on good matches, it can’t be bad as an event. There are way too many talents in the women’s division to put on a bad show and with 3 months to build some feuds, at the very worst it will just be another average PPV.

CHAFFIOTTE: Mixed and will probably continue to be mixed. I’ve long accused WWE of opting for band-aid fixes rather than investing in truly sustainable change, but I’ve also wanted this for a long time. The Mae Young Classic was one of my favorite wrestling events of all time, it was nice for the spotlight to just be on the women for once. Even so, the women were pushed down the card by the next PPV. I really don’t want to see that happen again but it’s bound to if this doesn’t come along with a change in the way stories are managed for the women.

For me, it comes down to if they use this as a catalyst for expanding the programs for women. While I don’t fully discount the strides WWE has made, it continues to deal with a scarcity complex. There’s only one women’s match on the card, fight for it. Most of them are sitting backstage during pay-per-views while there are usually a handful of inconsequential and poor quality matches on the guys' side. No, that doesn’t inspire great work, it makes everyone defensive and devalues their contribution. That’s the root of the problem here. Evolution has the potential to put an end to me being excited to see a third women’s segment on Raw. They have until October to come up with 5 hours worth of content, including the finals of the Mae Young Classic II. If they develop strong storylines, introduce Tag Championships, and then continue that beyond the event, we might be in a good spot. We cannot just throw matches together like a house show. Personally, I believe we should have at minimum one women’s match per hour of programming. If this gets us there, I’ll gladly consider it a success. If it’s business as usual afterward, I’d almost prefer we didn’t pretend.

DEFELICE: I am going to be frank. This pay-per-view is unnecessary. Many of the women in WWE right now are good enough to headline any pay-per-view. If this is a one-off celebration of how far we’ve come, that’s great. However, I feel like this will become a yearly event because of the societal change that they’re trying to perceive this event as bringing on. That is my main problem with this event, the amount of self-praise WWE keeps onto itself every time that they announce something that they consider to be historic. Please have a look at the inside of Stephanie McMahon's brain by clicking HERE.

That being said, I'm very excited about the fantasy booking possibilities with the show and I can't wait to see what the women of WWE bring to the table. This has the potential to be one of the best shows of the year or one of the worst and I'm praying that it's the former.

Question 2: In your opinion, should this event feature any male on-air staff such as commentators?

DeFELICE: With the exception of maybe the referees, I don't see any reason that this couldn't be an all-female show from the point of the staff. Renee Young is such a good commentator. It's possible she could have Beth Phoenix or Lita as a color commentator but I'd rather both of those women be in the ring for this show. Then, of course, there is Stephanie McMahon but I didn't enjoy what we heard from her on commentary during the women's Royal Rumble and I don't know if I want a repeat of that ever again. Perhaps Renee can be paired with her American counterpart, Cathy Kelley. Either way, I do think that all women on the microphone would be a really cool concept for the show.

GUEST: If the point of this event is to give female performers the spotlight and show what they can do, then I think you have to follow that through in all roles. As Jordan said, it doesn’t need to be devoid of men, but give women a chance, and who knows, maybe they’ll get some time on a ‘real’ show. The chances of the 9 best commentators in WWE all being men seems fairly low, so why not let someone have a go if it turns out no women are as good, then at least they can say they tried. I’m viewing this as a test event from all perspectives, and if it goes horribly wrong, then so be it, but they were always going to do it, so they might as well do it right.

CHAFFIOTTE: I loved how in the MYC we got to see women in a variety of roles, including as refs and commentators. There’s no reason to not keep that spirit of celebrating women across the show. That doesn’t mean we can’t have any men involved, but it would be refreshing to see women as the authority figures in the ring and the voices overtop the match. The one caveat is that commentary is hard, we can’t expect them to be perfect at it right away. Both Beth Phoenix and Lita showed promise but they need a strong partner in the booth. Corey Graves is good on his feet and has great chemistry with the likes of Renee Young and Beth Phoenix, so that would be my choice for a commentary team. Typically Graves is color, but what if he just stepped back and did play-by-play, letting the women make their opinions known. Tom Phillips would probably be my second choice if Graves wasn’t able to do it.

In terms of referees, we have Jesskia Carr, their first female ref, and you could probably have a trainer like Sara Amato step into the stripes. There are more than enough ring announcers and backstage interviewers to sustain this mostly on female talent. The most important thing to me is that men like Vince and Hunter aren’t standing in the spotlight during this kind of event.

Question 3: What is one match that you think should definitely be on this card to emphasize and highlight the growth of women's wrestling in the WWE?

CHAFFIOTTE: Ooh. OOOH. There are so many good options. The possibility of tag titles is probably the thing I’m most excited for, as we can use it to really show depth. There’s never been a mid-card before, it’s either the title or nothing. If that’s in their plans, they should conduct a tournament and hold the finals at Evolution. My bracket would include the IIconics, the Riott Squad, Absolution, Becky and Charlotte (Best-teas), Sasha and BayleyNaomi and Lana, Natalya and Ronda, and the Bella Twins. Personally, I think IIconics vs Bellas would be really fun, as the IIconics are everything the Bellas should’ve been. I also like the dynamic of the old guards falling to the new blood, but we already did that with Nikki and Asuka at the rumble, so how many times can we pass the same torch. My second choice would be one of the two four-horsewomen teams, depending on how Summerslam goes for Bayley and Sasha. They’re regarded as the standard bearers and while that is certainly well earned, it might be nice to show the other strengths of the division. Either way, the IIconics should absolutely be crowned the Undisputed Women’s Tag Team Champions in October.

GUEST: The two world title matches should be any combination of Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Ronda Rousey, Alexa Bliss and Ember Moon. Assuming we’re sticking to brands as they are, I think Charlotte vs Asuka needs to be done properly and Ronda Rousey vs Sasha Banks could be a great match. Alexa Bliss vs Ember Moon and Kairi Sane vs Carmella could be fun side-matches and The Bella Twins vs The IIconics for new Tag Team Championships makes a lot of sense.

DeFELICE: In an effort to try and not repeat what is stated above even though I agree with a lot of it, I would like to see Lita vs. Trish for one final time just like they're doing with Triple H and The Undertaker down in Australia. I think that these women laid the foundation for everything we see here and I think that they deserve one final send-off.

Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!

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Robert DeFelice is a journalist and marketing student. You can follow him on Twitter, Instagram as well as his apparel website Time Killer Apparel and his pro wrestling blog PandemoniuMania.


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