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WWE Evolution Review: Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm in the Mae Young Classic Finals

WWE Evolution

  • Show: WWE Evolution
  • Location: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York 
  • Date: Sunday October 28, 2018 
  • Review by: Amin Ajani

Trish Stratus & Lita def. Mickie James & Alicia Fox (w/Alexa Bliss)

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4

Lita and Trish Stratus got huge reactions when they came out. Lita delivered a hurricanrana and followed up with some ground and pound to James. Lita delivered a running clothesline to Fox. Lita ran off Trish’s back and delivered a flying crossbody to both Fox and James in the corner. Trish delivered a hip toss to Fox. Trish wanted James to tag in as the crowd cheered. Trish delivered some ground and pound to James. James and Trish exchanged strikes on the top turnbuckle. Trish delivered a top rope head scissors to James. Fox accidentally delivered a running boot to James. Lita went to climb the turnbuckle but Bliss hopped on the ring apron and yanked Lita off. Fox delivered a Northers Lights Suplex to Lita for a near fall. Trish got the hot tag as delivered a sit-out power bomb to James for a near fall. Trish delivered the Stratusfaction to James. Trish had the match won (but that wasn’t the finish as Fox missed her spot) to break the count. Lita delivered the Twist of Fate to Fox. Lita delivered a top rope moonsault to both Fox and James. Finish of the match came when Trish delivered the Chick Kick to James for the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fine match as the crowd was super hot and was nice to see both Lita and Trish wrestle again.)

Nia Jax won the Battle Royal 

  • Rating:⭐️⭐️

Everyone teamed up and eliminated Kay and Royce. Sonya Deville eliminated Molly Holly. Sonya Deville kicked Molly Holly off the apron. Mandy Rose and Sonya eliminated Kelly Kelly. Rose delivered a running knee and eliminated Torrie Wilson. Rose then eliminated Sonya Deville. Nia Jax tossed Blayze to the floor. Jax eliminated Maria with a head butt. Jax and Tamina had a stare down as they attacked all the other women. Tamina eliminated Lana. There was an eight-person vertical suplex spot. Carmella called for a dance break as the crowd cheered. Carmella tossed Rose to the floor. Moon eliminated Dana Brooke. Moon delivered a superkick as she eliminated Michelle McCool. Jax backdropped Naomi to the floor. Moon delivered a forearm strike and eliminated Carmella. Asuka delivered a running hip attack as she eliminated Ivory. The crowd cheered loudly as Asuka and Moon clashed. Moon delivered a superkick and eliminated Asuka which got some boos. Moon delivered an Eclipse and eliminated Tamina. Moon tried to eliminate Jax with a standing head scissors from the ring apron. Zelina returned, tried to eliminate Jax and Moon but they landed on the ring apron. Jax delivered a Military Press Slam and eliminated Vega. Jax delivered a running shoulder tackle, eliminated Moon and won the match. 

  • Participants: Asuka, Alundra Blayze, Billie Kay, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Ember Moon, Ivory, Kelly Kelly, Lana, Mandy Rose, Maria Kanellis, Michele McCool, Molly Holly, Naomi, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce, Sonya Deville, Tamina, Torrie Wilson and Zelina Vega. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fine battle royal which had some nice creative spots. The crowd cheered for Moon to win but Jax got a good reaction when she won.) 

Toni Storm def. Io Shirai to win the WWE Mae Young Classic

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4

The match started with some chain wrestling. Toni delivered a basement dropkick for a near fall. Shirai delivered a cartwheel into a dropkick and followed up with a double knees for a near fall. Toni delivered a snap German suplex and followed up with a running hip attack into the turnbuckle. Shirai made a comeback by delivering a springboard dropkick and followed up with an amazing looking reverse moonsault from the top turnbuckle to Toni on the floor. They battled on the ring apron as Toni delivered a head butt. Toni then delivered a German suplex to Shirai on the ring apron which looked crazy. Shirai made a comeback by delivering rapid fire forearms. Toni caught Shirai coming off the ropes and delivered a big lariat. Toni followed up by delivering the Storm Zero but Shirai kicked out for a close near fall. Shirai refused to quit as she made a comeback by delivering a 619 and followed up with a springboard into a Victory Roll for a near fall. Shirai delivered a running double knee into the turnbuckle. Shirai went for her top rope Asai Moonsault but Toni countered by getting her knees up. Finish of the match came when Toni delivered the second Storm Zero of the match for the win.

  • Post-Match: HHH, Sara Amote and Stephanie McMahon appeared in the ring and congratulated Storm for winning. They also hugged Shirai. Shirai and Storm also shared a hug.

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a really good match as both Shirai and Toni worked really hard and at a really fast pace. There was lots of cool and creative spots. I wanted to see Shirai win but didn’t mind Toni winning as she’s a great wrestler. Was really nice to see my favourite wrestler Io Shirai compete on a WWE PPV.)

Sasha Banks, Bayley & Natalya def. The Riott Squad (Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott & Sarah Logan)

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Banks and Natalya delivered the Hart Attack to Liv. Bayley delivered a sliding dropkick through the bottom rope to Sarah. Ruby delivered a catapult as Sarah delivered a forearm for a near fall. Bayley delivered a sliding clothesline to Ruby. Sarah delivered a clothesline to Natalya on the floor. Banks delivered a flying double knees from the top turnbuckle to Ruby for a near fall. Banks delivered a back cracker as Bayley followed up by delivering the Bayley-to-Belly but Liv showed Bayley into Banks to break the count. Banks went for a flip dive (but missed her timing) as the Riott Squad caught her and rammed her into the barricade. Liv delivered a Shining Wizard to Banks. Ruby went for a top rope senton but Bayley returned and laid on top of Banks. Ruby delivered a top rope senton to Bayley. Riott Squad went for a double team but Banks moved as Natalya tagged in. Natalya delivered a German suplex to Sarah. There was a cool spot as Natalya applied a double sharpshooter on both Ruby and Sarah. Liv returned and delivered a Code Breaker but Natalya kicked out. The finishing sequence of the match was really neat as Natalya delivered a powerbomb, Bayley delivered a top rope elbow drop to Liv and Banks followed up with a Frog Splash for the win. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This match got a lot of time as there was some rough spots. But this ended up being a really fun match as everyone worked hard. I like the finishing sequence with Banks winning with the Frog Splash.)

NXT Women’s Championship Match: Shayna Baszler def. Kairi Sane via Submission to win the NXT Women’s Championship 

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4

The match started with some chain wrestling. Baszler blocked a back elbow and went for the Kirifuda Clutch. Kairi broke free by delivering a jaw breaker. Kairi delivered a Sliding D and followed up with a double knees from the ring apron. Kairi went for a Sliding D on the floor Baszler countered and rammed Kairi into the steel steps. Baszler delivered a running knee into the turnbuckle and followed up with a gutwrench suplex for a near fall. Baszler stomped on the hand of Kairi which got a big reaction. Baszler applied a wrist lock. Baszler yanked on the arm of Kairi. Baszler and Kairi exchanged strikes. Kairi delivered strikes in the corner. Kairi caught Baszler coming off the ropes and delivered an Interceptor. Kairi delivered a running spinning neck breaker for a near fall. Kairi delivered an Alabama Slam. Baszler went for a suplex but Sane countered by delivering a DDT. Kairi climbed the turnbuckle but Baszler rolled to the floor. Kairi delivered a great looking flying crossbody to Baszler on the floor. They brawled on the floor as Kairi backdropped Baszler into the NXT women’s wrestlers who were sitting ringside. Jessamyn Duke tried to get involved but Kairi gave her a reverse back elbow. Marina Shafir also tried to get involved but Kairi gave her a reverse back elbow as well. Baszler recovered and applied the Kirifuda Clutch on Kairi who broke free with a rollup for a close near fall. Duke returned and delivered a head kick to Kairi from the floor. Baszler reapplied the Kirifuda Clutch as Sane tried to battle back but passed out. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a great match as both Kairi Sane and Shayna Baszler worked really hard. Was surprised by the finish but this was a great way to debut both Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir on WWE TV. Baszler has really improved and plays an awesome heel. Kairi is such an amazing wrestling and plays such an awesome babyface.)

Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair in a Last Women’s Standing Match to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4

Lynch delivered an Exploder but missed a flying crossbody. Charlotte delivered a running boot.  Lynch whacked Charlotte with a Kendo Stick. Charlotte and Lynch threw chairs into the ring. Charlotte grabbed a table but Lynch delivered a flying crossbody off the steel steps. Charlotte delivered an overhead suplex to Lynch on the floor. Lynch whacked Charlotte with a chair. Charlotte blocked an Exploder and delivered a back suplex to Becky on a pack of chairs. Lynch delivered a sliding dropkick into a table to Charlotte. Lynch backdropped Charlotte into a pack of chairs. Charlotte placed Lynch on a table and delivered a top rope reverse moonsault but the table didn’t break. Charlotte placed Lynch on a table and delivered a top rope senton as both women went through the table. Charlotte brought a ladder into the ring. Lynch delivered a scoop Slam to Charlotte on a ladder. Charlotte delivered a chop block and then placed Lynch’s leg into the ladder. Charlotte applied the Figure-8-Leg Lock in-between the ladder for a cool spot. Lynch broke free by whacking Charlotte’s leg with a chair. Lynch rammed Charlotte into the steel steps and then the ring post. Becky grabbed her championship and left through the crowd. They brawled in the crowd as Charlotte delivered chops and then tossed Lynch back into the ringside area. Charlotte set up a ladder on the floor. Becky whacked Charlotte with the SmackDown Women’s Title. Lynch placed Charlotte on the announcers table. Lynch climbed the ladder and delivered a nice looking leg drop through the announcers table. Becky placed chairs and table over Charlotte. Charlotte got up, whacked Lynch with a kendo stoke and delivered a spear on the floor. Charlotte placed Lynch on the table. Charlotte went to climb the turnbuckle but Lynch stopped her. Lynch stood on the ring apron and delivered a super powerbomb to Charlotte through a table on the floor and won the match. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fantastic and the best match of the night as both Becky and Charlotte worked really hard. There were lots of cool and creative spots. Becky is a fantastic wrestler has been awesome playing a heel. Charlotte was terrific as her facial reaction and selling was just fantastic.)

RAW Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey def. Nikki Bella (w/Brie Bella) via Submission to retain the RAW Women’s Championship

  • Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 3/4

Ronda Rousey got a big reaction when she came out. Ronda delivered back-to-back judo throws to Nikki. Brie caused a distraction as Nikki rammed Ronda into the ring post. Nikki caused a distraction as Brie rammed Ronda into the ring post. Nikki applied a chin lock. Nikki rammed Ronda into the barricade. Nikki applied a head scissors but Ronda broke free. Brie delivered a forearm to Ronda from the floor. Nikki applied an abdominal stretch but Ronda broke free by yanking her off. Nikki delivered a springboard disaster kick for a near fall. Nikki delivered a running shoulder tackle to Ronda into the turnbuckle. They battled on the top turnbuckle as Nikki moved out of a way of a flying crossbody. Ronda blocked Nikki’s kick and delivered a spinning uranage. Ronda delivered arm drags and followed up with an overhead suplex. Brie tried to interfere but Ronda grabbed her and threw her over the announcers table. Nikki delivered an Alabama Slam for a near fall. Nikki rammed Ronda into the ring spot and followed up by delivering the Rack Attack 2.0 but Ronda kicked out for a close near fall. Ronda made a comeback by delivering strikes. Ronda yanked Nikki off the top turnbuckle. Finish of the match came when Ronda applied an armbar as Nikki tapped out. 

  • Post-Match: Ronda celebrated with her RAW Women’s Title inside the ring. Ronda celebrated with her husband Travis Browne at ringside. HHH, Stephanie McMahon and all the women appeared on the entrance ramp and celebrated with Ronda as the show came to a close. 

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match. Nikki worked hard and is a good wrestling as her ring movement is solid. Ronda was great as she has great facial reaction and her wrestling style stands out as all her matches feel special.)

-Overall: WWE Evolution was a really fun show and was one of the better WWE pay-per-views of the year. There were lots of good to great matches on the show and was nice to see the women’s of the WWE have their own show and get a chance to showcase their ability. WWE Evolution gets two thumbs up. 


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Image Credit – WWE

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