SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
Follow @Colohue for updates.
1. Sasha Banks & Bayley & Natalya vs. The Riott Squad
This match came out of nowhere, largely because of the early return of Sasha Banks. As such, it doesn’t look like there’s any sort of feud in place here. When there’s no feud it tends to mean that the faces win. In addition, Sasha Banks lost on Raw. This seems rather cut and dry. I wouldn’t expect Ruby Riott to be up against Rousey next either.
WINNERS: Sasha Banks & Bayley & Natalya
What If?: Sasha Banks considers this the perfect time to turn on Bayley?
2. Shayna Baszler vs. Kairi Sane (NXT Women’s Championship)
NXT has a considerable amount of female talent in its roster. Unfortunately, NXT also has a very limited amount of time to develop its talent and, as such, I have no idea who might be the next challenger for either competitor. With this in mind I would expect this feud to continue for a little while longer, at least until NXT War Games, which is a lot closer than WWE seems to realise. With no time to build a new feud or a new challenger you ideally have to keep this one going.
As such, I would expect Baszler to regain her championship in a moment of NXT booking that borrows heavily from the traditional WWE narrative handbook.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
What If?: Baszler loses, but comes back to win the battle royal and challenge Rousey?
3. Trish Stratus & Lita vs Mickie James & Alicia Fox
Alexa Bliss hasn’t had much luck recently, has she? Having essentially been working with a series of minor injuries since way back at Wrestlemania, Alexa Bliss has now been pulled from this match too, after having seen the match converted from a singles match to a tag match as well.
WWE have been working hard to push Alexa Bliss to that next level global reach talent that they crave and by and large it’s been working. Unfortunately this match, designed to be that international attraction, will not be doing that job.
Should Bliss have been in the match I would have expected her to get the win, beating Stratus one, two, three in the middle of the ring. Unfortunately that is no longer the case, so this one should be a win for the legends.
Winner: Trish Stratus and Lita
What If?: Bliss is at ringside at least, and is able to provide enough distraction for Alicia Fox to get the win with her patented Northern Lights Suplex?
LISTEN TO PWTORCH EDITOR WADE KELLER’S WWE EVOLUTION PREVIEW PODCAST WITH EX-WWE CREATIVE JASON ALLEN (plus bonus Alexa Bliss interview snippets about Evolution courtesy of Lilian Garcia)
4. Toni Storm vs. Io Sharai (MYC Final)
We’ve seen some tremendous matches in the Mae Young Classic this year, particular from these two and their fellow semi-finalists, Rhea Ripley and Meiko Satomura. Storm vs Sharai should be no different and, really, could be one of four matches that will all be competing for the best match on the show.
For this prediction you have to look at what comes next and there’s one very blatant, obvious signifier of who might be walking out the winner. Toni Storm is now locked in as a lynchpin of the NXT UK brand. As such, we’re not going to be seeing her on Takeovers and we’re not going to be seeing her on main roster TV. What then can she do with a win? Well, not much.
Io Sharai will be going straight into NXT and, logically, is the only well positioned challenger for the NXT women’s championship other than the two in the actual match.
Winner: Io Sharai
What If?: Whichever women won, they walked straight into a feud with Becky Lynch?
5. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Smackdown Women’s Championship Last Woman Standing)
The third of our matches that could be stealing the show, Becky Lynch vs Charlotte Flair is probably the strongest feud that the WWE have going for them right now. In a Last Women’s Standing format as well these two should deliver. Flair and Lynch are both well equipped for the hardcore format and it would be interesting to see how these two perform against the recent Last Man Standing match between AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
The Smackdown Live women’s division is also struggling in the hunt for future challengers here. The expectation is that, with women not performing at Crown Jewel and Survivor Series potentially seeing Raw vs Smackdown once again, the eventual battle royal winner will not be challenging for a long time so there is time to establish someone new. However, there is far too much time if you want to keep Charlotte vs Becky going, so I’m expecting Lynch to win.
Winner: Becky Lynch
What If?: We really do get to see Lynch vs Rousey at Survivor Series?
Compared to a typical WWE PPV event (not just WrestleMania, but the usual dozen), what is your level of anticipation for #WWEEvolution tonight? (We only get four options, so if it's "the same" still choose a little more or a little less, whichever is closest to your feelings.)
— Pro Wrestling Torch (@PWTorch) October 28, 2018
6. Battle Royal
Well this is quite the mess. Honestly, there are a lot of potential winners, especially with the month and a half build that they have until the next PPV that they might be able to challenge on. Naomi, Ember Moon and Nia Jax are all potential winners but, for me, this battle royal needs to start building up someone who desperately needs it.
What If?: Beth Phoenix gets up from the announce desk, wins the battle royal, then challenges Becky Lynch because of what she said about Edge?
7. Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella (Raw Women’s Championship)
I mean, come on.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
What If?: Liv Morgan takes out Brie in the battle royal earlier in the night, leaving Nikki with nowhere to run?
I’ll see you for a live tweeting session of Evolution 2018.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS RELATED STORY: Afternoon Update: Why Bliss sidelined for Evolution is a such a big disappointment, Baszler on missing scheduled Raw