SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
-EVOLVE 131 will air on the WWE Network on July 13 live from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, PA. The show is being marketed as Evolve’s 10th anniversary celebration and will be headlined by NXT Champion Adam Cole vs. Akira Tozawa. The other big match announced for the show is WWE Cruiseweight Champion Drew Gulak vs. Matt Riddle. Cole, Tozawa, Gulak, and Riddle all have ties to EVOLVE and its parent company WWN.
Cole was in Evolve during its early days before signing with ROH. Tozawa was a big part of DGUSA, which was eventually dissolved when WWN underwent some changes and began running shows under the Evolve banner. Riddle and Gulak were a big part of Evolve’s resurgence in the middle of 2014, which eventually lead to WWE and Evolve forming an unofficial working relationship in 2015. The Wrap was the first to report the news that Evolve 131 would air on the WWE Network.
Radican’s Analysis: It has been rumored for years that Evolve would eventually air live events on the WWE Network, but that never came to fruition until now. Evolve has announced two huge matches for the show and on the surface this seems to be another move by WWE to present programming up against AEW, which will air Fight For The Fallen on July 13.
WWE recently announced that the next NXT UK: Takeover special would take place on Aug. 31, which takes place on the same day as AEW’s next PPV offering All Out on Aug. 31 as well as NJPW’s big “Royal Quest” event in London. It’s going to be fun to see wrestling companies step up and compete in the coming months with AEW already making some waves among WWE’s decision makers.