Best of the Year: Evolution
In 2018, WWE made gigantic strives to try an elevate the women’s division as much as possible, which all culminated in October’s all-women’s PPV, Evolution. Since we started reviewing the PPVs earlier this year, Evolution scored the highest between the two reviewers scoring the show an average of 7.8 for all its matches. And yes, the 6-woman tag match between The Riott Squad and Natalya, Sasha Banks, & Bayley was the quintessential pee break/filler for the evening, but when you look at what transpired before this match and after it, you understand why this Sunday Night Raw match was on the card.
Prior to that, there was the Mae Young Classic finals between Toni Storm and Io Shirai, which Chris E. Hayner said, “They threw out the best they had for this match and it was the exact kind of match I love.” And Mat Elfring said, “This match was a gateway drug to indie wrestling. It felt like something you’d seem more in NJPW or ROH rather than a WWE event.”
Then after the filler match, there were two of WWE’s best matches of the year. First, it was Kairi Sane vs. Shayna Bazsler for the NXT Women’s Championship, which gave the average WWE viewer just an idea of how great NXT is, week after week. Following that was the Last Woman Standing match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte for the Smackdown Women’s Championship, which was undoubtedly the best WWE match of the year. Even the Ronda Rousey match against Nikki Bella was a lot of fun
It is easily the strongest main roster WWE PPV of the year, and while NXT tends to put on a brilliant PPV product, this is the only WWE show which highlighted the main roster, superstars from the past, NXT, and stars who have yet to make a name within WWE with the Mae Young Classic. It is a total package for what WWE’s women’s division has become the past two years, which all culminates with this moment. — Mat Elfring