3 Reasons Why WWE Should Do an All-Women's Pay-Per-View Again
Growth can never truly be stifled once it starts. Wrestling fans saw that firsthand as what started as a hashtag blossomed into real change as the popularity of women's wrestling has reached unparalleled heights over the last six years.
In 2018, the WWE women's division became a focal part of its programming. The company hosted the first women's Royal Rumble match, the second Mae Young Classic and signed a bonafide crossover star in Ronda Rousey. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch challenged gender norms as "The Man" as her meteoric rise proved that a woman could be the face of this male-dominated business.
By the end of the year, WWE was ready to do the unthinkable, allowing three women to headline WrestleMania for the first time ever. It wasn't perfect, but it felt like anything was possible at that point.
Evolution, the company's first all-women pay-per-view, also took place in 2018. It was a landmark moment that stood as a shining example of what the division could do if given the opportunity.
Sadly, WWE hasn't produced a follow-up, even though there has been a demand for it. Discussion around a second event ramped up after Mickie James told the Grown Ass Women podcast (h/t Connor Casey of ComicBook.com) that she pitched an all-women show to the company but was met with the claim that "women's wrestling doesn't really make money."
This discourse escalated when James took her idea to the NWA, where she will serve as the executive producer for the promotion's first all-women's pay-per-view: Empowerrr. This is encouraging, but the independent wrestling scene has been at the forefront of this advancement for some time.
In fact, women-owned companies like Empower and Thunder Rosa's Mission Pro Wrestling are cropping up all over the country. On Saturday, ProUnapologetic, a promotion founded by Taye Norman, will host its first show, Black Girl Magik, featuring all women of color.
So, there is no shortage of great women's wrestling or trailblazers who are willing to push the industry forward. But it's still a little disheartening that the biggest wrestling company in the world can't use its wealth of talent and resources to do even more.
Here are three reasons why WWE should do an all-women pay-per-view again.
There Is an Audience for a Second Evolution
First and foremost, we have to dispel this notion that there isn't enough money in a follow-up to Evolution.
Women's wrestling fans are some of the most passionate and loyal viewers out there. If WWE gives them a second show, they will support it. To that end, there have been several hashtags and calls for Evolution 2 online for the past two years.
It's hard to take any detractors seriously when smaller companies that solely feature women's wrestling have an established fanbase. Moreover, WWE's "Women's Revolution" caused an uptick in legitimate alternatives in the United States and abroad.
Secondly, women have proved they can draw an audience. Becky Lynch was the biggest star in the company at one point. Sasha Banks consistently garnered a ratings boost for SmackDown last year.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc), her Hell in a Cell rematch with Bayley on the Nov. 6 episode drew 2.5 million viewers.
There's also this misconception that Evolution did poorly. That isn't exactly true because there were 10,900 fans in attendance. That is well above a show like Stomping Ground, which brought in 6,000 attendees.
The event also boasted one of the company's highest-rated women's matches of all time. Meltzer gave Lynch and Charlotte Flair's Last Woman Standing bout for the SmackDown Women's Championship 4.75 stars. It's currently tied for the highest-rated United States-based women's match in history.
WWE Superstars Want a Follow-Up
It's also important to recognize what a show like Evolution means to the WWE women's roster. Mickie James isn't the only one who has been pushing for a follow-up to the show.
Becky Lynch was a vocal proponent of a second show in 2019 following her historic win at WrestleMania 35, and Sasha Banks has been pushing for an all-women's show online whenever she gets a chance.
In March, The Boss tweeted: "Had a vision of producing and promoting an all women's pro wrestling show." In response, Shayna Baszler seemingly took aim at naysayers who chimed in to downplay the necessity for more shows when it had already been done.
This leads to a larger point, WWE has a big enough women's roster to create an annual all-women PPV. The company has the most profound and diverse collection of Superstars that it has ever had. As such, some of them rarely appear on television because there just isn't enough time to showcase all of them.
Another event would give women who aren't utilized as much as its biggest stars the chance to compete on a pay-per-view card. After all, the company doesn't have much of a midcard for women, and that's a growing problem.
Some opposition to a second show comes from this misguided belief that equality doesn't mean creating a separate avenue. But that's merely a half-baked retort that negated the fact that women don't get the same chances to appear on WWE PPVs. It's rare that there are three or more women's matches on the card most of the time.
This created a finite amount of positions for women. So, is one show a year that is dedicated to highlighting the entire roster really asking for that much? Surely, some of the overlooked individuals in the company deserve an opportunity to exit the bottleneck they've been placed in, a bottleneck that is more sever than that experienced by their male counterparts because of a lack of comparitive opportunities, and earn a spot on a card where they can shine?
The Possibilities Are Endless
Another all-women's pay-per-view would open the door for countless storytelling possibilities and high-profile matchups.
Currently, there are three main women's titles: the SmackDown Women's Championship, the Raw Women's Championship and the Women's Tag Tag Team Championships.
A show devoted to women's wrestling could give the company an outlet to create meaningful contests to showcase them and secondary feuds, as well. It would also be an inventive way to put the champions on the same card with the NXT and NXT UK titleholders.
Even more, this would be the perfect place to put legends such as Lita, Victoria or Molly Holly in dream matches with current Superstars. It's nice to see some of these names return for the women's Royal Rumble match every year, but it would be even better to see them receive the same acknowledgment that Trish Stratus had at SummerSlam 2019.
Many women had to endure so much during their time with WWE, like getting their matches cut or the objectifying relics of the Attitude Era. An all-women's show would give them a chance to end their careers on a high note, as many of their male counterparts get to all the time.
Honestly, Mickie James' equally concerning claims of ageism ring true when you consider the fact that she and many of her peers never had a decent farewell match. That's why there should be a place for special-attraction matches for women like her who have done so much for the company. Furthermore, this would give someone with her experience the chance to produce a show and work directly with the roster she inspired.
WWE will probably do another all-women's PPV eventually, but it should happen sooner rather than later. Of course, there are plenty of other companies and shows fans can support. But that doesn't mean we should let a company this big off the hook, especially when it has made progressive moves like this such a big part of its image over the last five years.
Yes, growth can't be stifled, but that doesn't mean we should rest on our laurels while others are moving forward. If Evolution was just a one-time event, then its very premise is hollow-hearted.