Mickie James says she believes that the WWE’s women-only Evolution pay-per-view was doomed to fail by the company as it received only last-minute promotion.
Evolution took place in October 2018 and was the first show ever presented by WWE to feature women-only matches on the card. The main event saw ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey successfully defend her Raw Women’s Title against Nikki Bella in what was Bella’s last televised match in WWE.
The night’s proceedings opened on pay-per-view with Mickie James teaming with Alicia Fox to take on a pair of WWE Hall Of Famers in Lita and Trish Stratus. Stratusfaction was guaranteed with Stratus and Lita defeating the pair while Alexa Bliss watched on from ringside.
In a nod to the future, the final of the Mae Young Classic took place at the event. Soon-to-be SmackDown star Toni Storm defeated Io Shirai to capture the crown. In what many fans believed to be the match of the night, two current icons of WWE faced off in a Last Woman Standing Match for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship. In a hard-hitting contest, Becky Lynch came out on top defeating perennial rival Charlotte Flair.
While the event was lauded by many, recently released star Mickie James says the company will not repeat the event and says when she brought up the prospect of Evolution 2 she “got back the argument it was the lowest-rated pay-per-view of all-time.”
James explained this in a recent interview with The Wrestling Inc. Daily. The multiple-time WWE Women’s Champion went on to give her reasons as to why she believes the company set the event up to fail.
“It was only really promoted for a month. The matches weren’t even announced but a week or two before. There was zero promotion or marketing.”
“It was almost set up to fail. If there was as much energy and focus put into it as perhaps some of the other events, and made and highlighted how monumental this actually is, perhaps that wouldn’t be true.”
Some felt at the time WWE was using the event to shield itself from increasing criticism over their deal to run multiple shows in Saudi Arabia. At the time women could not compete on those shows however Natalya and Lacey Evans had the company’s first women’s match in the Kingdom at the hugely controversial Crown Jewel show in 2019.
Since leaving WWE Mickie James has announced she is putting on her own all-female show in conjunction with the National Wrestling Alliance. NWA EmPowerrr is slated to take place on Saturday, August 28th, the night before the NWA 73 pay-per-view.