As has been previously reported across various websites, EVOLVE have been having some financial issues recently and have been looking to sell all of their assets to WWE. According to a report from PWInsider, WWE have officially acquired ownership of EVOLVE Wrestling.
WWE reportedly closed the deal to purchase EVOLVE after several months of back and forth negotiations. It was reported last month that Gabe Sapolsky had told the EVOLVE roster that there were no plans at the time for the company to run shows going forward.
According to the report from PWI’s, the discussions started shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic caused WWE’s WrestleMania 36 weekend to be shut down. The shutdown was said to have been a massive financial blow for the company and various other independent promotions who rely on WrestleMania weekend and the WWE presence to help them stay in business during that busy time.
When the pandemic forced everyone to shut down, many of those promotions suffered big losses, with EVOLVE being one of them. EVOLVE was forced to refund ticket sales and keep paying talent who were contracted to them. Upon the realisation that there was no possible way to get out of their financial difficulties, WWN Live went into discussions with WWE. The deal will result in WWE acquiring the promotion itself as well as EVOLVE’s entire tape library. WWE will also own all of Dragon Gate USA’s tape library. It’s possible that WWE now owns some Full Impact Pro content, but that has not been confirmed. It is worth nothing that WWE are not acquiring WWN Live as a whole. Sal Hamaoui will now be focusing on the remaining promotions under the company’s umbrella like Full Impact Pro, SHINE and ACW.
The general belief is that several of the contracted EVOLVE talent will be signed to WWE and get moved over to NXT. While no names have been confirmed as of yet, there are said to be at least four well known names who are being considered. It should also be noted that there was at least one other party interested in buying EVOLVE, but EVOLVE’s contractual agreement with WWE gave them priority in terms of any negotiations to buy the company.
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