Evolve (professional wrestling)
The company features a roster of wrestlers from all over the America, as well as several competitors from Japan. The promotion had a close working relationship with sister promotion Dragon Gate USA until Dragon Gate USA's closure in August 2015.
In 2009, Gabe Sapolsky announced a new wrestling promotion via some viral videos featuring one of the company's competitors, Jimmy Jacobs. After this more videos were produced promoting more performers, as well as featuring blogs written by the wrestlers about their feelings regarding the company. The first show, Evolve 1: Richards vs. Ibushi, was held on January 16, 2010, in Rahway, New Jersey at the Rahway Recreational Center.
During interviews with wrestling newsletter Figure 4 Weekly on its radio show, Sapolsky told editor Bryan Alvarez that Evolve would have stronger emphasis on rules and would not limit anyone based on their own respective style of wrestling in favor of showcasing the talent's individual strengths and covering up their weaknesses. On January 29, 2010, Sapolsky announced that Evolve would no longer be booking Davey Richards as he had signed a new contract with Ring of Honor.
The concept of the promotion was initially an emphasis on the wrestlers' win-loss records. They divided the company into two divisions: singles wrestlers and tag teams. As per the website, some wrestlers would need to earn their way onto the roster by winning a qualifying match, but that since has been dropped.
On November 25, 2011, Evolve and Dragon Gate USA announced the unification of the two promotions. Evolve and Dragon Gate USA will still promote separate events, but the two share rosters, including stables, and Evolve recognizes Dragon Gate USA's Open the Freedom Gate Championship and Open the United Gate Championship as its top two championships.
In February 2013, Evolve announced that they would be holding a tournament to crown the first Evolve Champion as they were eliminating the records system at that time. The tournament was held in Secaucus, New Jersey, at WrestleCon in April 2013. Evolve used the records of the talent to determine the seedings in the tournament; the top two were Chuck Taylor (10–5) and Ricochet (5–2), and both received byes into the second round. On April 5, AR Fox defeated Sami Callihan in the final to become the inaugural champion. On September 18, 2013, Vito LoGrasso announced that his new Wrestling School signed an agreement to be the Development Center for Evolve.
In November 2014, Evolve, along with Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), Full Impact Pro (FIP) and Shine Wrestling, all under the WWNLive banner, held a tour of China. The following month, WWNLive announced a long-term deal with Great-Wall International Sports Management for regular tours of Asia, starting in the spring of 2015.
During 2015, Evolve entered a relationship with WWE. Evolve's wrestlers were featured on WWE.com, while WWE NXT wrestlers Sami Zayn, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan took part in Evolve events in non-wrestling roles. In January 2016, NXT General Manager William Regal and WWE COO Triple H attended Evolve 54. As part of the relationship, it was announced in March 2016 that Evolve would hold qualifying matches for WWE's Cruiserweight Classic.
|Ring name||Real name||Notes|
|Nese, AnthonyAnthony Nese||Anthony Nese|
|Beretta, Beretta||Gregory Marasciulo|
|Caleb Konley||Mason Burnett|
|Hero, ChrisChris Hero||Christopher Spradlin|
|Rhodes, CodyCody Rhodes||Cody Runnels|
|Galloway, DrewDrew Galloway||Andrew Galloway IV||Evolve Tag Team Champion|
|Gulak, DrewDrew Gulak||Andrew Gulak|
|Dustin, Dustin||Dustin Howard||Evolve Tag Team Champion|
|Ethan Page||Julian Micevski|
|Fred Yehi||Fred Yehi|
|Bravado, HarlemHarlem Bravado||Clint Barrow|
|Bravado, LancelotLancelot Bravado||Houston Barrow|
|Rush, LioLio Rush||Lionel Green|
|Scurll, MartyMarty Scurll||Marty Scurll|
|Riddle, MattMatt Riddle||Matthew Riddle|
|Black, PJPJ Black||Paul Lloyd Jr.|
|Ricochet, Ricochet||Trevor Mann|
|Romero, RockyRocky Romero||John Rivera|
|Callihan, SamiSami Callihan||Sam Johnston|
|Thatcher, TimothyTimothy Thatcher||Timothy Moura||Evolve Champion|
|End, TommyTommy End||Tommy Budgen|
|Tracy Williams||Tracy Williams|
|Sabre Jr., ZackZack Sabre Jr.||Lucas Eatwell|
- Lenny Leonard – Commentator & Ring Announcer
- Joey Styles – On-Air-Personality and part-time Commentator
- Mike Kehner - Referee
- Brandon Tolle - Referee
- Frankie Gastenau - Referee
- Jamie Tucker - Referee
- DA Brewer - Referee
- Gabe Sapolsky – Headbooker & Owner
|Championship||Current champion(s)||Previous||Date won||Days||Location|
|Evolve Championship||Timothy Thatcher||Drew Galloway||July 10, 2015||444+||Tampa, Florida|
|Evolve Tag Team Championship||Drew Galloway and Dustin||Catch Point
(Drew Gulak and Tracy Williams)
|July 16, 2016||72+||New York City, New York|
|Championship||Last champion(s)||Date retired||Location||Previous|
|Open the Freedom Gate Championship||Timothy Thatcher||August 15, 2015||Woodside, Queens||Drew Galloway|
|Open the United Gate Championship||Ronin
(Johnny Gargano and Rich Swann)
|May 30, 2015||Woodside, Queens||Premier Athlete Brand
(Anthony Nese and Caleb Konley)
- Johnson, Mike (2014-09-19). "Evolve heading to China (no, really)". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2014-09-19.
WWNLive, the parent company of Evolve, Shine, FIP and Dragon Gate USA.
- WWE relationships leads to changes within Evolve - PW Insider.com
- "Schedule". Evolve Wrestling. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
- Alvarez, Bryan (2009-01-14). "Jan. 13 Figure Four Daily: Gabe Sapolsky on DGUSA, new EVOLVE promotion, ROH memories, booking, more". Figure 4 Weekly. Retrieved 2009-01-14.
- Caldwell, James (2010-01-30). "ROH/DGUSA News: Davey Richards re-signs with ROH, dropped from DGUSA shows including WrestleMania weekend shows". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
- Mr. C.C. (2010-10-19). "Breaking Kayfabe #2 w/Gabe Sapolsky". Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "EVOLVE evolves -- now unified with DGUSA". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 2011-11-25. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
- Caldwell, James (2014-12-03). "Newswire: WWNLive announces long-term China plan, Ross talks importance of Tokyo Dome, New Japan's subscription goals, latest World Tag League standings, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-12-04.
- Caldwell, James (2015-02-19). "WWNLive news: Official new training facility announced". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
- Melok, Bobby (2015-10-15). "NXT's next breakout stars?: Meet the 5 Evolve wrestlers you need to know". WWE. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "10/17 Evolve 49 Results – Zayn, Gargano, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "NXT GM & Tag Team to appear at Evolve show". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "Evolve 54 iPPV results: HHH & William Regal make an appearance". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 2016-01-24. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "WWE to hold GCS matches at future EVOLVE event". Pro Wrestling Torch. 2016-03-19. Retrieved 2016-03-20.
- "Announcers/Referees". Dragon Gate USA. Retrieved 2010-09-19.