Report: WWE Acquires EVOLVE Wrestling

WWE has acquired ownership of EVOLVE.

Mike Johnson at PWInsider reports WWE has officially acquired ownership of EVOLVE. The deal was finalized recently after several months of negotiations. 

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It was not indicated if talent currently under an EVOLVE contract will transfer to WWE as part of the deal. 

It was reported on June 16 that EVOLVE Vice President Gabe Sapolsky posted a Facebook message alerting talent that EVOLVE had no plans to run events moving forward. There were unconfirmed reports that EVOLVE had sold its tape library, and possibly more, to WWE. Both WWE and EVOLVE had neither confirmed nor denied those reports, though sources told PWTorch at that time that the rumors of WWE buying EVOLVE and WWN (EVOLVE's parent company) ceasing to exist were not true.

WWE and EVOLVE have had a working relationship for the past few years with WWE NXT talent appearing on EVOLVE shows and EVOLVE 10th Anniversary airing on WWE Network. 

The EVOLVE tape library includes matches featuring the likes of Johnny Gargano, Keith Lee, WALTER, Matt Riddle, Drew McIntyre, Drew Gulak and outside WWE talents such as Darby Allin, The Young Bucks, Zack Sabre Jr, and more. 

EVOLVE took a major financial hit with the COVID-19 pandemic canceling WrestleMania week, leading to WWE and EVOLVE opening up discussions of an acquisition. PWInsider notes there was at least one other party interested in buying EVOLVE, but they couldn't because EVOLVE’s contractual agreement with WWE gave WWE the right to execute their purchase clause or provide EVOLVE with WWE's blessing to sell elsewhere. 

WWE did not acquire WWN Live in the deal. Owner Sal Hamaoui will focus on other properties under the WWN Live banner. 

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