Fans that were planning to attend the EVOLVE wrestling events (EVOLVE 117 on December 15th in Queens, NY and EVOLVE 118 on December 16th in Deer Park, NY) may have noticed that there were two matches between the shows that featured IMPACT Wrestling Tag Team Champions L.A.X. facing off against EVOLVE Tag Team Champions (and NXT talent) The Street Profits.
As of a few days ago, however, it was reported that IMPACT Wrestling had officially pulled LAX from both EVOLVE shows. At the time, no reason was given as to the removal of the team. However, this did not stop fans from speculating as to the reason for the change. One of the biggest talking points between the two shows was the notion of a WWE-contracted team facing off against an IMPACT-contracted team, which drove interest for the event among the fans of all three promotions. Many rumors began to manifest, speculating as to the reasoning behind IMPACT’s decision. However, today, EVOLVE Promotor and Creative Writer Gabriel “Gabe” Sapolsky, in a WWN News Release, has not only confirmed the removal of LAX from the cards, but also offers an explanation of the events leading up to the removal. His unedited statement is as follows:
“We are sorry to inform you that Impact Wrestling has pulled LAX off the upcoming EVOLVE dates. EVOLVE officials were contacted by LAX and informed that they were needed for something else that weekend. No other explanation was given. Impact Wrestling didn’t contact EVOLVE officials and left it up to LAX. There is no heat on LAX as WWN understands the situation they were put in. EVOLVE officials had told LAX that the plan was to have matches with EVOLVE Tag Team Champions The Street Profits of Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins that weekend. EVOLVE was informed that LAX would not be able to lose in those matches. In order to avoid any political issues, EVOLVE made one night a triple threat match and the other night a six man tag. This would give the fans the LAX vs. Street Profits matches they wanted, while protecting all parties politically. Unfortunately, Impact Wrestling waited until the matches were announced and then pulled the talent the next day. This all could have easily been avoided by not allowing LAX to take the dates in the first place. EVOLVE will no longer consider booking Impact Wrestling contracted talent moving forward. EVOLVE officials are currently working on a replacement and will have news early next week. We apologize for the lineup change, but assure you that EVOLVE will produce something special on for EVOLVE 117 December 15th in Queens, NY and EVOLVE 118 on December 16th in Deer Park, NY. Thank you for your support.”
–Gabe Sapolsky, EVOLVE Promotor, November 2018
Based on this statement, it has now been confirmed that EVOLVE will no longer be working with IMPACT Wrestling talent from this point forward. The statement also seems to allege that IMPACT Wrestling had let LAX contact the promotion regarding the removal and that EVOLVE was blindsided as a result. There has been no response from IMPACT Wrestling at this time regarding these statements. Also, as of this report, there has not been a replacement team announced for either cards.
Given EVOLVE’s relationship with WWE and EVOLVE’s usage of NXT talent as their current champions (Street Profits as the EVOLVE Tag Team Champions and Fabian Aichner as the EVOLVE Champion), it would seem that any inter-promotional matches under the EVOLVE umbrella seems less likely at this time. What are your thoughts regarding the IMPACT/EVOLVE situation? Do you believe that the situation was handled correctly?
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Photo Credit: EVOLVE Wrestling/IMPACT Wrestling