As we’ve been reporting here on eWn, EVOLVE has been having some financial issues as of late and were looking to sell their assets to WWE. According to a report from Pwinsider, WWE has officially acquired ownership of EVOLVE Wrestling. WWE reportedly closed the deal to purchase EVOLVE after several months of negotiations. We reported last month that Gabe Sapolsky had told the EVOLVE roster that there were no plans for the company to run shows going forward.
According to PWI’s report, the discussions started after the COVID-19 pandemic caused WrestleMania weekend to be shut down. The shutdown was said to have been a massive financial blow for the company and other independent promotions who rely on WrestleMania weekend to help them stay in business. When the pandemic forced everyone to shut down, many of those promotions suffered big losses. EVOLVE was forced to refund ticket sales and pay talents who were contracted to them.
When they realized there was no possible way to get out of their financial hole, WWN Live went into discussions with WWE. The deal will result in WWE acquiring the promotion as well as EVOLVE’s 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 is not confirmed.
WWE is acquiring the new LLC that EVOLVE created when they signed a deal together. They are not acquiring WWN Live as a whole. Sal Hamaoui will now be focusing on the remaining promotions under the company umbrella like Full Impact Pro, SHINE and ACW.
With the sale, Gabe Sapolsky and Sal Hamaoui will be ending their professional relationship. It is said to have been an amicable parting. Sapolsky is sticking with EVOLVE and will not be involved with the WWN Live promotions.
The belief is that several contracted EVOLVE talent will be signed to WWE and enter the NXT developmental system. While no names have been confirmed, there are said to be at least four names who are being considered.
It should be noted that there was at least one other party interested in buying EVOLVE but EVOLVE’s contractual agreement with WWE gave them first rights to buy the company.