Three months after it stirred criticism for barring its female athletes from participating in a Saudi Arabian-based tournament, WWE has announced its first all-women global pay-per-view (PPV) event, dubbed Evolution, to be held Oct. 28 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island.
The event, which will also stream live on WWE Network, will include Women’s Championship matches from Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT and NXT UK, along with the finals of the Mae Young Classic 2018 all-women tournament. WWE stars including Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks will be part of the event.
“This historic event marks another milestone in WWE’s women’s evolution,” said Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of Stamford-based WWE. “The spotlight just got brighter for these athletic, talented women, who will once again showcase to the world that they can break down barriers and blaze their own trails.”
McMahon’s comments were in contrast to the explanation given in April by her husband – Paul Levesque, WWE’s executive vice president of talent, live events and creative – who defended the company’s decision to keep its female stars off the Saudi Arabian event. “I understand that people are questioning it, but you have to understand that every culture is different, and just because you don’t agree with a certain aspect of it, it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant culture,” said Levesque, who is also known from his WWE persona Triple H.