The build to WWE Evolution was horrid. WWE treated its first all-women’s pay-per-view like an afterthought on television last week, especially on SmackDown, where instead of closing the go-home show with a Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte angle, they ran a lackluster Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton match.
If you watched SmackDown, you would have barely known there was a big historic event taking place on WWE Network Sunday night.
But the event itself lived up to expectations, even if WWE dropped the ball on the hype.
Ronda Rousey beat Nikka Bella to retain the Raw Women’s Title and there were fun cameos from Trish Stratus, Alundra Blayze, Lita and Ivory. WWE crowned its new Mae Young Classic winner (Toni Story) and Sasha Banks, Natalya and Bayley picked up a feel-good win over the Riott Squad. Nia Jax won a 20-woman battle royal to earn a future women’s title opportunity and Shayna Baszler beat Kairi Sane to win the NXT Women’s Championship.
But the highlight of the night — the match everyone will remember from this show — will be the show-stealing performance from Charlotte and Becky Lynch in a Last Woman Standing Match for the SmackDown Women’s Title.
Not only was this match the match of the night, but it might also be the match of the year in WWE. This match defined exactly what brought this pay-per-view to reality, to begin with.
Becky and Charlotte have been telling a great story on SmackDown in recent months. While the execution hasn’t always been 100 percent thanks to the crowd genuinely sympathizing with Becky, the heel, the issues between both ladies feel real and legitimate.
The last woman standing stipulation fit with the story they were telling. And they pulled off the match to near perfection.
This had all the big spots you expect from a heated personal feud. Charlotte wrapped up Becky in the Figure Eight while their legs were entangled in a ladder. There were chairs, kendo sticks and Charlotte putting Becky through a table with a moonsault. But ultimately the champion prevailed, and Becky gets something else to brag about.
The intensity they showed during the match made it special, and it made it stand out. This match was way different than everything else on the Evolution card. No other match came close to matching the intensity between Becky and Charlotte.
This might have been Charlotte’s best match on the main roster, and she’s had plenty of good ones.
Rousey and Bella had to follow that match, and they tried. The main event was actually fine, and no one can match Rousey’s star power. WWE also wanted the show to end with the feel-good moment of Rousey winning and not the heel, Becky, retaining her title over Charlotte. But in reality, nothing could follow Becky-Charlotte. It was that good. They stole the show.