Former WWE writer: Evolution PPV wasn’t done for a social statement
Former WWE Creative Team member John Piermarini did an interview for Wade Keller’s podcast and said that he believes WWE’s Evolution PPV wasn’t done for a social statement but instead was an economically-driven decision and female wrestlers who wouldn’t have their spot if it wasn’t for Vince McMahon (info via WrestlingInc).
Evolution PPV: “No. I’m not there to tell you if that’s the case, but sometimes you just have to look at the writing on the wall and you have to look at the timing. They want to say that, you know, whatever the promo was that Stephanie [McMahon] cut where it’s all about timing and all about kicking down doors. WWE did none of that. This was all happening outside their world and then they saw a way to capitalize on it. It’s how they do all of their business. For them to take any credit for it, it’s them lying to themselves and maybe they do feel like they should get credit for it and maybe because they’re the ones trying as hard as they can to be out there and pushing that like they do with everything else that charity and all that. There’s probably people that do a lot more with some of the things they’re involved with, but WWE is not pushing it, but WWE will get credit for it because they’re the ones every week that say, ‘Hey, look what we’re doing.’ I think that it’s all because they saw an opportunity and they’re capitalizing on it. I don’t think there was ever a conversation, don’t get me wrong – I’m sure someone like Stephanie or maybe even Triple H, it’s no different than when we were there and some of us were pushing for the women. You just had to get that right person there to do it, but I think that even if Stephanie was a big proponent for it all this time, they weren’t – they were giving up the fight against Vince and I think at some point Vince thought, ‘Hey look at all these things happening.’ I’m sure he had no idea of who Ronda Rousey was at the time she was doing all that and I think he finally saw that as a way to – and maybe it was the way they convinced him – but, a way for us to make money and he finally said, ‘OK, let’s go with it.’ And to be honest, it was sorta slow. It’s not like they just went all in and said, ‘Hey, we’re giving them a pay-per-view and have them headline.’ It was all very very slow. They definitely tested it before they went all in on it.”
Female wrestlers who could or could not be backed by Vince McMahon: “In looking at the roster, if you had Ronda Rousey come into WWE with zero background, that’s someone that he would definitely not get behind. I’m actually surprised that he didn’t see a lot more in Becky Lynch prior to her sorta forcing her way, especially with this new character really showing what she has. Shayna Baszler, but I know he’s not necessarily involved with her. Ruby Riott, that’s definitely one. Asuka is still fighting that, I think right now. I don’t know if it’s her look he doesn’t get, her English, but that’s one. I’m just looking at them and I could give you an argument for all of them. Bayley, I think someone like a Billie Kay is someone he would be very very in to, but that also leads me to believe he’s sort of not as hands on with that division as other people might [believe]. Bellas, I always know that he’s liked and wanted to find things for. Charlotte fits that mold. Ember Moon, as I’m saying some of these I do see some of the influence of him or maybe them going, ‘Alright, so we’re gonna bring in Ember Moon and we’ll have her work this with Ronda,’ and you kind of hear that [groan]. ‘Alright, well we want to be able to have the proper time for them or be able to give them a storyline or multiple segments.’ Maybe, they pull back knowing that he’s not super into someone so then they put in the people…I think he still has an influence on who’s getting that push now that I look at some of the names that are and aren’t. A Mandy Rose, she would have been a Superstar when I was there and there’s no reason to believe she can’t now. I’m not taking anything away from her, but I think she’s definitely not on the level with in-ring style as some of these other girls that are above her. Nia Jax even. I think Nia Jax could be…I look at Nia Jax and I say Superstar. If WWE were pushing female empowerment and don’t be a bully, there’s so much you could do with her. Number one she’s a beautiful person, but there’s no reason she couldn’t go on Good Morning America and all these shows being an advocate for some of the things she had gone through and to say, ‘Hey look, if you go through that, look at me. I made it. Ignore those people.’ I know they kind of did it with her promos and all that, but that’s something that’s forgotten a minute later. I look at her and I think she is a star. I think Natalya has probably been fighting what we’re talking about since before I was there.”