Evolve Wrestling, an independent wrestling promotion that frequently ran in Queens, NY, has folded.
I highly encourage you to read EVOLVE OR DIE: THE HISTORY & END OF EVOLVE WRESTLING by Case Lowe for a full retrospection of Evolve Wrestling. It covers the slight rise and tremendous fall of a controversial Indy promotion.
The goal of today’s post is to offer a different perspective of Evolve shutting its doors: the negative impact it will have on the Meet & Greet community, specifcally those in the greater New York area.
The Pre and Post show meet & greets at Club LaBoom were a staple of any Evolve NY show. Dozens of fans would pack an incredibly tight hallway to score autographs and photo ops with the futures of the wrestling business — often at little to no cost.
Speaking from personal experience, I managed to meet several wrestlers before they ultimately signed with NXT or AEW (including the new NXT Double Champion in Keith Lee). I also managed to meet Dick Togo, a rare name in the United States.
Evolve also partnered with PROGRESS Wrestling a few years ago and, while that show ended up being a total nightmare, the meet & greet was mostly a success.
But their biggest – and last – partnership was with NXT, which opened the door to meeting current NXT stars like The Undisputed Era, WALTER, Rhea Ripley, Keith Lee, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Candace LaRae, and others.
The Meet & Greet community was thrilled to gain access to bonafide WWE talent. If we’re speaking truthfully, it was probably the main reason why so many people flocked to Evolve shows during their last days.
Evolve will be sorely missed by our community. Here’s hoping that another Indy will rise from the ashes and give us an opportunity to meet future stars of NXT/WWE and AEW.