The WWE is set to make history once again on Oct. 28 with its first-ever all-women pay-per-view event, titled Evolution.
Staged live from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, the site of countless monumental moments in WWE history including WrestleMania 2, Evolution will feature the women of Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, NXT and the newly formed NXT: U.K. brands -- as well as at least a couple of Hall of Famers.
"Three years ago, our fans demanded a change with #GiveDivasAChance," said Paul "Triple H" Levesque, WWE executive vice president of Talent, Live Events & Creative. "Everything that's happened since then has come from that demand -- their insistence on seeing that change. Once given the [chance], they have taken every opportunity and not only knocked it out of the park, but hit a grand slam."
More than three months out from the event, the exact makeup of the card is still yet to be determined, but one match already is set in stone: the finals of the second annual Mae Young Classic tournament. As you might expect, WWE is bringing out all of the heaviest hitters for Evolution.
"You can expect to see the best of all brands -- that's Ronda [Rousey], Charlotte [Flair], Alexa [Bliss], Sasha [Banks], Carmella, Nia Jax, Asuka, everyone -- plus you'll get to see Trish Stratus, Lita will be there, you're going to see some legends," Levesque said. "You're also going to see stars of now and the future in Shayna Baszler and the women of NXT."
On Monday night's edition of Raw, Stephanie McMahon -- WWE's chief brand officer and on-screen commissioner of Monday Night Raw -- revealed to the world and the women of Raw and SmackDown the name of the event and a few key details about how it'll play out. It's the latest opportunity she has had to kick off the excitement for a major move forward for the WWE's women's divisions.
"It's an honor beyond description to be the one who gets to make these announcements," said McMahon to ESPN. "To announce the first ever all-women Royal Rumble match, and now the first ever all-women pay-per-view. To be able to honor the memories and legacies of all of those women who have paved the way -- many of whom I knew personally, and a lot of them around the world I don't -- [and] to represent them and this shared passion in what we do and what we love and what we're all capable of, to me, it really demonstrates this moment of equality, not only for them, but for all of the young girls and women around the world."
There's inevitably going to be some discussion about whether or not this effort is, in part, an opportunity to balance out the fact that the women of WWE were unable to perform at April's Greatest Royal Rumble show in Saudi Arabia.
Levesque didn't shy away from addressing those feelings.
"Let's take the Saudi Arabia show off the table, and let's just say it never happened -- would anybody question that they deserve this opportunity?" Levesque asked. "To me, it's a ridiculous statement, the timing of it.
"You cannot effect change in a region that, culturally, is trying to change, you cannot help them affect that change without being there."
On the WWE's pay-per-view calendar, Evolution falls squarely in between the WWE's upcoming Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia, and Survivor Series, separated by three weeks in either direction. With its first all-women pay-per-view, WWE has committed itself to putting on a show on scale with their other pay-per-view events.
While McMahon is a strong candidate to play an on-screen role in the event in some fashion, she'll also play a part in the chaos and creation of everything that appears on screen on the night of Oct. 28.
"What's awesome about this pay-per-view event is that it's being treated the same as every other pay-per-view, because we believe in it so much," McMahon said. "It has the creative writing team. It has all of our live events production, talent relations -- all of the different departments that go into making every pay-per-view a success are behind this pay-per-view.
"In terms of my role, I'm going to do everything I can to make it as big and as successful as it can possibly be. I'm hoping, at any rate, that this is going to be the WrestleMania of the women's division."