No Alternative? is an annoyingly titled series of interviews that will hopefully introduce you to some of the independent wrestling promotions that we have come to love here at the blog. Rather than forcing yourself to sit through a dreary episode of Raw or a frankly embarassing episode of IMPACT Wrestling (or whatever it’s called now) we want to show you that there is an alternative out there.
The third interview in the series is with Gabe Sapolsky, promoter and founder of EVOLVE – a relatively new promotion but one which is definitely gathering a lot of fans.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview. For some of our readers that might not be familiar with you could you give us a brief introduction to Evolve?
EVOLVE is wrestling with a pure sports presentation. We are modernizing the presentation of pro wrestling. If you don’t see it in boxing, MMA or a competitive sport, you won’t see it in EVOLVE. We are building a new wrestling brand here where wins and losses count and ridiculous, outdated things you frequently see in sports entertainment won’t be tolerated. We are the breath of fresh air that pro wrestling needs.
What would you say sets Evolve apart as an alternative from the mainstream promotions such as WWE and TNA?
I think if you watch one show it’ll be clear. You can start with the action in the ring, the cutting-edge style of our wrestlers. Then you look at our straight-forward show format. This is wrestling as a sport. I think a lot of things in wrestling look ridiculous to today’s sports fan. We are trying to eliminate those things and bring back pro wrestling as a sport.
Do you think WWE and TNA present a reasonable view of professional wrestling to the mass market? Do you feel they do anything right or are you not a fan at all?
They do what they feel they need to do to appeal to the most people possible, they are mass marketed. WWE in particular does a great job of this. The thing to understand is they don’t care about the diehard wrestling fans. They want to be sports entertainment conglomerates, which is fine, but that’s how you have to approach it when you watch their products. You can’t watch them thinking you are going to satisfied with a product designed for true wrestling fans.
One side of the 2 main promotions which gets heavy criticism (and that we on the site have been more and more interested in) is the womens’ divisions. Where does Evolve stand on womens wrestlers? Are you fans of the more hard-hitting female wrestlers and intergender matches or would you prefer a more Diva/Knockout style division?
There are plenty of very talented women wrestlers out there and we have featured them in the past in EVOLVE, particularly Mercedes Martinez, who put on some dominating performances on the early EVOLVE shows.
Are there any WWE/TNA wrestlers you would like to bring into Evolve? Conversely, are there any of your roster that you feel would fit in well in one of the mainstream companies? And would you want them to?
Yes, there are several great wrestlers in both TNA and WWE who would be great in EVOLVE. At the same time, I think many of our wrestlers would be great in WWE and TNA. Everyone we book has talent and a special quality. In fact, Shiima Xion, Tony Nese and Austin Aries were all in TNA recently, and they have seen plenty of action in EVOLVE. Meanwhile, our EVOLVE 7 event featured a great moment with a farewell to Jon Moxley, who just signed with WWE.
Where can people find out more about Evolve online?
They can go to www.EVOLVEwrestling.com for all the info and also Youtube.com/EVOLVEwrestling. We also have The Official EVOLVE wrestling Facebook group that people can join.
What do you have coming up?
We have a huge show on July 26th with Fit Finlay making his EVOLVE debut. It’s in NYC. You can get tickets now at EVOLVEwrestling.com. If you can’t be there in person you can watch it on live iPPV at www.WWNLive.com. In fact, we also have several EVOLVE shows available on demand at www.WWNLive.com.
Do you have a match/trailer online that would give people an idea of what to expect at an Evolve show?
We have lots of great videos at www.Youtube.com/EVOLVEwrestling so go check some out.
Any last words for the readers?
Your support is very important to us. We want to build a new brand of wrestling known as EVOLVE together. We are all building this from the ground floor together. Please check out our DVDs. We have some great deals and affordable prices.