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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch win big on WWE’s historic night at Evolution

WWE held Evolution, their first network special show made up solely of women’s matches, on Sunday in New York

Ronda Rousey celebrates retaining her Raw Women's title at WWE Evolution. WWE
Ronda Rousey celebrates retaining her Raw Women's title at WWE Evolution. WWE

Here are some of the talking points from the action, where Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch were the big winners.

Rousey lives up to expectations

The evolution of Ronda Rousey as a WWE Superstar continues with another impressive outing as she successfully defended her Raw Women’s title against Nikki Bella.

It was arguably the most open of her singles matches so far as Bella, with her sibling Bree at ring side, got a lot of offence in on the former UFC Women’s champion.

Rousey sold well for Bella and made it believable that she could lose with a number of close pin attempts.

WWE were never going to have their biggest name lose on their historic night, but they did a good job of putting some doubt in the mind before the inevitable result came about, which is always the challenge in these circumstances.

Rousey won by submission and it looks like another match with Nia Jax, who won the Battle Royal to earn a title shot, is next up.

Given she has only been in the business since January Rousey has done a great job. The spotlight will remain on her but so far she is living up to the hype.

WWE show faith in Lynch

Becky Lynch had told The National in April at WrestleMania 34 that her career had been a little quiet for a while and she planned to do something about it.

The Irishwoman has been as good as her word and she demonstrated again that all she needed was a chance to demonstrate just how good she is as she and Charlotte Flair stole the show in their Last Women Standing match for the SmackDown Women’s title.

Both women were superb and sold the brutality of an encounter where to win your opponent must not be able to beat a count of 10.

Lynch won to retain her title after powerbombing Flair through a table from the top turnbuckle of the ring.

It would not have been a shock to see Flair win to gain a record eighth championship on a historic night for the women’s division, but WWE have shown their faith in Lynch.

She has been dynamic, both in the ring and on the microphone, since she attacked Flair at SummerSlam, and that has been recognised.

Where she goes next will be fascinating. It feels as if this was a feud ender, at least for now, and Asuka and Carmella could be next up.

Veterans have still got it

Trish Stratus and Lita were WWE’s two biggest female stars in the 2000s, and both former champions proved they have not lost a step.

The pair were too good for Mickie James and Alicia Fox as they won a fun opener to the show.

Both women wound back the years as they charged around the ring and the crowd loved it.

Stratus had been due to initially face Alexa Bliss, who ended up sidelined due to injury.

A Status v Bliss match still has real potential and is hopefully something that the WWE can revisit.

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Read more

WWE Evolution predictions: Flair beats Lynch to win eighth title as Rousey defeats Bella

WWE talking points: Ronda Rousey proving she truly is an all-rounder ahead of Evolution

WWE Evolution: Game changer for Rousey, Flair and the rest of the women's division

WATCH: WWE Superstars Alexa Bliss and Kane pay The National newspaper a visit

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Next generation show their promise

The night was about showing WWE’s commitment to promoting the women in their company and they have some really talent coming through.

One of the most popular winners of the night was Toni Storm winning the Mae Young Classic.

The 23 year old defeated Io Shirai in the final of the tournament and it will be a shock if she is not high up on the NXT roster within the next few months.

Shayna Baszler may be a little older then Storm at 38, but she demonstrated what a big future she has as she regained the NXT women’s title by beating Kairi Sane by submission.

Baszler’s MMA background adds an extra layer of depth to her matches and she and Sane told a good story.

It looks as if Baszler will now stay on NXT until at least next spring, but if and when she does join either Raw or SmackDown she will be a major addition.