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Gabe Sapolsky Talks EVOLVE’s Relationship w/ WWE & Daniel Bryan’s Impact On The Promotion

Sports Illustrated has a feature on EVOLVE and the promotion serving as a channel for WWE and independent talent. In the piece, Justin Barrasso gets quotes from EVOLVE’s Gabe Sapolsky on that relationship, his connection to Paul Heyman and how Daniel Bryan influenced the creation of the promotion. Quotes are below:

Gabe Sapolsky on EVOLVE’s connection to WWE:

“I’ll just say it: We wouldn’t be running EVOLVE shows right now if it wasn’t for the WWE support,” said Sapolsky. “I always say if your promotion isn’t adding something to the marketplace—if you are running just to have shows, but offer nothing different to the fans—then I don’t see the purpose in running. There’s no reason for the fans to support you. We needed the competitive advantage that WWE is giving us. They value the pipeline of talent from the independents. It’s a win-win relationship. I am extremely grateful that we are able to deliver these unique cards with an incredible mix of talent to the fans.”

On his influence from Paul Heyman:

“Bringing something different to the marketplace, that’s a Paul Heyman concept,” said Sapolsky. “Heyman is a master of always evolving, so really the whole philosophy of EVOLVE being a promotion that constantly moves forward is something I learned from Heyman.

“What worked yesterday might not work today, you always have to stay ahead of the curve. Those are all Heyman lessons. Those are all things we strive to do in EVOLVE whether it’s the talent on the roster, the card format, the wrestling style, or any other aspect of the promotion.”

Justin Barrasso details Daniel Bryan’s impact on EVOLVE:

Sapolsky also booked some of the seminal moments of Daniel Bryan’s career in 2010. Both were in a time of transition, as Sapolsky had been devastated after his phenomenal seven-year run as Ring of Honor’s booker had come to an end in 2008, while Bryan’s first run with WWE ended with a humbling dismissal after a misunderstanding—allegedly for acting too violently in the ring during an attack on ring announcer Justin Roberts—on Raw.

“Bryan had ideas for a new promotion,” said Sapolsky. “That’s ultimately how EVOLVE started.”

You can read the entire Sports Illustrated article by going here.

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