Evolve Rebuilding the Gabe promotions


Now I’m a big, fat dynamo!
Most who follow the independents are aware of the two promotions run by ROH founder Gabe Sapolsky, Evolve and Dragon Gate USA....And both aren't doing well. Crippled by shoddy booking, bad crowds, bad venues and DGUSA's relationship with Dragon Gate Japan being seemingly dead in the water. Having a weak roster compared to a few years ago has also hurt it. Evolve has gone from having 500+ in their crowds to less than a 100 at times. And DGUSA even worse. DGUSA are all but dead it seems and Evolve is in need of a serious adrenaline shot.

If you could take control and help "reboot" the promotions, help Gabe get going again and rebuilding. What would you do?

Tagging people I know are interested: Pop Tatari Pop Tatari THG? THG? GrammarNazi82 GrammarNazi82 (for the shine feel)



The Game
Get rid of the contracts thingy. It's independent wrestling, and the only reason he has contracts is for his guys not to wrestle for ROH which is ridiculous IMO.

Pop Tatari

The Six star maker
It is a shame we do not get to see roh talent appearing but I suppose we have pwg for those dream bouts.

I really do not see the Point of sister promotions under one big network banner, quite strange IMO. Just merge the two and stop being bitter gane and work with roh. Indys need to stick together not be at war. the original concept with Evolve was great the whole win / loss thing and the concept In general. There was some great mat based affairs as well that needs to be brought back. just be your own company with the Evolve name and ditch the Dg stuff. Still bring in japan talent like Fujita hayato
  • Agree
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Lovable Kind of Filthy
I haven't kept up with Evolve or DGUSA much lately. I still watch Shine when I can, but haven't been able to see the past few of it either. I certainly agree the contracts would need to be reworked to be something more feasible, if not done away with. I basically echo others' sentiments in that to me if you're in the indy circuit, you should be able to mix and mingle among indy promotions, not be strictly tied down to one and having to do the best you can to get by with that. Plus the factor of it hurting their roster and shows by not being able to add in talent people may be at least a bit more familiar with, like the ROH guys.

I could be way off base, but even basic things to me, such as better marketing, promotions, even having DVDs out in a timely manner, would be helpful to some degree. People can't get into a wrestling promotion they know next to nothing about, which is where the marketing and promotions come in. And sometimes people need something they can put their hands on and watch, easily share with others to get the word out, etc., which is where the timely DVDs come in. I know the Shine DVDs are pathetically behind. (They only have Shine on DVD up to 6, and I think it just very recently came out. Yet they just had Shine 20 this weekend.) Even little things like that could help. The shows need to be more accessible, especially since iPPVs don't always go so well.
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Now I’m a big, fat dynamo!
This is something I have been mulling over for a while. When I discovered indy wrestling Evolve and DGUSA were two of the first I discovered. Evolve 8 is still one of my favorite DVDs along with tribute to the Arena. I enjoyed both but Evolve was my favorite for the sport feel it had to it. It was unique in a sense among the typical independents. It had an identity which it now lacks.

Here’s how I’d do it if I had the opportunity and means:

1. Scale down, back to the basics. As close to a reboot as you can get

2. Scrap DGUSA and rework the partnership with dragon gate japan. It seems dead in the water right now but I am sure it can be salvageable. I am also sure that Gabe would prefer to run his own entity in the wrestling world instead of being a sub division of the Japanese brand. Still work with DG, but run DGUSA shows as specials, once or twice a year when you know that DG talent can come over, the lack of talent in recent months have hurt the product. Promise Evolve as a place where DG students on excursions get a guaranteed spot on the roster. That way you work with Dragon Gate, but remain your own entity.

3. Run regularly. Evolve needs to run 1 show a month at least to build momentum. I’d run one a month with two or three double shots per year.

4. Find a home base. One home venue where you run regularly and can develop a loyal and local following. So that live crowds can grow. That way you have a place you can venture out from ones you have established yourself in that area. Stay out of the Lyceum, that venue is horrible.

5. A roster with a mixture of home grown and fly in talent. Big names mixing it with the local guys, allowing the local guys to grow into stars. Look at JT Dunn and Biff Busick in Beyond Wrestling for prime examples.

6. Fix the DVD issues. DVDs need to come out at least a month after the event. You can pump out hype match after hype match but if people cannot watch them while they are still hot, what’s the point? And not enough people want VODs for that to be your one way of providing it. Same with Roku.

7. Develop an identity. Evolve used to have this. Bring back the point system that made Evolve stand out. Could be used to determine contenders for the belt, maybe run seasons or leagues with a trophy at the end. Make Evolve stand out as a promotion through something other than purple turnbuckles.

8. Fix up the production values. New graphics, new/fixed up ring.

9. Step up the booking. Gabe is one of the best bookers out there. But lately the only feud that has been interesting was Gargano vs Swann. We need more of Gabe’s brilliance to shine along with letting the talent shine

10. A website that is up to date would be nice.

11. Find some form of financial sponsor, be it highspots, smart mark video, an insurance company or any other type of company that has dabbled in wrestling. I am sure there is a company out there that would be willing to go in and help sponsor Evolve in some way.

These are eleven things I would do. I am sure I could come up with more. And I am sure some of these are doable while some isn’t or at least ain’t right now for Sapolsky. I cannot claim to know how he thinks or operates. I know that Gabe has a history of lurking web forums discussing his product so maybe he sees this (he was on the rohworld forum for a while). I cannot demand that he makes these changes, but maybe he’ll read them and at least mull them over.

As a fan I want Evolve to do well, but some changes need to be made, at least from this fans perspective.

Red Rain

The Bully
I agree with Stopspot. Gabe Sapolsky is a good booker with a great foundation for the business.
I'm not sure he is 'mainstream' material, but I couldn't care less.
My advice would be to find a reliable support team he can trust (and stick with them).
Having a reliable moral and technical team cannot be undervalued.
The last thing any promotion needs is bad publicity and mistakes that could easily be avoided.