Last week on Raw, Lita made her return to join forces with Trish Stratus at WWE Evolution. Alexa Bliss, who will team with Mickie James to face the two Hall of Famers at the historic pay-per-view, still isn’t impressed.
On last night’s show, Bliss and James interrupted Stratus and Lita to do a few demeaning impressions and promise their opponents the “nostalgia” of their return would be fleeting due to their lack of practice. Stratus and Lita decided that they actually could use some practice, and they attempted to bait Bliss and James to the ring for a fight. It didn’t work as Bliss and James returned backstage.
Despite WWE announcing Stratus vs. Bliss and Lita vs. Mickie in separate bouts for Evolution, the plan had always been for them to compete in this tag team match.
According to Dave Meltzer in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE announced Stratus vs. Bliss in August to boost ticket sales early on since they didn’t want to set Ronda Rousey vs. Nikki Bella until an angle took place. With WWE announcing Rousey vs. Bella for the Raw Women’s Championship last week on Raw, they felt that they could publicly change Stratus vs. Bliss to a tag team contest.
As it turns out, Stratus vs. Bliss didn’t draw as well as WWE had hoped. Tickets for Evolution, which takes place at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, did not sell out. Sales had largely stalled and WWE is hoping that the announcement of Rousey vs. Bella will move tickets.
“A number of sources confirmed that the tag match was always the plan from the beginning. Because they had angles to work out prior to announcing Rousey vs. Nikki Bella, the scheduled main event, they had felt they needed to announce a big match that would sell tickets to the live show when they were first put on sale. The belief was that Stratus vs. Bliss would be a dream match that would do so. Then, after Rousey vs. Nikki’s angle was completed and the match was announced, they’d turn it into the tag match,” Meltzer wrote.
“As it turned out, Stratus vs. Bliss wasn’t nearly as big as they had hoped for with ticket buyers. Sales had largely stalled prior to the Rousey match announcement, with the hope that will move tickets.”
According to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com (h/t RingsideNews.com), another reason for the change is because WWE wants Trish and Lita to be a semi-regular tag team going forward. WWE would like for them to appear as a tag team on major shows.