Evolution Has Just Passed You By
In late 2002, Triple H along with his mentor Ric Flair formed one of the greatest factions of all time, Evolution. Triple H and Ric Flair picked up Randy Orton and Batista to complete this force to be reckon with.
And from 2002 until 2005 Evolution was the force that ran RAW. Throughout Evolution's two year run, Triple H, Batista, Randy Orton, & Ric Flair all had impressive matches and feuds. Let's talk about the leader first, Triple H.
Triple H: The King of Kings
In late 2002, Triple H was ending his rivalry with Shawn Michaels after defeating him at Armageddon for the World Heavyweight Championship. He would soon move on to Scott Steiner.
After Steiner's debut at the Survivor Series he was ready to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. But I do have to say, Triple H's feud with Steiner wasn't the greatest one. Triple H would defeat Steiner at the Royal Rumble and No Way Out in 2003.
After defeating Steiner at the previous PPV, Triple H was for sure walking into Wrestlemania XIX as the champion. He would be facing Booker T. That match really put Triple H back on Game (no pun intended).
And having a great match with Booker at Mania and retaining the World Heavyweight Title, Triple H's opponents would only get bigger and badder.
Two big names came to the WWE after Wrestlemania XIX. Those names were Kevin Nash and Bill Goldberg. Triple H would have his problems with Nash first. After their big brawl at Judgment Day, only one match could settle this war.
The next night on RAW, Triple H defeated his Evolution partner & mentor Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Title. After that match was settle, RAW Co-GM Stone Cold Steve Austin made a match for Triple H and Kevin Nash at Bad Blood. That match was Hell in a Cell!
Some people say Nash's and Triple H's Hell in a Cell Match is one of the worsts ever. But when it was all set and done Triple H walked in the cell as champion and walked out as champion.
Who Was Next? Triple H was. After competing in a brutal Elimination Chamber Match at Summerslam 2003, Triple H still remained the World Heavyweight champion but at the same time started a war he couldn't win with Bill Goldberg.
A month later, at Unforgiven, Goldberg would defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Title. However, at Armageddon, Triple H regained his World Title in a Triple Threat Match against Goldberg and Kane.
After regaining the World Heavyweight Title, Triple H renewed his rivalry with Shawn Michaels and they competed in a brutal Last Man Standing Match at the Royal Rumble which ended in a draw.
Two months later at Wrestlemania XX, Triple H lost his title to the Rabid Wolverine Chris Benoit. Triple H would stay title-less until Unforgiven.
Meanwhile, with Chris Benoit as champ, Triple H would end his feud with Shawn Michaels in a Hell in a Cell Match at Bad Blood 2004. After defeating HBK, Triple H tried to win back his title from Benoit at Vengeance. But with a screw up on the behalf of Eugene, Chris Benoit remained World Champion.
At Summerslam, Triple H would take care of Eugene by defeating him. Later that night however, Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit for the World Title.
The following night on RAW, Triple H along with Ric Flair and Batista would turn on Randy Orton and kick him out of Evolution. Triple H would soon become a nine time World Champion after defeating Orton at Unforgiven.
Later down the road, the World Title would soon become vacant. And at New Year's Revolution Triple H would win the vacated World Title in an Elimination Chamber Match. Triple H would also defeated Randy Orton for a second at the Royal Rumble in 2005. Batista would also win the Royal Rumble match later that night.
After Batista picks to challenge Triple H at Wrestlemania 21, Batista would become the second member to leave the group. Batista would go on and defeat Triple H at Wrestlemania, Backlash, and inside the Hell in a Cell at Vengeance 2005.
After taking a three-month break, Triple H returns but only to turn on his good friend and Evolution partner, Ric Flair. Their feud would become one of the most personal in WWE history.
At Taboo Tuesday 2005, Ric Flair defended his Intercontinental Championship against Triple H in a bloody Steel Cage Match. And at the Survivor Series, Triple H and Ric Flair would end whatever was left of Evolution in a violent and brutal Last Man Standing Match.
Randy Orton: The Legend Killer
Early in Orton's career, Orton suffered a broken arm which would prohibit him from wrestler in late 2002 and early 2003. Orton made his return at Bad Blood in 2003 after screwing Shawn Michaels in his match against Ric Flair.
At Summerslam in 2003, Randy Orton would compete in his first Elimination Chamber Match. That match would only further continue his grudge with Shawn Michaels.
At Unforgiven in 2003, Orton's nickname of the "Legend Killer" would arise after he defeated the legend in Shawn Michaels.
After becoming the sole survivor at the 2003 Survivor Series, Orton had his eyes set on his first ever championship gold. And at Armageddon Orton defeated the Intercontinental champion RVD to capture his first title.
Very soon after winning the IC title, Orton would have a run in with Mick Foley and then spit in the Hardcore Legend's face.
Then in the 2004 Royal Rumble Match, Mick Foley became a surprise entrant and elimination the Intercontinental champion. Then at Wrestlemania, Orton would get retribution after defeating Foley in a two-on-three Handicap Match.
After feeling having a bad day at Wrestlemania, Foley issues a challenge to Orton for his IC Title at Backlash but with only one stipulation. The match would a Hardcore Match with Evolution barred form ringside.
Orton's and Foley's Hardcore Match at Backlash would become one of the greatest IC title bouts in history. And that match would set off Orton's career into main event status.
After losing his IC title at Vengeance to Edge, that only gave Orton the opportunity to become World's Champion. And that moment finally happened at Summerslam when Orton defeated Chris Benoit to become the youngest World Champion in history.
After becoming World's champion, Orton's fellow Evolution members (especially Triple H) made it clear to Orton that his time for being World's Champion wasn't here yet and at Unforgiven Orton dropped the title to Triple H.
Randy Orton wouldn't be World's champion again until October of 2007 at No Mercy where he would beat Triple H for the WWE title in a Last Man Standing Match.
Batista: The Animal
Batista made his PPV debut at Armageddon in 2002 where he faced the "Big Red Machine" Kane.
Batista wouldn't have much to do in 2003. But at the Survivor Series he would screw Shawn Michaels out of becoming the sole survivor. Then at Armageddon Batista would have to face HBK one on one.
But later that night, Batista and Ric Flair would win tag team turmoil and become the World Tag Team Champions.
In 2004, Batista would appear in some PPV's such as the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania XX, Summerslam, & Unforgiven. But at the Survivor Series, Batista would team with Triple H, Gene Snitsky, and Edge to take on the team of Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, & Maven.
That match would only establish Batista in setting his goal to become World's Champion. And at Royal Rumble 2005, Batista won the Royal Rumble Match.
After picking Triple H to challenge at Wrestlemania 21, Batista violently took himself out of Evolution. And at Wrestlemania 21 Batista achieved his dream and became the World Heavyweight Champion. Batista would also defeat Triple H at Backlash and also at Vengeance in a Hell in a Cell Match.
Ric Flair: The Dirtiest Player In The Game
Ric Flair was the heart of Evolution. He helped Triple H, Orton, and Batista every way possible. But he also had his own battles to win.
At Bad Blood 2003, the dream match among dream matches happened at Ric Flair took on Shawn Michaels. With help from Randy Orton, Flair defeated Shawn Michaels on that night.
Later the year at Armageddon with Batista, Flair became one half of the Worlds Tag Team Champions after winning Tag Team Turmoil.
After kicking out Orton of the group, Flair would battle Orton in a bloody and violent steel cage match at Taboo Tuesday 2004.
A year later however, Flair and Triple H would have one of the most personal feuds in all of the WWE. They would first meet inside a Steel Cage Match for the Intercontinental Championship at Taboo Tuesday 2005 and then end Evolution at the Survivor Series in a Last Man Standing Match.
"So if you wake up one day and your lying in a hospital bed and your wondering to yourself what the hell has just happened, Evolution has just passed you by."
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