Evolution is headed on a collision course with The Shield in a no-holds-barred elimination match at Payback on Sunday, June 1. The match is the second one in this rivalry and it promises to be a very exciting, very dramatic contest.
But while the members of Evolution currently appear to be on the same page, the fact is that looks can be deceiving. Their union could be short-lived, as ego and greed could once again ruin Triple H's group.
It was back on the April 14 edition of Monday Night Raw when Hunter, Batista and Randy Orton reunited at the end of the program. The moment was much unexpected and very surreal for many fans that likely believed there was just too much bad blood for all three men to be on the same side once again.
Of course when they first formed back in 2003, no one knew the bad times that lie ahead.
Evolution was the modern-day Four Horsemen. With The Nature Boy Ric Flair by their side, Evolution reigned over WWE from the moment they became a faction. The group held every major title, with Batista and Flair as the tag champs, Orton as the Intercontinental champ and Triple H as the World champ.
They had all the gold, all the stroke and all the best storylines. And they did it all with style; Horsemen style.
The stretch limousines, the fast cars, the three-piece suits; it was as if fans were watching Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Barry Windham for a new millennium. The Horsemen were back in the saddle and they had never looked better.
But all of that changed at SummerSlam in 2004.
It was on that night that Randy Orton stepped out of his role as Evolution's No. 2 singles Superstar and rose above the group by winning the World Championship. In that moment, Orton became the youngest World champion in WWE history and he also became a marked man.
Evolution was The Game's creation, it was his faction. Evolution belonged to him and despite how successful the other three members were, the real purpose of the group was to protect Triple H's World Title run. Much like the original Four Horsemen did with Flair, Evolution had The Game's back in every situation and that included those moments when he was in danger of losing his belt.
But when Randy rose above his station, he upset the balance of the group. Winning the World Championship from Triple H was the ultimate betrayal and Randy paid the price. Evolution left Orton, destroying him in the middle of the ring.
Randy eventually lost the belt back to Triple H and Evolution continued as a trio.
But that was not the last crisis that Evolution faced, as Batista began to emerge as the group's star in 2005. The Animal became so popular with fans that WWE decided to turn him babyface and book him against Hunter at WrestleMania 21.
On that night, Batista defeated Triple H to become the new World champion. Half of Evolution was gone and so too was the company's most successful faction.
In both cases, it was greed and ego that caused Evolution to lose a member. Orton was kicked out when he dared to achieve his dreams by becoming a main event Superstar. Batista left due to pressure from Flair and Hunter, who wanted to keep him under control and keep him subservient to them.
Evolution imploded once and they will do it again.
The circumstances may be different now but the fact is that Evolution is still a group comprised of heels that will do anything to win. And those heels are being led by the same man they followed in the beginning. The biggest difference now is that Triple H has more power than he has ever had in his entire career.
The Game is now WWE's primary authority figure on TV. While he brought Orton and Batista together under a common goal, the truth is that nothing has really changed at all.
Hunter is still calling the shots in Evolution, he is still the man in charge. He is leading Batista and Orton into battle against The Shield, who has already beaten them at Extreme Rules. There are no titles and no main event spots involved this time. This time it's just Orton and Batista trusting that Triple H will do the right thing and stay the course.
The last time Randy and Batista trusted The Game, it did not turn out too well.
Batista supposedly returned for the WWE World Championship. He could not be further from that goal. Orton was the newly crowned face of the company at one point and the first WWE World champion. He is nowhere near that spot now. At what point will both men decide that working under Triple H is getting them nowhere?
And if Evolution does not defeat The Shield at Payback, will Hunter decide that his two soldiers have disappointed him for the last time? Will he bring down the full wrath of his corporate position down upon the men that have foolhardily trusted him again?
Would any of this really surprise any fan watching?
They may be on the same page right now but eventually ego and greed will get the best of Evolution. And considering neither Orton nor Batista is really due for a face turn, Evolution's end may not come at the hands of Triple H this time.
Evolution may simply just implode, destroyed from the inside out. And it may happen sooner rather than later.
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