Hey this is Svyato, starting a brand new series on some of the top stables in Pro Wrestling history; and is there a better way to start then with the group that was Evolution? Here is Chapter One of this brand new series!
Chapter 1: Evolution
This was one of the best, if not the best group in the WWE history. It was all the WWE could ask for. It was called Evolution. The reasoning behind the name is unknown, but I have a pretty good idea why it was called what it was called. Evolution had a great veteran talent in Ric Flair, a great talent of the present in Triple H, and it also had two great young talents in Dave Batista and Randy Orton. Young and old, see something? If not, that's alright.
Evolution was a group that made Raw unbearable for anyone that would dare challenge them. At a point, they had control of all of Raw's belts with Triple H holding the World Heavyweight Championship, Randy Orton holding the Intercontinental Championship, and Batista and Flair holding the World Tag Team Championships. They were truly a force to be reckoned with.
This group was first started at Unforgiven when Triple H defended his World Title against Rob Van Dam. During the match, Flair came down, taking a sledgehammer from Triple H. At first Flair was teasing Triple H, but in the end he struck Rob Van Dam with it, allowing Triple H to retain the title. That day Flair became Triple H's manager.
The next to join the group was one Dave Batista. When Batista came over to Raw from SmackDown, he took Flair as a manager, which was kinda his ticket into the group. When Triple H's feud with Scott Steiner started Flair, Batista, and another in the name of Randy Orton were all there to help Triple H. The group officially became a stable on February 3, 2003 and it took the name of Evolution.
Many dared to challenge Evolution, but practically all left bruised. After Randy Orton was injured in Febuary of 2003, he returned as a masked man who attacked HBK and Kevin Nash. This was when Triple H faced them in a Two-on-One Handicap match. He then took off the mask and returned to the group. Batista returned on October 20.
Challengers to Evolution included: Goldberg, HBK, Rob Van Dam, and others. Here are some of the attempts to bring down Evolution:
- At Bad Blood, Evolution showed their dominance and defeated their enemies. Flair defeated Shawn Michaels after Orton hit Michaels with a chair. Later that night Triple H destroyed Kevin Nash in the Hell In A Cell to retain his title.
- At Unforgiven, Evolution had a mixed night. Randy Orton, who was the developing a Legend Killer, really backed the new gimmick up as he defeated Shawn Michaels. Evolution's success would not continue when Triple H defended his World Title against Bill Goldberg. Despite outside interference from the rest of Evolution, Triple H lost his World Title to Goldberg.
With Triple H mad at Goldberg he offered a $100,000 reward to anyone who could take out Goldberg. A returning Batista would be the man to claim the reward as he destroyed Goldberg and re-joined Evolution. This plan failed because at Survivor Series Goldberg still managed to retain, despite Evolution getting involved again.
Evolution hit the big-time success during the period of 2003-2004. The height of this was when they won all of the titles on Raw, not including Women's Title. Flair and Batista took the Tag Team titles from The Dudleys, Orton defeated Rob Van Dam to reclaim the Intercontinental Championship for Evolution, and Triple H finally got the better of Goldberg as he regained the title.
Flair and Batista would retain the titles against the Dudleys at Royal Rumble. Flair and Batista would then lose the titles to Rob Van Dam and Booker T, but then would regain them. This pattern continued for a short period of time.
At Wrestlemania 20 Triple H lost the World Heavyweight Championship to Chris Benoit in a Triple Threat match featuring Chris Benoit, himself, and Shawn Michaels. The rest of Evolution was successful, though, as they defeated The Rock and Mick Foley in a Three-on-Two Handicap match.
At Backlash Orton was successful when he defeated Mick Foley in a Hardcore Match. That same night Ric Flair and Triple H would both lose their individual contests, with Flair losing to Shelton Benjamin and Triple H losing a Wrestlemania rematch, despite him not being involved in the losing effort. HBK tapped out. Later on in the year Chris Benoit and Edge would also capture the tag team titles from Flair and Batista.
2004 would be known as the year the collapse of Evolution would begin. Randy Orton would be first to leave the group.
At Vengeance Orton would lose his Intercontinental Championship to Edge. It would not matter, though, as Orton won a 20-Man Battle Royal on Monday Night Raw to later on meet Chris Benoit at Summerslam. At Summerslam, history was made as Randy Orton captured the World Heavyweight Championship. That night he became the youngest world champion.
It would not be all good for Orton, though. August 16 marked the day that Randy Orton officially left Evolution. As he was celebrating Evolution showed up and they joined him in the celebration. Orton was mislead though, when Batista hoisted Orton onto his shoulders. Triple H would make a thumbs up for Orton only to turn it into a huge thumbs down as Batista dropped him from his shoulders and they would all beat the life out of him.
That would start a Triple H-Randy Orton feud, the same feud that WWE fans are sick of today. Orton was successful against the Game until Unforgiven. At Unforgiven Triple H would re-capture the World Heavyweight Championship with help from Evolution. Orton did continue feuding with Evolution though.
On December 6 the World Title officially became vacant as there was a match between Edge, Triple H, and Benoit for it. It ended in a double-pin as Edge had Benoit pinned and Benoit had Edge tapping out. So the title would be defended in an Elimination Chamber at New Year's Revolution.
This was an exciting event as it had not only Orton and Triple H, but also Dave Batista. What happened in this match started to change Batista's views on Triple H. Orton hit and RKO on Dave and covered him for the pin. Triple H was indeed close enough to break up the count, but didn't. This made what Randy Orton said earlier in the night true.
The Next Pay Per View on the schedule was Royal Rumble. This would be another step to help Batista exit Evolution. That night Triple H retained the World Heavyweight Championship, but that was not the biggest accomplishment for Evolution that night. That same night Dave Batista came in at 28 in the Royal Rumble and won, eliminating John Cena in the final moments.
Despite Triple H's attempts to have Dave challenge for the WWE Championship, Batista chose to face the leader of Evolution, The Game himself, at Wrestlemania 21. Triple H and Batista feuded until the time of Wrestlemania and at Wrestlemania both men brought it in a terrific contest for the World Title. Despite interference from Ric Flair, Batista defeated a bloody Triple H to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.
This feud would continue as it had epic encounters including one at Vengeance that no one could believe. Evolution was still somewhat together after that. Triple H would take a break as Ric Flair captured the Intercontinental Championship. Flair and Triple H would team against Carlito and Chris Masters, which is where Evolution would officially be ended as the last two members ended their alliance, with Triple H attacking Flair with a sledgehammer.
Evolution was finally no more!
Evolution would reunite once more for a Three- on-Three Tag match. The match was Batista, Ric Flair, and Triple H Vs. Rated RKO—Randy Orton and Edge—with Umaga. This match would be won by Evolution.
Judging The Group
In my opinion, Evolution was an amazing group. Even when it was breaking down, with Orton and Batista exiting, it was epic. This group had amazing storylines, and to see them would be an instant classic. Out of five, I will give this group 4 and one-half.
Join me next time when I will be doing a piece on the Main Event Mafia! Svyato out!