Top Fifteen Stables in Wrestling- Number Four
No stable in the history of professional wrestling did better of representing the past, present, and future of the business than our fourth-best stable of all time. Their name perfectly stated what the stable was about, and, even after it was dissolved, the young members of the stable would evolve to reach the highest point in the World Wrestling Entertainment.
Formed by leader Triple H (the present) with his mentor and hero Ric Flair (the past), Evolution had a strong run that lasted over two years from 2003 to 2005. The stable was rounded out by the future, Dave Batista and Randy Orton. Batista represented the powerhouse that would tear through the entire WWE and make a path of destruction on his way to the top. In Orton, Evolution had a third-generation superstar born and bred for the business and was being groomed to be among the greatest of all-time.
In late 2002 at Unforgiven, Ric Flair came down to the ring while Triple H was defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Rob Van Dam. Flair grabbed a sledgehammer and seemed about to hit Triple H with it. Flair, instead, hit Van Dam which allowed Triple H to gain the victory. After this, Flair began to join Triple H for all his matches. Within a couple of weeks, Batista joined the Raw brand and Flair also began to escort Batista to ringside. On January 20, 2003, Randy Orton joined Triple H, Flair, and Batista in attacking Scott Steiner. Two weeks later, after jumping Tommy Dreamer, Triple H spoke about how each member was an example of pro wrestling’s “Evolution,” from the past (Flair) to the present (Triple H) and the future (Batista and Orton). On May 26, a Orton attacked both Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash during a handicap match between Michaels and Flair against Triple H (Flair would also turn on Michaels). A masked man also entered to join in the attack. Batista at this time was out rehabbing a torn triceps. He retore the triceps during rehab, making his time out a full eight months.
At Badd Blood, Flair was able to Michaels after Orton interfered. Later in the night, Triple H successfully retained his World title over Kevin Nash in a Hell in a Cell match. At Unforgiven, Orton– who has known as the Legend Killer at the time– defeated Michaels to solidify his Legend Killer claim. Unfortunately, Triple H would lose his title to Goldberg in the main event. Triple H would then place a $100,000 bounty on whoever can take Goldberg down. Three weeks after the bounty was placed, Batista returned and attacked Goldberg. He claimed the bounty after he wrapped Goldberg’s ankle in a steel chair and stomped on the chair. At the height of their power, Evolution won all of the male-based titles on Raw at Armageddon. Flair and Batista won the World Tag Team titles from the Dudley Boyz in a Tag Team Turmoil match. Orton defeated Van Dam to capture the Intercontinental Championship. Triple H would recapture the World title from Goldberg in a Triple Threat match that also included Kane.
At Wrestlemania XX, Orton, Batista, and Flair teamed to defeat the Rock n Sock Connection in a 3 on 2 Handicap match. Triple H would face Chris Benoit and Michaels for his World title. Benoit would hit Triple H in a Crippler Crossface for the victory. At Backlash, Flair would lose to Shelton Benjamin in singles action. Orton successfully defended his Intercontinental belt against Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) in a Hardcore Match. Meanwhile, Triple H would be unsuccessful in his bid to regain the World title in another Triple Threat match versus Benoit and Michaels.
At Vengeance, Triple failed again to defeat Benoit when Eugene accidentally caused Triple H to lose. On the same night, Edge would beat Orton to end his seven-month long reign with the IC title.
On July 26 on Raw, Orton won a Number One Contender’s match for the World title. Later that night, Triple H failed in his final shot at Benoit’s World title in an Iron Man match. At SummerSlam 2004, Orton pinned Benoit to become the youngest World Champion in WWE history to date. The next night on Raw, Orton successfully defended the title in a rematch with Benoit. After the match, Orton was hoisted on Batista’s shoulders in what seemed like a celebration. Triple H would then give Batista a thumbs down and Batista slammed Orton, with the rest of Evolution joining in the attack on Orton. Orton would summarily be removed from the stable.
At New Year’s Revolution in an Elimination Chamber match for the World title, Batista, Orton, and Triple H were the last three remaining wrestlers in the match. Orton would hit Batista with the RKO and pin him. However, with help from Batista, Triple H would defeat Orton for the vacated World Championship. Triple H would try to dissuade Batista from entering the Royal Rumble match, but Batista would decline and went on to win the match– making him the top contender for either Raw’s World Heavyweight title and Smackdown’s WWE Championship. Triple H then tried to create a feud between Batista and then-WWE champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield, in an attempt to convince Batista to go after JBL’s title and not Triple H’s. At the Brand signing, Batista would choose to remain on Raw and face Triple H for the World title. Batista would then defeat Triple H at Wrestlemania 21, and successfully defend the belt in rematches with Triple H at Backlash and Vengeance at Hell in a Cell match. After the Hell in a Cell match, Batista and Triple H would make peace backstage and ended their feud.
After Vengeance, Triple H would take time off. Flair would turn face and win the Intercontinental title– dissovling the faction. Triple H returned at the “WWE Homecoming” episode of Raw and team with Flair against Carlito and Chris Masters. After winning the match, Triple H would turn on Flair officially ending Evolution.
In April 2014, Triple H, Orton, and Batista would reform Evolution after all three were defeated by Daniel Bryan to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania XXX. On the Raw the night after Wrestlemania XXX, Batista and Orton teamed up to face The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship– the match ended in a no contest after both teams were counted out. Later that night, Orton, Batista, and Kane would attack Bryan prior to defending the World Heavyweight title against Triple H. Before Triple H could win the belt, The Shield ran into to the ring to save Bryan and the match ended in disqualification. After the Shield was forced into an 11-on-3 Handicap match and lost, Triple H, Batista, and Orton would come down with the Evolution music playing to attack the Shield. This led to a Six-Man match between Evolution and the Shield at Extreme Rules; the Shield would win that match. The Shield would again defeat Evolution in a No Holds Barred Elimination match at Payback, in which none of the Shield members was eliminated. The following night on Raw, Batista would quit after being denied a shot at the World title. Later that night, Triple H claimed that he had to resort to his “Plan B” in his efforts to destroy the Shield. Seth Rollins would then attack Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns with a chair, revealing himself as Triple H’s “Plan B.” Even though, Orton and Triple H continue to work together as a part of The Authority, no other mention of Evolution is made– ending the Evolution again.