My Two Centsss - How Will Evolution Continue To Evolve Beyond Extreme Rules?
By Super Chrisss
Apr 22, 2014 - 8:00:24 PM
We're two weeks removed from an awesome, game-changing Wrestlemania XXX and one of the most compelling storylines in today's WWE is the re-emergence of the heel stable, Evolution. Whether or not you're a fan of Triple H, Randy Orton, or even Batista as individual wrestlers, you have to give the devils their due. From 2002-2004, they utterly dominated the Raw brand. There was even a brief period of time when they held every male championship available on the red show (Triple H was the world heavyweight champion, Orton held the Intercontinental Championship, and Batista was one-half of the tag team champions alongside Ric Flair). While calling them the "greatest faction of all-time" is certainly a stretch, there is no debate that they will go down in history as one of the best.
Here we stand in April 2014 and we have a very different form of Evolution on our hands. For starters, they're one member short (WWE did the best they could to edit Flair out of that Evolution video package from last night's Raw, but come on, we all know he was a part of it). The surviving three members are now ten years older; Orton and Batista are now the present, while HHH is presumably the past. Furthermore, it's a bit odd seeing them united once again especially after all the feuding they've done amongst themselves over the past decade (HHH and Orton feuded extensively in both 2007 and 2009, and we've also seen Batista/Orton and HHH/Batista multiple times in the past as well). That being said, it's pretty damn cool to see a faction I grew up watching wrestling with to be back together, at least for the short-term.
Wait a minute. How do we know Evolution isn't back for the long-haul? I know they reformed a week ago on Raw to combat The Shield, but when exactly did HHH or WWE imply they would only be sticking around until Extreme Rules and not a second longer? There's a good chance that Evolution will be sticking around for Summer 2014, and with a lack of top heels on the roster, it would only make sense for HHH to fill in as an active wrestler for the time being. The only problem is, rumours are circling that Big Dave will be taking time off after next Sunday's Pay-Per-View to rest [I assume] and promote his upcoming movie. If those reports are indeed true, that would certainly put a dent in creative's post-Extreme Rules plans for Evolution, wouldn't it?
Not if they decide to add a new member to Evolution. And I think they will. If you recall, Evolution was originally formed from the idea that wrestling's past (Flair) would team up with the present (HHH) to groom the next big stars in the business (Orton and Batista). Now, they're missing a key element in their faction - a rising star to be main-eventing Raw and PPVs ten years from today. That's why I have a feeling we'll be seeing a new, restructured Evolution in the coming weeks. The Shield will no doubt benefit from getting the opportunity to work with three top stars, but surely WWE has plans of taking things a step further by creating a[nother] new main-eventer in the process?
The burning question though, is who should that person be? Who does WWE see as a sure-fire main-eventer down the line, someone they can eventually turn to and rely on to be a draw? Maybe not THE top guy, but someone who can headline house shows and be slotted into the main-event of a PPV without it feeling forced or out-of-place.
In my mind, there are a few possible candidates who could fit in with Evolution. Some are more probable and likely than others, but hey, predictability isn't always a bad thing (I hate it when WWE/TNA pull swerves just for the sake of it being a swerve). One name that has been tossed around a lot has been The Shield's very own United States Champion, Dean Ambrose. On paper, it all adds up - Ambrose is young, great on the mic, and can definitely "go" in the ring. Throw in the fact that he's days away from being the longest reigning U.S. Champion in WWE history and you have your future all ready to go. In some ways, Ambrose reminds me of a young, and much more crazier, Randy Orton.
However, it's Ambrose's apparent insanity that makes me think he won't betray his Shield brethren and join up with Evolution. The man is so intense anytime he's in the ring or on the mic that I can't picture him toning it down and being a suit-touting heel (they don't call him "The Titty Master" for nothing!). In my opinion, Ambrose is much more interesting being his crazy self. But if not Ambrose, then there's always a chance that it's Roman Reigns who shocks the world and joins the bad guys. I know reports have been flying for months now about WWE wanting to split Reigns away from Ambrose & Rollins so they can push him as a monster face, but he's not ready for that kind of push (yet). Reigns could accomplish more by having a "Batista moment" and turning on Evolution than he would on Ambrose & Reigns. If Evolution was able to groom Batista into a star who could put on some great singles matches, then they could do the same for Reigns.
Don't get me wrong; Reigns being booked as the "ass-kicker" of The Shield has done nothing but good for him. He's had several great moments when on his own, such as being the runner-up of the Royal Rumble match, or almost defeating The Wyatt Family single-handedly at Elimination Chamber. But in order for Reigns to truly break out and succeed as a singles star, he needs that moment where the fans can get behind him and years from now say, "That's the night Roman Reigns arrived". He can accomplish that much easier by turning on a heel Evolution rather than being abandoned or dumped by Ambrose & Rollins, that's for sure. Reigns seems like the most logical choice to join Evolution, at least from my perspective (don't forget his family ties to The Rock, which could result in similar booking!)
While Ambrose and Reigns seem like the "obvious" picks if we're discussing potential names to join Evolution, there are also a few of my dark horse (no Katy Perry) picks. One is a man who one year ago today, was your world heavyweight champion, Dolph Ziggler. Despite being employed by the WWE for nearly a decade, Ziggler has constantly failed to break through the glass ceiling, and he always feels one major push away from being a legitimate main-eventer. Well, what better way to make that happen than to pair him with two of the top heels in the business today? Personally, I prefer Ziggler as a fan favourite as opposed to a heel (mainly because of his endearing moveset and hilarious selling during matches), but Ziggler wearing a suit and acting all slimy could work even better. WWE, get this guy off the Raw pre-show panel and do something meaningful with him, ASAP!
Last night on Raw, we saw what appears to be the beginning of yet another heel turn for Cody Rhodes when The Brotherhood lost a match to The Usos, and although a feud between the Rhodes Bros. wouldn't do too much for yours truly, I think it would be awesome to see Cody join up with his former Legacy cohort. Cody Rhodes is a second-generation wrestler, and like Ziggler, has been on the main roster for many years, but he still has at least another decade - if not more - left in him. Hell, if his brother's work ethic is anything to go by, we could see Cody wrestling a full-time schedule for a long, long time. Another thing Ziggler and Cody have in common is their inability to grab the main-event slot and hang onto it. If history has taught us anything, then Evolution could change all that. I'm a huge Cody fan so naturally I would be all for him replacing The Animal (interesting time for a heel turn, don't you think? Coincidence? Maybe not!)
One of the cool things about The Evolution World Tour 2014 is we have no idea what's going to happen in the coming weeks and months. Maybe they are only going to be around until Extreme Rules, and then they all go their separate ways (HHH goes back to being a heel authority figure, Orton demands his WWE world title rematch, Batista goes on vacation, etc.) Hell, maybe the rumours of Batista leaving soon aren't even true and he's not going anywhere. Or maybe they do plan on welcoming someone new to the faction, either one of the names I mentioned earlier, or someone out of the blue (Bo Dallas, Drew McIntyre?). Your guess is as good as mine, but one thing is for sure - it's definitely a fun time to be a WWE fan.
Your Two Centsss: Do you see Evolution adding a new member with or without Batista still around? If so, who?
Join The Doc and myself tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 5pm on LoPRadio/BlogTalkRadio where we'll give our wins and fails for Raw, preview Extreme Rules, and a whole lot more! In case you missed it, here's last Wednesday's episode:
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