Evolution is a mystery, or rather it was. Speaking with Stone Cold Steve Austin on the Broken Skull Sessions Randy Orton lifted the lid on how he came to be part of the legendary group.
Evolution debuted in January 2003 following the alliance of Ric Flair and Triple H recruiting Batista and Randy Orton. The theory behind the group being that it represented wrestling’s past (Ric Flair) wrestling’s present (Triple H) and wrestling’s future. (Batista and Randy Orton)
The group proceeded to run rough-shod over Monday Night RAW until midway through 2004 when Randy Orton was kicked out of the group after winning the World Heavyweight Championship. The faction would continue as a trio until Batista won the 2005 Royal Rumble and chose to face Triple H at WrestleMania. In October of the same year, Triple H would turn on Ric Flair finally breaking the union which had begun with the pair joining forces at the end of 2002.
During his appearance on Broken Skull Sessions, Orton has now revealed how he was chosen to be part of the group, describing how fortunate he was to get the opportunity.
“It was pretty simple, I was younger. All the new guys would get out in the ring during the day of TV. I think I was coming back from an injury at that time.
I was on the floor, working with a guy, he had me in a figure-four and I was selling. And I was just working on my selling and I remember Triple H coming over, and I knew he was watching so I started turning it up a little bit – I’m doing everything I can to get him to notice and later that day someone came to me and goes ‘we’re thinking of doing this thing with you, Triple H and Ric Flair’, and later I come to find out that it was hunter that saw me that day in the ring ‘ahh that kid’s got something, Cowboy Bob’s son? Okay, well, if the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree maybe we got something here’. And what a huge thing for me and I understood how awesome that was for me at that point in my career, but as just a child, I had no idea of really understanding the scope of what was happening there.
Looking back, I’m the first one to admit how lucky I am that those two men right there [Triple H and Ric Flair] took a liking to me, took me under their wing and Ric was like my ‘road-dad’.”
During the wide-ranging interview Orton discussed the ups and downs from throughout his career, pulling no punches along the way.
Recalling his famous world championship win in 2004, which made him the youngest WWE World Champion in history, The Viper described not feeling ready to hold the company’s top title.
While Evolution may have broken up in 2005, the group reformed in April 2014 to do battle with The Shield, until Batista left WWE to go and promote his latest film, Guardian’s Of the Galaxy.
Meanwhile, fast forward to March 2021 and Randy Orton is preparing to do battle with The Fiend, Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 37.
The pair have been embroiled in a feud for months which saw The Fiend disappear after being set on fire by The Viper at WWE TLC in December 2020. During Wyatt’s absence his co-creator of chaos Alexa Bliss continued to taunt Orton leading to a match between the two at WWE Fastlane. As the match drew to a close, The Fiend then emerged through the ring to take out a stunned Orton.
After a confrontation between the two on the following night’s edition of Monday Night RAW, the match for Raymond James Stadium and WrestleMania 37 was confirmed.