The Past, Present, and Future of professional wrestling was embodied by one super group: Evolution. Including Triple H, The Nature Boy Ric Flair, The Legend Killer Randy Orton, and The Animal Batista, Evolution ran its course through the early 2000s and defined what a modern stable should be in WWE. What was that, do you ask? Entertaining, intimidating, dominant, and… reckless.
Each member of Evolution had a storied career, several title runs, and most importantly a lasting impact on the business of sports entertainment. However, there are other tales to be told when it comes to who these men were, and how they acted outside the ring. This is a list of chance encounters, legendary nights of drinking, debauchery, or for Ric Flair, a normal day in the life.
No other faction quite rivalled what evolution had at the turn of the century, maybe only rivalled by the Shield or potentially the Wyatt Family. Still, it’s hard to say that anyone lived life to the fullest like these four did. I mean Randy Orton licked a woman’s face in their entrance titantron for god’s sake. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know, I don’t know what will.
16. Randy Orton Takes A Dump in Rochelle Loewen’s Bag
Okay, so this has been an urban legend for quite some time. The fact of the matter is that Randy Orton has been doing terrible things to women for his entire career, this one though has stood as a pillar of disturbing pranks. The truth is this, Randy didn’t poop in her bag. Instead he put tanning lotion and tanning oil, and somehow it became embellished into some kind of horror tale. Loewen scolded Orton on the Voice of Wrestling radio show, saying that she wouldn’t have put it past him to actually have defecated in her bag.
Like I said before, anyone introduced with images of him licking the side of a woman’s face has to be some kind of maniac. He also happened to be the future of wrestling, no coincidence there.
15. Halle Barry Rode Space Mountain?!
At the end of his WOOOO! Nation podcast, Flair takes questions from fans, usually giving a shoot answer or road story regarding the topic. One fan wrote in asking if any celebrities had rode Space Mountain, and much to everyone’s surprise Ric said Halle Barry. The world did a collective double take, and Flair explained they were both in Atlanta, and she had recently split from David Justice of the Braves and decided to get in line for the oldest ride.
Ric laughs through the entire recollection, you can hear him grinning from ear to ear; is it true? I believe it, and for that matter I think Ric Flair does too. It will always be shrouded in mystery, but he said it for a reason. The Flair cannon now accounts for Catwoman. She made the list, and what a long list it is. Barry came out and denied the statements made by the two-time Hall of Famer, but still it makes you wonder. Not to discredit her in any way, but does Flair have any reason to lie? Probably.
14. Batista’s Origin Story Is Seriously MESSED UP
Originally, Batista’s character was given strange motivation as to why he was angry all the time. WWE creative came up with the idea that Batista was a child of sexual assault in that his mother was violated and born from that came the Animal. This is where the writing team was at the time, stories that certainly never would’ve never made it today, but the Freddy Krueger-esque story is the true original of the fourth member of Evolution. Of course this idea was dropped quickly, but it was alive and well for the inception of Dave Batista’s career. Imagine sitting in a room discussing your debut and that’s what they throw your way. Welcome to the world of wrestling.
13. Goldberg Bows Down To The King Of Kings
Well, Bill Goldberg didn’t exactly bow to Triple H, but the truth is that he really does not like Hunter; dating back to their first meeting in WCW. In fact Goldberg left WWE during his first tenure due to Triple H’s influence in the company. Now that Goldberg has returned, it’s obvious he’s decided to swallow his pride despite his feelings towards Hunter. More so than that, The King of Kings always gets his way; Triple H’s enemies always come crawling back, one way or another. He once called security on Goldberg at the airport, and now he has him back to perform in the Royal Rumble after decimating Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Now that’s a performance boost.
12. AWOL Viper
It’s no secret Randy had an interest in military service, he once had a Marine Corps tattoo on his left arm before covering it up. Why you ask? He received a dishonorable discharge after joining because, surprise, he couldn’t follow orders. He was court-martialed for going AWOL on two separate occasions and for disobeying orders from a commanding officer. For this he spent 38 days in military prison.
Looking at where his is today you’d never believe Orton could fail at anything, however it plays right into his character of a badass third generation superstar who does as he pleases. Did he RKO his drill instructor? I’m guessing it was a powerslam.
11. Flair and Jericho Meet “Cordially”
Chris Jericho is a character in his own right, an absolute first ballot Hall of Famer who has accomplished just about everything there is to in WWE and around the world. Y2J is the best in the world at what he does, but that wasn’t the case when he went to attend a wrestling show when the Four Horsemen were headlining in Canada.
Jericho, admittedly a huge fan, had to see more of his favorite superstars and followed the Horsemen’s car along with a buddy to get a glimpse of greatness. So the story goes that the Horsemen took notice, they slowed down alongside their pursuers. That Ric Flair rolls down his window to send Jericho and his friend a message. What was it? “You f****** need to get girlfriends!”
The validity of this story has been put into question, but it’s so easy to imagine, isn’t it? Sounds like something the Alimony Pony would pull on a couple of unsuspecting fans. Whether or not it was really Chris Jericho can be debated, I just like to imagine Flair would rib anyone trying to tail the Horsemen; especially when it’s the Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla.
The lesson to be learned here, get out more and either find a date, or get burned by Naitch.
10. Three Dead in Batista’s Front Yard
That’s right, Dave Bautista grew up in the DC area and saw a lot of violence in his coming of age. The 1970s saw gang viciousness at an all-time high in Washington; for Bautista, that meant he’d encounter two dead bodies on his front lawn before the age of nine. Not long after a man was shot in the head down the block. His mother didn’t want him to become desensitized to the death all around him, so she packed up her son and daughter and moved to San Francisco to start anew. It’s safe to say the Animal didn’t it have it easy growing up; why couldn’t the WWE just use that as an origin story instead of the nonsense they came up with?!
9. Nobody’s Bigger Than Triple H
Renee Dupree talked about an interesting tidbit on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast, having to do with Triple H and his ego. Renee was being measured by the seamstress, and upon finding that his measurements were larger than Hunter’s, she immediately amended her record to reflect that this wasn’t true. Renee said that’s just the mentality of WWE, no one could be bigger than Hunter, and backstage they would do anything to save face for him.
It’s no surprise that Triple H has a hold on the backstage culture in WWE, but to take as far as not letting anyone even measure up to yourself is definitely indicative of his legendary ego.
8. Anger Management
In 2006, Randy’s behavior had reached a boiling point, literally his rage was seething over into his work so much so that WWE sent Randy to anger management. For four weeks, Randy was in Atlanta receiving counselling, not from the voices in his head, but from an actual doctor. To great effect according to Orton, things were looking up.
That is until they weren’t. On a European tour in 2007, Randy decimated a hotel room for $50,000 worth of damage. WWE pulled him from the tour, and reportedly took action against Orton, but no clear suspension or fine was ever documented. Seems as though Randy can do no wrong in the eyes of WWE – that, or he has something they can’t afford to lose. Either way, Randy’s temper continues to create a legacy all on its own.
7. Lightning Strikes
This story is an absolutely baffling and for that reason it is simply incredible. Ric Flair essentially escapes death, but also witnesses another man lose his life due to Mother Nature trying to take down the Nature Boy. Flair tells it like this: “I got off the plane and was walking, I didn’t go 10, 15 feet when all of a sudden I felt this pressure boom, and man, my umbrella shot 50 feet in the air. Lightning hit the top of my umbrella, bounced off and hit the guy in the eye five feet behind me and killed him. Right there. I just stood there looking at the guy and froze, it scared me to death.” Are you kidding me? This happened on his way to face Ricky Steamboat, at the airport in Richmond, Virginia.
How can one style, profile, limousine ride, wheel, deal, kiss steal, and cheat death? This came from his recent interview on the Dan Le Batard show for ESPN. What I wonder is, who could’ve been the person to die by Flair’s umbrella? There are so many questions, but really one answer. The Nature Boy is untouchable, inside and outside the ring.
6. Throw Down with King Booker
During filming for a SummerSlam commercial it was reported on WWE.com that Batista and Booker T, then King Booker, got into a real fight. It started due to the heat between the two, Booker felt Batista was arrogant and received an early push to the main-event even though he hadn’t paid his dues. Batista supposedly was acting as though he was better than the rest of the roster, as a main attraction he was “carrying” the company.
So they fought, and Booker T laid a beating on the Animal. According to Booker himself, he is a skilled fighter and put Batista in his place. Batista denied ever having acted this way, but their feud would spill over to the ring as the two became actual rivals leading up to Batista’s return after recovering from a tricep injury.
5. Hunter vs The Rock
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and Triple H were penalized for performing the curtain call with Kevin Nash and Scott Hall as part of the Kliq. As a result this allowed space for The Rock to become the top heel in the WWE at the time. What you probably don’t know is that Triple H was terribly jealous of this fact, and Shawn was trying to help push Hunter to the top so that it could be him facing Steve Austin. The backstage politics were heated in a very real way, and for that reason both of these men would face each other throughout their careers.
Who got the upper hand on who? Triple H is now COO of WWE and The Rock is the Sexiest Man Alive according to People Magazine. You tell me.
4. The Orton Rule
Randy Orton has had several violations within the wellness policy implemented with WWE, including steroids and marijuana. Nevertheless, he has never crossed the line that would have him fired from the company. Some would say it’s because of a rule put in place by WWE to make it such that if you go eighteen months without a violation, you remove one of your previous strikes. It’s called the Orton Rule because it correlates directly with Randy’s loss of his second strike just after the rule was applied. It could be speculated that the rule was put there to save Orton from having himself removed from WWE.
3. Flair Gets Stabbed by Dick Murdoch
Ric Flair was traveling in Japan in 1972, being mentored by Dusty Rhodes and co., but the incident happened at a restaurant wherein Flair saw Rhodes grab food off of Murdoch’s plate. Thinking it was for everyone Flair followed suit, except this time Dick Murdoch took his fork and plunged it deep into the flesh of Ric Flair, looked him in the eye and said: “Rookie, don’t touch my food.”
Message received, Flair claims to still have the scar to this day. It was a different era of wrestling, where you were broken in by the guys above you. Very much like a pledging process in some kind of fraternity, the veterans were going to make a man out of you. This story is the stark reality for those who are now the story tellers of the business, that violence and egos go hand in hand. And if you’re going to learn, you’re going to learn the hard way.
2. WCW Denial
Little known fact that Batista actually attempted to become a part of WCW, he wasn’t overly familiar with wrestling but he knew he needed to make money. He went down to the famous Power Plant to an open tryout, for $300 you could get a chance to become a professional wrestler. The thing is trainer DeWayne Bruce was having none of it.
He ran Batista out of the gym, and if he could have, probably would have ran him right out of the business. He told Batista that he would never make it in wrestling, told him to hang it up. You take a guess who got the last laugh.
1. “Am I F****** Going Over?”
It’s no secret that Triple H is very picky about how his matches end, but in this instance he may have reacted in a most extreme fashion. According to a former WWE writer, Hunter literally tore apart a script after asking “Am I f****** going over?” to which the writer said “well, sort of.” That just didn’t cut it for the Cerebral Assassin, as the planned DQ finish was changed to a clean pin conveniently so the story goes. It’s hard to say if this is totally true, but it is totally believable. There isn’t a wrestler active today that has thrown their weight around quite like Triple H.
Evolution is indeed a mystery, but it’s full of something that I wouldn’t exactly call change, and for the most part it seems like everyone sees it. The line in the sand is this: don’t cross any of these men. It could cost you your career, or worse… your life.
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