For two years, Evolution dominated World Wrestling Entertainment. Whether it was the WWE World Championship, WWE Intercontinental Championship or the WWE World Tag Team Championships, they were always in the hunt for the gold.
Triple H was the leader and was always within grasp of the WWE World Championship, if not champion. For two years guys like Randy Orton and Batista were fine with being second to HHH. Orton was first to break away from the group, but the second man to break away made a much bigger impact.
At the Royal Rumble in 2005, Batista was able to earn himself a championship match at WrestleMania 21 when he last eliminated John Cena to win the Royal Rumble. The following night, Triple H credited himself for creating Batista and talked about the appeal of fighting for his WWE World Heavyweight Championship. However, a clip of JBL insulting Batista was aired, as a clear attempt for Batista to go a different route.
On the February 7th episode of RAW from Japan, HHH continued to tell Batista that going to Smackdown might be a good idea so they could run the whole company. After a match with Edge, Batista came out and raised HHH’s arm but stared at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, teasing his motive.
To close out RAW on February 14th, HHH saved Batista from getting hit by JBL’s limo in the parking lot. Despite being saved, Batista declared he was going to Smackdown to confront JBL, by himself.
The following week, it blows up. Backstage, HHH is seen telling Ric Flair that he came up with the plan to get Batista to go to Smackdown. Ric Flair praises the champ as the camera zooms out to see Batista hearing the conversation from outside the door. They have a contract signing moments later…
At the contract signing, HHH cut a long winded speech about Batista going to Smackdown. Batista finally tells the world that he knew what he was going to do and tosses the contract to face HHH on the ground. Batista TURNS ON HHH by giving a thumbs down and attacks both HHH and Ric Flair. Batista ended up putting HHH through a table with the power bomb and signing the contract to wrestle HHH at WrestleMania 21.
Batista revealed his mindset involving HHH and going for the gold. No matter what Batista had done, it was all about HHH. During the promo, HHH and Ric Flair make their way down to the ring and Batista destroys Ric Flair while the WWE World Heavyweight Champion backed off on three different occasions. On the March 7th RAW, Batista defeated Ric Flair and avoided an attack by Triple H afterward. Batista proclaimed the “game was over.”
HHH attempted to weaken Batista by putting him in a lumberjack match against Kane on the March 21st RAW, but Batista was able to fight them off and pinned Kane while HHH flipped out. The lumberjacks were all heels, by the way. On the March 28th RAW, the last show before WrestleMania, Batista and HHH had a Face to Face segment. Batista let HHH know that he is going to win the belt and that HHH was an asshole. HHH responded with a slap and they led to a brawl to close the program.
After over 20 minutes of action, Batista captured his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship when he pinned Triple H following a power bomb. The following night on RAW, HHH came out to start the show and said that Batista was good for one night and that the championship would be back around his waist and the fans would hate him for it. On the show, Batista pinned Randy Orton in a non-title match and HHH applauded Batista for the victory from the stage.
Triple H believed to have found a fear in Batista on the April 11th RAW. In HHH’s mind, Batista is afraid of the Pedigree. This would lead to a two on one handicap match with Hurricane and Rosey, which HHH won. HHH hit a Pedigree on Rosey on the floor. At the end of the show, HHH and Batista brawled and HHH made a match with Jim Ross for next week.
The April 18th RAW saw HHH tell Ric Flair that he paid the limo driver to take several detours so that Batista wouldn’t be able to save JR. However, Batista made his way down to the ring in time to help JR and whacked HHH over the head with a chair, which led to JR pinning HHH in Madison Sqaure Garden for a huge upset victory!
Their feud heads over across the pond in England on April 25th. On the show, Batista managed to pin Christian after The Coach was the referee and Ric Flair was at ringside. HHH interfered as well but couldn’t get the job done. HHH and Batista brawled until HHH was able to hit the Pedigree to close the show as Backlash is only six days away!
HHH looked determined to regain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash on May 1st, but after sixteen minutes of action, Batista once again successfully defended the championship after a power bomb. Batista certainly has HHH’s number it would seem.
Following the loss, HHH demanded a rematch, but instead Eric Bischoff put HHH in a Gold Rush tournament to earn a title match. However, HHH ended up losing in the first round to Chris Benoit, but still demanded a title match. Considering the loss in the first round, Batista refused to give HHH a title match and HHH decided that he was going to leave RAW.
During the absence, Ric Flair was attacked by Christian and Tomko until Batista made the save for the Nature Boy. The next week, Flair aided Batista to defeat Edge in the Gold Rush tournament when HHH made his return. Flair low blowed Batista from behind and allowed HHH to attack with a sledgehammer. HHH got a microphone and challenged Batista to a Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance on June 26th. The next week, Batista accepted the challenge.
Triple H finally got some momentum in the feud on the June 20th RAW when he teamed with Kurt Angle to defeat Batista and Shawn Michaels. HHH hit Batista with a Pedigree and earned himself his first pin fall victory over his former protégé.
The feud would come to an official end on June 26th inside the Hell in a Cell where both men were bloodied and had a brutal war. In the end, Batista was able to put HHH away with a Demon Bomb onto the ring steps.
Shortly after this pay per view, Batista would go to Smackdown due to the Draft taking place.
Unlike Randy Orton, Batista was made into a complete star thanks to Triple H and the feud allowed that to happen perfectly. The whole beginning of the feud caught my interest as it was going on. HHH trying to play it off as if he wanted to face Batista but in reality he was actually afraid of his teammate. The way they made it so that Batista found out was awesome to see as well. I’m pretty sure I said “oh shit” to myself watching it live because I knew HHH was about to get wrecked in the contract signing.
Up to this point, I wasn’t really a big Batista fan. I felt he was a little awkward in the ring and a little too tight with his movement. However, the matches and interactions he had with HHH really helped him and I honestly enjoyed his run for quite a time following this feud with HHH.
Each match that they had was entertaining and it’s not often that a guy can lose two matches and still have enough drawing power for a third match, even with a stipulation. Triple H is and was a great heel to be able to do that. He was well accomplished and always a threat to Batista no matter how many times he lost, he was capable of getting his heat back easily.
To me, the most memorable match is their Hell in a Cell match. I’ll always enjoy the bloody, brutal matches to end a feud and this was exactly what these two needed to have. Often times a feud ending match doesn’t live up to the expectation, but these two did in every way possible.
The feud is probably my favorite thing during 2005 as it was constantly entertaining and made a new star for the company. Can’t go wrong with that, really.
What are you memories of the feud? Did you enjoy it? Leave your comments below!
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.