Evolution, as a wrestling faction, is a pretty straightforward concept: One man represents the past. One man represents the present. One man represents the future.
It's synergy. It's a complete circle. It's the natural order of things.
It worked beautifully when it was first constructed, with Ric Flair representing the past, Triple H the present, and the duo of Randy Orton & Dave Batista the future.
As long as you ignore the fact that Batista is actually older than Triple H, the faction seemed to make logical sense.
But that was a decade ago. Flair is no longer an active competitor, the past finally catching up with him. The no-longer-in-his-prime Triple H now assumes the mantle of the old guard in the crew.
Orton clearly represents the present, having come off a long reign as the first ever WWE world heavyweight champion. He's in the position Triple H was a decade ago, with a long history behind him and a long way to go before he's done.
That's two out of three members down, leaving a spot wide open for someone to represent the future.
Because 45-year-old Dave Batista certainly isn't it. And since he's got some promotional work to do in the upcoming months with Guardians of the Galaxy, it would make sense to write him out of the storyline as being a drag on Evolution because he no longer holds up his end of the bargain as either the future or present.
With a position in the most influential wrestling faction today up for grabs soon, here's a quick handicap of the potential candidates to replace Batista, should the WWE decide to pull the plug and reform the group:
7. Adrian Neville
If the Shield is Evolution's primary threat at the moment, it would seem to be an imbalanced rivalry in favor of the youngsters. While Triple H can match power with Roman Reigns and Randy Orton can match crazy with Dean Ambrose, nobody in Evolution can hang with a high-flyer like Seth Rollins, which is why it would make perfect sense for Triple H to make like a general manager and call up a kid from the minors to help fill a need. And if anyone in NXT can match Seth Rollins aerial move for aerial move, it's the man that gravity forgot.
If WWE is intent on having Batista replaced with someone of equal musculature, you would have to look long and hard to find someone in the locker room with a more "Evolution" type body than Ryback. It would also serve to re-energize "The Big Guy's" career and get him back to the main event status he seemed destined for a year ago.
5. Big E
If looking towards the future is the main goal of finding a Batista replacement, few men would appear to have as much upside as Big E. He's got Batista's power, better conditioning, and brings even more athleticism to the table. As for Big E himself, any sudden change in character would probably be a welcome one, as he's been spinning his talented wheels for months.
I would suggest this only because the Shield dress in all black and Rusev seems to have a vendetta against that color for some reason. Might make sense for Evolution to take advantage of this.
3. Bad News Barrett
The current Intercontinental champ is still young enough to be considered the future, but experienced enough that he wouldn't be a liability to the group. He's tall, athletic and has a mean streak. He would also bring some gold to Evolution as well as some much needed Bad News vignettes.
The current US champ fits the size requirement to be in Evolution. He's got the backstage connections and experience being a champion. He's also got a reason to hate the Shield too. Seems like the logical choice if they do decide to pull the plug on Big Dave.
1. Roman Reigns
A long shot, I know. But what better way to destroy The Shield than by having its core ripped away from it? Replacing Batista with Roman Reigns would instantly make Evolution as feared and respected as they once were. It would give them attention and a young stud to promote while they ran wild on the rest of the roster. This would require a heel turn from Reigns, but he's not ready to be a solo babyface yet anyway. Put him in Evolution for six months, then have Triple H turn on him. Bam, WrestleMania 31: Triple H vs. Reigns.