According to Pro Wrestling Fandom, Dave Bautista made his debut on the May 9, 2002, episode of “Smackdown” under the name of Deacon Batista, a bad-guy enforcer for Reverend D-Von. Together the two tag-teamed against Faarooq and Randy Orton and got the win, a situation that continued over the next few weeks as Orton unsuccessfully challenged the duo with a variety of partners. Batista and D-Von eventually split up, however, but early in 2003, Bautista got an even better gig. He joined forces with Triple H, Ric Flair, and Orton to form the stable of heels known as Evolution.
By year’s end, all members of Evolution would hold all of the men’s titles: Orton was the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Triple H the World Heavyweight Champion, and Flair and Bautista were the World Tag Team Champions. Over the course of 2004, though, things kind of went downhill a bit for the team, and Triple H, in particular, began to see Bautista as a threat to his own advancement within the WWE organization. The last straw may have come when he suggested Bautista not enter the 2005 Royal Rumble, advice Bautista ignored and went on to win the event. This won him the chance to take on the champion of his choosing at that year’s Wrestlemania, and he chose to take on Triple H, thus effectively breaking up the band.