Batista’s return to WWE has thus far been met with much more fan approval than his last run in 2013. The Animal hasn’t even gotten started yet of course but there just doesn’t seem to be the dark cloud that was hanging over him the last time around.
Much of that has to do with the fact that this time, Batista is not aiming for the top spot. Randy Orton was the WWE World Heavyweight champion during that time and even though he was a heel, he was a popular heel. Then there’s the fact that every time someone comes back, there’s always a danger of fans turning on him.
After all, Batista hasn’t been a full-time WWE Superstar since 2010. Fans tend to circle the wagons when it comes to anyone that’s perceived as a part-timer. However much of the reason why Dave is not under the gun this time is because he’s not standing in Daniel Bryan’s way to the top. That alone was enough to derail Batista’s return before he even laced up the boots again six year ago.
Indeed, Batista is returning to a much different WWE than the one he left. Bryan is on top but he’s heel now and he’s on SmackDown Live. Randy Orton is on the blue brand as well. The Shield was riding high when Batista left but now Monday Night Raw is Roman Reigns’ show. However, the one constant in WWE is The McMahon Family and they’re more of a presence than ever before.
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But Batista is back for Triple H this time and no one in the family is going to be able to stop him. Dave wants to prove that he is the better man and he wants to destroy The Game in order to do that. He hasn’t cut a promo yet regarding why he wants so badly to take Hunter down, but fans are surely filling in the blanks by now. The former world champion has a score to settle and he couldn’t have picked a better target.
Not only is Triple H one of the most powerful people in the company, he’s also a legend. Batista has made a name for himself outside of the pro wrestling business, so it’s logical that he would want to come back in against a top guy. When it comes to the idea of one more WWE run, Batista has only ever had one guy in mind and that’s Triple H.
But there’s also another positive for Batista facing The Game. The truth is that Batista did the best work of his career against his former Evolution mentor. Dave had some Hall of Fame moments after the group disbanded and he looked good against guys like Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. However he never looked as good with anyone else. Triple H was his ideal dance partner.
Watch The Animal return to Raw!
That’s good for Dave, mostly because he already has his critics when it comes to his ring work. Those critics believe that Batista merely punches and kicks his way through matches, rather than actually wrestling them. Many guys have passed through WWE before that employed that same sort of style and they too had to endure criticism for it. But despite the criticism, Batista is different.
From the moment he joined Evolution, it was obvious that Batista was a star. He was green and he lacked direction. But working alongside Triple H and Ric Flair did nothing but help his cause. The Animal learned the business and more importantly, he learned how to conduct business. Batista had the benefit of working with two legends, but he likely would not have been given that opportunity had WWE not seen his potential.
Triple H will take care of Batista in the ring. He’ll make Dave look like the star that he is and their match at WrestleMania 35 should be top notch. Batista has had the itch to come back for quite some time and it’s clear that he’s in the right spot against the right opponent. But what happens after Mania?
Relive the moment that Batista turned on Triple H!
s The Animal coming back to WWE? Many fans feel that this latest run is nothing but temporary and then Dave will head back to Hollywood. If that’s the case, then at least he will have a marquee moment on The Grandest Stage of Them All and maybe he can go out with a better taste in his mouth than he did in 2014.
But what are the chances that he could stick around longer? If his acting career gives him enough time to commit to WWE, then Batista could indeed be around for a while. If that happens, who does he face? Roman Reigns? Seth Rollins? What about Bobby Lashley or Brock Lesnar?
Batista versus Lesnar is a dream match and there’s not many of those left in WWE. If the timing is right and if the storyline is good, then perhaps The Animal could square off against The Beast Incarnate. Would Dave look as good with Brock as he does with Hunter, or is that even a realistic possibility?
Batista’s last run was doomed from the start and that was through no fault of his own. If this is indeed a reset, then everything seems to be heading in the right direction. It’s still early of course and anything can happen. But Batista has been here before and he knows what to expect. He also knows that he will need to hold up his end of the bargain at WrestleMania and he will most certainly do just that.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Wrestling Rumors. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes,YouTube, iHeart Radio, boinkstudios.com and live every Friday at 12pm EST on Wrestling Rumors Facebook Live