Batista was offered the opportunity to appear at Wrestlemania 32 by Vince McMahon, according to a report from prowrestlingsheet.com. It appears Batista met with the WWE Chairman in Orlando before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. McMahon offered “The Animal” a spot at the company’s biggest event of the year in Dallas, though in a non-wrestling capacity. And according to the report, Batista declined the invitation. However, the door was left open for McMahon and the company to present other ideas to Batista to make a Wrestlemania appearance a reality.
Batista left the WWE as a full-time performer in 2010, citing creative differences and a slight disdain for the direction the company was headed. He did make his return in January of 2014 for a short run that lasted until June of the same year. Original plans upon his return to the company called for Batista to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania 30 in New Orleans. Those plans changed, however, when Daniel Bryan’s popularity skyrocketed.
Batista won the 2014 Royal Rumble, becoming the fifth superstar to win the match multiple times. That victory guaranteed him a main event spot at Wrestlemania and an opportunity to compete for the biggest prize in the industry. The storyline had Batista returning to the company as a face, but the negative reaction he received after the Royal Rumble and during his match with Alberto Del Rio at Elimination Chamber forced WWE to change course and turn Big Dave heel. It became en vogue to call him “Boo-tista” as the reactions worsened.
Batista got the spot he was promised, but Vince and WWE weren’t about to have two heels close out their biggest show of the year, as Randy Orton entered the event as champion. Daniel Bryan was inserted into the main event by virtue of his victory over Triple H earlier in the evening. Bryan would then force Batista to tap out to end the night, sending the WWE Universe into a frenzy seeing their favorite star become champ.
Batista, along with Orton and Triple H reformed 3/4 of their popular stable, Evolution, following Wrestlemania. It was one of WWE’s more admirable audibles, placing the three together once they realized Batista could not become champion. Evolution would go on to battle The Shield at the next two pay-per-views in two very strong matches. The end of his 2014 run came when Triple H denied him an opportunity at the championship and Batista quit again, blurring the lines of reality and storyline.
Batista’s livelihood has certainly not suffered as a result of his departure from wrestling. His transition to acting has been surprisingly successful with key roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Spectre, the most recent installment of the James Bond franchise. According to the report, the Guardians sequel begins filming in February, and that may have played into his decision, although the fact that he left the door open hints that it’s not a make-or-break factor.
The idea that Vince McMahon would pitch Batista just goes to show that they need as many stars as they can get for the Dallas show in April. A rash of injuries to John Cena, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio has forced WWE to scramble when it comes to creating a lineup worthy of a record-breaking attendance. The Rock, Triple H and Chris Jericho have all upped the ante, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have Batista in the fold as well. You have to believe that he’d like to make up for his last run, even if it were to be a one-off appearance as was suggested. And no word on whether Triple H had any part in the discussions.
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