It’s been two and a half years since we last saw former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Batista in a WWE ring, and it doesn’t look like we’ll see him return anytime soon.
According to a new report from Cageside Seats, The Animal is “done with WWE,” and he isn’t planning to return to the company for a retirement match. Of course, after he left WWE in the spring of 2014, the ex-pro wrestler turned movie star said that he would love to come back and have a retirement match against his mentor, Triple H. But, it looks like he’s changed his mind.
Batista was offered a special guest referee spot in the main event of last year’s WrestleMania 32, which ended up being Triple H vs. Roman Reigns, but he turned it down. At the time, he was furious with the company because of how they handled the Titus O’Neil situation. He also advised Titus to quit the company, but, the former Tag Team Champion didn’t take The Animal’s advice.
During a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Batista said that he would actually be interested in coming back if he could just work the non-televised live events, because those shows are much easier to do than WWE’s weekly television shows.
“At the end of the day, I love WWE, and I’ve proven that I wouldn’t wrestle anywhere else. I feel like wrestling anywhere else is a step down. I love the company, and I’ll always be appreciative for what they’ve done for me, and I would love to go back, it’s just that they’re really hard to deal with, and right now, my passion is acting. But if they would allow me to go back and just do house shows, I’d be all over it, because then you just skip over all the red tape — you don’t have to deal with any of the writers, or any of that bulls**t.”
Batista did express frustration with how his return was handled by WWE back in 2014 during his appearance on Chris Jericho’s podcast — Talk is Jericho. He said that he wanted to come back as a heel, but the company thought he should come back as a babyface, which he knew would flop. Long story short, it did, and WWE had to change their plans because of the audience’s poor reaction to his return.
Batista’s departure from WWE in mid-2014 led to him being replaced in The Authority, which at the time was just the Evolution trio which featured himself, Randy Orton, and Triple H, by Seth Rollins, who turned on The Shield on the very same night that Batista left.
Originally, Batista was supposed to come back and have a couple more matches, but his transition to Hollywood was going so well, and he didn’t want to stop the momentum that he had built in his new career.
Batista, who will turn 48 in a couple of weeks, is still in great shape, and he probably will be for a very long time. So, the door will always be open for him to return to the ring. Will he return anytime soon? Probably not. But, it’s hard to believe that he’ll never return to the ring.
The Animal is also a great candidate for the WWE Hall of Fame, as he was one of the company’s biggest stars in the mid and late-2000s, and whenever he does get inducted, he’ll likely be inducted by Triple H. There’s also a chance that the entire Evolution faction [Triple H, Ric Flair, and Randy Orton] will induct him whenever he goes in.
[Featured Image by WWE]