On this past Monday’s Raw, WWE confirmed the return of “The Animal”, Batista.
Batista, who left WWE in 2010 to pursue a career in MMA, is returning on the January 20th edition of Raw. His return is coming six days before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, and it’s possible that Batista enter the Royal Rumble match. There is speculation that Batista could win this match, and go on to face Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX.
I’m not opposed to the idea of Batista vs. Orton, but if Orton is going to keep the title until WrestleMania, then he is not the right opponent for Batista. Batista is coming back for the first time in almost four years. He, much like The Rock has in the past, is building a WWE schedule, based around his movie schedule. Just like with The Rock last year, a title match would hurt the title, more than it would help Batista.
Last year, at the Royal Rumble, The Rock defeated CM Punk for the WWE Championship. The Rock ended Punk’s reign with the title at 434 days. It was a cool moment for fans of The Rock, and it seemed like a good time for Punk to lose the title. However, when WrestleMania 29 rolled around, everybody knew The Rock was leaving WWE after the show to return to Hollywood, leaving no mystery in his title match with John Cena. This hurt the appeal and quality of the match, as most of it was spent trying to convince fans that there was a chance The Rock could win, which obviously was not the truth, as Cena did go on to regain the title.
The same thing could happen in this situation with Batista. Though not confirmed, Batista appears to be coming back for just a short run. His movie career appears to be getting off the ground, as he will be starring in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is scheduled to come out this summer. If that’s the case, WWE does not need Batista in the title picture.
If Batista wins the Royal Rumble, he would be going up against whoever is holding the title at WrestleMania, presumably Orton, but it wouldn’t matter because he couldn’t win. That would be two straight years of WWE setting up a predictable title match in the main event of the biggest show of the year, and that is not the message they want to send to the fans.
Batista has many WrestleMania options, a title-less Orton, Punk, Cena, Triple H, maybe even The Undertaker, all of which would serve him better than a title match. The build to all those potential matches would excite many fans, and they certainly could enhance the buyrate of WrestleMania.
I would like to see Batista-Punk. Punk is the resident lone wolf of the WWE, and Batista held that post before him, even using a song called “I Walk Alone” for his entrance.
Plus, the match wouldn’t be half-bad either. Punk is pretty good at wrestling with big guys, if you need proof, go watch his match with Brock Lesnar at this past year’s SummerSlam.
But most importantly, Batista could be dealing with a bit of ring rust, and Punk is just the guy to pair him up with. The Rock showed none last year at the Royal Rumble, same for The Undertaker at WrestleMania, the common denominator in their matches? CM Punk.
Are you happy to see Batista returning to the WWE? Who would you like to see him face in a match at WrestleMania XXX? Leave you thoughts in the comments section below.