Dave Bautista Returns to WWE for WrestleMania 35 Match

Batista set up a match with Triple H for WrestleMania after attacking Ric Flair ...

Dave Bautista returned to WWE at the end of last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw, attacking Ric Flair and calling out WWE COO Triple H before disappearing backstage.

Batista, who is set to reprise his role as Drax the Destroyer in Avengers: Endgame this April, reunited with Evolution at SmackDown‘s 1000th episode celebration last October. During the in-ring segment, which included Batista, Flair, Triple H and Randy Orton, Batista put over that Triple H as a 14-time World Champion.

“There isn’t anything he hasn’t done in this business,” Batista said. “Except … beat me.”

They teased tension between Batista and Triple H before Flair seemed to calm them down and they hugged to close the segment.

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Batista disappeared from WWE television following that one-night return.

Triple H was supposed to throw a 70th birthday celebration for Ric Flair on last night’s Raw. To close the show, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon brought out the entire WWE roster to the stage before introducing Shawn Michaels, Ricky Steamboat, Kurt Angle and Sting to come down to the ring. They were going to present Flair with a custom title belt.

However, when Flair’s music played, he didn’t come out on stage.

Suddenly, the camera cut to backstage where Batista was dragging a cameraman to Flair’s locker room. He slammed the door and emerged a minute later, dragging Flair out of the room by his jacket and leaving him laying on the concrete.

“Do I have your attention now, Hunter?” Batista yelled.

Triple H ran backstage and found Flair laying on the ground. He called for a doctor as the show went off the air.

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Obviously, this is setting up a match between Batista and Triple H at WrestleMania 35. There are a few interesting dynamics to this match.

First, they’re bringing Batista back as a heel. This could seem problematic given his popularity as the Drax character. But, the last time Batista returned to WWE he returned as a babyface and the crowd rejected it. Granted, that was at a time when Daniel Bryan had a surge of support and the fans wanted Bryan as WWE Champion.

Batista is so effective as a heel he shouldn’t be hard to hate.

Batista always said he wanted to return for one more match with Triple H, but it was hard to believe that match would be this year. Triple H underwent surgery for a torn pectoral muscle in November and would reportedly miss this year’s WrestleMania due to his recovery.

The only match that makes sense for Batista is Triple H. WWE tried the Batista-Orton match in 2014 and it did not work — they added Bryan to it — and WWE framed Triple H viewing Flair “like a father to him” on last night’s show.

It’s the only match that makes sense.

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