Opponents Batista should face instead of Triple H at Wrestlemania 35
Accomplished WWE superstar turned bonafide movie star, Dave Bautista has returned to WWE and will face longtime adversary Triple H at Wrestlemania 35. Their match is now one of 'no disqualification'- a stipulation likely added to heighten the readily apparent lack of genuine conflict. The entire occasion feels like a contrived victory lap to celebrate Batista's illustrious, peak years with the company and to redeem his disastrous return in 2014-- where due to extenuating circumstances, Batista was quickly shifted from a triumphantly returning babyface, to a utility heel used to elevate rising talent.
Batista's surprise return started strong-- ambushing Ric Flair backstage the night of his 70th birthday celebration. The voyeuristic film production coupled with a genuine surprise return made for the beginnings of something truly unique and intriguing. Unfortunately, the feud as it currently stands is nothing short of unintentionally comical (see their baffling exchange above from RAW on March 11th). Their first face-to-face encounter in nearly half a decade on Monday Night RAW felt strangely stilted in execution, and severely under cooked in preparation. Newcomers won't fully appreciate the past they share- and for longtime viewers, it comes across as hopelessly derivative, as the two have faced off previously on numerous high profile occasions.
Two past memorable encounters include their title bout at Wrestlemania 21 (where Triple H was accompanied by Evolution stablemate Ric Flair, a group formally comprised of all three men plus Randy Orton) for the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista emerged victorious- signalling a changing of the guard, ushering in a new era of top-level superstars (further cemented by John Cena defeating the long-maligned JBL for the WWE Championship the same night). The two would meet again to settle the score at Vengeance 2005- in a blood-soaked, slobberknocker Hell in a Cell match- where Batista won yet again.