Now that Batista is reportedly finishing up his current run with WWE, as he's expected to take time off for what was a planned hiatus that the company knew about when re-signing him, I'm sure he looks back and thinks, "Boy, I didn't see that one coming!" If he doesn't, then he's just not being honest.
By all accounts, the WWE return of "The Animal" on paper seemed like a guaranteed hit. Generally when a WWE Superstar who was on top for a given period of time makes a return after several years away from the spotlight, he's instantly over, or even super-over, as soon as he makes his first appearance. Whether or not said-Superstar can maintain that level typically depends on the amount of talent he or she has to stay over.
When the news that Batista was returning to WWE broke, it was an instant hit on the internet. Anything regarding Batista's return dominated the attention certain articles received, and garnered the most views. The feedback from the fans was somewhat mixed, but leaned more towards them being excited he was coming back.
Hell, I was even inspired to write an editorial based on the confusion I had for people being so into a Batista return. It was called, Batista Is Back In WWE And I Could Care Less. I basically spoke about the interest fans seemed to have in his return, and questioned if they remembered that he wasn't exactly "gold" on the mic, his matches weren't anything to brag about as a whole, he had some exceptions with the right people at the right times, but for the most part wasn't "exceptional" in the ring. So, why was everyone so jacked up?
I later did what amounted to a "Nanny-nanny boo-boo, I told you so" editorial, The Least Exciting Return In History? where I looked back at his debut TV appearance.
The fans immediately hated him. It was almost shocking how much they seemed to unanimously dislike him. Early on the popular chant was "Boo-tista," combining the typical "boo" with the name "Batista." It became his new nickname, whether he liked it or not. They should have made "Boo-tista" t-shirts, that's a license to print money. Or maybe they did make "Boo-tista" shirts? I'm sure you'll tell me in the "Comments" section. I don't recall there ever being any.
On Sunday night at the WWE Payback pay-per-view, "The Animal" continued a trend that was a part of his latest run in WWE -- his attire. Early on, he wore a pair of jeans that were so tight that when he got physical, he tore the butt off of them and his whole ass was showing on live television. He would wear goofy ass hats, tight ass pink shirts, bright neon sneakers -- the works. At Payback, he came out in giant arm-wraps that were solid blue. He had leg stuff -- solid blue. His tights -- solid blue. So, of course, the fans in Chicago, who are among the most passionate -- and most creative -- immediately dubbed him, "Blue-tista."
He walked into the company thinking he was going to win the Royal Rumble, the fans would love him, and he'd go on to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from that dastardly Randy Orton.
Things didn't exactly work out that way.
No, for "Boo-tista," it quickly became evident that his main event at WrestleMania XXX against Randy Orton was now all about Daniel Bryan and this phenomenon known as "The Yes! Movement."
Batista was now just background noise. He was a side-dish. Garnish, at best. The focus was on Daniel Bryan winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after being held down for so long, all-the-while the fans, who wanted nothing to do with Batista, as if he were the exact opposite of what they wanted, which was the leader of the "Yes! Movement" to have his "moment" finally happen at the main event of the biggest show of the year.
And it did.
Meanwhile, WWE decides to bring back Evolution to give a boost to The Shield. In this scenario, Batista became one person in a six-person program.
Not even close to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture he envisioned when initially putting pen-to-paper to make his triumphant WWE return. Nope, he's just one of a few trying to help elevate The Shield, laying down for three-counts on a regular basis along the way to make it happen.
Whether or not Batista appears on RAW tonight, or sticks around for another pay-per-view is irrelevant. He's on the way out sooner than later for sure, so WWE won't be giving him a big push any time soon. He's done his part for this run, now it's nearing time for things to move on without him.
How do I feel "The Animal's" long-awaited WWE return went? ...