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Batista returns to WWE, challenges Triple H and ruins Ric Flair's birthday

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Batista returns to WWE, challenges Triple H and ruins Ric Flair’s birthday

The Animal returned in shocking fashion on Monday night.

Batista made a long awaited and much welcomed return to the 2/25/2019 edition of Raw by attacking Ric Flair during his 70th birthday party and taunting Triple H – likely signaling an eventual WrestleMania confrontation.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

The history between these three men is long documented. Triple H and Ric Flair were responsible for mentoring Batista, both on and off screen, as a part of the faction Evolution and ushered The Animal to the top of the WWE food chain. Because of them, Batista was able to flourish and to become a multiple time world champion and a key fixture on WWE programming. However, in 2010 Batista stepped away from the squared circle to pursue a successful career in Hollywood which included a beloved turn as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Batista returned to WWE for a brief stint in 2014 and though he was positioned prominently and even performed in the main event of WrestleMania 30, Batista expressed a significant amount of frustration with his character and the company as a whole. Since that time, Batista has expressed strong desires to return to the company in several media interviews and press junkets while promoting his various films but, curiously, was not seen on WWE programming for over four years, aside from a brief cameo appearance this past October on the 1000th episode of SmackDown Live!. That is, until last night.

In the closing moments of last night’s Raw, Batista was shown backstage dragging a camera man, brandishing a new nose ring, and brutalizing Ric Flair during his 70th birthday celebration. Then, like a true action star, Batista looked directly into the camera and delivered a cheesy yet thunderous one liner to Triple H, demanding his attention.

Batista has gone on record multiple times that he wants a swan song WrestleMania match with Triple H, and stars may have aligned for it to happen. The current WrestleMania card has yet to take shape and is rather underwhelming with the lack of presence from The Undertaker, John Cena, or Kurt Angle and Batista vs. Triple H would be a desperately needed spectacle for The Show of Shows.

And c’mon — WWE programming has never been subtle with the foreshadowing. We’re more than likely to see Triple H vs. Batista at MetLife Stadium this year.

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