The rumors can finally be put to rest, Batista has returned to the WWE!

The seeds were planted late last year during Smackdown Live’s 1000th episode, where Evolution had a reunion. “The Animal” took the microphone last during that segment back in October, and he made sure to let everyone know that Triple H never beat him. The two former heavyweight champions had a bit of a stare down, but eventually hugged it out.

The rumors of a Triple H/Batista match at WrestleMania started there, but quickly ended after Hunter’s injury at Crown Jewel. The match seemingly wasn’t going to happen. Rumors of if (and when) Batista would returned seemed to die down. That is, until Triple H gave an update on his injury at the end of January.

“I just got cleared to start training which anyone that’s had a serious injury the difference between rehabbing for a couple hours a day and actually training is like the difference of trying to get better and actually better yourself so I just got clearance to start training, training so I’m excited and as I sit here right now I’m extremely sore which was one week ago I got the clearance so the training has already been stepped up, but feeling good, you know?”

The Animal Returns To RAW

In an already emotionally charged RAW, the much anticipated Ric Flair birthday celebration to close out the show. WWE superstars lined the entrance way as Triple H stood in the ring with a number of legends from Flair’s past. Sting, Kurt Angle, Ricky Steamboat, and Shawn Michaels all awaited Flair’s walk down the entrance ramp. But it never came. After a moment of awkward silence, we cut to the backstage area to see Batista dragging a camera man behind him. Batista then enters Flair’s dressing room, and shortly emerges dragging the lifeless body of Flair behind him. He then asks Hunter if he has his attention.

Batista after attacking Ric Flair on RAW
Gotta love the subtle nods to “Bluetista”

I know most wanted Becky Lynch to destroy Ric Flair. But if we’re going to get a Batista revenge tour against all members of Evolution because of this, I’m here for it. Triple H/Batista won’t make Meltzer’s MOTY candidates, but it will bring a big match to WrestleMania. It will be even more interesting to see if Batista sticks around for a little bit after the match. Either way, the road to WrestleMania just got a bit more bumpy.