Batista began his career in the WWE as D-Von's sidekick—back when he was a reverend (I know, WWE was crap back then too!).
He didn't really do much at that time besides help Dudley win a few matches. Then, over on RAW, they decided to gang a bunch of wrestlers together and realized all that was left was to add a big guy into the stable Batista.
So he found himself with a new job (one where people actually vaguely remembered his name after the show ended). During this time he screwed Stone Cold, won the tag titles with the Nature Boy and broke Goldberg's leg, earning himself a nice $100,000 in the process (not bad for one night's work).
All this happened, but people still saw Batista as practically a brick wall—run into it and you'll have a few nasty bruises, but try to speak to it and you won't get much of a conversation (I say this when probably that was the character he was supposed to be playing).
But all of this changed when teammate Randy Orton won the big one. You see, when this happened you just knew that Evolution was screwed and, guess what, about three months later Batista had won the Royal Rumble (even though it was clear that his feet had hit the floor before Cena's).
Around this time Batista became worth watching. You were never going to get a five-star match out of him, but you'd probably see the other guy get pummeled, which was always pretty amusing.
At Wrestlemania 21, Batista beat his former mentor, HHH, in a pretty decent match, and held onto the title until he injured himself, meaning that he wouldn't be headlining the next Mania.
However, as predicted, Batista came back and won the title again, and finally Batista put on good matches, and it wasn't because of the opposition, as it had been before, but because now Batista had finally learnt how to wrestle slightly.
His improvements carried on until Wrestlemania 23 where, he put probably the second best match of the year (number 1 being HBK vs. Cena on RAW) against Taker.
But since then Batista's improvements have stalled dramatically, and he has now reverted back to the wrestler he was when he was backing up D-Von.
Matches now consist of Batista getting slightly hurt (you wouldn't think so, though, being as Batista couldn't sell a punch to a 3-year-old) and then trying to recreate an Ultimate Warrior-type hype up before spearing the other guy and hitting a powerbomb (a move that was botched most of the time).
Plus, he couldn't cut a promo to save his life. I can't remember a time when Batista's promo didn't include the line "[insert name], get down here now so I can kick your ass."
Even WWE seemed to be realising that Batista was on a downward spiral when they stuck him in a match with Umaga at WM 24 rather than in the main event. Now this was when I really began to dislike Batista as a wrestler.
In a match where Umaga gave it everything he could, Umaga had a right to be a little pissed at the way he was being treated by WWE and yet still for the fans a 400-pound man did everything he could to put on a good solid match for 10 minutes.
The problem was Batista didn't turn up that night. Every move he made he botched, and every punch that was thrown at him, he didn't sell. It was a sorry sight to see when Umaga was giving his all and Batista couldn't be bothered.
From that point onwards, Batista's ego seemed to come first and get in the way of everything else. His matches became sloppier, and his promos became crappier.
Batista began relying on what a I call the "John Cena factor," by this I mean Batista was being carried by his fan base and that he was now stealing main event spots from top superstars like HBK and Jeff Hardy—while he was on RAW—because a bunch of kids preferred a guy who speared people a lot to guys like John Morrison who deserved a push last year.
Batista's injury was an early Christmas gift for most fans, as Batista was probably the favourite for the Rumble match and it was a certainty that we were going to see Cena vs. Batista II at Mania, a match that every child would enjoy but would disappoint nearly every fan who can tell a decent match from a crap match (which this one was).
At least someone like Chris Jericho might get the reward his hard work deserves with a main event spot at Wrestlemania.
Simply put, Batista is a pretty good wrestler, someone who has benefited from the restrictions that has stopped others to shine.
WWE is scared of the man's huge ego, as evident when they give him the World Heavyweight Championship (albeit only for a few weeks) to please him after he offered an ultimatum to the board and when he beat Orton recently, even though for storyline purposes it was clear to see that Batista should have jobbed to Orton.
Batista wouldn't have lasted five minutes in the WWE in '98, and he is only there because of the serious shortage of talent on RAW at the moment.