The Animal, like any former WWE star who is physically able to compete, is consistently the subject of rumors. Fans want to see their favorites come back even if the stars themselves have moved on. Ask Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.
While he did leave the proverbial door open, Batista certainly didn't sound like he's seeing how his wrestling boots fit anytime soon when he tweeted the following.
Dave Bautista @DaveBautista
Here's a cryptic message: I'm focused on movies now. No #MMA anytime soon. No #WWE plans either, but not opposed. Hopefully #MyFansSupportMe2013-5-1 22:55:26
Then again, WWE stars have lied to us before.
In 2011, Chris Jericho tweeted (via ProWrestling.net), "Let me get something straight...I will never wrestle for the WWE again." Jericho, of course, went on to return to WWE twice. That tweet is no longer up on Twitter.
Discussion of a Batista return picked up when he reportedly said (h/t PWInsider.com via WrestlingInc.com) he was interested in working for WWE again, especially to face Brock Lesnar. The interest may still be there on his end, but nothing appears imminent.
If the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania were fast approaching, it would make sense to dismiss this as potential misdirection. Those events usually boast a number of surprises and Batista would be nearly 300 pounds worth of surprise.
As it stands, we may end up seeing Batista in a WWE ring in the future given that the check Vince McMahon hands him is a nice fat one.
For now, it looks like Hollywood has a strong grip on the former world champ. It will take an ideal scenario and a big payday to pull him back into a world with no stunt doubles.
WWE's list of part-timers is going to be Batista-less for the time being.