With the recent news of Dave Batista's return to WWE after a three-year absence, talk has inevitably turned to just what the company intends to do with the star.
Is he coming back solely for a WrestleMania appearance, similar to The Rock or Undertaker? Or can we expect to see him regularly throughout 2014?
Interestingly, in this week's (subscriber-required) F4W Newsletter, Bryan Alvarez notes that WWE is planning to use the former WWE champion on a long-term basis.
He will be returning on the Raw prior to the Royal Rumble, wrestling on that show, and likely winning the event and going on to face Randy Orton at WrestleMania. Batista, who will turn 45 just prior to his re-debut, left the company several years ago due to his disappointment in the PG direction. He has been doing movie roles of late including Guardians of the Galaxy. The idea is that this is not a one-time Mania deal, but rather a "last run" that could go as long as two years, with the exception of time this summer spent promoting his film.
Of course, while this news may be well-received by Batista fans, one has to wonder just how likely it is that the star will be sticking around.
First of all, he's 45 and has been plagued by muscle tears and various injuries throughout the past decade. Even if he wants to have a featured role in WWE, will his body allow it?
His blossoming film career is also an issue. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a a major, blockbuster movie, and Batista has a strong supporting role—he plays famous comic book character Drax the Destroyer.
And will the star really be willing to turn down big-time movies, leading roles and millions of dollars just so he can main event "B" shows like Battleground or Night of Champions?