Whilst the Royal Rumble is becoming a hugely anticipated pay-per-view show—as it always is—there is another issue to discuss before the show, as Batista is set for an imminent return to the WWE.
The Jan. 20 edition of Raw sees The Animal make his long-awaited return to the company, and speculation is rife as to which direction he will head with WrestleMania season just around the corner.
For starters, what guise will Batista be returning under? The heel we grew so accustomed to seeing him perform as for the majority of his WWE career?
Or will he be a crowd-pleaser, a guy who could perhaps have some big plans up his sleeve for some pretty big people.
Let's take a look at predicting how Batista's return to the WWE will pan out.
Even though the bulk of his WWE career was spent as a heel—perhaps most notably as part of Evolution—it would be smart for the company to return Batista as a babyface.
Let's face it, he will be massively over when his music hits on Jan. 20—and rightly so. It is a massively anticipated comeback, and on the eve of one of the biggest pay-per-view shows of the year.
It is almost irrelevant who he goes after on his return to the company that night on Raw. Batista will be over, without a doubt.
That would make it a good reason for the WWE to run with Batista as a face. He can certainly deliver the character, after all.
What better way to kick off a return to the WWE than to go at it on Jan. 20 with one of the guys he used to wrestle with?
That night, if Batista leaves his mark on the champion just before the Royal Rumble, will set down a huge marker for his return to the company.
They have had some epic tussles down the years—despite both being in Evolution for so long. Whilst I'm not suggesting they will enter into a full-blown rivalry straight away, it would set the tone for what could be an absolutely epic rivalry.
The Animal has history at this event—he won it in 2005 after eliminating John Cena last.
Why not again in 2014? It's certainly conceivable; he is one of a handful of Superstars who could go the distance and be the last man standing of 30.
The thing that swings this year's edition of the Rumble in his favor is that the other stars who could win have the potential to be tied up elsewhere.
CM Punk looks set to go at it with Triple H, while Daniel Bryan has a number of options available to him—should he fail in the Rumble.
Batista's win at the Royal Rumble will, of course, put him in the spotlight for WrestleMania 30. It seems logical—the return has been so hyped, and he is an absolutely colossal star in terms of the WWE.
His rivalry with Randy Orton will then really begin, and it will carry all the way through to WrestleMania 30.
That includes the Elimination Chamber—where both men will be involved—and Orton will retain his belt to set up a thrilling clash for the biggest show of the year.
It will hopefully be well hyped and will draw on the vicious battles both men have had in the past few years.
It could be superb, if done correctly.
The rivalry with Orton will culminate at WrestleMania 30, and it will see Orton finally relinquish the title to The Animal.
Batista's return has been years in the offing, but I predict it will see him win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the biggest show in WWE history.
Whether there are stipulations involved depends entirely on how the rivalry develops—it could see yet another brutal steel cage match, akin to the one they had a few years back.
One thing is for certain: Batista's return adds plenty of star power to the WWE—and he will be rewarded with the biggest belt in the company come WrestleMania.