Next week, Batista will end his lengthy exile from the WWE when he returns on the final edition of Raw before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
He was the first man to be a confirmed entrant in the Royal Rumble—an event he won back in 2005 after a controversial finish with John Cena. There is plenty of hype around The Animal picking up a second Rumble victory—and it is almost certain he will be one of the final few men at this year's event.
The question is, will the WWE make him the last man standing in 2014? There is plenty of evidence to suggest that it could well happen, so let's project how Batista will do in this year's Royal Rumble match.
If Randy Orton Wins, Batista May Win Too
If the Royal Rumble match is left to the end of the card at the pay-per-view, then we will get a clearer view of Batista's chances before the match has even begun.
Randy Orton vs. John Cena will determine who is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion—with the challenger for that belt at WrestleMania 30 coming from the Royal Rumble match. If Orton retains the belt and advances forward as champion, it heightens the chance of a Batista victory, too.
That is because the two men have such deep history with each other, and they have had some fantastic rivalries in the past. It would be superb to see The Animal's first real feud back in the WWE with the twisted, demonic heel character Orton is currently pulling off so well. Batista is more than capable of a run as a crowd-pleasing face, which makes them well matched.
There is also the Evolution stable to reach for when trying to add more fuel to a Batista vs. Orton rivalry. It wasn't just Batista and Orton who were in that group—its leader was the current COO of the company, Triple H. Which side Triple H would take in the rivalry adds yet more intrigue to a potential feud—all in all, it just seems to work.
There is also a possibility of Brock Lesnar going on to win the belts at the Elimination Chamber, too. That would again be another suggestion that Batista will win the Royal Rumble—the two have never really worked a significant program together, and it would be fascinating to see two absolute powerhouses doing battle on the biggest stage of all.
Daniel Bryan May Get Screwed Out of the Rumble
Arguably Batista's biggest challenger for the Royal Rumble is Daniel Bryan. Up until the Jan. 13 edition of Raw, the plan in many people's minds was for Bryan to turn back face at the Royal Rumble and eliminate Wyatt in the process.
Those plans could well have changed now, though—after Bryan returned to his face character on Raw. That opens up the opportunity for this rivalry between Wyatt and Bryan to run—and Wyatt is due to get his revenge at some point.
That may well now occur at the Royal Rumble. If the WWE decide to give Bryan vs. Wyatt more legs beyond the Rumble, we could see a scenario where Bray gets a ton of heat by eliminating Bryan from the Rumble. Which, of course, is good news for one man in particular.
There are others who could push Batista in the Rumble. CM Punk is one who immediately springs to mind. However, there may be other plans in the pipeline for him too, as he teased a potential rivalry with Triple H on Raw this past week.
If Daniel Bryan doesn't win the Royal Rumble, it's hard to see anyone other than The Animal winning it.
Batista Is a Logical Rumble Winner
Above all else, Batista will win the Rumble because he is a top star. He is befitting of the main event at WrestleMania 30 and is worthy of becoming champion once again.
All the other top stars seem to have alternative rivalries mapped out for them to keep them occupied through WrestleMania—whereas Batista has nothing in his path yet, largely because he is yet to return.
The Rumble match is the perfect breeding ground for The Animal to launch his comeback with the WWE. And he'll do it with a Rumble victory.