After being away from the sport for nearly four years, former WWE and world heavyweight champion Batista won the 30-man over-the-top-rope Battle Royal at the 2014 Royal Rumble on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Batista entered the Rumble at No. 28, and outlasted Roman Reigns to win the epic event. The WrestleMania Twitter feed reminded fans what lies ahead:
WrestlingZone.com highlighted a key point in the match:
OW - Batista spears reigns in the hip, that looked like it hurt. Reigns nails a spear of his own. Both men down #Wrestlezone— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) January 27, 2014
Batista went on Twitter to comment about the big win:
Awesome night! And @VinceMcMahon walked away from my Royal Rumble win healthy and happy.. Love me or hate me thanks to everyone who watched.— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) January 27, 2014
The crowd reaction was poor with a chorus of boos filling the arena as the match came to a finish. Mick Foley wasn't pleased at the conclusion of the match:
Does @WWE actually hate their own audience? I've never been so disgusted with a PPV.— Mick Foley (@realmickfoley) January 27, 2014
Not only did Batista win one of the most important matches of the year for the company in his return to in-ring action, but he also has guaranteed himself a spot in the main event of WrestleMania XXX as the challenger for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The Animal is a six-time world champion going for No. 7.
While Batista was viewed as a favorite by many fans due to the heavy promotional push he received upon his return, the victory still comes as a bit of a surprise that he would be handed so much success so soon after coming back to the ring.
A heel turn for Batista would be ideal.
Just as Chris Jericho came back as a face and began to slowly turn heel each week by not saying a word, the hope is that Batista starts to show signs of arrogance and entitlement. That would set him up to take Randy Orton’s spot as The Authority’s hand-picked face of the company.
Regardless of whether Batista will be a heel or face on the road to WrestleMania, he needs a short-term feud that will keep him occupied during the Elimination Chamber PPV. With the need for Batista to go over eventually, the perfect program would be against Alberto Del Rio.
Is Batista worthy of the 2014 Royal Rumble win?
Batista could easily go over Del Rio at Elimination Chamber and move on to the final build to the main event of WrestleMania against whoever walks out of the February PPV with the world title.
With so many possibilities after such a huge victory, Batista’s character will obviously be a main focal point for the company moving forward.
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