After coming into the 27th edition of the Royal Rumble as entry No. 28, Batista made his return to the WWE ring a memorable one by winning the 30-man match.
WrestleMania's official Twitter account congratulated Batista on his win and, as it has been since 1993, announced that he will earn a shot at the Heavyweight Champion:
Did Batista deserve to win?
The final four of the match came down to Batista, Roman Reigns, C.M. Punk and Sheamus, but Punk was ousted and beaten outside the ring by Kane. Punk was the first entrant in the event but was not able to join Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit as the only winners out of the No. 1 spot.
The 2012 Royal Rumble winner was ousted by Reigns before he had a chance to square off with Batista for the win. The elimination by Reigns set a Royal Rumble record, as the WWE's Twitter account reports:
Reigns then quickly moved on to Batista and tried to go for elimination No. 13 with a clothesline that immediately started a Roman Reigns chant from the crowd. Batista then speared Reigns before the Shield member countered with a spear of his own.
Batista then responded quickly by throwing Reigns over the ropes, much to the crowds disdain. Booker T. Huffman tweets what he thought of Reigns' surprising performance and ultimate elimination at the end of the event:
He came close. I still expect BIG things from Roman Reigns. #RoyalRumble— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) January 27, 2014
Batista was away from the sport for almost four years before returning to the ring in the event. The former WWE and world heavyweight champion will have a shot to earn his title belt back when he faces off with the current WWE heavyweight champ.
Earlier in the pay-per-view event, Randy Orton defended his belt against John Cena. The two men have a bit of a history against each other, and Batista let Orton know on Jan. 20 that he plans on coming after Orton for his seventh shot at being a world champion.
The return of Batista to the top of the WrestleMania card was a predictable one, but could have been something that the superstar wanted if he were to make a comeback.
While fans at the event and those watching the huge event on the broadcast were likely hoping for a miraculous win by Reigns, the win by Batista sets up a huge stage for the April event. At 45 years old, Batista is officially back—whether WWE fans like it or not.
Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter: