It might not be the outcome many wrestling fans wanted, but Batista is heading for the main event at WrestleMania 30 after winning his second Royal Rumble match.
It may not have been the result as controversial as the victory of 2005—when the match had to be restarted after both he and John Cena hit the floor at the same time—but it ended with the same consequence, as Batista capped off his first week back with the WWE with a Rumble win.
Attentions will now turn to who Batista will face in the main event of WrestleMania. Still, it is sometimes easy to forget there is plenty of action to be sandwiched in between now and the biggest pay-per-view of the year.
Batista's return to Raw wasn't exactly jaw-dropping or enthralling, meaning he will need to deliver every single week starting from now. It's unclear as to whether he is actually operating as a face or a heel—sure, his promo on Raw suggests he will be the former, but we could yet see a swerve.
However, it is likely Batista will now go after Randy Orton, restarting a rivalry that is years old. They have had some pretty special matches and tussles in the past, and the path is now clear for Batista to try and take down the champion.
With Bray Wyatt seemingly entering a rivalry with John Cena, it means Batista is likely to be the guy who steps up and feuds with Orton on a consistent basis heading towards WrestleMania. However, Bray Wyatt moving into a new rivalry does open the door for someone else to enter the fray, too.
Could we see a scenario where Batista is inadvertently thrown into a three-way rivalry with Orton and Daniel Bryan? Surely the WWE cannot make the same mistake twice regarding Bryan—considering the reaction of the crowd when he didn't enter the Royal Rumble match.
The Elimination Chamber may well tell us plenty about that. Expect Batista to be involved in that match—as well as Brock Lesnar, another guy who has the title in his sights. Given Batista won the Rumble, it will be almost certain that he will step out of the pay-per-view without the belt—giving someone the chance to face The Animal at WrestleMania.
If it is Orton, it does create an interesting dilemma for Triple H and The Authority. Randy Orton has been the "face of the WWE" since he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase at SummerSlam last year. Yet, of late, the relationship between Triple H and Orton has been becoming more and more tense.
Will it be that Batista is the guy who The Authority decide to back going into WrestleMania? Will we see Triple H turning face once again to align himself with his former stablemate from Evolution?
It is certainly a possibility, but what it is even more likely is we see Batista vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania. It doesn't matter what happens inside the Elimination Chamber or who comes forward as a challenger for the belts.
It would also be hard to see Batista not winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania. It would be illogical for him to return to the company, win the Royal Rumble and then fail on the grandest stage of them all.
Expect Batista to be the face of the company following WrestleMania 30. That may well be the moment for Daniel Bryan to return to the title scene.