In the least shocking outcome of the night, No. 1 contender Batista defeated Alberto Del Rio on Sunday at the 2014 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view via a clean pinfall to continue his lackluster return to the WWE.
Despite what the company wants to believe about his marketability, Batista was never really a top star in the WWE, and his return has proven just how little the majority of the fans care about him.
Add in the fact that he took away what many believe was the rightful WWE World Heavyweight Championship push for Daniel Bryan, and Batista’s win Sunday and at the Royal Rumble meant next to nothing for the majority of the WWE Universe.
It is unclear what the plan was for this matchup against Del Rio—likely to put Batista against someone who is more hated than he is—but The Animal’s victory means little considering how weak the challenger has looked during the buildup to this match.
Whether it was Batista attacking him in the ring, putting him through an announce table or bullying him in the backstage area, there wasn't one moment in the buildup to this bout where Del Rio looked like a serious threat.
After wrestling only one real match since coming back, Batista will now go on to main event WrestleMania for the world title. The instant catapult to the top of the card is the source of gripe for much of the WWE Universe, and a meaningless victory over Del Rio does nothing to quell that anger.
Match Grade: F
While Alberto Del Rio’s in-ring ability can’t be denied, this was a very poor match overall due to the lack of skill and fluidity from Batista. It looked like the Royal Rumble winner had been away for four years.
For a wrestler that the company is trying to sell as one of the top stars in the business, his struggles in the ring only add more fuel to the fire from members of the WWE Universe who do not understand Batista’s instant push.
Whether it’s performing a regular powerbomb and calling it the Batista Bomb—he no longer sits out during the move—or his lack of awareness in the ring since he only has had one match since returning, this is the man that will be in the main event of WrestleMania.
No matter who is champion heading into that match, the WWE should have major concerns after such a porous performance from Batista at Elimination Chamber.
If the WWE is depending on Batista to help sell the WrestleMania PPV, the company is making a huge mistake. Sunday’s match against Del Rio made the decision to go all-in with Batista look flat-out wrong.
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