Best Ways to Book Batista on the Road to WrestleMania XXX

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Best Ways to Book Batista on the Road to WrestleMania XXX
Credit: WWE.com

How much of a flop has Dave Batista’s return been? Well, WWE has even started bringing it up on television.

On Monday’s Raw, the writers scripted WWE world heavyweight champion Randy Orton to mock “The Animal” and the overwhelmingly negative reactions he’s been getting. Orton laughed at his WrestleMania foe and joked that he shouldn’t have bothered coming back.

All Batista could do was churn out a rather muddled and clumsy answer about how the fans could boo or cheer whomever they wanted, but that he still had a right to be irritated by it. (Honestly, John Cena handles the boos and jeers with much more coolness and eloquence.)  

It might seem like an odd move to bring this up in an angle, but the company really had no choice. During his bout with Alberto Del Rio at Sunday’s Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, the fans in Minneapolis absolutely ripped him apart.

Over the course of the seven-minute match, they seemingly chanted everything under the sun at the star. One fan even took time to note them all on Twitter after the bout was over:

OK, “Bootista” is pretty hilarious.

Reports (from F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc.) were bandied earlier this month that WWE could be considering adding Daniel Bryan into the Orton-Batista bout at WrestleMania XXX.

This made sense: The hugely popular Bryan would at least given the crowd in New Orleans someone to root for. Orton and Batista facing off in a singles match would seemingly guarantee an overwhelmingly negative reaction—think of something along the lines of Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX.

Credit: WWE.com

However, going by Monday’s Raw—where Bryan issued a WrestleMania challenge to Triple H—this isn’t on the cards at all. Indeed, it looks like Orton-Batista is going ahead, as scary as it sounds.

Is there any way to salvage the match, or Batista’s character?

Well, one suggestion would be to instruct the former Evolution member to tone down the bright gaudy outfits and smug mannerisms.

Credit: WWE.com

Sure, he’s technically being booked as a face, but everything else about the guy just screams “arrogant heel.” No wonder fans aren't taking to him.

Part of Bryan’s appeal is that, similar to Mick Foley in the ‘90s, he comes off as a nice, humble, down-to-earth wrestler who just wants to do his best.

While Batista will never be able to truly play the “everyman” character, he should at least make efforts to appear more affable and relatable.

Credit: WWE.com

Additionally, WWE writers must avoid making the star seem whiny and bitter when he addresses the loud jeers toward him. He should appear to be taking it all in his stride.

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Or, alternatively, the company could give up on him as a babyface and simply turn him heel. (However, knowing how funny the wrestling business can be sometimes, he’d probably end up getting cheered more by the fans if he did this.)

Of course, the real problem may be that no matter what they do with Batista’s character, the fans just don’t want to see him take on Orton on April 6.

If this is the case—and it probably is—WWE should consider inserting Bryan into the match. Or Bryan could defeat Triple H early in the show and go on to compete for the belt later on, as one fan suggested:

Wherever WWE ultimately decides to go with the Batista character, it must act soon. It doesn’t have a whole lot of time to save his most recent comeback from the brink of utter disaster.

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