Sunday shouldn't be the last time that Batista figures in the main event of a 2014 WWE pay-per-view.
Ever since winning the Royal Rumble, Batista has been public enemy No. 1 for most fans, representing all that's wrong with the company presently, whether it's WWE's reliance on aging stars of the past or the fact that he's taking a spot in the biggest show of the year from somebody else who's more deserving.
I'll admit that I was lukewarm to the prospect of Batista returning to the company. I was never much of a fan of his until his final feud with John Cena, and having him be the main returning draw at WrestleMania is a letdown after The Rock.
Him winning the Royal Rumble was another decision that I didn't agree with, since everything had been building to Daniel Bryan going over and earning a spot in the main event at WrestleMania 30.
With that said, even Batista's most staunch critics would be foolish to not see that he has some utility in the coming months.
With whom should Daniel Bryan feud after WrestleMania?
Assuming Bryan wins the main event, who's he gonna feud with after WrestleMania?
Fans have already seen enough of Bryan vs. Randy Orton. There isn't a finish left that hasn't been done between those two in the past year.
After the current champion, there aren't a ton of main event heels left over. CM Punk's still AWOL, and guys like Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio aren't in a position where they can be thrown into the WWE World Heavyweight Title picture.
John Cena's always a possibility, but his feud with Bray Wyatt should extend beyond WrestleMania.
At the end of the day, Batista is the logical choice. Nobody else has as much heat with the crowd as him. The best thing WWE could've done was to abandon whatever face push he had after Royal Rumble and turn him heel.
Batista as a bad guy is phenomenal. Just watch him take apart Cena on mic back in 2010.
He also put on a great show at the WrestleMania 30 press conference. Whether intentional or not, the way he casually says that since he had a little time off from movies he thought he'd go ahead and be WWE champion was a great way to make everybody hate him more.
That's like saying since you're already at the grocery store, you decided to pick up a bag of chips or something.
You could see a scenario where Batista becomes The Authority's new lapdog. Orton can't get the job done, so Triple H and Stephanie McMahon turn to somebody else who they think can. It's not like the two haven't been teasing some sort of fallout with Orton before.
There's no question that Batista could help carry a feud with Bryan through Extreme Rules and then maybe Payback. He's good on the mic, and his in-ring work is good enough that their matches wouldn't be complete abominations.
Bryan as a face is at his best playing the role of the plucky underdog battling the odds. Batista is the biggest foil to Bryan physically, so the two could tell a great story in the ring.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).