Batista is currently fighting shoulder to shoulder with Triple H and Randy Orton in a rivalry against The Shield. The man known as The Animal has been acting as the heavy for the group, using his muscle and rage whenever needed.
Batista is in the middle of what must be considered WWE's No. 1 storyline, and he's fighting against the company's hottest act. The Animal's career has definitely been elevated by the Evolution reunion.
Batista's comeback to WWE back on the January 20 edition of Monday Night Raw began well enough. His return had been advertised on TV for several weeks leading up to the night, and many fans were anxious to see him back in the fold.
When he entered the ring, Batista got on his knees and kissed the canvass. It was that sign of respect that perhaps silenced any doubters that initially believed he was not needed back in WWE to begin with.
But those doubters were soon complaining in unison. And those complaints grew louder with each passing week.
Batista just could not seem to get over. Though he talked a good fight in the beginning and did everything necessary to win over the crowd, it just never really happened. Fans not only didn't care about him, they couldn't care less.
Much of that was born at the Royal Rumble on January 26. Many fans expected Daniel Bryan to enter the fray and win the Rumble match that night. That victory gave a guaranteed WWE World title shot at WrestleMania 30, and many fans believed it was the perfect opportunity for Daniel to finally take the main event shot they felt he deserved.
But when that didn't happen, the WWE faithful needed someone to blame. What better man to blame than the one who actually won the Rumble?
That man was Batista, and his timing seemingly could not be worse. Any potential he had as a babyface was all but gone when he won the Rumble. And when he reportedly stood on the ramp after the event went off the air, making obscene gestures toward the crowd, it practically sealed his fate.
Apparently deciding that he would not be able to succeed as a face, WWE let Batista make the heel turn. Though he was finally able to tell the fans how he felt about them, the fact is that he still could not seem to get the heat he wanted. The crowd just did not seem to care about him at all.
But the company did not give up on him. After all he was there, and he was evidently on board with whatever they wanted to do with him. So, rather than try to reinvent him, they instead chose to go back to the basics.
WWE reunited Evolution. And Batista was back where he began.
Evolution was the group that gave Batista his first real shot at stardom. Triple H had reinvented The Four Horsemen for a new generation back in 2003, and The Animal was an integral part of that faction. Evolution was the springboard for both Batista and Randy Orton, and it became arguably the most influential group in WWE history.
Batista became a top guy because of it.
Batista made his reputation, his very career, in Evolution. And while his six World Championships did not come until after he left the group, it was the spotlight he received next to Triple H that allowed him the opportunity to reach the main event in the first place.
Now that spotlight is helping him once again.
Instead of being cast aside or, perhaps, continuing to flounder with weak crowd response, Batista is now in WWE's No. 1 storyline. He is once again rubbing shoulders with his former mentor Triple H, and he is working with the man who recently came out of the other top storyline with Daniel Bryan: Randy Orton.
Once again, Batista is among WWE's elite. Once again, he is being seen among the top brass of the company. And whether fans like it or not, he is helping The Shield continue to rise in WWE. The Hounds of Justice have been viewed as the future of the company, and facing Evolution is by far their biggest test yet.
Batista is part of helping them cement their legacy. The Animal is not competing for a singles championship or working toward a new main event run. He's facing The Shield one by one in matches that usually break down with no winner. It happened on the May 12 edition of Monday Night Raw against Roman Reigns, and it happened on the May 19 Raw against Seth Rollins.
Neither match ended with Batista's arm raised in victory. He is simply along for the ride as Evolution battles the future of the company. His career is on the upswing as a result of it. He may not be on the road to the WWE World Championship, but he is working under the bright spotlight of the company's main angle.
That is more career elevation than he's had since he came back. He's a top heel again and fans are responding in kind. Batista is back on top and, once again, he has Evolution to thank for it.
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