Batista vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 31 Would Be Wisest Use of 'The Animal'

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterSeptember 1, 2014


Batista vs. Triple H at WrestleMania 31 would be such a perfect fit that it feels predestined to happen.

Few times does WWE have such an obvious choice before it. The star-rich collision would circle back to Batista's beginnings, emerge from a natural storyline and have the big-fight appeal that is WrestleMania's calling card.

The Animal may be soon hanging up his wrestling boots for good. The success of Guardians of the Galaxy has put his movie career in a new perspective.

No longer is he just the wrestler suitable for playing hulking brutes. The comic timing and charisma he showed in the summer blockbuster will have him attracting added attention from casting agents.

Before he heads into that world full-time, though, a fitting showdown awaits him.

According to PWInsider's subscription-required section (h/t Wrestling Inc), Batista is unhappy about how WWE booked him last time around, but that if he were to come back, it would be for a WrestleMania 31 match. The report notes that Batista has made it clear that he has interest in taking on Triple H then in a retirement match.

If WWE can work out a deal with the powerhouse, that is the obvious route to have him take.

Triple H and Batista's long history makes this potential bout a no-brainer. The company doesn't need to think outside the box here. This story is already halfway written.

Batista celebrates after beating Triple H at WrestleMania 21.
Batista celebrates after beating Triple H at WrestleMania 21.Credit:

Beginning a feud with an up-and-comer, regardless of how well the buildup is done, wouldn't have the long roots that Triple H and Batista would. 

Triple H was Batista's mentor, enemy and, more recently, reluctant ally. The chief operating officer first took in Randy Orton and Batista as members of Evolution back in 2003. 

The group rose to power, each member capturing championships and making enemies along the way.

Tension eventually ate away at the faction, though. After winning the Royal Rumble, Batista had the choice of seeking out the WWE title or challenging his stablemate for the World Heavyweight Championship. He chose the latter, punctuating his decision by powerbombing Triple H through a table.

WrestleMania 21 then served as Batista's coronation, a showcase of his rise.

He knocked off Triple H, and the show ended with the cameras pointed at him hoisting his new title. How poetic then would it be for Batista to cap off his career 10 years later at WrestleMania against the same man?

WWE has more recent storyline material to draw from as well. 

The reformed Evolution that twice took on The Shield this year never seemed to fully trust each other. How could they? It was a group of enemies patched together.

Before WrestleMania 30, before Evolution 2.0 came to life, Batista, Orton and Triple H were shouting and pointing at each other. They were ready to lock horns on the March 17 edition of Raw.

They got past this animosity enough to reunite for two straight pay-per-views. But after The Shield defeated Evolution at both Extreme Rules and Payback, Batista was ready to walk away.

He had heard enough of Triple H's excuses and quit, dishing out a princess wave before leaving the ring. Triple H called out to him, barking, "What are you going to do? You're gonna run back to Hollywood?"

Should Batista return, there is plenty of bad blood to build on. Triple H will feel abandoned. Batista will have felt like The Game used him.

To have Batista then put his career on the line adds to the stakes. It's easy to imagine Triple H saying that because he made Batista's career, it will be his pleasure to end it.

It's not often that one walks into an opportunity to have two former world champions who have been associated with each other so long go at it.

It's not often that one has the chance to draw from a rivalry that was named the Feud of the Year in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, especially on a stage like WrestleMania.

The biggest issue with Batista's last run is that he got shot up to world title contention. Fans wanted to see Daniel Bryan challenge for that championship, not a man who had been away from the ring for four years. This time around, WWE can have whatever emerging star it wants in that spot.

Batista and Triple H can reside elsewhere.

That bout is a collision of two major stars with a ready-made story. It's the kind of grand match that belongs at WrestleMania.

Triple H and Batista stare each other down at WrestleMania 21.
Triple H and Batista stare each other down at WrestleMania 21.Credit:

Having Batista take on anyone else won't be as ideal a scenario. When Ric Flair was set to end his career at WrestleMania XXIV, Shawn Michaels was the obvious choice. Their similar styles and close relationship added to the match.

When it was Michaels' turn to bow out, Undertaker was the perfect choice. Their rivalry stretched back several years, and they had just put on a classic at WrestleMania XXV.

WWE has a similarly easy choice ahead of it should Batista return.

Facing a fellow titan whose narrative is intertwined with his own would make for a huge match—the right match. Batista's instinct is right on. He knows what swan song would be the biggest hit.