On the December 16 edition of SmackDown!, Batista and Mysterio defeated WWE Tag Team Champions MNM to become champions in a match they dedicated to Eddie Guerrero, and the clash with Big Show and Kane at Armageddon turned into a Champions vs. Champions encounter.
Two weeks later on SmackDown!, MNM defeated Batista and Mysterio after help from the returning Mark Henry to regain the WWE Tag Team Championships.
During the interference, Henry attacked Batista, and performed his World's Strongest Slam.The teams met again in a steel cage match that Henry also became involved in, and Batista and Rey were defeated.
On January 9, WWE.com announced that Batista tore his right triceps during a match with Mark Henry at a live event on January 6. Due to his injury, Batista was forced to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship at the SmackDown! tapings on January 13, two days after surpassing Triple H's previous mark of 280 days for longest reigning champion.
In his book, Batista Unleashed, Batista said that he believed that Henry was "careless" during their match as he never gave Batista any warning that the move was coming.
Batista went on to have successful surgery on his arm on January 12. Batista made an appearance at No Way Out and told the crowd that once his arm had healed he would return to regain the World Heavyweight Championship.
At WrestleMania 22, he interrupted a Randy Orton interview, putting SmackDown! on notice; the World Heavyweight Championship would return to him by WrestleMania 23 Batista made his official return during the July 7 edition of SmackDown!