When Dave Batista left WWE in May of last year, many fans were sorry to see him go.
Indeed, in early 2010 Batista had turned heel and demonstrated a hitherto unseen personality and charisma as an obnoxious, narcissistic jerk who aligned with Vince McMahon and felt he was entitled to the WWE Title. Dave's vast array of colourful and tacky clothes may also have constituted one the best heel wardrobes ever (nothing says “Boo me” like an enormous man wearing a bright pink polo shirt).
Despite arguably being at his zenith as an on-screen performer and character, Batista opted not to renew his contract and finished up with the company the night after the Over the Limit pay-per-view. It seems Dave felt he had achieved all he could in pro wrestling and wanted to explore his options in the field of mixed martial arts, as well as try to make it as a leading man in Hollywood.
There had also been heat between him and the promotion over them dropping him from the starring role in WWE Studios flick Inside Out in favour of Triple H. No doubt if Batista has actually gotten around to seeing the awful Inside Out he will be extremely glad he didn't get the part, after all.
Batista's attempts at outside ventures have had decidedly mixed results. Shortly after he left the wrestling business, he was rumoured to have been close to a signing a contract with Strikeforce, with Scott Coker feeling his name value could be of great benefit. However, any potential deal was nixed when Zuffa Inc. bought out the struggling MMA promotion a few months later.
Despite this disappointing setback, Batista has not given up on his MMA dreams and has stated he has interest in working for up-and-coming fight group Bellator (which will be broadcast on Spike TV next year)—although there are real doubts whether the group even wants him or could meet his hefty price tag.
His acting aspirations have turned out a little better. While Batista is not an A-list star like The Rock, he has managed to snag some big parts on several straight-to-DVD films like House of the Rising Sun and The Scorpion King 3. He also guest-starred in the NBC series Chuck and has a large supporting role in The Man with the Iron Fists, a big-budget action film set for release next year that stars Oscar-winner Russell Crowe.
So, Dave is doing all right for himself outside of wrestling and is in no rush to come back to the business any time soon. Notably, in interviews and blogs since leaving the company, he has also expressed great displeasure with the promotion's current PG product and cited it as one major reason he is unwilling to return.
But even if Dave did want to return to the promotion that made him a star, it would not be a good idea for American's No. 1 promotion to bring him back and push him as a main-event star again.
Fans have to remember that Batista is 42 now, no spring chicken, for sure. And throughout his time in WWE was plagued with various muscle tears and other debilitating injuries. Certainly at a time when WWE should be building for the future, the last thing they need is to give a top spot to a broken-down, unreliable main event that’s getting hurt all the time.
By the looks of it, Batista is happy pursuing options outside the wrestling business. Rather than attempting to lure him back with a big-money contract and an easy-schedule WWE would be smarter to let him be and start building their own stars, assuming the company is still capable of this.