The road to Wrestlemania isn't an easy one. There are those nice, smooth open roads...and there are some ones that are extremely rocky. Detours have been taken and we may ever know the original plans for Wrestlemania 25 thanks to one man—Batista.
Muscle head...I mean, Baista was having quite a run on RAW. He was on a roll. He was doing so well that despite a loss to Team Orton at Survivor Series 2008, he came up big at Armageddon, where he defeated Randy Orton for No. 1 contendership for John Cena's World Heavyweight Championship.
It might have been too early to assume, but I did anyway. After Cena and Batista had their first one-on-one encounter at Summerslam 2008, which Batista won, I assumed that Wrestlemania 25 would be the next stage that these two would do battle on.
Batista was rumored to have had hamstring problems for a while, some say even before Summerslam. Batista chose to not medically tend to it, I suppose. Was he being selfish? Maybe. He just could have been his ol' self, a muscle head. Maybe if Batista had tended to his hamstring, he might have been able to wrestle at Wrestlemania 25.
Not too long after his Summerslam match, his possible injury had become a reality, and he had no other choice but to tend to it. Batista would have to be written off of WWE television so he can tend to his injury. Randy Orton's punt, which he does so well, was a good way to write off "The Animal."
This would result in many situations that may or may not had been concocted or expanded if Batista was still healthy. I believe his injury has not only reshaped RAW, but RAW's Wrestlemania 25 input.
We soon got put on an express train straight to Orton-land, and because "We've Cena nuff," the train had almost no steam. One major stop on the train to Orton-land included Vince McMahon getting his whole forehead rearranged via Orton punt. I can't help to question Orton's quick rise. He's my favorite superstar and all, but was his push legit? Or was it an alternative "plan B" to Batista's absence?
The HBK vs. JBL feud could have been steered in a different direction. There wouldn't have been a fatal four-way for the No. 1 contendership for the World Heavyweight championship because Batista was the contender after he defeated Orton at Armageddon.
The Royal Rumble match would have been Batista vs Cena: Part Two, but what about JBL and HBK? The two would have probably been in the Royal Rumble itself, but I'm not sure that would have effected Orton's victory...or would it? Would that have made Triple H the winner? Orton's victory could have led to a triple threat at Wrestlemania, but we saw a triple threat last year.
So I believe Triple H would have won the Rumble and would have started feuding with Edge. That would have left Orton outside the title picture, unless WWE still decided to push him into the feud. Orton might make a run for the title after Wrestlemania. It might also be after Backlash, given the fact that it usually contains Wrestlemania rematches. Orton would continue to build up Legacy then. If this were to happen, then, and only then, would I view an Orton and Austin showdown in some essence as acceptable.
WWE had a hard time determining the Cena/Batista outcome at Summerslam, so if they fought at the Rumble, it would have been a no-contest due to interference or something. Given the star power of the two, I believe there wouldn't be a clear-cut winner until they faced at Wrestelmania. Whether we like it or not, Batista has drastically altered this year's Wrestlemania.
Some people think his injury was bad, and others believe it was a blessing in disguise. Maybe it was. I'm not too fond with the direction WWE is going with Wrestlemania 25 right now, so maybe his injury wasn't as good as I thought.
We saw Cena return to the Rumble and go to Wrestlemania. Obviously, Batista wasn't at the Rumble, but what are the chances he'll make it back in time for Wrestlemania? I don't think he'll be back, but you never know. We'll just have to sit back and watch this road to Wrestlemania unfold.