AJ Styles and 8 Dream WWE Matches for a Potential Batista Return
Whenever a Superstar leaves WWE while they can still perform in the ring, the WWE Universe can't help but speculate about a potential return down the line. It's probably because so many people have left only to return a few years later.
When it comes to former Superstars who are still capable of wrestling, Batista's name is always brought up as someone who could still come back for one last run.
While promoting his film Final Score, Batista spoke to What Culture and revealed he thinks about returning to WWE on a daily basis because he misses the excitement of performing for a live crowd.
His comeback in 2013 did not go as planned and The Animal ended up leaving right when the feud between The Shield and Evolution was heating up. Needless to say, Batista would rather end his career on a high note.
This article will look at seven potential opponents for the Guardians of the Galaxy star if he were to return to the squared circle.
For two guys who came up together in Ohio Valley Wrestling at the same time, Batista and Brock Lesnar have had surprisingly few interactions in WWE.
As two of the most powerful competitors to step foot in the ring, The Beast and The Animal would be expected to tear each other apart.
The only potential problem with a match like this would be how willing Batista would be to let Lesnar throw him around with a dozen German suplexes.
Still, a match between these two would be a WrestleMania-level main event, especially if there was a title on the line.
One of the few Superstars to ascend to the main event level since Batista left the company in 2014 has been Braun Strowman.
The Monster Among Men has been on a path of destruction for the better part of two years. With the exception of a few people on the SmackDown brand, Strowman has faced every big name in the company.
Putting him in the ring with someone as experienced as Batista would give us a fresh matchup between one of WWE's most dominant competitors and one of the few people powerful enough to give him a good fight.
WWE could even milk the Marvel connection by comparing Strowman to Thanos in the battle against Drax the Destroyer. All he needs is a shiny gold glove and he is all set.
If this contest were to happen, it wouldn't be a technical clinic. It would likely end with part of the stage being destroyed and one or both of them going through a table. Who wouldn't want to see them cause havoc together?
Out of all the feuds Batista had during his time in WWE, his long-running rivalry with The Undertaker did the most to turn him into a legitimate main event star.
Many will point to his storyline with Triple H as the beginning of his rise to the top, and it was, but the matches he had with The Deadman were what made people realize just how good he really was.
Taker has been slowing down for a long time and is likely preparing to call it a career at some point in the next few years, if not sooner, so a final showdown between the two would have to be done as soon as Batista returned.
The Animal has kept himself in tremendous shape, so he would be able to help The Undertaker mask his shortcomings a bit. If he can't have his final match against one of his more iconic rivals, Batista would be a great choice.
Randy Orton and Batista have been allies and enemies several times throughout their WWE careers, so they know each other as well as anyone.
Evolution was one of the most successful stables in a post-DX WWE, and part of what made the group so special was its new recruits.
Triple H and Ric Flair represented the present and past, respectively, while The Viper and The Animal represented the future of the company. It was the perfect mix of generations.
Their last encounter happened at WrestleMania 30 in a Triple Threat match against Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
The story could be as simple as both men blaming each other for losing to Bryan, but going deeper into their history would be a better route for a potential feud.
If Batista wants to end his career in a more memorable way than how he left in 2014, he couldn't do much better for an opponent than Orton.
Anyone from The Shield
Batista and Evolution feuded with The Shield briefly before he left in 2014, but Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are much bigger stars nowadays.
All three of them are have won the WWE or Universal title since Batista quit the night after Payback 2014, making The Shield the most successful stable since Evolution.
Reigns would be the most obvious choice to fight The Animal, but Rollins would be able to get a better match out of him because he is so much more versatile in the ring.
Even if we get another six-man tag match between the two supergroups, seeing Batista back in the ring with The Shield would be a lot of fun.
Batista and AJ Styles have almost four decades of wrestling experience between them, but they have never been in the ring together.
While Styles spent the majority of his career working for TNA, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Batista was only ever employed by WWE and its developmental territory, OVW.
The Phenomenal One only joined the company in 2016, so he has not even a chance to be on the same show as The Animal, let alone fight him.
WWE loves to hype first-time matches between two big names, and it's hard to think of anyone Batista hasn't faced who is as good as Styles.
If management wants a main event for WrestleMania 35, The Phenomenal One vs. The Animal would be a great choice.
Who would you like to see Batista face if he returns to WWE?