The celebration of 1,000 episodes of SmackDown was a trip down memory lane, but WWE teased tension between Triple H and Batista that must lead to a match in the future.
That future match should happen at WrestleMania 35.
Batista's return as part of Evolution was a smart publicity move, as the former world champion has become a star in Hollywood, highlighted by his role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy. It was also smart of WWE Creative to tease a potential match against Triple H.
In September, Batista told Good Morning Britain (via SEScoops) that not only was he open to returning to WWE, but he also wanted to battle Triple H in a yearlong feud that culminates with a match at WrestleMania.
It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to realize the WWE Universe almost certainly witnessed the start of the long-term feud between the former Evolution stablemates Tuesday night.
As Randy Orton's facial expressions revealed, the tension is already palpable.
WrestleMania is the biggest event in all of sports entertainment, and adding major-attraction matches is something the company has always done to draw in casual fans. With Batista's mainstream credibility on the rise as his star climbs in the movie business, his addition to the card would be a no-brainer.
With a string of successful films, Batista would entice his non-wrestling fans to tune into the WWE Network and see him wrestle for the first time.
Many hardcore fans would look at a battle between the two older Superstars as a potential waste of time and talent. While it's true they wouldn't be putting over younger talents, the matchup between Batista and Triple H would appease a demographic that is nostalgic about their era.
The last time the WWE Universe saw Batista was in 2014 when he was working alongside Triple H in an effort to stop The Shield. While he was a top heel when he quit, his actual departure and subsequent comments about wrestling have earned him respect among fans.
The longtime friends have a long history with and against each other, but the new edge to the storyline would make it a smart addition to next year's WrestleMania card.
While a contingent of the WWE Universe will always boo Batista, a return feud that culminates in a blockbuster match against Triple H would finally allow him to be the unfiltered badass character he plays in the movies.
After a great promo Tuesday night during SmackDown 1000, the potential Batista return to the ring should have fans excited about the future and a possible WrestleMania matchup.
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player above (some language NSFW).