Fantasy Booking Batista vs. Triple H Feud Through WWE WrestleMania 35

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

On last week's Raw, Batista stunned the WWE Universe when he attacked Ric Flair, sending a message that he was coming for Triple H.

This act is likely the official launching point for a feud between the two that will culminate in a match at WrestleMania 35.

It's something that has been on the bubble for a while, as fans have anticipated seeing them face off ever since it was hinted at in October. Now that it's in full swing, though, all eyes are on the lead-up to The Show of Shows on April 7.

In the coming weeks, WWE will continue to build hype for the confrontation, but what steps should the creative team take to make this the best feud possible?

Let's map out some fantasy booking plans for Batista vs. Triple H heading toward WrestleMania 35.

              

Step 1: Establish the Feud

WWE already did the best thing possible by kicking this off with pure intrigue.

The attack on Flair was executed in a great way, as fans had every reason to believe it would be a Becky Lynch-Charlotte Flair segment, rather than something involving Batista.

The surprise element has captured everyone's attention, and since nothing was explained, the unknown element of why Batista attacked Flair to get under Triple H's skin has fans wanting to learn more.

With that out of the way, the next thing to take care of is explaining what this is all about. There needs to be an actual reason why Batista did this.

At SmackDown 1000 on October 16, there was tension between the two when The Animal mentioned Triple H had never beaten him, which isn't actually true. The Game pinned Batista in a tag team match on Raw in 2005 and outlasted him in an Elimination Chamber bout in the same year.

That is being swept under the rug, but Batista does still have four wins over Triple H. This isn't a story in which he needs to assert his dominance after the nine years since they were on opposite sides in the 2010 Royal Rumble.

On this next episode of Raw, Batista needs to cut a promo or have a backstage segment that elaborates on what his problem is with Triple H and why he feels the need to come back to pick a fight.

What that reasoning is depends on WWE's plans for the story. Booking-wise, all that has to take place next is to set the terms of the feud so March is spent leading to the point where Batista may or may not attain his goals.

                

Step 2: Avoid Overkill

Leading up to WrestleMania, there are five more episodes of Raw and SmackDown each, as well as Sunday's Fastlane event where this feud can continue to take shape.

As most of the heavy lifting has already been done simply by the careers these two have had, 10 episodes of television is far more than necessary for this feud.

In fact, sometimes, less is more. WWE shouldn't waste too much time dedicated to this feud while neglecting other matches that actually do need more time.

The trick to balance everything out is to do just a few segments featuring Triple H and Batistabut make sure every one of them is worth it.

That means no repetitive promos. Triple H doesn't need to say he'll beat Batista at WrestleMania during seven different 10- or 15-minute promos. Three will suffice—a short one next week, a more intricate one after Fastlane and a final push right before The Show of Shows.

Also, WWE has to cool it on the video packages and rewinds. The instinct will be to make sure every Raw and SmackDown features a recap of this feud. But if fans aren't tuning in that frequently, it proves the content isn't worth checking out; and if they are watching every episode, they don't need the refreshers.

It's superfluous and people will get bored of it, which will cause backlash with fans complaining that two older stars are taking the spotlight from the younger talent.

This is a big match, but it's already been done before and won't have lasting effects for the rest of the year, so it needs to be treated as a special attraction and not an anchor point to the card.

             

Step 3: Highlight Batista's Dominance

Seeing as Triple H is the babyface of this feud, WWE must position him as the underdog in some regard.

Obviously, those familiar with his career know he's anything but that, as he's beaten everyone there is to beat, has more championships than nearly anyone else and will be going into the Hall of Fame this year.

However, there still needs to be an illusion that he's the weaker of the two to maintain the hype.

Needless to say, one of the best ways to do this is to air a video package breaking down their history and how many more times Batista has beaten Triple H.

This acts as a double whammy, because it also enlightens the audience on how close they used to be.

This feud dates back 14 years, so some fans may need a reminder of the rivalry.
This feud dates back 14 years, so some fans may need a reminder of the rivalry.Credit: WWE.com

After that, though, the two need to be kept separate from each other for the entirety of this build save for one moment at the very end.

Until that point, Batista has to exact his vengeance through other substitutes, just as he used Flair to be a recipient of his anger.

Stephanie, Shane and Vince McMahon should all be targets, whether or not they actually fall victim to an attack. WWE may not want to get them involved as they're busy with other stories and may want to steer clear of Batista attacking Stephanie entirely, but a veiled threat that The Animal can come after them at any point would do the trick.

Others won't be so lucky and one of the best and most emphatic ways to get this feud over would be for Batista's grudge to bleed into NXT with an attack at the Performance Center.

Nobody would see it coming, as the developmental brand is still so removed from the main roster that it barely gets any mention despite all the recent call-ups. But everyone should know by now that NXT and the Superstars within its system are Triple H's concern.

Triple H is the founder of NXT.
Triple H is the founder of NXT.Credit: WWE.com

Batista should show up at the Performance Center to attack a variety of recruits and trainees that The Game and NXT officials have been grooming for the future.

This could include unknown talent like Nick Comoroto as well as more established wrestlers ranging from Eric Bugenhagen and Shane Thorne to even the legends who are able to take a bump, such as William Regal, Matt Bloom and Shawn Michaels.

Beating up Flair is an attack on Triple H's friends, while laying waste to the Performance Center is a strike against his legacy, leaving room for the final blow.

              

Step 4: One More Attack

At the end of the day, no matter what storylines and drama surround the environment, sports entertainment is about the wrestling side of things, so this is all heading in the direction of these two Superstars pummeling each other.

That has to be illustrated with the final part of this build, which is to pull the trigger on a physical altercation with Triple H receiving a thrashing.

This can be done in either of two ways.

One option would be to have Batista attack Triple H and the rest of D-Generation X during the Hall of Fame, but that's not the way to go.

The ceremony should be a time when storylines are halted and everyone can be their true selves, rather than pushing something for WrestleMania. Plus, it would seem disrespectful to people like Chyna for their induction to be used in part for an angle. It's still an option, though, if WWE wanted to do that.

Credit: WWE.com

Instead, the simpler and better course of action would be to have Batista assault Triple H on the go-home episode of Raw by jumping him while he's busy dealing with something else.

Triple H could be involved in breaking up a brawl between Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Ronda Rousey or something along those lines. In the chaos, Batista could take advantage of the distraction and leave Triple H bruised and battered.

That way, the last image for the video packages on the kickoff of WrestleMania will be Batista standing over Triple H's body, giving the thumbs down pose and proving The Game has an uphill battle at the pay-per-view.

When push comes to shove, Triple H should be victorious at WrestleMania and that will be the end of things until Batista's eventual Hall of Fame induction, likely by Triple H as by then, it will all be water under the bridge. 

              

Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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