After taking some four years off, Batista returned to WWE on the Jan. 20, 2014, episode of Monday Night Raw leading into Royal Rumble. He did so after signing a reported two-year contract that may or may not have promised a big main event run leading into WrestleMania.
Even if it didn't promise it, that's what's happening.
Indeed, "The Animal" won the Royal Rumble match, punching his ticket for a WWE world heavyweight championship match at WrestleMania 30. After the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) on Feb. 23 in Minneapolis, it became clear that Randy Orton would be his opponent.
And no one is happy about this.
Batista was cheered upon his return, sure, even if the reaction to him was lukewarm at best. It was the Rumble in Pittsburgh that proved to be a major turning point. He was roundly booed for winning simply for the fact that he is not Daniel Bryan and that crowd wanted Bryan to win.
It's been a full four weeks since that night and Batista has yet to recover. In fact, he's gotten even more heat to the tune of fans utterly and completely destroying his feud with Alberto Del Rio and booing him out of the building in two separate matches. Del Rio, a heel no one seems to care about, actually went over like a true blue babyface.
That's how bad it's been.
Because of all this, there were rumors and heavy speculation that WWE would call an audible and the Orton vs. Batista match would add Bryan or change altogether.
[Insert Dean Ambrose NOPE gif here]
Instead, Big Dave is now being scripted to acknowledge the reaction to him. Example (gif via WrestlingWithText.com):
He would cut a promo after his match with Del Rio on Monday Night Raw last night that one could argue qualified as a heel turn. In the story, though, he's simply saying he's real and down with whoever is down with him and to hell with whoever is not.
Which is pretty much everyone.
Once the show ended and he got the chance, he immediately took to Twitter to turn the snark up.
Seems that people think Im joking when I say I don't let the opinions of negative asshole dictate my life. Think again.. #onelife Peace!— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) February 25, 2014
By the way...I left because I had to not because I wanted to. And I came back because I wanted to not because I had to. #dreamchaser— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) February 25, 2014
Sorry, Cagesiders, but Batista is not going away.
DEAL WITH IT.