FanPost edited and promoted to the front page by CagesideSeats.com.
When I first saw the Batista return promo, I was hugely surprised as I wasn't up-to-date with any WWE news except for what was being shown on television. I’m going to be honest here: I was happy; not overjoyed or anything. Social media was buzzing and everybody was talking about it and I could hardly find a person who was sad or disappointed.
He was advertised for the Royal Rumble and subsequently added to the 30-man over the top rope battle royal. Nobody seemed to show any kind of disapproval to that. He returned on the RAW before the Rumble. The crowd exploded when his music hit and when he Batista Bombed Alberto Del Rio. It was four years since his departure in early 2010 and everybody loved to see that again.
So, what went wrong?
Now, many people say WWE overestimated Batista’s popularity. I beg to differ. WWE never intended to estimate Batista’s popularity. Yeah, Batista did a little ‘Rock’ here and a little ‘Brock’ there but it did not increase or decrease his fan base because it wasn’t anything major. I assure you, they were not even remotely pulling off a ‘Dwayne Johnson’ with Batista. Batista signed a 2 year contract with the company and was booked to appear as any superstar does on a regular basis. But his presence did massively boost the ratings.
The company did make five key mistakes, however.
First mistake – Giving Batista the VIP treatment.
He was announced as a participant in the Royal Rumble although he didn't do anything to deserve it for four years. He was welcomed back by Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. He told Randy Orton that he was going to be the new WWE world heavyweight champion and to top it all.. the trademark "Deal with it!"
Second mistake – Bray Wyatt defeated Daniel Bryan clean.
It has to be noted that D-Bryan, though not more popular than any other major player, connects with an arena audience pretty well and "YES" chants resonate throughout the arena making him ‘look’ like the biggest thing in WWE. The defeat didn't sit well with the audience.
Third mistake – No Bryan in the Rumble:
WWE tried its best to sell Bryan’s absence by making Wyatt brutally defeating him and rendering him too injured or exhausted to compete in the Rumble, though it was clear he was never going to be in the match for weeks ahead of time.
Fourth mistake – Batista winning the Rumble:
Doing the obvious.
Fifth mistake – Skinny jeans.
You can wear vests but never wear skinny jeans in 2014. Not unless you are Chris Jericho, of course.
When I say mistake, I don’t mean it from a direct business point of view. The Royal Rumble was a hit and whether you agree or not, the extra oomph was there because of Batista and Brock Lesnar and a possible surprise return. Batista went on to increase the viewership of all subsequent events even though he was booed like hell. Batista was never bad for business but you can’t just forget about the live audience. At the end of the day, they become the part of the story-line no matter what reality is. They are like a studio audience.
It’s a mistake when it actually affects how they were gonna play the story i.e. Batista owning Orton at WrestleMania 30. Now, this has caused Batista to turn heel and a very likely Batista vs. Orton vs. Bryan match.
So, is Batista actually ‘Bootista’ in reality?
I don’t think so. The people are just trying to express their hatred for creative. Batista happens to be the unlucky one. If it had been Lesnar vs. Batista at WrestleMania 30, the arena would have exploded every time they clashed on RAW. The so called ‘casual’ fans like him and the creative powers that be know it and that’s enough to keep him tied to the main event spot.