According to WWE.com's Live Events schedule, Batista is not billed for any shows following the May 4th Extreme Rules show in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
That's not terribly surprising. For one thing, that time frame encompasses the company's annual swing through the United Kingdom and Europe. The overseas flights and twelve shows in two weeks schedule of which would certainly be something that a returning name in his mid-forties would negotiate his way out of.
For another, Dave Bautista's big Disney/Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy drops on August 1st, and he'll certainly need some time away from the road to do promotion for the film.
This is all just speculation, as his not being listed in the "Included Superstars" section of the event details months in advance doesn't guarantee that he won't be working any of these shows. It could simply be a case of the company not being 100% of when he won't be available, so they have left him off the whole slate so as to not promise something that they can't deliver.
But we're pro wrestling fans, and speculating is what we do. And even the impression that The Animal isn't in the WWE's scheduled plans for the summer make you wonder about the deal he cut to come back 'full-time', his failed return as a babyface and the persistent rumors that he had been "promised" a WWE championship win in order to secure his signature on a contract.
Did WWE have big dreams of a triumphant babyface run with the belt all through the summer months for Batista? Or were their plans always much more fluid than that?
Would he have won the belt at WrestleMania 30 and then dropped it by May, or June's Money in the Bank? Or would they have been okay with having the champ off of house shows and some television while he made the talk show rounds for GotG?
What do you think, Cagesiders?