The Triple H/Batista program WWE’s quickly put together for WrestleMania 35 doesn’t seem to have lit the world on fire. The Animal’s surprise return was undercut by a ‘Reality’ Era promo from Haitch that stretched disbelief a little too far, both because we all know Dave Bautista didn’t really beat up 70 year old Richard Fliehr, and because if there was every a wrestler to not do a “the man behind the gimmick” angle with - it’s living gimmick Ric Flair.
Other than that though, and getting a little lost in the history of the Women’s main event and the lightning in a bottle that is Kofimania, it’s been a solid story that’s built on the established rivalry and perceived tension between the former Evolution teammates.
It’s also been a showcase for one of my favorite performers, Dave Bautista. Is he the greatest wrestler? F*** no. But he’s a great character built and presented by someone with charisma to spare. That’s been present in the limited amount of time we’ve had with him on what’s presumably his last run, where Batista’s every choice - from lines and catch phrases to body jewelry and flying spittle - has been made to be maximize his screen time and deliver a memorable (and meme-able) moment.
Now, just six days before ‘Mania, WWE’s announced Dave will walk alone into his hometown arena, Washington, D.C.’s Capital One Arena to finish the build to his No Holds Barred match with The Game, where Hunter’s career will be on the line.
Will he raise the stakes? Get physical? Blow up? Wear red skinny jeans?
Find out Mon., April 1 at 8pm eastern!