That wave may have been the last we’ll ever see of Dave Bautista in WWE. No, seriously.
Back in January, former WWE Champion Batista returned to the world of pro wrestling, partially to help promote Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. At the time, Batista in WWE seemed like a sure-fire pile of money, and Guardians was the first Marvel film people weren’t sure would catch on and be a hit. Fast forward a few months and Batista’s run is a disaster … his Royal Rumble win (in place of fan-favorite Daniel Bryan, who wasn’t even IN the Rumble) sparked a vehement, anti-Batista movement. Fans started booing him relentlessly, gave him the nickname “Bootista” and mocked pretty much everything he did. One time he wore too much blue and “Bluetista” became a worldwide trending topic. It was rough. By June, Batista had become fed up and “quit,” alongside an accidentally iconic wave, and took time off to formally promote his movie. Then, whoops, Guardians was a smash commercial and critical hit and one of the biggest movies of the year.
The plan all along has been for Batista to return to WWE and finish out his run, now with the good graces of Marvel movie fans behind him. The only problem is that now he’s got too many Marvel fans, and wrestling is starting to make less and less sense. So, is he gone for good?
When Batista left WWE months ago to begin media hype for “Guardians,” the plan was for him to return to WWE story lines once the media died down, which was rumored to be around SummerSlam time, but of course that did not happen. Backstage talk in WWE over the weekend and at Raw yesterday is that Batista might not be returning to WWE at all depending on future movie offers and the continued success of “Guardians.”
Another factor in the equation is the risk of Batista suffering an injury in the ring, which could have an impact on movie roles he might land. Batista has already signed on to appear in the “Guardians” sequel, and it’s expected many more movie offers will come his way given the major success of the Marvel movie. Batista is no longer being looked at as an actor who appears in low budget independent movies, and similar to the situation The Rock found himself in, movie studios might be hesitant to cast Batista in a blockbuster if he is actively wrestling.
It’s weird. If Guardians had been released before the Royal Rumble and a bunch of wrestling fans had seen it and fallen in love with his performance (like we all did), he might’ve been welcomed with open arms. If Daniel Bryan had gotten hurt and put on the shelf indefinitely during some OTHER three month period, it might’ve worked, too. Instead, we’re left with one of the most awkward return runs ever and a chance that it’ll never come back around and right itself. Are we okay with that?
As much as I want Big Dave back on WWE TV for serious and ironic reasons, Drax is by far the best thing he’s ever done, so maybe his talents just sincerely lie in being the big muscular guy in moves. And hey, if that dorky wave was his actual forever goodbye, how perfectly Batista is that?
The wave. We’ll always have the wave.