Update on Dave Bautista's Free Agent Status

There's been a lot of internet grumbling about where Dave Bautista will have his next wrestling match, but apparently, The Animal is only interested in working for WWE.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Bautista only has eyes for Vince McMahon's company, despite having a "great chat" with AEW's Chris Jericho earlier this week. Jericho is said to have given Bautista a hard sell on the upstart AEW, who apparently gave Y2J the best contract of his long career.

Even more, The Observer writes that a WrestleMania match between Bautista and Triple H is still not off the table. This comes as major news as Triple H had surgery to fix a torn pectoral in November. The severity of the injury and long recovery process instantly seemed to put Triple H's WM35 bid on ice. But there was a slim chance that The Game could make back in time, and apparently, that small hope is still alive.

Triple H has been a regular on WWE in recent weeks but has kept a strictly non-physical role. The Game's healing ability is well-documented, and given how quickly he had surgery, it's possible that he is doing everything he can to be ready for WrestleMania.

Before his surgery, Triple H and Bautista went nose-to-nose during SmackDown 1000 in October. This short, but electric moment hinted strongly that a Wrestlemania match was in their future, but it looks like we'll have to wait and see.

While AEW may be able to extend a handsome offer to Bautista, he's been clear in recent months that he wants to go back for a final WWE chapter.

"I have to say that it's something I think about daily," Bautista told WhatCulture Wrestling. "I miss it daily. I love it, I have a passion for wrestling. I feel that at the core of me that's just who I am. I'm a physical performer, and I miss it every day."

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"I told them next year would be my last year," Bautista said. "I'm turning 50 next year, I'd be willing to. I feel great. Physically, I'm in great shape. I've never let up on that. But I just don't want to be the old guy in the ring and I don't want to overstay my welcome. I just want to end my career the right way and next year will be the last opportunity, so if we can't make something happen by next year, then I'm just gonna officially hang it up."

[H/T Cagesideseats]