Dave Bautista made his surprise return to WWE television on Monday Night Raw this week, and he had a special message for Triple H.
Raw closed out with a special 70th birthday celebration for WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. The ring was filled with balloons, cake, and a special World Heavyweight Championship belt designed for "The Nature Boy" that was going to be awarded to him by Triple H, Stephanie McMahon Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Shawn Michaels and Sting.
But after Flair failed to make his cue when his entrance music hit, the feed cut to backstage where Batista was shown dragging a camera man up to Flair's dressing room. He then pulled an unconscious Flair out of the room and into the hallway before directing the camera at himself.
"Hey Hunter, do I have your attention now? Huh?!" he asked.
Triple H ran backstage to find Flair still knocked out. "The Animal" was nowhere to be found.
Bautista's last run in the WWE came in 2014, where he was infamously caught in the crossfire between WWE's creative direction and the overwhelming fan outcry for Daniel Bryan to be in the WrestleMania XXX main event (now known as the Yes Movement). After teaming with Triple H and Randy Orton as a reunited Evolution only to lose to The Shield in back-to-back matches, Bautista left as his Hollywood film career began to take off with roles in major blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049.
But for all of his success, Bautista repeatedly said in interviews he wanted to come to the WWE in some form or fashion, but was consistently being denied or ignored. Back in April 2018 he said in a radio interview that he was pitched to be Ronda Rousey's tag partner for the WrestleMania 34 mixed tag match involving Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, but the plan was changed to involve Kurt Angle without anyone telling Bautista.1comments
"The Animal" finally planted the seed for a match against Hunter back in October when he appeared at SmackDown 1000 as part of an Evolution reunion. During the segment he mentioned that Triple H had never beaten him one-on-one, causing a tense face-off between the two.
Bautista previously faced Triple H at WrestleMania 21, where he defeated "The Game" to win his first World Heavyweight Championship.