WrestleMania 35: Ric Flair Helps Triple H Defeat Batista Via Sledgehammer

IF Triple H Wins

Triple H will live to fight another day, as "The Game" defeated his old rival Batista in a No Holds Barred match at WrestleMania 35 on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. Hunter beat "The Animal" via Pedigree. The win marked the first time in the 14-time world champion's career that he successfully beat Batista in a one-on-one match.

The match was brutal and entertaining, though it was evident by this point in the show that the crowd was feeling a bit burnt out by everything they had seen over the previous six hours.

Early in the match, Triple H took a pliers and pulled Batista's nose ring out, causing some blood. Later, the two exchanged falls on tables, some of which refused to break.

Batista took some incredibly hard falls in the match for a guy who hasn't wrestled full time in years, including a slam on to the steel steps in the middle of the ring.

In the end, Ric Flair returned to play a role in the finish. Considering the rivalry for WrestleMania really kicked into gear when Batista returned to attack Flair during his 70th birthday celebration, it made logical sense and probably should have been expected.

Flair delivered a sledgehammer to the fallen Triple H, then distracted Batista, who was about to use a sledgehammer of his own on Hunter. Instead, Triple H flew in with a sledgehammer shot and followed that up with a Pedigree to get the victory.

The rivalry between Triple H and Batista stretches all the way back to the early 2000s when the two ran together as members of the Evolution faction. Batista won the 2005 Royal Rumble and turned babyface when he challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. He defeated his former mentor to win his first of six world titles, and would successfully retain against Hunter in two subsequent rematches.

While Batista left the WWE for the second time in 2014 to focus more on his acting career (which led to major movie roles in films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War, Spectre and Blade Runner 2049) he stated in numerous interviews that he'd love to return to the WWE again for a WrestleMania rematch with Triple H. He stated publicly in April 2018 that he was in negotiations to be Ronda Rousey's tag partner in a mixed tag match against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania 34, but he wound up being replaced by Kurt Angle after WWE reportedly ceased communication with him.

Batista finally returned to WWE television at SmackDown 1000 in October, where he made a comment during an Evolution reunion promo that Triple H had accomplished everything in the WWE, except beat him. Fast forward to late February and Batista appeared backstage at Monday Night Raw dragging an unconscious Ric Flair out of his dressing room. In the following weeks Batista would cut a series of promos saying he was back to end Triple H's career, saying he was the one who was always trying to hold him back and was the reason behind him leaving the company the first time.

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