After years of being pretty vocal about wanting to return to WWE for another match, Batista (Dave Bautista) finally got his WWE send-off earlier this year at WrestleMania 35.
Batista's last run with WWE came in early 2014 when he returned to win the Royal Rumble and get a shot at the WWE Champion (at the time, Randy Orton) at WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans.
The problem was that the fans revolted at the time because Daniel Bryan was at the peak of his rise in popularity. WWE had booked Batista to be a babyface (good guy) at the time, and even he has said in interviews since that he didn't agree with that decision. It was clear the fans wanted Bryan in the role, and WWE eventually changed plans and worked Bryan into the championship match (he had to defeat Triple H earlier in the show).
Following WrestleMania XXX, Batista went on to achieve success in Hollywood as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise. Even so, WWE didn't seem interested in bringing him back.
Batista talked about the difficulty in finally getting the green light for a return and farewell match during an appearance on Chris Jericho's podcast, Talk Is Jericho, this week.
"I don't know if Vince just didn't see value in it, after my last run with the company," Batista said. "Last year it was scheduling (he was filming a movie), it always one thing or another. I kept bugging Vince about it. I saw him we were both having surgeries, I was having a hamstring repaired and he was having a knee replaced. I talked to him about it and he said he would call and never did. I told Hunter about it and he was upset, he said he asked Vince about it and Vince didn't recall. Which is possible, he could have been on something (because of the surgery).
"Then there was another time where they had Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Shawn Michaels and they did something with the New Day (WrestleMania 32), I was supposed to play the part of Mick and I said that was something I didn't want. Hunter was there and I said, 'When are we going to start talking about Hunter at Mania?' They just never really showed any interest in it."
What finally resulted was Batista vs. Triple H at this year's WrestleMania. The seeds were planted last fall during SmackDown 1000. Triple H won the match, and Batista announced he is officially retired from wrestling following the match.
A big topic surrounding WWE of late has been troubles with the creative team. A little over a week ago, WWE shook things up and made Paul Heyman the head of the RAW creative team and Eric Bischoff the head of the SmackDown creative team.
Several people in the industry have spoken about frustrations with WWE creative, most notably Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose). Batista seemed to echo those sentiments when discussing the creative elements of his recent return.0comments
"It was a nightmare, it wasn't like last time, but it was difficult," Batista stated. "I thought if I go back now, what are we doing for five weeks, like in 2014 when I went out there and cut these really horrible promos, I was just regurgitating the same stuff."
[H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcript]