Dave Bautista, a.k.a. WWE Superstar Batista, will return to the ring to wrestle Triple H at April’s WrestleMania 35, a person with knowledge of the plans tells TheWrap.
Bautista, who left WWE five years ago for Hollywood, appeared on “Raw” Monday night to spoil the legendary Ric Flair’s 70th birthday celebration. The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star beat up the Nature Boy backstage, then turned to WWE cameras and asked Triple H if he has his “attention” now.
We’d say so. Watch the assault on Flair take place via the video above.
The man who plays Drax in the Disney movies and loses the “u” in his last name for wrestling also appeared on WWE’s “SmackDown 1000” in October, which is where this new feud with Triple H slowly began.
See the seeds get planted below.
A few weeks after that confrontation, Triple H tore a pectoral muscle at WWE’s “Crown Jewel” pay-per-view, sending him to surgery and months of rehab.
WWE did not immediately respond to our request for comment on this story. As is the company’s practice, however, WWE does not comment on storyline aspects of its business.
TheWrap reached out to Bautista’s reps for comment on this story and how his return to the ring could impact a movie career that has some momentum. We did not immediately hear back. Bautista’s “Dune,” which is set for a November 2020 release, was due to start production early this year. We also reached out to Legendary, the studio behind “Dune,” for comment on this story and Bautista’s shooting schedule, but have not immediately heard back.
The person with knowledge of Batista-HHH at WrestleMania was not certain on the length of Bautista’s return, but thinks it would just be for the April 7 event at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. WrestleMania is basically the Super Bowl of professional wrestling.
Triple H, “The Animal” Batista and Flair were former friends in wrestling faction Evolution. Randy Orton was the fourth member of the group.
Bautista has also starred in “Bladerunner 2049,” the recent “Escape Plan” movies, and “Avengers: Infinity War” (as Drax).
Last night was a special “Raw” for reasons beyond the Flair plans. Roman Reigns returned from a health hiatus to tell the WWE Universe that his leukemia is now in remission. Reigns later came to the aid of former friend and partner in The Shield Dean Ambrose — so Roman got a little taste of action last night.