As WWE celebrated the 70th birthday of Ric Flair on Raw, Batista shockingly stormed “The Nature Boy”‘s dressing room, dragging an incapacitated Flair through the hallway and asking Triple H, “Do I have your attention now?”
During SmackDown’s 1,000th episode last October, Batista made an offhanded comment that the only thing Triple H had yet to accomplish was beating him. It would appear that “The Animal” did not get the answer he desired, so he decided to reiterate it at the expense of the one wrestler “The Game” respects above all others.
The former WWE Champion made a surprise return in Raw’s closing moments, attacking Ric Flair before “The Nature Boy” could strut down the aisle to his 70th birthday celebration, where the Raw roster and some select guests of honor — Shawn Michaels, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Kurt Angle and Sting — were gathered to wish Flair many happy returns.
Triple H then introduced Flair as his music played. However, after a few moments, it became clear something was amiss as Batista appeared backstage, dragging a camera over to Flair’s dressing room. Dragging a beaten Flair from the dressing room, Batista stared directly into the camera and asked, “Hey, Hunter, do I have your attention now?”
Triple H left the ring and went backstage, but Batista was nowhere to be seen. He tended to Flair as Raw went off the air.
Here is video of Batista’s appearance on Raw and aftermath.
WHAT THE?? Batista has appeared and attacked @RicFlairNatrBoy in a demand for @TripleH's attention on #Raw! @DaveBautista pic.twitter.com/NKzISy4fJ3
— WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2019
Here are some backstage notes on Batista’s return.
— According to TheWrap, this angle is supposed to lead to a match between Batista and Triple H at WrestleMania 35.
The person with knowledge of the match was not certain on the length of Batista’s return but thinks it would just be for the April 7 event at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
— According to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Batista vs. Triple H at WrestleMania had been planned since SmackDown 1000, but it was only finalized last week. The Undertaker was the other name considered for Batista’s return feud and WrestleMania match.
— Justin Labar, a podcast host who has sources in WWE, is under the impression that this angle was planned weeks ago.
Those crediting @bruceprichard for tonight's ending…my understanding is this angle was planned weeks ago. I KNOW, Bruce will contribute to #WWE…but this plays into the 1 big danger he has to deal w/ publicly that I'll explain on @RealityofLaBar this week. #RAW
— Justin LaBar (@JustinLaBar) February 26, 2019
— There’s no word yet on Batista’s WWE schedule in the weeks leading up to WrestleMania, although according to PWInsider.com, he’s slated to appear on Raw this Monday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to TheWrap, a movie that Batista is starring called “Dune” is scheduled to begin production early this year.