After a five-year hiatus, Batista returned to WWE this year for one final match, where he went up against Triple H at WrestleMania 35.
The Animal lost to his former Evolution leader, then announced his retirement from sports entertainment. But for Batista, the one thing that mattered was that he finally had some closure on his wrestling career. He went out on a high note and can be at peace with how his illustrious journey in the WWE concluded.
But in order for him to return, Batista said that he wanted some things done his way. He talked about being involved in the creative process in an interview with Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet (h/t WrestlingInc.com):
"I was completely involved (in the creative process). I didn't want to go back as early as I did. They wanted me to come back to Atlanta for Ric's 70th (birthday celebration). I thought it was too early.
I said, 'If I come back this early, what are we going to do?' The last time I came back, they had all these weeks where they didn't know what they wanted me to do...
I said, 'if I come back early, we got to have a plan.' It wasn't the plan we ended up using. They wanted us to have a beef in the ring. It was between Hunter and I. I felt if I was out there, it would be watered down. We ended up doing what we did."
Batista left the WWE in 2010 and 2014 due in large part to creative frustration. In the first instance, Batista lost an "I Quit" title match to John Cena. The next day on Monday Night Raw, The Animal "quit" in storyline and later revealed that he left because he didn't like the direction WWE was moving towards.
He returned to the WWE four years later, but against his own wishes, Batista was being built up as a babyface. After winning the 2014 Royal Rumble, Batista was mercilessly booed, and it gave WWE no choice but to turn him heel. A few months after he returned, Batista quit WWE yet again and went to focus entirely on his successful career in Hollywood.
Five years later, Batista was back in WWE. They did a great job building up his match against Triple H, and considering Batista hadn't wrestled in five years, the quality of the bout wasn't all that bad. The Animal had a nice ending to his wrestling career. Up next? The WWE Hall of Fame.
What This Means
WWE didn't do things right with Batista in his first two stints with the company, so it was smart of him to make sure they planned it better this time around. His final chapter with Triple H brought back some good memories for long-time fans, and it's especially nice that he got to end his career on excellent terms after a pair of frustrating departures.