Before Triple H got injured at WWE Crown Jewel, “The Game” seemed headed for a showdown with Batista at WrestleMania 35 after their Evolution reunion at SmackDown 1000 ended on a tense note.
Batista praised his co-members and talked about what they all meant to him. He praised Orton, Flair and Triple H … but then reminded “The Game” that he never beat him. Triple H did not take kindly to Batista’s words, but the tension seemed to diffuse when the two hugged it out … only for both to still give each other a little side-eye as the hugs began to flow throughout the group.
— WWE (@WWE) October 17, 2018
This got REAL tense REAL quick.
— WWE (@WWE) October 17, 2018
Had Triple H not gotten injured, WWE planned on having him face Batista at WrestleMania, according to Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Triple H underwent successful surgery on November 6 to repair a torn pectoral muscle suffered during D-Generation X’s match against the Brothers of Destruction. While WWE said his timetable for full recovery is undetermined, he will almost certainly be out of action for six months, which extends past WrestleMania 35 on April 7, 2019.
“Generally speaking, after surgery to repair a torn pec, the recovery time is close to six months. John Cena came back in half the time, but he’s not human. HHH’s recovery time from his many injuries has been more normal. Six months puts it past WrestleMania, which was slated to have HHH vs, Batista as one of the top matches,” Meltzer wrote.
Despite Triple H’s injury, there is still a chance that Batista competes at WrestleMania 35 and in a storyline playing off the Evolution reunion segment. While WWE has not completely ruled out Triple H wrestling at the show, their backup plan is for Batista to face a heel Orton.
With that being said, there’s still a matter of Batista agreeing to come back to wrestle someone other than Triple H. For the past few years, Batista has specifically lobbied for one final program with Triple H and had no interest in returning to WWE for any other reason.
During an interview with Chris Jericho last year, Batista said he asked WWE about returning on several occasions but was often shut down or met with a lukewarm response. Batista said he was only interested in returning for a feud with Triple H, which would lead to his retirement.
“I’ve asked, I’ve asked for what I want. I’ve talked to Hunter about it and I’ve talked to Vince [McMahon] about it. I said I would come back and run a whole program with Hunter. That’s the only thing I’m interested in and they’re just not interested in it,” Batista said.
“It would be like my retirement thing. It’d be what I go out on. I’d come back and I’d do it. I would do a whole program and I’d be done. But that’s how I’d want to go out because we have such a history together and there’s so much history built in. There’s an easy story to be told and I think people would get into it and they’d like it. And Hunter, he’s just awesome to work with.”