Well, nobody saw this one coming tonight!
If every episode of Monday Night Raw was like tonight’s, WWE would not be struggling in the ratings or at the box office as it has been recently.
A superbly-paced, breathless show that was crammed with big moments and angles was capped off with the shock return of Batista at the end of the episode.
The segment was supposed to be the heavily-hyped Ric Flair 70th anniversary bash but as the roster and Flair’s friends (legends Ricky Steamboat, Kurt Angle, Shawn Michaels and Sting amongst them) looked on, Flair failed to show when his music played.
The camera then cut backstage to Batista – who had clearly been well hidden all night as his appearance was reported nowhere – who stormed into Flair’s locker room and attacked him then dragged the lifeless Nature Boy into the corridor.
— WWE (@WWE) February 26, 2019
Batista turned to the camera and asked Hunter, “Do I have your attention now?” Triple H then ran to the back to check up on Flair and yelled for a doctor as the show went off the air in dramatic fashion.
This was of course the set-up for the long-rumoured WrestleMania showdown between Triple H and Batista, which was originally hinted at on SmackDown 1000 last year but was in jeopardy due to Triple H suffering an injury at Crown Jewel.
It is interesting that Batista, perhaps the biggest mainstream name that WWE can realistically hire at this point, was clearly positioned as the villain of the piece and is going to be a heel in the rivalry. Evidently WWE learned from their mistake the last time around when Batista returned as a face in 2014 and was heavily booed.
Let us know what you thought of the angle in the comments below.