Batista turn predictable but effective
By Rennie Detore
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Predictability often permeates on both "Raw" and "Smackdown" at any
given twist or turn of a storyline. In the case of Batista, his attack
on Triple H, although expected, delivered one of the finer moments in
recent WWE history.
"Smackdown" general manager Teddy Long and his "Raw" counterpart, Eric
Bischoff, each presented the 2005 "Royal Rumble" winner with contracts
to jump to their respective brands.
Perfectly written and devoid of the typical heel-outsmarting-the-face
antics, Batista emphatically revealed to Triple H that he knew exactly
what game the WWE heavyweight champion was playing. Batista gave
Triple H a thumbs up, signaling that he was headed to "Smackdown" to
tangle with JBL and John Cena at "Wrestlemania 21."
Triple H's ear-to-ear grin quickly disappeared after Batista flipped
his thumb downward before leveling "The Game" with a clothesline,
followed by a powerbomb through a table. That unforgettable spot
officially started Batista's march to "Wrestlemania" to battle Triple
H for the "Raw" world title.
The payoff of watching "The Game" go crashing through a table courtesy
of the now-former Evolution member reminded even the most dismayed WWE
fan that the creative team still can be creative.
In every instance, Batista has been one step ahead of his mentor,
which allowed Batista to break away from the usual WWE babyface
character, who seemingly doesn't have a clue about what the bad guy is
No one, not Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels or Randy Orton, has
outsmarted Triple H, who deserves equal credit for delivering spot-on,
yet subtle, heel tactics over the past few months opposite Batista.
Because WWE positioned Batista as beating Triple H at his own
mindgames, fans have grown to respect the hulking superstar as more
than just another plodding big man. Basically, his massive muscles
only compliment, not overshadow, his bigger brain.
Furthermore, Batista hasn't overplayed his role as a good guy while
teasing his eventual breakaway from Evolution.
Often times, like in the case of Orton, WWE rushes to deliver what its
fans want. In theory, that mentality works to "send the crowd home
happy," but often spoils the storyline's longevity.
WWE finally resisted that temptation and allowed Batista's animosity
toward Triple H to slowly fester from week to week. That kind of
patience is what made last Monday's moment so special and didn't
overtly remind fans Batista's attack on Triple H could be seen coming
The only downfall to "Raw" was Bischoff and Long, both of whom
intently watched "Raw" all evening but still didn't manage to see
Triple H divulge his master plan to Ric Flair. Even announcers Jim
Ross and Jerry "the King" Lawler, who watched as Batista heard Triple
H's confession, played dumb as the final segment featuring said
parties unfolded, pretending as if they didn't know what Batista's
would have planned.
But an overwhelmingly strong storyline made the ignorant Long and
Bischoff characters, along with an equally oblivious Ross and Lawler,
a mere afterthought to Batista making his long-awaited exit from
Evolution, further proving that predictability can be explosive if its
done with a sense of pacing, not urgency.
A WWE representative was quoted in an article with the New York Daily
News stating that the company should not have allowed The Rock's
contract to expire, calling it a "mistake." The Rock and WWE have
expressed interest in working together again, which could pave the way
for The Rock's return at "Wrestlemania 21."
Ross stepped up to assume a more active role in the absence of Vince
McMahon, who could be missing from WWE's daily TV and pay-per-view
duties for six months. Stephanie McMahon, the company's head writer,
and her husband, Triple H, also have assumed more of an active role in
the absence of McMahon, who tore his quadricep muscle in both legs at
the "Royal Rumble."