batista

According to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, former WWE superstar Dave Batista has been working hard to return to ‘wrestling shape’ over the last few months. He currently weighs around 280lbs, just shy of the 290lbs he weighed in his professional wrestling prime.

The news adds to speculation that he could be close to a return to WWE.

Previously, the man dubbed ‘The Animal’ had lost a considerable amount of weight while training for his Mixed Martial Arts career. Weighing in at 265lbs, he made a successful debut last year, defeating Vince Lucero by TKO. However, the fight drew widespread criticism from the MMA community for its poor quality. So far, a second fight has not materialised.

Batista enjoyed a hugely successful run with WWE and became one of the company’s top stars during his stay. A product of the former development system at Ohio Valley Wrestling, he moved up to the main roster in 2002 and his spell at the top included winning the WWE Championship twice and the World Heavyweight Title on four occasions. ‘The Animal’ won the 2005 Royal Rumble match and went on to main event that year’s WrestleMania, which remains one of the most successful pay-per-view events in WWE history.

Memorable rivals included The Undertaker and Triple H and he was previously a member of the faction ‘Evolution’, alongside Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton. But Batista quit WWE in 2010 and later criticised the PG direction the company had taken.

However, in October last year, he was asked in an interview whether or not he would ever go back, to which he replied: “Yeah, definitely. I’d definitely go back, it really just depends on who I’d be able to work with.”

His MMA gym closed down towards the back end of 2012 and although it was supposed to re-open in January, that never transpired.

Then, in March of this year, Batista attended an NXT taping in Winter Park, Florida, where he reportedly entered into lengthy discussions with Triple H and filmed an interview for use in an upcoming DVD boxset. This meeting fuelled speculation that he could have some further involvement with the company in the near future.

His return to something akin to the shape he was in during his last WWE run will only add to those rumours.

However, if Batista is to make a comeback, his schedule would have to fit around his blossoming movie career. Last month, he signed up to play Drax the Destroyer in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, with filming currently scheduled to begin in the summer.

Would you like to see Dave Batista return? If so, which current stars would you like to see him in the ring with?

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This article was first posted on April 13, 2013