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WWE Raw results 2013: Batista to return to WWE before 2014 Royal Rumble

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The WWE Raw results for the Dec. 23, 2013 episode included news that "The Animal" Batista will return to WWE in early 2014. The show featured a special promo that showed an exact date for Batista's return, which now has pro wrestling fans buzzing about whether or not he may be a part of the main event for WrestleMania 30.

A Dec. 23 report from Wrestling Inc. notes that Batista's return will come at the Jan. 20 episode of Raw which is scheduled to take place in Dayton, Ohio at the Wright State University Nutter Center. That particular date is the week of the Royal Rumble 2014 which will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, so it's unknown whether or not Batista will announce that he's part of the event, or if some other event might occur. It's also unknown whether Batista will return as a face or heel when he is back to WWE.

Previous reports that a Las Vegas promoter was advertising Batista for a Feb. 16, 2014 show at the Thomas & Mack Center in Vegas, which had fans buzzing. Reportedly, WWE was upset over the premature announcement and the promotional graphic showing off Batista was pulled. That had fans and wrestling media sites confused over whether or not there would actually be a return, or exactly when it would happen.

Batista was last seen in WWE back in May 2010 on a live episode of WWE Raw, when he appeared in a wheelchair after losing an "I Quit" match to John Cena the night before at WWE Over the Limit pay-per-view. During the Raw episode, Batista officially quit WWE after being ordered by then-Raw General Manager Bret Hart to face Randy Orton and refusing Hart's order. Orton won the match by forfeit and was promoted to #1 contender status for the WWE title that John Cena had at the time.

After leaving WWE, Batista went on to work briefly in mixed martial arts. He has also been involved in several film projects including "Scorpion King 3," in 2012 and "Riddick" in 2013. Batista will appear in the 2014 comic book-based film release "Guardians of the Galaxy" where he will play Drax the Destroyer.

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