Batista was a top star in WWE until 2010 when he decided to leave the company and pursue Hollywood aspirations. However, The Animal made his WWE return in 2014 in hopes of having yet another successful run. He recently revealed that he refused to wrestle one of the hottest superstars during that time, Bryan Danielson, then known as Daniel Bryan.
Daniel Bryan emerged as the most popular superstar in the year 2014, achieving his lifelong dream of main-eventing WrestleMania. Bryan defeated Randy Orton and Batista in a triple threat match at WrestleMania 30 to become the WWE World Heavyweight champion. He made a successful title defense against Kane the following month at Extreme Rules.
The higher-ups had penciled in one more title defense following that, pitting Daniel Bryan against Batista at WWE Payback. Despite it being a mega showdown, The Animal recently disclosed during an interview with Daily Dead that he refused to battle the G.O.A.T, believing that it made no sense.
“What most fans don’t realize is that I stayed an extra month. The reason I had to leave was because I had to go and do press for Marvel for Guardians of the Galaxy. They [Marvel] were actually nice enough to let me stay an extra month. They [WWE] wanted me to stay that extra month and work with Daniel Bryan at another pay-per-view, but I just thought that didn’t even make sense.”
Daniel Bryan and Batista did have a singles bout in March 2014, right before WrestleMania 30. The Animal went on to become a megastar in Hollywood following his departure right after the show of shows. Bryan, on the other hand, stayed with WWE until 2021 when the leader of the YES movement decided to join rival competitor, AEW in September 2021.
Do you think the match between Bryan vs Batista for the WWE World Heavyweight title should have happened in 2014? Sound off in the comments!