WATCH: WWE star Batista brings back the bad guy at Smackdown

Ryan Songalia

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With his babyface routine failing to pay dividends in his WWE return, Dave Batista finally turned heel on this past week's Smackdown

MANILA, Philippines – Give the people what they want.

That’s exactly what World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) did this past Friday when they finally turned Dave Batista heel on Smackdown after weeks enduring the crowd’ relentless booing. Signs had popped up at live events mocking the 44-year-old Filipino-Greek grappler with monickers like “Bootista” as the fans regurgitated the programming being forced down their throats.

Since Batista’s return in mid-January, Batista has endured what is referred to by insiders as “X-Pac heat,” a term to describe when a wrestling character is booked as a good guy is booed as if he was a bad guy. Batista returned from a 4 year absence and immediately jumped into the main event picture, winning the Royal Rumble to earn the right to challenge WWE World Heavyweight champion Randy Orton at Wrestlemania XXX on April 6 in New Orleans, La.

Entering the ring to the ubiquitous chorus of boos, Batista lashed back at the WWE fans, singling out crowd favorite Daniel Bryan, whose trademark “Yes!” chants have become the anthem for assailing Batista.

Bryan, a dimunative two-time former champion who had been a star on the independent scene before joining WWE in 2009, had been prematurely bumped from the world title picture to make room for Batista.

“Where are all the real man?,” began Batista, whose real name is Dave Bautista. “What happened to the atittude? You chant the names of 195-pound wannabes? You scream ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!’ but the truth is ‘No! No! No! No!,’ they will never beat me. That’s the truth. Deal with it.”

A REASON TO BOO. Dave Batista at Marvel's "Guardians of The Galaxy" press line during Comic-Con International last July. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Batista’s character redirection returns him to the bad guy role that saw him enjoy his best critical success from 2009-2010, when his smarmy, self-importance made him the hottest heel in the business. He was the guy that everyone loved to hate, and his heat elevated the babyfaces he worked alongside, most notably Rey Mysterio Jr. and John Cena.

Following his promo, the six-time world champion Batista was confronted by Dolph Ziggler, one of the undersized, overachievers whom fans have bent over backwards to support despite a lack of appreciation from the company’s front office, came out to confront Batista and challenge him to a match.

Predictably, Batista destroyed Ziggler later that night, planting him with three spinebusters before pinning him with his Batista Bomb finishing maneuver. As in weeks past the crowd booed Batista mercilessly. This time however, Batista gave them a reason to boo.

With Randy Orton and Batista both heels, will this open the door for Daniel Bryan to return to the title picture as part of a triangle match? –

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