The rivalry between Undertaker and Batista helped make Smackdown in the late 2000s the premier show in WWE. Alongside other stars like Edge, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy, Smackdown was the show with incredible wrestling and characters that people loved (and without John Cena)
Batista vs Undertaker was the match that took place at Wrestlemania 23 as the top match from the Smackdown brand. The Undertaker won the 2007 Royal Rumble (just pipping Shawn Michaels to victory) and challenged World Heavyweight Champion at Wrestlemania.
However, despite being the Royal Rumble winner, Undertaker vs Batista was not chosen as the match to main event the Grandaddy of them all. Batista felt this as a slight, and had some choice comments to Undertaker, Vince McMahon and the rest of the WWE locker room after their incredible match.
Undertaker vs Batista
The Undertaker has not been shy about talking about his Wrestlemania 23 bout against Batista.
The two men’s match at Wrestlemania did not main event the event (with John Cena vs Shawn Michaels going on last), and Undertaker revealed that Batista had a “Chip on his shoulder” over losing the spot to the WWE Championship match.
Batista walked into the match as World Heavyweight Champion and one of the top stars in WWE. His feud with Royal Rumble winner The Undertaker was one of the best in the company at the time and The Animal felt slighted to be excluded from the main event of Wrestlemania 23.
The Undertaker revealed on and episode of The Bump on the WWE network that Batista felt slighted by the main event snub. He claimed Batista was “motivated to go out there and steal the show” in his World Heavyweight Championship defence against The Undertaker.
“We really did have a good match. Batista had a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to go out and steal the show. He was the champion going into that match and he felt slighted that we weren’t in the main event. He was so motivated to go out there and steal the show. It was a lot of fun. I think that was one of his better matches and not just because of me but because of the motivation that he had,” Undertaker said.
“He was so in-tune and I remember coming back through the curtain after it was all over and he came back. I remember him yelling out in Gorilla, ‘Follow that!‘ And I was thinking to myself, that’s cool, but you know, Shawn’s still got to work.”
The Undertaker vs Batista turned out to be a brilliant match, with The Undertaker taking home the win after hitting Batista with a Tombstone Piledriver. While Batista lost his World Heavyweight Championship, he proved himself to be a main event star and fully capable of main eventing a Wrestlemania if ever called upon.
Batista would not main event Wrestlemania again until Wrestlemania XXX, when he took on Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan.
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