Batista returning to WWE before 'Royal Rumble', let 'Wrestlemania' speculation begin

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After a ticketing website accidentally let word slip over the weekend, WWE let the cat out of the bag during "RAW" on Monday (Dec. 23). Dave Bautista, who wrestled for the company as Batista, is set to return to professional wrestling on January 20.

His return will come one week before the "Royal Rumble," which should immediately launch speculation that he'll be winning the battle royal and appearing in the main event of "Wrestlemania XXX." It's a strange time for Batista to make his return, considering he is about to reach new heights in his career as one of the stars of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy," in which he plays Drax the Destroyer.

Of course, it's not the first instance of a wrestler-turned-movie star returning to WWE for "Wrestlemania." Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has done it the last three years, once as host and twice for matches.

Batista is a former six-time world champion for WWE, who first debuted with the company in 2002 before leaving in 2010 to pursue acting and MMA fighting.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images