Batista returned to action sooner than expected after telling WWE that he was ahead of schedule with his physical therapy and wanted back as soon as possible. He was rumoured to have asked for some time off last year, only to stick around due to injuries decimating the roster until he himself was injured. He has been working out in Florida Championship Wrestling’s gym to get rid of ring-rust.
Dusty Rhodes was offered the spot as the Smackdown General Manager. Stephanie McMahon called him about it but he was not keen on the traveling at his age and size, which is why he left the writing team to focus on FCW in the first place. Ric Flair was also offered the role but turned it down so he could keep making money from his indy appearances.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 13th April 2009 (subscribe here)