PW Insider reported the following earlier this week on their Elite section:

As we reported yesterday in the Elite section of, former WWE champion turned “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Dave Bautista was backstage visiting at the Smackdown taping last week in Tampa, FL, where Bautista lives.

We have heard from multiple sources that while he was there, Bautista was pitched a special referee role for Wrestlemania 32 (possibly for Roman Reigns vs. HHH) but did not agree to the role. In the past, Bautista has shot down the idea of returning for a Wrestlemania appearance, instead preferring to be part of storylines.

Bautista last left WWE to promote Marvel’s initial “Guardians of the Galaxy” film, which was a massive splash when it was released in the summer of 2014. He’s publicly noted that there were mistakes with his final run, including WWE Creative bringing him back as a babyface and not listening to his advice as to what he felt the audience wanted out of his run.

Whether WWE decides to slide someone else into the special referee role or drop it altogether remains to be seen, but there are certainly other names, such as Shawn Michaels or The Rock who could be just as impactful in the potential role.

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