What with Batista being pretty well universally panned right now, I was thinking about when he wasn't. In 05 when he caught fire, how did that come about? Was it a gradual thing and I'm just not remembering it correctly? I distinctly remember it going, one week he was "Batista: Evolution's Heavy.", and the next week he was "Batista: Super babyface, WrestleMania Main Eventer." Am I remembering it wrong?
Wait, Steve Stevens the guitarist? You were awesome on "Rebel Yell"!
Anyway, yes, you're remembering it wrong. Dave did a slow burn where Flair and Hunter would be talking shit behind his back and Dave would happen to hear them, thus creating dramatic tension because the audience had info that the heels didn't. It created exactly the organic babyface turn that Orton should have been. In particular I remember being really hyped to see Dave win the title in the Chamber when it was vacated there at the end of 04.