Batista is remembered as one of the most iconic Superstars from the 2000s. He has done his fair share of walking alone and with Evolution during his time as a wrestler.
Dave Bautista began his illustrious wrestling career in 2000 when he debuted for Ohio Valley Wrestling. During his time there, he fought against future Superstars John Cena, Brock Lesnar, and Kane. After being promoted to the main roster in 2002, Batista debuted on SmackDown and hasn’t looked back since.
He has won the WWE championship six times and has been in the main event of WrestleMania twice in his career. However, Batista has not allowed the WWE define who he is as a person. At the age of 48, Dave Batista has proven he is a man of many talents and showed the world he does not need the WWE to be successful. Batista left the company briefly in 2010 because he was unhappy with the direction of the company, but did not let that stop him from staying relevant in the news.
Batista showed he could still fight by competing in MMA in 2012 and simultaneously saw his acting career take off. When the time felt right, he found himself back at the top of WWE helping to put over top talent. Following his final departure from the company in 2014, Batista left the WWE fans anxious for his unlikely return. Other than his famous roles with Evolution and five star performance in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, fans don’t seem to know much about him.
Here are 15 facts to give you a better idea of the man who is Dave Bautista:
15 He Was A Lifeguard And Bouncer Before Becoming A Wrestler
Many of us set go through many different jobs before landing on the one that we call a career and the same goes for Batista. At the age of 17, Batista was living on his own and found himself working as a club bouncer with his 6-foot-6 290-pound physique. Batista ended his days as a bouncer after getting arrested and sentenced to probation because of a bar fight that left one man unconscious.
Although it may be hard to picture, Batista also worked summers as a lifeguard for his local pool. Parents and even children would come to the pool just to see the unbelievable build that was Dave Bautista. It was during his lifeguarding days that he began bodybuilding seriously and has said repeatedly that it saved his life.
14 Began Wrestling At the Age Of 31
After working his fair share of odd jobs, Batista was given his shot in wrestling at the age of 31. He made his debut with Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2000 and was promoted to the main roster just two years later. Even at such a late start, Batista was able to showcase his talents to the WWE Universe, winning the WWE title six times and Tag Team champion 4 times.
It is not uncommon for Superstars like Batista to begin their wrestling career at a late age. Bill Goldberg, who currently wrestles for Raw at the age of 50, did not begin wrestling until the age of 30 because of a short career in the NFL playing defensive end. Thankfully, Batista didn’t give up on his dream like many would have at his age.
13 WCW Said He Would Never Become A Wrestler
Imagine being the guy to tell Dave Bautista that he would never make it in the wrestling business. That guy was Buddy Lee Parker from WCW and how wrong was he? Parker spent his wrestling career training future wrestlers in the WCW wrestling school, the Power Plant. Most notably, Parker trained WWE legend Bill Goldberg and helped make him the star that he is today.
As most people could imagine, Batista used that as motivation to keep pursuing his goal of becoming a professional wrestler. He went to the WWE who then sent him to Afa Anoa’i and the Wild Samoan Training Center. From there, he began fighting in the World Xtreme Wrestling promotion. After his long journey of training, Batista was finally given his spot in Ohio Valley Wrestling. It just goes to show that you can always achieve your goals as long as you put the work into it.
12 He Is The Longest Reigning Heavyweight Champion
The World Heavyweight Championship belt was established in 2002 after the WWE bought out ECW and WCW and split the two brands between Raw and SmackDown. Batista has won the World Heavyweight title on four separate occasions with his longest reign occurring from 2005 to 2006. His record breaking title lasted 282 days surpassing the previous record of 280 days by Triple H. The title run could have lasted it longer had it not been for a triceps injury causing him to vacate the belt.
The belt was eventually retired in 2013 following a TLC match between the WWE champion Randy Orton and John Cena. After Orton won the match, the belts were unified and has been called the WWE Championship since. It is one achievement that Batista will be able to take to his grave unless they bring back the belt sometime down the road.
11 He Wasn’t Initially Planned To Be A Part of Evolution
One of the greatest stables in modern WWE was formed in 2003 when Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista joined forces to create The Evolution. During their time together, they won multiple championships together, including every title on Raw in 2003 at the PPV Armageddon. What most people are unaware of is that Batista was not the first choice for the third member of Evolution.
WWE had originally planned for former WWE star Mark Jindrak to be the fourth member of Evolution. It was revealed much later that Jindrak felt he was not ready to join the stable, and Batista would be a much better fit. Even if it did not happen, it is still interesting to think what would have happened to Batista had he not entered Evolution. Maybe he would have been out of the WWE much sooner like Jindrak.
10 He Got Into A Fistfight With Booker T Backstage
Very rarely does a story of a backstage fight between two Superstars break the news to mainstream media. Not only did this story break, but the details of this fight have been posted on WWE’s website. At the time of the fight in 2006, Batista had been in the main event picture of Smackdown for about a year. Many thought of him as a guy who was full of himself and thought he was better than the other talent on the roster. Booker T decided to take a stand and put Batista in his place.
The two got into an altercation in a private room and Booker T ended up giving Batista a black eye. Batista addressed the fight years later saying that the fight needed to happen and they have moved past it. Without knowing the specific details, we should be glad it did not affect their in-ring chemistry.
9 He Had A Brief MMA Career
After Batista finished his first stint with WWE in 2010, he attended an MMA event in Los Angeles, California. This sparked his interest in the business and in June of 2010, Batista announced he would embark on an MMA career. Batista waited nearly two years to debut in MMA when he fought against Vince Lucero on October 6th, 2012.
The fight lasted mere four minutes and five seconds seeing Batista win via TKO. Unlike fellow WWE Superstar Brock Lesnar’s UFC debut, there wasn’t much buzz surrounding Batista’s match. Even though Batista won the match, Lucero was not in any type of shape to be competing. Batista has often hinted at a second MMA fight, but doesn’t seem likely to happen at the age of 48.
8 He Is One Of Six Superstars To Win the Royal Rumble Twice
Batista won his first Royal Rumble match in 2005 when he entered at number 28 and eliminated John Cena following a spinebuster He went on to main event WrestleMania, and defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Upon his return to the WWE at the end of 2013, Batista vowed to become WWE champion once again and entered the 2014 Royal Rumble. He entered at the same number as his previous victory in 2005 and threw Roman Reigns over the top rope to headline WrestleMania once again.
He joins Hulk Hogan (1990, 1991), Triple H (2002, 2016) John Cena (2008, 2013) Shawn Michaels (1995, 1996), and Randy Orton (2009, 2017) as wrestlers to win the Royal Rumble twice, while Stone Cold Steve Austin has won it three times (1997, 1998, 2001).
7 He Is A Grandfather
It is not uncommon for WWE Superstars to be parents. We have seen guys like Goldberg and Heath Slater consistently remind us of their children while on television. However, there are very few wrestlers in the business besides Dave Batista who can say they are a grandparent. Batista married his first wife in the early 1990s and had two daughters with her. His first daughter, Keilani, had two sons named Jacob and Aiden before Batista's 40th birthday.
Batista married a second time in 1998 to Angie Bautista, whom he divorced in 2006, leading to the relationship between him and WWE Diva Melina Perez. Finally in 2015, Batista married a third time to exotic dancer Sarah Jade. Thankfully, Batista did not have any children with his second and third wife because that could have turned into a messy situation at Thanksgiving dinners.
6 He Made The Transition From Wrestler to Actor
Dave Bautista joined guys like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena as wrestlers to successfully transition into the Hollywood scene. Batista left the WWE for good in 2014 after creative differences with the writing staff. Batista had acting experience throughout his time in WWE and even appeared in a few movies before leaving the company. His breakout performance did not occur until late in 2014 when he starred as Drax the Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The movie was nominated for two Oscar awards in 2015 and put Batista on the map as a legitimate actor. He has seen his movie opportunities sky-rocket, with Guardians of the Galaxy being given the green light for a sequel.
5 WWE Thought Guardians Of The Galaxy Would Flop
Part of the reason Batista parted ways with the WWE in 2014 was because of creative differences, but the other part of it was the top people in the company not believing in his most recent film’s success. When he returned, he wanted to come back as a heel because Daniel Bryan was so over with the fans at the time, and it would not make sense for him to go against him as a face. Batista suggested the idea of being the WWE champion while his movie was number one in the box office.
WWE did not picture the same scenario happening and claimed that they weren’t sure that would end up happening. Batista did not end up winning WrestleMania and the writers instead had Bryan make Batista tap out in the main event. At least Batista was able to prove his film’s success even if it didn’t result in one last title run.
4 He Wrote His Own Autobiography
Many wrestlers throughout history have told their story in their own words through an autobiography and Dave Bautista is no different. In 2007, he released his book titled "Batista Unleashed" which describes everything he wants the world to know about his life journey to this point. Wrestlers are rarely ever given the opportunity to speak out of character until their career is over, so the best way to get to know real person is through their personal stories.
In his book, Batista addresses his failed marriages and what it felt like to be a grandfather at such a young age. He also tells his fans how he felt he wasn’t ready for the spotlight in WWE until he joined Evolution. If anyone wants an inside look at the life of Dave Bautista, I highly recommend reading his book.
3 He Is Best Friends With Rey Mysterio In Real Life
Not many people could imagine someone as gigantic and built like Batista be friends with someone as small as Rey Mysterio, but it’s true. In between his six title runs, Batista was able to squeeze in a WWE Tag Team Championship with Mysterio in December of 2005, when they defeated Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro. Although their title reign only lasted two weeks, their friendship has lasted long past their careers in WWE. The two of them became really close after the passing of WWE legend Eddie Guerrero and helped each other grieve after his passing. They even made it known that they dedicated their title run to the late Guerrero.
Batista and Mysterio still remain close to this day long after their careers in WWE and have been known to ride their motorcycles together.
2 His Greatest Achievement In Wrestling Was Putting Guys Over
Batista had a long career of wrestling that stemmed nearly fifteen years, so he could have had many memories to choose from when asked what his greatest achievement was. Many wrestlers might say their first title run or achieving fame in general, but not Batista. A fan on Twitter asked Batista what his greatest achievement in wrestling was and his answer was nothing but class. He stated that he left the business on his own terms, but not before he put some talent over first.
Without assuming anything, the last people he faced during his time in WWE were Daniel Bryan and the Shield. So, Batista may have wanted to get them over with the WWE Universe before leaving for good. Maybe we owe him a thank you for how successful they are now.
1 He Is Still Not On Good Terms With WWE Today
It is no secret Batista still has some hard feelings for the company he gave many years to after the way his story ended. Aside from creative differences between him and the creative staff, WWE didn’t believe in him as an actor. Since his release, Batista has been outspoken regarding certain topics WWE. When Titus O’Neil was suspended last year for getting too close to Vince McMahon, TMZ caught up with Batista and asked for his thoughts on the matter.
Batista told them how Vince was out of line and how O’Neil should have left the company for being disrespected so harshly. It is quite rare to see someone speak out against the owner of the company and make a return, so fans of Batista may never get to see a retirement match for “The Animal”.
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