Dave Batista

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Dave Batista
Dave Bautista by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bautista at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International.
Birth name David Michael Bautista, Jr.
Ring name(s) Dave Batista
Batista
Deacon Batista[1]
Leviathan[1]
Kahn/Khan[1]
Billed height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[2]
Billed weight 278 lb (126 kg)[2]
Born (1969-01-18) January 18, 1969 (age 45)[3]
Washington, D.C.[1]
Resides Tampa, Florida
Billed from Washington, D.C.[2]
Trained by Afa Anoa'i[4]
Marrese Crump[1]
Debut 2000[4]

David Michael "Dave" Bautista, Jr.[5] (born January 18, 1969)[3] is an American actor, mixed martial artist, bodybuilder, and professional wrestler who is currently signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Dave Batista or simply Batista, but is currently on hiatus. He is a six-time world champion, winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice. He is the longest-reigning World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history, and has won the World Tag Team Championship three times (twice with Ric Flair and once with John Cena) and the WWE Tag Team Championship once (with Rey Mysterio). He was also the winner of the 2005 Royal Rumble match and went on to headline WrestleMania 21, one of the top five highest-grossing pay-per-view events in pro wrestling history, and the winner of the 2014 Royal Rumble match after which he went on to headline WrestleMania XXX along with Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan.[6]

In August 2012, Bautista signed a contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports to fight in mixed martial arts.[7] He won his MMA debut on 6 October 2012, defeating Vince Lucero via TKO in the first round.[8] As an actor, Bautista has starred in The Man with the Iron Fists in 2012, Riddick in 2013, and the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. He has also appeared in several direct-to-video films since 2009.

Early life

Bautista was born in Washington, D.C. His mother, Donna Raye (née Mullins), has Greek ancestry, and his father, David Michael Bautista, is the son of Filipino immigrants to America.[5][9] His parents separated and eventually divorced. His paternal grandfather served in the military, worked as a taxicab driver, barber, and held other jobs to feed the family. Bautista has said that he is not ashamed to admit he lived in poverty.[10] He has admitted to having a hard life; before he had reached the age of nine, three murders had occurred on his front lawn.[11] As young as age 13, he was stealing automobiles.[12]

By age 17, Bautista was considered estranged from his parents and on his own,[13] despite admitting later: "I am proud of my parents. They are good, honest, hard-working folks. They taught me the values of working hard."[12] He became a regular bouncer for clubs until he was arrested after a fight that left two patrons injured, one of which was rendered unconscious.[13] After a trial, he was sentenced to one year of probation.[13] He also worked as a lifeguard[14] before pursuing a career in bodybuilding.[13] He credits bodybuilding with potentially saving his life.[15]

Professional wrestling career

Training

Batista tried out at the WCW Power Plant, but was told he would never make it in the wrestling business by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker.[16] He then went to the World Wrestling Federation, who sent him to train with Afa Anoa'i's school in the Wild Samoan Training Centre.[17]

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2002)

He made his Ohio Valley Wrestling debut in 2000 under the ring name Leviathan, where he immediately joined forces with Synn.[4] As a member of the Disciples of Synn stable, he went undefeated until being beaten at Christmas Chaos by Kane with help from Stone Cold Steve Austin. He later won the OVW Heavyweight Championship from "The Machine" Doug Basham before losing the belt to The Prototype. A few months later, Bautista left OVW after he was promoted to World Wrestling Entertainment.[18]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Debut and Evolution (2002–2005)

Main article: Evolution

He began his WWE career on 9 May 2002 episode of SmackDown! as Deacon Batista, a villainous enforcer for Reverend D-Von.[19] He made his WWE in-ring debut in a tag team match teaming with D-Von against Faarooq and Randy Orton, pinning Orton. Over several weeks, Orton tried to beat D-Von and Batista with different partners, but ultimately lost each time.[20] Batista suffered his first loss in a match against Rikishi after D-Von accidentally punched him, allowing Rikishi to take advantage and pin Batista. Batista and D-Von argued over the forthcoming weeks, with Batista eventually turning on D-Von.[21] After splitting with D-Von, he signed with Raw and was renamed Dave Batista (or simply Batista). He aligned himself with Ric Flair[22] and feuded with Kane, whom he defeated at Armageddon.[23]

In January 2003, Batista joined Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to form the villainous stable Evolution.[24] Batista, however, was sidelined for much of 2003 after he tore his right triceps muscle at a Raw live event in a tag team match against the Dudley Boyz. While training after the injury, Batista re-tore his triceps, extending his stay on the sidelines.[25] Batista made his return on 20 October episode of Raw, interfering in a match between Bill Goldberg and Shawn Michaels and "shattering" Goldberg's ankle with a chair. After the interference, Evolution came out, and Triple H rewarded Batista with $100,000.[26] On 10 November episode of Raw, Goldberg defeated Batista by disqualification when Triple H interfered.[27]

At Armageddon, Batista took part in two matches; losing to Shawn Michaels in a singles match,[28] and winning a tag team turmoil match along with Ric Flair to become one-half of the World Tag Team Champions.[29] By the end of the event, all four members of Evolution held every male championship on Raw, with Triple H winning the World Heavyweight Championship and Randy Orton winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[30] They held the title until the 16 February 2004 episode of Raw, when they were defeated by Booker T and Rob Van Dam.[31] They later regained the title for a short period.[32][33]

At Survivor Series, Triple H, Batista, Gene Snitsky, and Edge were defeated by Maven, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and Randy Orton in an eight-man elimination tag team match for control of Raw over the following month;[34] the members of the winning team would each be the Raw general manager for a week. Throughout the next two months, the relationship between Batista and Triple H began to deteriorate. After a loss to Chris Jericho, Triple H verbally insulted Batista. Batista teased leaving Evolution that night, but declared that he was still part of Evolution and that they tricked everyone.[35] Despite this ploy, Batista began behaving more like a fan favorite over the next few weeks in comparison to Evolution's villainous tactics. One particular moment saw Batista express disgust as Triple H and Ric Flair boasted about how they had intimidated and/or beat up Jim Ross, Danny Hodge, and Stacy Keibler. Regardless, he continued to show his loyalty to Triple H and Evolution by running down to the ring and assisting them in matches.

As 2005 began, Triple H realized the possibility of Batista becoming a threat to his World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H suggested that he not enter the Royal Rumble, claiming that it would be selfish of him to do so, and to simply focus on Triple H retaining the title. Batista entered anyway and went on to win the Rumble earning the right to participate in the main event of WrestleMania 21 against the World Champion of his choice.[36] In an attempt to persuade Batista to challenge WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield rather than him, Triple H concocted a scheme to have Batista run over in a limousine resembling the one used by Layfield. Initially, Dave did not want help from Evolution and wanted to confront JBL by himself. Triple H insisted that Evolution stick together and accompanied Dave anyway, saving him from the oncoming vehicle.[37] Batista became aware of the plot while sneakily eavesdropping on fellow Evolution members and signed a contract guaranteeing him a match with the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H at WrestleMania 21, thus leaving Evolution and officially turning into a fan favorite. Batista initially pretended that he would sign with SmackDown!, giving Triple H and Flair the "thumbs up", but turned it into a "thumbs down" before attacking the pair. He emphasized his departure by powerbombing Triple H through the table used for the contract signing.[38]

World Heavyweight Championship pursuits and reigns (2005–2008)

Batista in September 2005 as the World Heavyweight Champion.

Batista won the World Heavyweight Championship on 3 April in the main event of WrestleMania 21.[2][39] WrestleMania 21 received 1.09 million pay-per-view buys worldwide - the then-highest ever number of buys for any non-boxing pay-per-view. Batista's match with Triple H was described by sports journalist Dave Meltzer as "the peak of one of [WWE's] best storylines in years" [6] Batista won a rematch with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash.[40] After Batista retained his title against Edge, he was betrayed by Ric Flair, who helped Triple H viciously attack the champion as Triple H challenged Batista to a Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance.[41] Batista won the match at Vengeance, retaining his title yet again. With this win, Batista became the first wrestler to pin Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match.[42]

Batista at a SmackDown! live event in Cincinnati, Ohio.

On 30 June, Batista was revealed as the last pick in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery; he made a surprise appearance while JBL was celebrating his victory in a six-man elimination match to win the new SmackDown! Championship.[43] JBL defeated Batista at The Great American Bash by disqualification after the referee saw Batista use a steel chair.[44] They had a rematch at SummerSlam in a No Holds Barred match in which Batista pinned JBL.[45] The feud culminated in a Bull Rope match with Batista retaining his championship.[46] Soon after retaining the title in a feud with Eddie Guerrero,[47] WWE.com reported that Batista suffered a muscle tear in his back at the taping for the 11 November episode of SmackDown! due to a double chokeslam from Big Show and Kane.[48] Plans had been made for Batista to defend the title in a Triple Threat match with Eddie Guerrero and Randy Orton on 18 November episode, but the match did not take place due to the unexpected death of Guerrero on 13 November, the date of the taping. Batista paid homage to Guerrero during the SmackDown! and Raw tribute shows dedicated to Guerrero's memory.[49]

Batista led Team SmackDown! against Team Raw in an inter-brand feud before Survivor Series. The feud saw Big Show and Kane chokeslamming Batista several more times in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series in an on-camera explanation for Batista's injury.[50] Batista ultimately helped his team win the match.[51] After Batista saved Rey Mysterio from Big Show and Kane,[52] it was announced that Mysterio would team with Batista to face the Big Show and Kane at Armageddon.

On 16 December episode of SmackDown!, Batista and Mysterio defeated WWE Tag Team Champions[53] MNM to win the titles in a match they dedicated to Eddie Guerrero, and thus Batista became a double champion.[54] and the clash with Big Show and Kane at Armageddon turned into a Champions vs. Champions encounter. Batista and Mysterio lost to Big Show and Kane at Armageddon.[55] Two weeks later on SmackDown!, MNM defeated Batista and Mysterio after help from the returning Mark Henry to regain the WWE Tag Team Championships. During the interference, Henry attacked Batista, and performed his World's Strongest Slam.[56] The teams met again in a steel cage match that Henry also became involved in, and Batista and Rey were defeated again.[57] On 9 January, WWE.com announced that Batista tore his right triceps during a match with Mark Henry at a live event on 6 January. Due to his injury, Batista was forced to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship at the SmackDown! tapings on 13 January, two days after surpassing Triple H's previous mark of 280 days for longest reigning champion. In his book, Batista Unleashed, Batista said that he believed that Henry was "careless" during their match as he never gave Batista any warning that the move was coming. Batista went on to have successful surgery on his arm on 12 January.[58]

Batista during his second World Heavyweight Championship reign.

Batista made an appearance at No Way Out and told the crowd that once his arm had healed he would return to regain the World Heavyweight Championship.[59] At WrestleMania 22, he interrupted a Randy Orton interview, putting SmackDown! on notice; the World Heavyweight Championship would return to him by WrestleMania 23.[60] Batista made his official return during the 7 July episode of SmackDown! immediately calling out and entering into a feud with Mark Henry.[61] At Saturday Night's Main Event, Batista won a six man tag match with Rey Mysterio and Bobby Lashley taking on King Booker, Finlay, and Mark Henry.[62] Henry was legitimately injured and was ruled out of the scheduled match between the two at The Great American Bash, thus further delaying a potential feud between the two after being delayed by Batista's initial injury.[61]

Batista put out an open challenge to replace the injured Henry, which was answered by Mr. Kennedy.[63] Batista lost this match via disqualification for failing to stop choking Mr. Kennedy into the turnbuckle with his boot, but continued to attack Kennedy resulting in a laceration on his forehead so severe that it exposed his cranium and required more than 20 stitches to close.[64][65] Batista lost another match with Kennedy via count out in a rematch on SmackDown! before finally defeating Kennedy by pinfall on 4 August episode of SmackDown!.[66][67]

During this time, Batista tried to regain a world title, facing both Big Show for his ECW World Championship on ECW,[68] and King Booker for his World Heavyweight Championship at SummerSlam and on SmackDown!. Batista won the SummerSlam match, but not the title as the contests ended via disqualification meaning Booker retained the title.[69] In the SmackDown! about a few weeks later, Booker retained with help from his Court.[70] Batista remained a top contender to the World Championship, competing against King Booker on several occasions while feuding with Finlay,[71] before finally defeating Booker to regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series.[2] Ironically, the win occurred at the same arena where he surrendered the title in January.[72]

Batista in a WWE live event.

At WrestleMania 23, Batista lost the championship to the winner of the Royal Rumble match, The Undertaker.[73] They continued to battle over the title to a stalemate in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash[74] and a Steel Cage Match on 11 May episode of SmackDown!, in both matches Batista and The Undertaker ended in draw, thus Undertaker retained the championship. Following the latter, Edge took advantage and won the title from The Undertaker by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.[75] Afterward, Batista challenged Edge unsuccessfully for the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day, One Night Stand (in a Steel Cage Match), and Vengeance: Night of Champions (in a Last Chance match).[76][77] The loss at Vengeance stipulated that Batista could no longer get another chance at the World Heavyweight Championship while Edge remained champion.[78]

Batista accepted an open challenge from The Great Khali at The Great American Bash. Edge relinquished the title due to an injury the week before the pay-per-view, and Khali became the new World Heavyweight Champion, winning a Battle Royal and eliminating Batista. Batista and Kane, Edge's title opponent, faced Khali at The Great American Bash in a Triple Threat match where Khali retained the title.[79] Batista received a disqualification victory against Khali at SummerSlam after Khali used a steel chair, thus retaining the title again.[80] Batista finally claimed his third World Heavyweight Championship after eight consecutive attempts, by defeating Khali in a match that included Rey Mysterio at Unforgiven.[2][81] His first challenge was from The Great Khali in a Punjabi Prison Match at No Mercy where Batista retained his title. He won the match by leaping from the inner bamboo structure to the outer one, shortening his escape route and beating Khali to the floor.[82]

After the return of The Undertaker at Unforgiven, the duo reignited their feud at Cyber Sunday where the fans chose Stone Cold Steve Austin as the Special Guest Referee. Batista pinned The Undertaker after two Batista Bombs.[83] The feud continued with a Hell in a Cell match at Survivor Series. During the match, Edge returned and interfered by giving The Undertaker a con-chair-to. He then pulled an unconscious Batista on top of The Undertaker for the pinfall to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.[84] At Armageddon, Edge won a Triple Threat Match, alongside The Undertaker for Batista's World Heavyweight Championship.[85]

Various storylines (2008–2009)

Batista at a Smackdown! live event.

Batista appeared in the Royal Rumble and was eliminated by Triple H. At No Way Out, he was part of the SmackDown Elimination Chamber Match and eliminated Big Daddy V, but was last eliminated by The Undertaker. At WrestleMania XXIV, he defeated Umaga in an interpromotional match. After Shawn Michaels defeated Ric Flair at the same event,[86] Batista began a feud with Michaels, calling him selfish and egotistical. The two faced off at Backlash with Chris Jericho as the Special Guest referee. Michaels won after faking a knee injury and performing Sweet Chin Music.[87] Batista then defeated Michaels at One Night Stand in a stretcher match, thus ending their feud.[88]

On 23 June, Batista was drafted from SmackDown to the Raw brand during the 2008 WWE Draft.[89] Batista became a World Tag Team Champion for a third time on 4 August episode of Raw when he teamed up with John Cena to defeat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for the title,[90][91] but they failed to retain the titles against the former champions on the next episode of Raw.[92] Batista narrowly defeated Cena at SummerSlam.[93]

On 26 October at Cyber Sunday, Batista defeated Chris Jericho for his fourth World Heavyweight Championship in a match in which Stone Cold Steve Austin was voted in as the special guest referee.[94] Batista's reign, however, only lasted eight days when Jericho won back the title in a Steel Cage match on a three-hour special episode of Raw.[95]

Batista then entered a feud with former Evolution partner, Randy Orton; at Survivor Series, Batista led a team of himself, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth to face the team of Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry. Batista was pinned by Orton, winning the match for his team. His feud with Orton continued up to Armageddon where Batista defeated Orton. On 15 December episode of Raw, Batista was put into a handicap match against The Legacy with John Cena as his partner. During the match, Orton struck Batista with a punt to the head. Batista was knocked out and put out of action indefinitely due to a (kayfabe) head injury. WWE.com later reported that Batista elected to undergo surgery to repair a hamstring tear.[96] The hamstring was injured at SummerSlam, in the same match that former World Heavyweight Champion John Cena was forced out of action with a neck injury. He was expected to be out of action for six to eight months.

WWE Champion and departure (2009–2010)

Batista delivering a suplex to Chris Jericho in September 2009.

Batista returned on 6 April episode of Raw, to save Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon from The Legacy. Vince McMahon, then announced that Batista would take his place at Backlash, where he would team up with WWE Champion Triple H, and Shane McMahon, to face The Legacy. During the match, Batista had brought out a chair, but Triple H tried to stop him, so they would not get disqualified. This distraction however, cost Triple H his championship, after he lost it to Orton. The following night on Raw, Batista won a singles match against Big Show due to a distraction by John Cena, to become the number one contender for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day.[97] Batista went on to defeat Orton in a rematch at Extreme Rules in a Steel Cage match to capture the WWE Championship.[98] However, on 8 June episode of Raw, Batista was to vacate the title due to a staged brutal attack by Orton and the Legacy. It was later revealed that Batista had suffered a legitimate torn left biceps. Legacy was given on-screen credit for his injury.[99]

It was announced a few weeks before the Trish Stratus-hosted Raw that Batista would be making a career-altering announcement come that show. Batista returned on 14 September episode with his arm still in a vice and began his announcement. Randy Orton, assuming Batista was announcing his retirement, then came out and stated that it was he who ended the career of Batista. Batista then went on to remove his arm vice, as it was a fake just to lure out Orton, and proceeded to attack Orton. He then announced that he will not be retiring, but moving to SmackDown instead. Later that night, he defeated Orton in a no-holds barred match which was to be his last match on the Raw brand.[100]

Following his return to SmackDown, Batista defeated Unified Tag Team Champions Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and The Big Show) in singles competition.[101][102] These two victories culminated in a tag team title match against Jeri-Show with his partner Rey Mysterio On October 4 at WWE Hell in a Cell, which Jeri-Show won.[103] That same month at WWE Bragging Rights, Batista was unsuccessful in winning the World Heavyweight Championship in a Fatal Four-Way match including CM Punk, Rey Mysterio, and champion and event winner The Undertaker. During the match, Mysterio broke up Batista's pin on Undertaker possibly costing him the match and the title. After the match, Batista turned heel by attacking Mysterio.[104] Batista faced Mysterio on November 22 at Survivor Series, where Batista won via referee stoppage after delivering three Batista Bombs to Mysterio.[105] Batista defeated Mysterio again in a street fight on the December 11 episode of SmackDown.[106] A few weeks later, Batista lost to Mysterio in a number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship;[107] Mysterio's title match against The Undertaker ended as a no-contest after interference from Batista.[108] On December 13 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Batista defeated the Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Chairs match as a result of an illegal maneuver. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long restarted the match with The Undertaker winning the match and retaining the championship.[109]

Chris Jericho applying a submission hold to Batista.

Batista then became involved in WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and Bret Hart's rivalry in February 2010 by assisting McMahon in attacking Hart; John Cena attempted to save Hart, but would end up being assaulted by Batista.[110] On February 21 at Elimination Chamber, as payment for Batista attacking Hart, McMahon allowed Batista to face Cena for the WWE Championship right after Cena won the title in an Elimination Chamber match. Batista would win the match and his second WWE Championship, which resulted in Batista moving back to Raw.[111] On March 28 at WrestleMania XXVI Batista lost the WWE Championship to John Cena in a rematch, ending his reign at 35 days.[112][113] Batista received his rematch for the title in a Last Man Standing on April 25 at Extreme Rules, but was defeated by Cena after Cena duct-taped his legs around a ring post, preventing him from standing up.[114] Batista and Cena faced off once again for the WWE Championship on May 23 at Over the Limit, but failed again to regain the title from Cena in an "I Quit" match.[115] The following night on Raw, Batista opened the show in a wheelchair and claimed he would be pursuing legal action against Cena and the WWE for his injuries (which he revealed in 2014 to be a legitimate compression fracture of his L1 spine[116]). His promo was interrupted by new Raw General Manager Bret Hart, who requested he face an injured Randy Orton to qualify for a shot at WWE Championship against Cena again at the new Fatal 4-Way pay-per-view. Batista refused and quit the company after Hart named Orton winner by forfeit. His profile was subsequently moved to the WWE.com alumni page.[117] He later said in an interview that he left WWE because he did not like the direction the company was going in and would not be returning any time soon.[118]

Return and Evolution reunion (2014)

Batista at WrestleMania XXX in the main-event.

On the 23 December 2013 episode of Raw, a vignette aired announcing the return of Batista on the 20 January 2014 episode of Raw.[119] It was later announced that Batista would be participating in the 2014 Royal Rumble match.[120] Batista returned to confront WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton on the January 20 Raw, and vowed to win Royal Rumble Match and become champion at WrestleMania. Later that night, Batista confronted Alberto Del Rio, who had been trash talking him for several weeks, and eventually attacked him with a Batista Bomb.[121] Six days later at the Royal Rumble, Batista entered the Rumble match at number 28 and eliminated Roman Reigns to win the match, becoming the fifth wrestler to win multiple Rumble matches.[122] The live crowd reacted negatively towards Batista, cheering Reigns (a villainous character for the past year) and Daniel Bryan (who was not in the match). The crowd continued to boo Batista after Reigns was eliminated.[123] After the show went off the air, Batista mocked Bryan and gestured his middle finger at the crowd.[124] On the February 3 Raw, Batista was confronted and was ultimately assaulted by Del Rio before chasing him off.[125] Batista retaliated the following week, powerbombing Del Rio through the announce table.[126] At the Elimination Chamber event and on the following Raw, he was heavily booed by the fans during matches against Del Rio.[127] Batista won the match at Elimination Chamber, but continued to suffer a torrid fan reaction with 'Boo-tista' chants.[128] Batista responded to the audience on the February 28 SmackDown, saying he didn't come back to be liked and promising to be the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion, thus reverting to being a villain once again and mocking other superstars stating they weren't "real men". [129] Bryan was added to the WrestleMania main event after defeating Triple H in the opening match of the show. Bryan would ultimately win the triple threat match at WrestleMania, forcing Batista to tap out and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the process.[130]

The next night on Raw, Batista and Orton teamed together to face The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but the match ended in a no contest due to both teams being counted out.[131] Later that night, Batista and Orton, along with Kane, attacked Bryan before he was set to defend his title against Triple H. Before Triple H could defeat Bryan, The Shield interrupted by spearing Triple H and taking out Batista, Orton and Kane, causing Bryan to retain his title via disqualification.[132] On the April 14 edition of Raw, Batista, Triple H and Randy Orton came down to the ring to attack The Shield after their 11-on-3 handicap match, using the name and the theme of Evolution.[133] At Extreme Rules, Evolution lost to The Shield.[134] At Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield again. On June 2 edition of Raw, Batista (kayfabe) quit WWE after Triple H denied him a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; this was done to write Batista off WWE television so he could promote Guardians of the Galaxy.

Mixed martial arts

Dave Bautista after his first mixed martial arts win.

After being released from the WWE, Batista attended Strikeforce: Los Angeles on 16 June 2010, having previously registered an interest in competing in Mixed martial arts. On 21 June 2010, Batista announced to TMZ.com that he would be embarking on a MMA career.[135] He also became a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie.[136]

Batista had announced that he and Strikeforce had agreed on a price and were negotiating a contract. However, in April 2011, Batista announced to TMZ.com that negotiating a contract with Strikeforce fell through when Strikeforce was bought by Zuffa, LLC.[137]

Batista was expected to make his MMA debut against Rashid Evans on 6 October 2012 at Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain in Providence, Rhode Island.[138] However, on 1 October 2012, it was announced that Evans was forced out of the bout after a probation violation landed him back in jail. With Batista's MMA debut still on for the event, Evans was replaced by journeyman and 40 fight veteran Vince Lucero. Batista would go on to win the fight by TKO at 4:05 in the first round.[139]

Mixed martial arts record

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 1–0 Vince Lucero TKO (punches) CES MMA: Bautista vs. Lucero October 6, 2012 1 4:05 Providence, Rhode Island, United States

Other media

In addition to wrestling, Batista has been in several commercials and on several magazine covers. He was shown breakdancing in a commercial promoting WWE SummerSlam in 2004 where he did his take on a "floor routine", a routine that parodied the floor routines shown at the Olympic Games.[140] He was also on the cover of the April 2005 Flex magazine[141] and Muscle & Fitness for September 2008.[142]

Dave Batista in 2004.

Moreover, Batista has acted and has guest starred in several television shows as both himself and in-character as Batista. He guest starred in the eighth episode of Season 6 of the American drama, action/adventure television series Smallville; he played an extraterrestrial alien named Aldar that escaped from the Phantom Zone, who sucks the bones out of people for nourishment.[143] Along with John Cena and Ashley Massaro, Batista appeared representing WWE on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition in January 2007, giving the kids of the family whose house was renovated WWE merchandise and eight tickets to WrestleMania 23.[144]

During the week of 5 November 2007, he appeared on Family Feud with several other WWE superstars.[145] On 7 September 2008, he appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America as one of the judges, with snails as the theme ingredient[146] Batista, along with Candice Michelle, Shelton Benjamin, and Josh Mathews, represented the WWE at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in an effort to persuade fans to register to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.[147] Batista has also appeared on MTV Cribs showing his house and his cars.[148]

On 2 May 2009, he was shown on camera where he accompanied Philippine boxer Manny Pacquiao in his fight against British boxer Ricky Hatton in which Pacquiao won in the second round. He told the UK Sun that he loves Hatton, but Manny is in a league of his own, adding that he is thrilled to be there to support Manny before his bout.[149]

In June 2009, Batista made a cameo appearance as himself in an episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours.[150] In 2010 he made an appearance on an episode of Chuck[151] He has also made a cameo appearance in Relative Strangers.[12]

Batista worked alongside Rob Van Dam, Marrese Crump, and Ja Rule in the action movie titled Wrong Side of Town.[152]

Dave Batista had his first biographical DVD released through WWE productions entitled "Batista: I Walk Alone." It was released 20 October 2009.[153]

In August 2010, Bautista, in conjunction with The South of France Spa Naturals and Monday Night Mayhem wrestling released a video to obtain monetary contributions to the Ovarian Cancer Research Project. The video showed Bautista in various locales and included his long-time friend and veteran mixed martial arts fighter Imani Lee, his friend and trainer, Marrese Crump, his daughter, Athena and ex-wife Angie. Bautista dedicated the video to Angie, who has battled ovarian cancer for several years and is in remission.

Bautista appears in a large role as the villainous "Brass Body" in the Universal Studios movie The Man with the Iron Fists, starring Russell Crowe and directed by the RZA, leader of the Wu-Tang Clan. In March 2013, Bautista signed on to play Drax the Destroyer in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy.[154] Batista will be appearing in the reboot of the 1989 Action Martial arts film Kickboxer.[155]

Filmography

Batista at a WWE meet and greet in 2005
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Relative Strangers Cameo role Direct-to-video
2009 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Police Officer Direct-to-video
2010 Wrong Side of Town Big Ronnie 'B.R.' Direct-to-video
2011 House of the Rising Sun Ray Direct-to-video
2012 Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, TheThe Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption Argomael Direct-to-video
2012 Man with the Iron Fists, TheThe Man with the Iron Fists Brass Body
2013 Riddick Diaz
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Drax the Destroyer Post-Production

Controversies

In 2005, Batista gave two controversial interviews to the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. In the first interview, Batista, then wrestling on the Raw brand of WWE, criticized SmackDown!, stating, "I've watched their tapings live and it seems like a lot of the guys couldn't care less. There's a lack of passion and pride. There are guys on both shows who are lazy, couldn't care less and show no dedication."[156] In the second interview, Batista acknowledged that his statements had attracted considerable backstage heat from members of the SmackDown! brand as well as Vince McMahon.

Oh yes... tons of heat! I got lectured by Vince McMahon, The Undertaker and all the way down. I had good friends who just turned on me. Well, I thought they were good friends. Some of them are not with the company now. But I spoke from my heart then and I still feel that today. Maybe I chose the wrong forum to voice that opinion but I was speaking from the heart. When we were having that discussion we were talking about the competition between Raw and Smackdown. I didn't mention anybody on Raw, but there were guys on Raw I had the same sentiment about – who were absolutely lazy, had no passion and I thought should not be there. The same goes now. I'm putting my foot in my mouth again, but I still think there are guys on both shows who are lazy, couldn't care less and show no dedication. But we're slowly weeding those guys out. I want everybody in this company to work as hard as me, Triple H and The Undertaker do. I want them to sack the guys who lack the passion for this business and this company. I don't want them to be part of my show. Some of the guys who I think should be on their way out the door are still being given opportunities to shine, and it's up to them to take the bull by the horns and show that they really want to be out there. Then there are some guys, like Christian, who are dying for that chance and aren't being given that opportunity. I'm a huge fan of Christian. I enjoy every aspect of his work, the fans love and appreciate him, he has a great attitude, awesome work ethic, is always in shape and is very smart about the business. I feel very strongly that he's underutilized.[157]

He then criticized rival wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, claiming, "I've also seen clips of their car wreck matches with A.J. Styles doing his stunts. That's not wrestling. Wrestling is storytelling."[158] In April 2006, Styles responded to Batista's comments, stating, "I think it's funny that a guy who takes a bump and tears his back tells me that I don't know how to wrestle."[159]

Incident with Booker T

Batista's backstage problems continued at a SummerSlam pay-per-view commercial shoot. It was reported that Batista got into a real-life fistfight with Booker T. The incident was reported on WWE.com, with both men telling their sides of the story. The fight was believed to stem from the idea that Batista considered himself to be better than the rest of the roster due to his main event status and relatively quick climb to achieve it. It was said that wrestlers backstage were praising Booker for speaking his mind to Batista about his attitude.[160][161][162]

Steroid allegations

In August 2007, Batista was accused of anabolic steroid use after an ESPN article released the names of wrestlers that were clients of Signature Pharmacy of Orlando, Florida, one of many pharmacies under investigation for filling illegal prescription drugs.[163] Batista released a statement denying ESPN's allegations and was reportedly furious over the report. He denied ever being a customer of Signature and stated that he has been "tested regularly by the WWE, and I am in full compliance with the WWE Wellness Program".[164] WWE reportedly suspended ten wrestlers named in the controversy, though Batista was not one of them.[163]

Personal life

Batista was married to a woman named Glenda in the early 1990s and had two daughters with her, Keilani (born in 1990) and Athena (born in 1992) before divorcing.[165] Batista married his second wife Angie on 13 October 1998, yet they divorced in 2006. Before the age of 40, Batista had already become a grandfather of two grandsons: Jacob and Aiden by Keilani, his first daughter.[166][167] During his marriage with Angie, Batista became an avid collector of vintage metal lunch boxes. He admits his favorite is the 1967 Green Hornet lunch box, as it has Bruce Lee on it. This collection started when he bought Angie an ET lunchbox and she did not want to break it, so he bought a second one.[168] Batista revealed that he and Angie were separated in the August 2006 edition of WWE Magazine.[169] He later revealed, in his autobiography, a relationship with WWE Diva Melina Perez after the divorce from his wife in 2006, which led to a brief angle on SmackDown! during a feud with MNM.[170] Batista previously dated WWE Diva Kelly Kelly briefly.[171][172] In an interview on 2 September 2009, Batista said that he had previously dated WWE Diva Rosa Mendes.[173]

In October 2007, his autobiography Batista Unleashed, was released.[18] In an interview about the book, Batista claims "I didn't want to tell my story unless it was honest," and that "you have to go through three sets of lawyers: Simon & Schuster lawyers, WWE lawyers, my lawyers. Everything now being the way it is, you can be sued for the simplest thing."[174] One source of controversy was the mentioning of Chris Benoit, who was almost completely removed due to the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide. Batista responded saying "I loved the guy. I despise what he did, but that doesn't erase him from my life. I fought to keep him in there and glad they did."[174] When asked about his ex-wife, Angie, he says "[we] have really become close again, which we really haven't been in years. I really learned a lot about her, and she learned a lot about me from reading the book. She actually saw things from a different perspective from reading the book. So that was definitely therapeutic."[174]

He has numerous tattoos, including a large Chinese dragon on his back, red Kanji lettering on his upper left biceps which says "Angel" in tribute to his former wife Angie, a signature design on his upper right biceps, and a small Sun on his stomach which encircles his belly button.[175] He also has a tattoo on his arm of the flags of the Philippines and Greece merged into one. While taking time off due to injury in 2009, Batista had both upper arms covered in large, tribal style tattoos, including the word "DC soldier" on his right biceps.[citation needed] On 11 November 2011 it was announced via Twitter that Batista had been confirmed for the third WWE '12 DLC pack which was released in January 2012.[176]

In wrestling

Batista delivering his finishing move, the Batista Bomb, to Finlay.
Batista performing a spinebuster to Edge.
  • Nicknames
    • "The Animal"[2]
    • "Evolution's Animal"

Championships and accomplishments

Batista as World Heavyweight Champion in 2005.

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