Bautista in July 2016
|Born||David Michael Bautista Jr.
(1969-01-18) January 18, 1969
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Occupation||Professional wrestler, actor, mixed martial artist, bodybuilder|
|Years active||1999–2010; 2014 (wrestling)
(m. 1990; div. 1998)
(m. 1998; div. 2006)
|Billed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Billed weight||290 lb (130 kg)|
|Billed from||Washington, D.C.|
|Trained by||Afa Anoaʻi
|Debut||October 30, 1999|
From 2000 to 2010 and 2013 to 2014, he was signed to WWE under the ring name Batista, where he became a six-time world champion, winning WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice. He holds the record for the longest reign as World Heavyweight Champion at 282 days, and has also 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 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 professional wrestling history. When Bautista returned to WWE in 2014, he won the 2014 Royal Rumble match, after which he headlined WrestleMania XXX.
In August 2012, Bautista signed a contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports to fight in mixed martial arts. He won his MMA debut on October 6, 2012, defeating Vince Lucero via TKO in the first round. He was representing the Philippines during the fight. Bautista first entered the world of acting in 2006. As an actor, Bautista has starred in The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), Riddick (2013), as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), the 24th James Bond film, Spectre (2015), L.A. Slasher (2015), the 2016 Kickboxer reboot, Kickboxer: Vengeance, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). Bautista is set to reprise his character Drax in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also appeared in several direct-to-video films since 2009.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Training and early career
- 2.2 World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE
- 2.3 Return to WWE (2013–2014)
- 3 Mixed martial arts career
- 4 Film career
- 5 Other media
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Filmography
- 9 In wrestling
- 10 Championships and accomplishments
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Bautista was born in Washington, D.C. His mother, Donna Raye (née Mullins), has Greek ancestry, and his father, David Michael Bautista (a still active hairdresser in the DC area), is the son of Filipino immigrants. His parents separated and eventually divorced. His paternal grandfather served in the Philippines military, worked as a taxicab driver and barber, and held other jobs to feed the family. Bautista has said that he is not ashamed to admit he lived in poverty. He has admitted to having a hard life; before he had reached the age of nine, three murders had occurred on his front lawn. As young as age 13, he was stealing automobiles.
By age 17, Bautista was estranged from his parents and lived on his own. He later admitted: “I am proud of my parents. They are good, honest, hard-working folks. They taught me the values of working hard”. He became a regular bouncer for clubs until he was arrested after a fight that left two patrons injured, one of whom was rendered unconscious. After a trial, he was sentenced to one year of probation. He also worked as a lifeguard before pursuing a career in bodybuilding. He credits bodybuilding with potentially saving his life.
Professional wrestling career
Training and early career
Bautista tried out at the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) Power Plant, but was told he would never make it in the wrestling business by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker. He then went to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), who sent him to train with Afa Anoa’i in the Wild Samoan Training Center wrestling school, he soon after started competing in Anoa’i’s World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) promotion. Bautista also trained with Marrese Crump in Muay Thai and Eskrima. Most recently, he trained at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie and has become a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment/WWE
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2002)
Upon signing with the WWF, Bautista was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), a WWF developmental territory. He made his OVW debut in 2000 under the ring name Leviathan, where he immediately joined forces with Synn. 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 WWE’s main roster.
Deacon Batista (2002–2003)
While still in OVW, Bautista began appearing on non-televised WWE events. He began his televised WWE career on May 9, 2002 on an episode of SmackDown! as Deacon Batista, a villainous enforcer for Reverend D’Von. 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. 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. On the November 11 episode of SmackDown, Batista defeated D’Von to end their feud. After splitting with D’Von, he was assigned to the Raw brand and was renamed Batista. He aligned himself with Ric Flair and feuded with Kane, whom he defeated at Armageddon.
In January 2003, Batista joined Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to form the villainous stable Evolution. Batista, however, was sidelined for much of 2003 after he tore his right triceps muscle at a Raw live event in a match against Brock Lesnar. While training after the injury, Batista re-tore his triceps, extending his stay on the sidelines. Batista made his return on October 20 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. On November 10 episode of Raw, Goldberg defeated Batista by disqualification when Triple H interfered.
At Armageddon, Batista took part in two matches; losing to Shawn Michaels in a singles match, and winning a tag team turmoil match along with Ric Flair to become one-half of the World Tag Team Champions. 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 Intercontinental Championship. They held the title until February 16, 2004 episode of Raw, when they were defeated by Booker T and Rob Van Dam. They later regained the title for a short period.
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; 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. 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. In an attempt to persuade Batista to challenge WWE Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield and challenger John Cena in a triple-threat match 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. 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.
World Heavyweight Champion (2005–2008)
Batista won the World Heavyweight Championship on April 3 in the main event of WrestleMania 21. 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”. Batista won a rematch with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash. 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. 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.
On June 30, 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. JBL defeated Batista at The Great American Bash by disqualification after the referee saw Batista use a steel chair. They had a rematch at SummerSlam in a No Holds Barred match in which Batista pinned JBL. The feud culminated in a Bull Rope match with Batista retaining his championship. Soon after retaining the title in a feud with Eddie Guerrero, WWE.com reported that Batista suffered a muscle tear in his back at the taping for November 11 episode of SmackDown! due to a double chokeslam from Big Show and Kane. Plans had been made for Batista to defend the title in a Triple Threat match with Eddie Guerrero and Randy Orton on November 18 episode, but the match did not take place due to the unexpected death of Guerrero on November 13, the date of the taping. Batista paid homage to Guerrero during the SmackDown! and Raw tribute shows dedicated to Guerrero’s memory.
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. Batista ultimately helped his team win the match. After Batista saved Rey Mysterio from Big Show and Kane, it was announced that Mysterio would team with Batista to face the Big Show and Kane at Armageddon.
On December 16 episode of SmackDown!, Batista and Mysterio defeated WWE Tag Team Champions MNM to win the titles in a match they dedicated to Eddie Guerrero, and thus Batista became a double champion. 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. 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. The teams met again in a steel cage match that Henry also became involved in, and Batista and Mysterio were defeated again. On January 9, WWE.com announced that Batista tore his right triceps during a match with Mark Henry at a live event on January 6. Due to his injury, Batista was forced to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship at the SmackDown! tapings on January 13, 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 January 12.
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. At WrestleMania 22, he interrupted a Randy Orton interview, putting SmackDown! on notice that the World Heavyweight Championship would return to him by WrestleMania 23. Batista made his official return during July 7 episode of SmackDown! immediately calling out and entering into a feud with Mark Henry. 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. 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.
Batista put out an open challenge to replace the injured Henry, which was answered by Mr. Kennedy. 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. Batista lost another match with Kennedy via count out in a rematch on SmackDown! before finally defeating Kennedy by pinfall on August 4 episode of SmackDown!.
During this time, Batista tried to regain a world title, facing both Big Show for his ECW World Championship on ECW, 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. In the SmackDown! about a few weeks later, Booker retained with help from his Court. Batista remained a top contender to the World Championship, competing against King Booker on several occasions while feuding with Finlay, before finally defeating Booker to regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series. Ironically, the win occurred at the same arena where he surrendered the title in January.
At WrestleMania 23, Batista lost the championship to the winner of the Royal Rumble match, The Undertaker. They continued to battle over the title to a stalemate in a Last Man Standing match at Backlash 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. 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). The loss at Vengeance stipulated that Batista could no longer get another chance at the World Heavyweight Championship while Edge remained champion.
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. Batista received a disqualification victory against Khali at SummerSlam after Khali used a steel chair, thus retaining the title again. Batista finally claimed his third World Heavyweight Championship after eight consecutive attempts, by defeating Khali in a match that included Rey Mysterio at Unforgiven. 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.
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. 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. At Armageddon, Edge won a Triple Threat match, alongside The Undertaker for Batista’s World Heavyweight Championship.
Various storylines (2008–2009)
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, 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. Batista then defeated Michaels at One Night Stand in a stretcher match, thus ending their feud.
On June 23, Batista was drafted from SmackDown to the Raw brand during the 2008 WWE Draft. Batista became a World Tag Team Champion for a third time on August 4 episode of Raw when he teamed up with John Cena to defeat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for the title, but they failed to retain the titles against the former champions on the next episode of Raw. Batista defeated Cena at SummerSlam.
On October 26 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. Batista’s reign, however, only lasted eight days when Jericho won the title back in a Steel Cage match on a three-hour special episode of Raw.
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. Orton’s team won with Orton pinning Batista, winning the match for his team. His feud with Orton continued up to Armageddon where Batista defeated Orton. On December 15 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 storyline head injury. WWE.com later reported that Batista elected to undergo surgery to repair a hamstring tear. 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 returned on the April 6, 2009, episode of Raw, to save Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon from The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr.). 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. Batista went on to defeat Orton in a rematch at Extreme Rules in a Steel Cage match to capture the WWE Championship. However, on June 8 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 similar to what he suffered in 2006. Legacy was given on-screen credit for his injury.
Batista returned on the September 14 episode of Raw 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 he ended Batista’s career. 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 retire, 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 Raw.
Following his return to SmackDown, Batista defeated Unified Tag Team Champions Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho and The Big Show) in singles competition. 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. 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 and Mysterio appeared to patch things up, but Batista said he was tired of coming so close only to be stabbed in the back and told Mysterio he was going to rip his head off. Batista proceeded to brutally attack Mysterio, turning heel in the process. Batista faced Mysterio on November 22 at Survivor Series, where Batista won via referee stoppage after delivering three Batista Bombs to Mysterio. Batista defeated Mysterio again in a street fight on the December 11 episode of SmackDown. A few weeks later, Batista lost to Mysterio in a number one contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship; Mysterio’s title match against The Undertaker ended as a no-contest after interference from Batista. On December 13 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Batista faced Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a Chairs match. Batista initially won the match and the title, but SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long reversed the decision because Batista had hit Undertaker with a low blow behind the referee’s back. The match was restarted with The Undertaker winning and retaining the championship.
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 was assaulted by Batista. On February 21 at Elimination Chamber, as payment for Batista attacking Hart, McMahon allowed Batista to face Cena for the WWE Championship immediately after Cena won the title in an Elimination Chamber match. Batista won the match and thus his second WWE Championship, which resulted in Batista moving back to Raw. On March 28 at WrestleMania XXVI, Batista lost the WWE Championship to John Cena in a rematch, ending his reign at 35 days. 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. Batista and Cena faced off once again for the WWE Championship on May 23 at Over the Limit, but he failed again to regain the title from Cena in an “I Quit” match, quitting as Cena threatened to give him the Attitude Adjustment off the roof of a car. Cena did so anyway, throwing Batista off of the car and through the stage below. The following night on Raw, Batista opened the show in a wheelchair and claimed that he would be pursuing legal action against Cena and WWE for his injuries (which he revealed in 2014 to be a legitimate compression fracture of his L1 spine). 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. He later said in an interview that he left WWE because he “did not like the direction the company was going in”.
Return to WWE (2013–2014)
On the December 23, 2013 episode of Raw, a vignette aired announcing the return of Batista on January 20, 2014 episode of Raw. It was later announced that Batista would be participating in the 2014 Royal Rumble match. Batista returned as a face to confront WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton on the January 20 Raw, and vowed to win the Royal Rumble match and become champion at WrestleMania XXX. 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. Six days later at the Royal Rumble, Batista entered the Rumble match at number 28 and last eliminated Roman Reigns to win the match, becoming the fifth wrestler to win multiple Rumble matches, and the first, and so far only multi-time Royal Rumble winner to win from the same entrant number (28). The live crowd reacted negatively towards Batista’s win, as Daniel Bryan did not take part in the match. Despite a positive reaction originally, the crowd began to boo Batista after Reigns was eliminated. After the show went off the air, Batista mocked Bryan and gestured his middle finger at the crowd. According to Batista, he thought a return as face was a bad idea because of the fans being so invested in Daniel Bryan’s “Yes Movement”. On the February 3 Raw, Batista was confronted and was ultimately assaulted by Del Rio before chasing him off. Batista retaliated the following week, powerbombing Del Rio through the announce table.
At the Elimination Chamber event and on the following Raw, Batista was heavily booed by the fans during matches against Del Rio. Batista won the match at Elimination Chamber, but continued to suffer a torrid fan reaction with “Boo-tista” chants. Batista responded to the audience on the February 28 episode of SmackDown, saying that he did not come back to be liked, then mocked the other wrestlers by stating that they were not “real men” and promised to be the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion, thus turning heel. After Orton retained his title at the Elimination Chamber, the scheduled WrestleMania XXX main event was Batista vs. Orton, however Bryan was added to the match after defeating Triple H in the opening contest of the show. Batista ultimately lost the triple threat match at WrestleMania after Bryan forced him to submit to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. 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 double count out. 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. On the April 14 episode 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. At both Extreme Rules and Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield. On the June 2 episode of Raw, Batista quit WWE after Triple H denied him a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. After the episode, he made one last appearance for WWE at an NXT event on June 12 as a face, receiving a positive reaction from the crowd, cutting a promo with Bo Dallas before attacking him with a spinebuster. Batista legitimately quit the WWE due to creative differences soon after.
In April 2015, Batista said that he would be interested in returning to WWE, but only at non-televised events. He was contacted to appear at WrestleMania 32 in 2016, but turned down the offer.
Mixed martial arts career
Bautista after his first mixed martial arts win
|Other names||Brass Body|
|Weight||265 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb) (MMA) |
|Team||Gracie Fighter Tampa
Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
|Rank||Purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Cesar Gracie|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
After being released from WWE, Bautista attended Strikeforce: Los Angeles on June 16, 2010, having previously registered an interest in competing in mixed martial arts. On June 21, 2010, Bautista announced to TMZ.com that he would be embarking on an MMA career. He also became a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie.
Bautista 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.
Bautista was expected to make his MMA debut against Rashid Evans (not Rashad Evans) on October 6, 2012 at Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain in Providence, Rhode Island. However, on October 1, 2012, it was announced that Evans was forced out of the bout after a probation violation landed him back in jail. With Bautista’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.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown||[show]|
|1 match||1 win||0 losses|
|Win||1–0||Vince Lucero||TKO (punches)||CES MMA: Real Pain||000000002012-10-06-0000October 6, 2012||1||4:05||Providence, Rhode Island, United States||MMA debut|
Batista appeared as the villainous Brass Body in the Universal Studios film The Man with the Iron Fists. He played Drax the Destroyer in the 2014 Marvel Studios film Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a critical and commercial success. He played Mr. Hinx in the James Bond film, Spectre (2015), and starred as the villain Tong Po in the reboot of the 1989 martial arts film Kickboxer, opposite Georges St-Pierre. Batista has also joined the cast of Blade Runner 2049, which is scheduled to begin filming July 2016. He reprised his role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released in May 2017.
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. He was also on the cover of the April 2005 Flex and Muscle & Fitness for September 2008.
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. 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.
During the week of November 5, 2007, he appeared on Family Feud with several other WWE superstars. On September 7, 2008, he appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America as one of the judges, with snails as the theme ingredient. 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. Batista has also appeared on MTV Cribs showing his house and his cars.
On May 2, 2009, he was shown on camera where he accompanied boxer and fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao in his fight against British boxer Ricky Hatton in which Pacquiao won in the second round. He told The Sun that he loves Hatton, but Manny is in a league of his own and he tends to support his fellow Filipinos out of patriotism, adding that he is thrilled to be there to support Manny before his bout.
In June 2009, Batista made a cameo appearance as himself in an episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours. In 2010, he made an appearance on an episode of Chuck. He has also made a cameo appearance in Relative Strangers.
Dave Batista had his first biographical DVD released through WWE Productions entitled Batista: I Walk Alone. It was released October 20, 2009.
In August 2010, Batista, in conjunction with The South of France Spa Naturals and Monday Night Mayhem wrestling released a video to obtain monetary contributions to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The video showed Batista 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.
Incident with Booker T
Batista’s backstage problems continued at the 2006 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.
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. 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“. WWE reportedly suspended ten wrestlers named in the controversy, though Batista was not one of them.
Bautista 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. Bautista married his second wife Angie on October 13, 1998; however, 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. 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. Batista revealed that he and Angie were separated in the August 2006 edition of WWE Magazine. 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. Batista previously dated WWE Diva Kelly Kelly briefly. In an interview on September 2, 2009, Batista said that he had previously dated WWE Diva Rosa Mendes. In October 2015, he married competitive pole dancer Sarah Jade.
In October 2007, his autobiography Batista Unleashed was released. 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.” One source of controversy was the book’s mentioning of Chris Benoit, who was almost completely removed due to his 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.” 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.”
He has numerous tattoos, including a large 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. He also has a tattoo on his arm of the flags of the Philippines and Greece. 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 bicep. On November 11, 2011, it was announced via Twitter that Batista had been confirmed for the third WWE ’12 DLC pack which was released in January 2012.
|2009||Head Case||Himself||Episode: “All About Steve”|
|2010||Chuck||T.I.||Episode: “Chuck Versus the Couch Lock“|
|2015||TripTank||Delivery Guy (voice)||Episode: “Short Change”|
|2016||The #Hashtagged Show||Dr. Jason Rush||2 episodes|
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Big boot, sometimes to an opponent trapped in the ropes
- Clothesline, sometimes to either a cornered or diving opponent
- Hammerlock/armbar combination
- Multiple powerslam variations
- Multiple turnbuckle thrusts
- Single leg Boston crab – as Leviathan
- Spear – rarely used as a finisher
- Thrust spinebuster 
- Two-handed chokelift
- “The Animal”
- Entrance themes
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
- “Eyes of Righteousness” by Jim Johnston (2002; used while teaming with Reverend D’Von)
- “Animal” by Jim Johnston (2002 – 2005)
- “Evolve” by Jim Johnston (2003; used while a part of Evolution)
- “Line in the Sand” by Motörhead (2003 – 2005; April 14, 2014 – June 1, 2014; used while a part of Evolution)
- “I Walk Alone” by Saliva (2005 – 2010; January 20, 2014 – June 12, 2014)
Championships and accomplishments
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
- World Xtreme Wrestling
- WXW Hall of Fame (Class of 2013)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter