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Dave Bautista

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Dave Bautista
Dave Bautista by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Bautista in July 2016
Born
David Michael Bautista Jr.

(1969-01-18) January 18, 1969 (age 50)
Occupation Actor, professional wrestler, mixed martial artist, bodybuilder
Years active 1999–present (wrestling)
2006–present (acting)
2012 (MMA)
Spouse(s)
Glenda Bautista
(m. 1990; div. 1998)

Angie Bautista
(m. 1998; div. 2006)

Sarah Jade
(m. 2015; sep. 2019)
Children 3
Ring name(s) Batista
Dave Batista
Deacon Batista[1][2]
Khan[3]
Leviathan[3]
Billed height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm)[4]
Billed weight 290 lb (132 kg)[4]
Billed from Washington, D.C.[4]
Trained by Afa Anoaʻi[5]
Marrese Crump[3]
Debut October 30, 1999[6]

David Michael Bautista Jr. (born January 18, 1969) is an American actor, professional wrestler, and former mixed martial artist and bodybuilder.

Bautista began his wrestling career in 1999, and signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 2000. From 2002 to 2010, he gained fame under the ring name Batista and became a six-time world champion by winning the 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.[7] Bautista re-signed with WWE in 2013, going on to win the 2014 Royal Rumble match and headline WrestleMania XXX.

Bautista began acting in 2006 and has starred in The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), Riddick (2013), the James Bond film Spectre (2015), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017).[8] He is perhaps best known for his role as Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portraying the character in the films Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018). He has also appeared in several direct-to-video films since 2009.

In August 2012, Bautista signed a contract with Classic Entertainment & Sports to fight in mixed martial arts (MMA).[9] He won his lone MMA fight on October 6, 2012, defeating Vince Lucero via TKO in the first round.

Early life

David Michael Bautista Jr.[10] was born on January 18, 1969,[11] in Arlington, Virginia,[3] the son of Donna Raye (née Mullins) and hairdresser David Bautista Sr. His mother is of Greek descent, while his father is the son of Filipino immigrants.[10][12] His parents divorced, and he later called himself "the proud son of a lesbian".[13] His paternal grandfather served in the Filipino military, worked as a taxi driver and barber, and held other jobs to feed the family. Bautista has said that he lived in poverty,[14] and that he had a hard life—before he reached the age of nine, three murders had occurred on his front lawn.[15] As young as age 13, he was stealing cars.[16] By age 17, Bautista was estranged from his parents and lived on his own.[17] He later admitted, "I am proud of my parents. They are good, honest, hard-working folks. They taught me the values of working hard."[16] He was a nightclub bouncer until he was arrested after a fight that left two patrons injured, one of whom was rendered unconscious.[17] After a trial, he was sentenced to one year of probation.[17] He also worked as a lifeguard[18] before pursuing a career in bodybuilding,[17] crediting the latter with saving his life.[19]

Professional wrestling 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.[20] He then went to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), who advised him to train with Afa Anoaʻi in the Wild Samoan Training Center wrestling school,[21] where he went to train and compete in Anoa'i's World Xtreme Wrestling (WXW) promotion. He had his debut match as Khan on October 30, 1999.[6] Bautista also trained with Marrese Crump in Muay Thai and Eskrima.[22] Most recently, he trained at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie and has become a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.[23]

Upon signing with the WWF in 2000, Bautista was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), a WWF developmental territory. He made his OVW debut later that year under the ring name Leviathan, where he immediately joined forces with Synn.[5] He held the OVW Heavyweight Championship once.[24] Bautista began his televised WWE career in May 2002 as a villain.[25] Soon after, under the ringname Batista. He aligned himself with Ric Flair[26] and feuded with Kane, whom he defeated at Armageddon (2002).[27]

Batista in 2006
Batista with World Heavyweight Championship

In January 2003, Batista joined Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to form the villainous stable Evolution.[28] Batista, however, was sidelined for much of 2003 after he tore his right triceps muscle. While training after the injury, Batista re-tore his triceps, extending his stay on the sidelines.[29] He made his return in October and continued to work with Evolution.[30][31] At Armageddon (2003), Batista took part in two matches; losing to Shawn Michaels in a singles match,[32] and winning a tag team turmoil match along with Ric Flair to become one-half of the World Tag Team Champions.[33] 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.[34] Batista and Flair held the titles until February 2004, when they were defeated by Booker T and Rob Van Dam.[35] They later regained the title for a short period.[36][37]

In January 2005, Batista won the Royal Rumble, which gave him a world championship match opportunity of his choice at WrestleMania 21.[38] Despite initially choosing the WWE Championship,[39] Batista turned on Triple H and challenged him for the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania while leaving Evolution and turning fan favorite.[40] Batista won the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H on April 3 in the main event of WrestleMania 21.[4][41] Their match was described by sports journalist Dave Meltzer as "the peak of one of [WWE's] best storylines in years".[7] Batista retained the championship against Triple H at Backlash (2005),[42] and at Vengeance (2005),[43] and against John "Bradshaw" Layfield at The Great American Bash,[44] and at SummerSlam.[45] In December, Batista teamed with Rey Mysterio to win WWE Tag Team Championships,[46] but shortly lost.[47] The following month, Batista triceps his right triceps during a match, forcing him to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship.[48]

Batista in June 2008

Batista returned in July 2006[49] and soon regained the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating King Booker at Survivor Series.[4][50] The following year at WrestleMania 23, he lost the championship to The Undertaker.[51] After failing to win against The Undertaker,[52][53] Edge[54][55] and The Great Khali[56][57] as title holders, Batista finally won back the championship at Unforgiven (2007) in September[4][58] before losing it again to Edge in December.[59]

Throughout the first half of 2008, Batista mostly remained out of the world title picture. He defeated Umaga at WrestleMania XXIV before entering a feud with Shawn Michaels. The two faced off at Backlash (2008) which Batista lost,[60] but he won at One Night Stand, thus ending their feud.[61] Batista had short title reigns of both the World Tag Team Championships alongside John Cena in August, [62][63][64] and the World Heavyweight Championship from late October[65] to early November.[66] Following that, he feuded with former Evolution partner, Randy Orton, which resulted in Batista winning at Armageddon (2008). Batista then elected to undergo surgery to repair a hamstring tear,[67] keeping him out of action for several months.

Batista returned on the April 6, 2009, episode of Raw. He soon captured the WWE Championship by defeating Randy Orton at Extreme Rules in June.[68] However, he vacated the title the following day on Raw due to legitimate torn left biceps similar to what he suffered in 2006.[69] Batista again returned to action in September.[70] In October, after failing to win the World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Bragging Rights, he began attacking Mysterio and turning heel (villain) in the process.[71] Batista then went on to defeat Mysterio at Survivor Series.[72] On December 13 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Batista faced Undertaker for the World Heavyweight Championship in a losing effort.[73]

Batista in the main event at WrestleMania XXX

The following year in February, Batista defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship for the second time at Elimination Chamber.[74] However, he lost the championship back to Cena the following month at WrestleMania XXVI.[75][76] The two faced each in subsequent rematches at Extreme Rules[77] and Over the Limit; Batista lost on both occasions.[78] He last appeared on May[79] and left WWE for he "did not like the direction the company was going in".[80]

Batista returned to WWE in January 2014[81] and won the Royal Rumble match.[82][83] At WrestleMania XXX, Batista competed for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against champion Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan, which Bryan won.[84] He soon teamed with Orton and Triple H to reform Evolution and have a feud with The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins).[85][86] At both Extreme Rules and Payback, Evolution lost to The Shield.[87][88] On the June 2 episode of Raw, Batista quit WWE after Triple H denied him a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.[89] Batista legitimately quit the WWE due to creative differences soon after.[90][91] Batista made one appearance in October 2018,[92] before challenging Triple H to a match at WrestleMania 35 the following year.[93]

Wrestling style and reception

Batista performing his finshing move, the Batista Bomb, on Finlay at a WWE house show in 2006

Batista utilized a sit-out powerbomb, named the Batista Bomb in WWE, or the Demon Bomb during his time in OVW.[94] He also used a spear and a spinebuster as occasional finishers.[5][94]

Upon his return to WWE in 2014, Batista was heavily booed by the crowd after winning the Royal Rumble, despite playing a face character.[95] In an interview with WWE.com, Batista said regarding the crowd reaction that "it was weird. It wasn’t like a normal response. It was almost like a personal attack. It had to do with factors that were not in my control, factors and things that were going on in the company with other people, stuff that really had nothing to do with me. To me, it was a little frustrating, a little confusing, and, you know, I don’t want to say I completely took it personal, but I did somewhat."[96] After the show went off the air, Batista mocked Bryan and gestured his middle finger at the crowd.[97] 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".[98] The fan reaction caused Batista to turn prematurely heel.[99]

At the Elimination Chamber event and on the following Raw, Batista was heavily booed by the fans during matches against Alberto Del Rio.[100] Batista won the match at Elimination Chamber, but continued to suffer a torrid fan reaction with "Boo-tista" chants.[101] 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.[99]

Mixed martial arts career

Dave Bautista
Dave Bautista MMA.jpg
Bautista after his lone mixed martial arts fight
Other names Brass Body[102]
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 265 lb (120 kg; 18 st 13 lb)
Division Heavyweight (265 lb) (MMA) [103]
Team Gracie Fighter Tampa
Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Rank      Purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Cesar Gracie
Years active 2012 (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
Total 1
Wins 1
By knockout 1
Losses 0
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
The closing moments of Bautista's win against Vince Lucero in 2012

After leaving 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.[104] He also became a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under the tutelage of Cesar Gracie.[23]

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.[105]

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.[106] 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.[107]

Mixed martial arts record

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

Acting career

Bautista has acted and 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.[108] In June 2009, Bautista made a cameo appearance as himself in an episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours.[109] In 2010, he made an appearance on an episode of Chuck.[110] He has also made a cameo appearance in Relative Strangers.[16] Bautista worked alongside Rob Van Dam, Marrese Crump and Ja Rule on the 2010 action film Wrong Side of Town.[111]

Bautista 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.[112] 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.[113] Bautista joined the cast of Blade Runner 2049 as Sapper Morton, which was released on October 6, 2017.[114] He reprised his role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, released in May 2017,[115] and Avengers: Infinity War, released in April 2018. In January 2019, Bautista was cast in the upcoming Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Dune.[116]

In 2018, Bautista joined his castmates in support of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn after his firing for old tweets joking about pedophilia and rape.[117] Bautista was among the most vocally critical of Disney's (parent company of Marvel Studios) decision to remove Gunn from the project, calling the incident "nauseating". He threatened to leave the franchise if Gunn's script was not used for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.[118] Ultimately, Gunn was reinstated as director for the film in March 2019.[119]

Other media

Batista at a WWE meet and greet in 2005

Bautista appeared on the covers of the April 2005 Flex,[120] and Muscle & Fitness for September 2008.[121] Along with John Cena and Ashley Massaro, Bautista 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.[122] During the week of November 5, 2007, he appeared on Family Feud with several other WWE wrestlers.[123] On September 7, 2008, he appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America as one of the judges, with snails as the theme ingredient.[124] Bautista, 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.[125] Batista has also appeared on MTV Cribs showing his house and his cars.[126] Bautista had his first biographical DVD released through WWE Productions entitled Batista: I Walk Alone. It was released October 20, 2009.[127]

Controversies

Incident with Booker T

Batista's backstage problems continued at the 2006 SummerSlam pay-per-view commercial shoot. 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. Booker T believed 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. Wrestlers backstage were praising Booker for speaking his mind to Batista about his attitude.[128][129][130]

Steroid allegations

In August 2007, ESPN incorrectly included Batista on a list of names that they claimed were clients of Signature Pharmacy of Orlando, Florida, one of many pharmacies under investigation for illicitly providing anabolic steroids.[131] Batista released a statement denying ESPN's allegations and was 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".[132] WWE suspended ten wrestlers named in the statement; Batista was not one of them.[133]

Personal life

Bautista in July 2013

Bautista married his first wife, Glenda, in 1990. They have two daughters together, Keilani (born 1990) and Athena (born 1992), before divorcing in 1998.[134] Bautista married his second wife, Angie, on October 13, 1998. They have a son together, Oliver,[13] before divorcing in 2006.[135] Before the age of 40, Bautista already had two grandsons through Keilani.[136][137] During his marriage to Angie, he became an avid collector of vintage metal lunchboxes. His favorite is the 1967 Green Hornet lunchbox as it has Bruce Lee on it. This collection started when he bought Angie an E.T. lunchbox and she did not want to break it, so he bought a second one.[138] In October 2015, he married competitive pole dancer Sarah Jade.[139] The couple separated in early 2019.[13]

On October 16, 2007, Bautista's autobiography, Batista Unleashed, was released.[24] In an interview about the book, he claimed, "I didn't want to tell my story unless it was honest... 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."[140] One source of controversy was the book's mentioning of Chris Benoit, who was almost completely removed due to his double murder and suicide. Bautista responded, "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."[140] 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."[140]

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 Angie, a signature design on his upper right biceps, and a small sun on his stomach which encircles his belly button.[141] He also has a tattoo on his arm of the flags of Greece and the Philippines. While taking time off due to injury in 2009, he had both upper arms covered in large, tribal style tattoos, including the phrase "DC soldier" on his right bicep.[142]

Bautista supported Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential election, citing his support for women's rights and LGBT rights.[143] Bautista has been critical of Obama's successor as president, Donald Trump, before and after the 2016 presidential election.[144][145] In a 2019 interview, he said: "I was never a party guy. I was all about the candidate, but it felt like I had to pick a side. It's like war, and I've come out very Democrat, but I do have some very conservative views, too."[13]

Due to his upbringing in Washington, D.C., Bautista is a fan of the Nationals and the Wizards, and makes sure to attend matches whenever he in is the area.[146]

Filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Relative Strangers Wrestler Uncredited cameo
2009 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Police officer
2010 Wrong Side of Town Big Ronnie
2011 House of the Rising Sun Ray Action On Film Award for Performer of the Year
The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption Argomael
2012 The Man with the Iron Fists Brass Body
2013 Riddick Diaz
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Drax the Destroyer Detroit Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble
Nevada Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated – Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated – Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
2015 L.A. Slasher The Drug Dealer #1
Spectre Mr. Hinx
Heist Jason Cox
2016 The Boss Chad Uncredited
Kickboxer: Vengeance Tong Po
Marauders Stockwell
The Warriors Gate Arun the Cruel
2017 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Drax the Destroyer
Bushwick Stupe Also executive producer
Blade Runner 2049 Sapper Morton
2018 Avengers: Infinity War Drax the Destroyer
Hotel Artemis Everest
Escape Plan 2: Hades Trent DeRosa
Final Score Michael Knox Also producer
Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy Owen Davidson
2019 Avengers: Endgame Drax the Destroyer
Stuber Vic
Escape Plan: The Extractors Trent DeRosa Post-production
My Spy Post-production
2020 Dune Glossu Rabban Filming
Television
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Smallville Aldar Episode: "Static"
2009 Head Case Himself Episode: "All About Steve"
2009 Neighbours Himself Episode: "1.5719"
2010 Chuck T.I. Episode: "Chuck Versus the Couch Lock"
2015 TripTank Delivery Guy (voice) Episode: "Short Change"
Web series
Year Title Role Notes
2016 The #Hashtagged Show Dr. Jason Rush 2 episodes
Short films
Year Title Role Notes
2017 2048: Nowhere to Run Sapper Morton Short film

Championships and accomplishments

Batista is a six-time world champion, having won the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice

References

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External links

  • Batista on WWE.com
  • Dave Bautista on IMDb
  • Dave Bautista's profile at Cagematch.net, Wrestlingdata.com, Internet Wrestling Database
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