Dave Bautista was a hugely successful professional wrestler working for the pro-wrestling juggernaut, WWE, under the ring name Batista.
Despite being one of the top wrestlers in the promotion and bagging six World Championships along the way, he realized that there was a ceiling beyond which he was never excelling.
He decided to take a risk on himself and taking cues from others before him- namely Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and John Cena- he decided to try his hand at other projects.
It turned out to be a godsend for Bautista, and after finding some modicum of success in MMA, he found his true calling in Hollywood.
The 6'6" 290 lbs gargantuan became cast as the freak-of-nature that he is, and has had multiple roles to his name: the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and the James Bond saga Spectre being the most notable.
Bautista's story is one of intrigue and controversy, and in this list, we unravel seven such facts about the pro-wrestler-turned-MMA-fighter-turned-actor.
Bautista broke the proverbial glass ceiling set for him as a pro-wrestler and thrived as a Hollywood actor.
That sentiment is none more so reflected than in his performance as Drax the Destroyer in the 2014 superhero movie Guardians of the Galaxy.
Bautista played the strait-laced psychopath to perfection, adding his flair, charisma, and comedic timing to universal acclaim.
The performance was so well-received that he was asked to reprise the role in the 2017 sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and play Drax in the Avengers franchise.
People who have not followed Bautista's career might not know that he had already tried his hand at acting before Guardians of the Galaxy.
While none of the movies would garner the same buzz and acclaim as the MCU superhero movie, it did give Bautista the experience he would sorely need for his high-profile casting as Drax.
He has appeared in such movies as The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption, The Man with the Iron Fists, and Riddick.
Even after his casting as Drax, Bautista never rested on his laurels, and cut his teeth in diverse films like the James Bond saga Spectre, the neo-noir sci-fi thriller Blade Runner 2049, and the comedy Stuber.
Fans of combat sports know that comparing pro-wrestling to MMA is like comparing apples to oranges!
The two sports are so fundamentally different that success in one does not directly translate to success in another, as one CM Punk can attest to.
Unfortunately, we may never know whether Bautista would have been the norm or the exception. He has a short-lived career in MMA, meaning he has had one fight.
On October 6, 2012, Bautista had his single bout in the Octagon against the veteran Vince Lucero. He won the battle by TKO in the first round, clocking in at just 4:05.
"MMA is not ballet"- as they say, and seeing as Bautista has a lucrative career acting, we may never see him back in the Octagon again.
Before Dave Bautista became famous, Batista was winning the crowds over as a pro-wrestler in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world, WWE.
Dave started as a rookie in WWE's developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He was a wrestling prodigy and soon climbed the ranks to the pinnacle of WWE.
Nicknamed "The Animal," Batista was a fan-favorite for his superhuman stature and explosiveness in the ring. He officially retired in 2019 as a six-time World Champion and is the leading nominee in the 2020 WWE Hall of Fame.
It is hard to imagine that the man who would go on to play Drax the Destroyer would be afraid of anything, let alone speaking. But it is true: Bautista struggled with an acute fear of public speaking while working for WWE.
Speaking (and speaking eloquently) is a big part of being a WWE superstar, and having a fear of speaking is directly counter-productive to being a superstar.
Figuring that he had no way around it, Bautista wore sunglasses to the ring so that his nervousness would not be so apparent. He braved his way through the difficult time and got over his nerves eventually.
Nowadays, he is widely considered to be one of the most proficient talkers and performers in the history of the company.
Dave Bautista is worth $13 million as of 2019. Bautista is a man of many talents: a retired professional wrestler, a former MMA fighter, and an accomplished Hollywood actor.
Bautista was already making Hollywood-superstar levels of money as a featured act in WWE. Routinely bringing in 6-figures with the occasional 7-figure salary,
Bautista would go on to make millions more as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the central characters in the Guardians of the Galaxy, he has appeared in four MCU movies, namely: Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.
All four movies have performed exceedingly well at the box-office, with Avengers: Endgame being the highest-grossing movie of all time.
Far from being the only blockbuster movies, Bautista has been a part of; he has also played significant roles in Spectre, Blade Runner 2049, The Man with the Iron Fists. and Stuber.
All this list, we have talked about the highs that Bautista has achieved, but we would be remiss in not mentioning the lows of his life, and what a low it is!
Bautista is a notorious philanderer, infamous among the annals of pro-wrestling as openly cheating on his wife at the time, Angie, with female wrestlers and prospects.
The kicker in the whole sordid mess is the fact that Angie was struggling with ovarian cancer at the time. So while his wife was fighting for her life, Bautista was out engaging in decadence and perversion.
Bautista has since apologized to his wife and helped her in her cancer battle, but it does not paint a beautiful picture of the man supposed to be a superhero role-model for children.