Dave Bautista is a multimillionaire American actor, professional mixed martial fighter, and professional wrestler. Bautista began his career in professional fighting, but later found success in acting. His career has garnered him a large following in both the film industry and the realm of professional combat.
David Michael Bautista Jr. was born in a Washington, D.C. suburb on January 18, 1969. His parents are of Greek and Filipina ancestry, respectively. Bautista later revealed that he grew up in a dangerous neighborhood where murders occurred on a regular basis just outside his front door. He also discussed the financial difficulties his family faced when he was a child. Within a short period of time, Bautista was living a life of crime. He began his profession as a car thief at the age of 13 and later moved away from his parents to pursue a career as a criminal.
He then obtained work as a bouncer at a nightclub, but things took a turn for the worst when he seriously hurt two guests during a brawl. As a result of the event, Bautista was detained and charged. Prior to entering the world of professional wrestling, Bautista worked as a lifeguard. He eventually became interested in bodybuilding.
Prior to his professional wrestling career, Bautista attended the Wild Samoan Training Center wrestling school in 1999. Although he briefly entered professional wrestling, he then retrained in Muay Thai, Eskrima, and Jiu-Jitsu. In terms of the latter, he received training from Cesar Gracie.
Although Bautista signed with the WWF in 2000, he began his career with Ohio Valley Wrestling. At the time, he was known as “Leviathan.” He began his career unbeaten before losing to Kane and Steve Austin. He eventually captured the OVW Heavyweight Championship and was promoted to the WWE main roster.
Bautista did not make his WWE debut until 2002. He changed his stage name to “Deacon Batista” at this moment. Bautista began his career as a partner of D-Von, winning numerous battles. Eventually, Bautista betrayed D-Von, igniting a protracted feud. He joined Evolution in 2003 alongside Ric Flair. Evolution would go on to be a very successful team, winning numerous championships throughout the years. The Evolution team eventually became strained, as Triple H viewed Bautista as a threat.
Bautista won the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21 after turning on other Evolution members. The event earned over 1.09 million pay-per-view purchases, an accomplishment attributed primarily to Bautista’s fan appeal. Following that, he went on to have the longest tenure as World Heavyweight Champion in history, lasting 282 days. Finally, a reoccurring triceps rupture compelled him to relinquish the championship.
Dave Bautista fought Vince Lucero in his sole MMA bout in 2010. Bautista won the first round via TKO.
Despite the need for surgery on his arm, he returned to WWE to challenge for the championship once more. He won and lost the title several times in the years that followed, and he battled arm issues throughout. He did, however, exploit this to his advantage when he used a phony arm vice to fool Randy Orton into lowering his guard. Although he continued to battle for the next few years, injuries began to take their toll on Bautista. He legitimately compressed his L1 spine following a match against John Cena and later appeared in a wheelchair.
From 2013 on, Bautista began to receive boos from fans. This resulted in a gradual decline that culminated in Bautista’s departure from the WWE. Although Bautista publicly stated that he left because Triple H refused to give him a shot at the belt, the real reason for the split occurred behind closed doors due to “creative disagreements.” Despite this, Bautista returned to WWE in 2018, making one final appearance against Triple H before retiring completely in 2019.
Dave Bautista has been an actor for a number of years. He made his Smallville debut in the sixth season as an alien enemy. He made a brief appearance in 2009 in the Australian serial series Neighbours. He made his television debut in 2010 in the action comedy series Chuck. He performed in films such as Relative Strangers and Wrong Side of Town throughout the next few years. Bautista continued to enjoy success in the film industry with the 2012 film The Man with the Iron Fists, in which he demonstrated his martial arts abilities.
Perhaps his biggest break in the film industry occurred in 2014, when he was cast in a pivotal role in Guardians of the Galaxy. Dave Bautista demonstrated his acting ability in this role and compelled Hollywood to take him seriously. He then starred as the deadly assassin Mr. Hinx in the 2015 James Bond thriller Spectre. Following his collaboration with Georges St-Pierre in Kickboxer, Bautista made another major film debut as a replicant in Blade Runner 2049.
He later returned to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as Drax in 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Bautista was also cast in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame as a result of his inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2019, it was reported that Bautista would star in the forthcoming Dune film. Bautista has also appeared in a number of other films and television series.
Dave Bautista married for the first time in 1990, and the couple had two kids before separating in 1998. He married his second wife that year. Before divorcing in 2006, they had one son together. He married again in 2015, this time to a professional pole dancer, before divorcing her in 2019. In 2007, Bautista published Batista Unleashed, an autobiography in which he discusses his wrestling career and personal life.