David Michael Bautista Jr. (born January 18, 1969) is an American actor and retired professional wrestler. Between 2002 and 2019, he worked for WWE on multiple occasions. Since Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), he has starred in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Drax the Destroyer, for which he is best known.
In 2000, Bautista signed a contract with the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF; later renamed WWE). He started his wrestling career in 1999. He rose to stardom from 2002 to 2010 as Batista and won the World Heavyweight Championship four times and the WWE Championship twice to become a six-time world champion.
With 282 days, his first reign as World Heavyweight Champion is the longest. Additionally, he has held the WWE Tag Team Championship once (with Rey Mysterio) and the World Tag Team Championship three times each (twice with Ric Flair and once with John Cena).
After winning the 2005 Royal Rumble match, he went on to headline WrestleMania 21, now among the top five-earning pay-per-view events in the annals of professional wrestling. He returned to WWE in December 2013 after departing in 2010, making his debut in January 2014 and winning that year’s Royal Rumble match.
He was the star of WrestleMania XXX before leaving once more in June. Before quitting professional wrestling in April 2019, Triple H was faced by Bautista in his second return to WWE in October 2018. Throughout his wrestling career, Bautista amassed a total of eleven championships.
In 2006, Bautista started acting. In addition to Blade Runner 2049 (2017), The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), Riddick (2013), Spectre (2015), Army of the Dead (2021), Dune (2021), Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022), and Knock at the Cabin (2023), he has also starred in several other movies.
On October 6, 2012, he participated in his lone mixed martial arts match, winning by technical knockout in the first round over Vince Lucero.
What is Dave Bautista Net Worth and Salary?
American actor, professional mixed martial artist, and professional wrestler Dave Bautista has a $16 million fortune. Bautista began his career as a professional fighter but eventually transitioned to acting, where he found great success. Both in the realm of professional fighting and the movie industry, his work has brought him a lot of admirers.
When Did Dave Bautista Start His Wrestling Career?
In 1999, Bautista attended the Wild Samoan Training Center wrestling school to learn the ropes before turning pro. He soon entered the world of professional wrestling, but not before returning to his previous training in the martial arts of Muay Thai, Eskrima, and Jiu-Jitsu.
Regarding the latter, he received his training under Cesar Gracie. Although Bautista began his career in Ohio Valley Wrestling, he eventually signed with the WWF in 2000. He was fighting then as “Leviathan.” Before his defeats to Steve Austin and Kane, he had a perfect record. He ultimately defeated the OVW Heavyweight Champion before being elevated to the WWE main roster.
Bautista didn’t participate in a WWE match broadcast on television until 2002. He then adopted the stage name “Deacon Batista.” at this moment. Early in his career, Bautista frequently fought alongside D-Von and prevailed. After a while, Bautista turned on D-Von, starting a protracted conflict.
He and Ric Flair both joined Evolution in 2003. Evolution would have a very successful career and garner numerous championships. When Triple H began to perceive Bautista as a threat, tensions amongst the Evolution team eventually rose.
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During WrestleMania 21, Bautista defeated other Evolution team members to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Over 1.09 million PPV purchases were made for the event, mainly credited to Bautista’s popularity with fans. The subsequent 282-day reign as world heavyweight champion set a record.
He resigned from the tournament due to a persistent problem with his triceps ripping. Dave Bautista faced Vince Lucero in his lone MMA match in 2010. In the first round, Bautista prevailed through TKO.
He had surgery on his arm, but he still went back to WWE to compete for the championship. In the following years, he repeatedly won and lost the tournament while dealing with arm ailments.
However, he used this advantage when impersonating an arm vice to get Randy Orton to lower his guard. The following few years saw Bautista fight on, but his injuries started catching up. He crushed his L1 spine during a match against John Cena and later appeared in a wheelchair.
Fans began to jeer Bautista starting in 2013 onward. This caused a gradual decline that resulted in Bautista leaving the WWE. Although Bautista claimed in the media that he left Triple H because he wouldn’t give him a shot at the title, the real reason for the breakup was due to “creative differences” in private.
Having said that, Bautista finally returned to WWE in 2018, going up against Triple H for one last time, losing in 2019, and then officially retiring.