10 Facts You Didn't Know About Dave Batista
Batista‘s WWE career is up in the air. Given the recent praise he’s received for his performance in Guardians of the Galaxy, many are wondering if he’s going to return to the WWE later this year. Rumors are swirling that Batista wasn’t too pleased with how his recent run went, considering what he was promised prior to returning.
Batista has said that he would want his last match to be against Triple H, so it’s entirely possible that he picks up where he left off and faces The Game for a retirement angle at WrestleMania next year. However, these are all rumors. Let’s look at the facts surrounding Batista. Here are some things you didn’t know about the Animal.
10) He has dated Kelly Kelly, Melina and Rosa Mendes
Batista has an impressive dating resume. He revealed in his autobiography that following his second divorce in 2006 that he began a relationship with Melina. If you’ll recall, the WWE ran an angle between Batista and MNM.
Batista has also dated Kelly Kelly in the past, as well as Rosa Mendes, who will be on Season 3 of Total Divas.
This was all revealed in Batista’s autobiography Batista Unleashed.
9) He is a Grandfather
Yes, the 45-year-old Animal is a grandfather.
He had two daughters with his first wife, Glenda in the early 1990s. His first daughter, Keilani has had two kids of her own, making Batista a grandfather before he even reached the age of 40.
Can you imagine having a grandfather who looked like Batista? There’s one grandpa who won’t be bothered by neighborhood kids.
8) He’s of Greek and Filipino Ancestry
Many fans know Dave Bautista was born in Washington D.C. of Filipino ancestry, but that’s just on his father’s side. It was Batista’s grandparents who immigrated to the United States from the Philippines.
His mother, Donna Raye (née Mullins) is of Greek heritage.
7) He Fought Booker T (Backstage)
It’s all water under the bridge now, but in Batista’s previous run with the WWE, there was some… unpleasantness between him and fellow SmackDown superstar Booker T.
The incident reportedly took place at a SummerSlam commercial shoot. The incident was reported on WWE.com, causing many to initially believe the fight was a work, but in reality it was a legitimate fight.
The fight stemmed from the fact that Booker felt Batista’s attitude was poor, one of arrogance over the fact that he became a main-eventer relatively quickly in the company. Booker felt Batista considered himself to be better than the rest of the roster and that he had “carried” the company on his back.
Booker reportedly got heavy praise backstage for saying what many fellow superstars were thinking. In terms of how the fight went, Booker was said to have gotten the better of the Animal. In an interview with WrestlingInc.com, Booker had the following to say about the fight:
“I mean, I’m a pretty good fighter. I don’t like bragging or anything like that but I’ve always been a really good fighter… He took a good beating, but he’s a man.”
Batista denied the rumors that he had been disrespectful to other top stars and mid-carders alike, but he did say it was a positive for the situation to blow over.
“We had to get past this. It had been brewing for a long time,” said Batista. “We won’t be friends, but we will work together. I can promise you we won’t cause problems.”
Ironically the two would feud on screen that year as well, with the commercial shoot serving the purpose of hyping Batista’s pay-per-view return from a torn tricep earlier that year. Batista and King Booker would feud through the summer and fall.
6) He has Trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Under Cesar Gracie
Shortly after leaving the WWE in 2010, Batista expressed his desire to begin an MMA career. He was 41 at the time. He earned himself a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu training under none other than Cesar Gracie.
He was in negotiations to sign with Strikeforce, but that fell through once the company was bought by Zuffa.
Batista wound up having just one MMA fight, a last-second replacement at Classic Entertainment and Sports: Real Pain in Providence, Rhode Island. Batista faced journeyman fighter Vince Lucero. Batista won his lone fight by T.K.O. at 4:05 of the first round.
5) He Was A Bouncer, Lifeguard and Bodybuilder
Batista held several jobs in his early adulthood. He worked regularly as a bouncer, but he was once arrested for injuring two patrons, one of whom was left unconscious. After a trial, he was sentenced to one year of probation.
He also worked as a lifeguard before eventually pursuing a career in bodybuilding. Batista wrote in his book that bodybuilding is what saved his life. It stopped him from going down the wrong path.
4) He Lived a Hard Childhood
Batista has described his childhood as living in poverty and he saw things that no kid should ever see. By the time he was nine he had witnessed three murders on his front lawn. By the time he was 13, he was stealing automobiles.
Batista was considered estranged from his parents as a young adult, but despite this, he has said that he doesn’t hold anything against them.
“I am proud of my parents. They are good, honest, hard-working folks. They taught me the values of working hard.”
3) He Debuted as ‘Deacon Batista’ (With a Shocking Revelation in Mind)
In a failed experiment of separating the Dudley Boyz, D-Von Dudley was left on the SmackDown brand where he adopted the gimmick of Reverend D-Von. The Reverend came out with an enforcer on the May 9, 2002 episode of Smackdown. The enforcer was the biggest deacon you’ll ever see, Deacon Batista.
He accompanied his reverend to the ring with a chain around his neck. Batista would team up with D-Von several times. His first match was a tag match with D-Von, facing fellow newcomer Randy Orton and Faarooq. Batista would pin Orton to pick up the win. Batista and D-Von would pick up several more wins against Orton and alternating partners.
Batista recently revealed on Chris Jericho‘s podcast “Talk is Jericho” that the gimmick Deacon Batista was supposed to lead to a shocking revelation about the character. Batista’s character was constantly angry and it was going to be revealed that he was a “rape child” which would explain why he was hateful towards everyone. This was an era where the WWE was all about shock value, soap opera-like television. Thankfully though that gimmick never came to fruition. There was something better in store for Batista.
Batista eventually split with D-Von and signed with Raw, where he would join Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton to form Evolution. Sometimes the good things take time. Sometimes in wrestling, it’s hard to survive a bad gimmick, but Batista went into a much better fit and overcame his dark days as Deacon Batista. Within two years, he was World Heavyweight Champion.
2) ‘Leviathan’ was his Developmental Gimmick
Leviathan was Batista’s name in Ohio Valley Wrestling, the WWE’s former developmental territory. Batista came up around the same time as John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton.
He was a member of the Disciples of Synn stable, going undefeated until he was beaten by Kane. He would eventually go on to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship from Doug Basham, before eventually losing it to the Prototype (John Cena). Talk about eerie foreshadowing, right?
1) WCW Said He’d Never Make it in Wrestling
Batista initially went to WCW when beginning his professional wrestling career. He tried out at the WCW Power Plant.
The Power Plant was WCW’s training center, a prehistoric version of WWE’s current NXT Performance Center. The school was around in the 1990s, but stopped holding tryouts in 1999 and closed in 2001.
The gym was located in a warehouse in Atlanta, GA. The Power Plant was regularly advertised on Nitro, announcing open tryouts once a month for applicants between the ages of 18 and 29. If the applicants impressed in their tryout, they would be invited to join the school for a cost of $3,000 for six months of training.
WCW’s only success to come out of the Power Plant was Goldberg and Bret Hart has criticized the school, saying he never felt the school taught students how to protect your opponent. If you’ll recall, it was Goldberg’s kick to Hart’s head that ended his career.
Sadly, the school was more interested in finding candidates with strength rather than basic wrestling skills.
Batista tried out and was told by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker that he would never make it in the wrestling business. With a chip on his shoulder, Batista went to the WWE who sent him to train with Afa Anoa’i’s school in the Wild Samoan Training Centre. Talk about a good education. The Anoa’i family is famous in the wrestling world, having descendants such as Rikishi, Yokozuna, the Usos, Umaga and who could forget, The Rock.
As we know, Batista did in fact go on to make it and made it big in the wrestling business. Whether you’re a fan of Batista’s work or not, his story of success despite what he was told when first trying to live his dream is a remarkable story and easily relatable to most of us.