Dave Batista

David Michael Bautista, Jr. (born January 18, 1969), commonly known by his ring name, simply Batista, is an Filipino / American professional wrestler. Batista, nicknamed "the animal," is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), wrestling on its Raw brand.

Batista is a three-time World Heavyweight Champion, four time Tag Team champion and the winner of the 2005 Royal Rumble match.

Early life

Bautista was born January 18, 1969 in Arlington, Virginia. His year of birth was disputed for several years. His website originally listed him as being born in 1969, while several contradictory news reports claimed that he was actually born in 1966. In March 2006, Batista stated in an interview that he was born in 1969. He confirms the same in his autobiography Batista Unleashed. He is of Filipino and Greek heritage. Bautista's father, David Michael Bautista, is Filipino and his mother, Donna Raye Bautista, a lesbian, is Greek. His grandparents were also from the Philippines as his grandfather served in the military, worked as a taxi driver, barber, and other odd jobs to feed the family. Batista says he is not ashamed to admit he came from a poor family.

He has publicly admitted to having a hard life where, as before he was age nine, three murders occurred at his front lawn. As young as age 13, he was stealing automobiles. By age 17, Batista was considered estranged from his parents and on his own, despite admitting later that "I am proud of my parents. They are good, honest, hard-working folks. They taught me the values of working hard." Batista became a regular bouncer for clubs until he was arrested after a fight that left two badly injured patrons, one of which could be found lying in the street. After a trial, Batista was sentenced to a years' probation. Batista was also a lifeguard before he had dreams of becoming a bodybuilder. He credits bodybuilding as possibly saving his life.


Batista tried out at the WCW Power Plant but was told he would never make it in the wrestling business by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker. He then went to the WWF who sent him to train with Afa Anoa'i's school in the Wild Samoan Training Centre.

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000-2002)

He made his Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) debut in 2000, joining forces with Synn. During his tenure in OVW, he was known as Leviathan. As a member of the Disciples of Synn stable he went undefeated until being beaten at an OVW supercard, Christmas Chaos by World Wrestling Federation (WWF)'s Kane, with help from Steve Austin. He later went on to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship from 'The Machine' Doug Basham, before losing the belt to The Prototype. A few month after, Batista left OVW and was promoted to World Wrestling Entertainment.

World Wrestling Entertainment


He began his WWE career on the May 9, 2002 episode of SmackDown! as Deacon Bautista, a heel enforcer for Reverend D-Von. Batista made his WWE in-ring debut in a tag match teaming with D-Von against Faarooq and the face gimmick of Randy Orton with Batista pinning Orton after using his spinebuster. Over several weeks, Orton tried to beat D-Von and Batista with different partners, but ultimately lost each time. Bautista suffered his first loss in a match against Rikishi after D-Von accidentally struck him with a punch, allowing Rikishi to take advantage and pin Bautista for the win. Bautista and D-Von started to argue over the forthcoming weeks, with Bautista eventually turning on D-Von. After splitting with D-Von, he signed with Raw and was re-branded as Dave Batista (or simply Batista). He aligned himself with Ric Flair and feuded with Kane, whom he defeated in his pay-per-view debut at Armageddon 2002.


In January 2003, Batista joined with then-heels, Triple H, Ric Flair, and the heel gimick of Randy Orton to form the stable Evolution. Batista, however, was sidelined for much of 2003 after he tore his right triceps at a Raw house show in a tag team match against the Dudley Boyz. In the same match, fellow Evolution member Orton suffered a broken foot. While training after the injury, Batista re-tore his triceps, extending his stay on the sidelines. He made his return on the October 20, 2003 episode of Raw, interfering in a match between Goldberg and Shawn Michaels and "shattering" Goldberg's ankle with a chair. After the interference, Evolution came out, and Triple H rewarded Batista with $100,000. On the November 10 edition of Raw, Goldberg defeated Batista by disqualification when Triple H interfered.

At Armageddon 2003, Batista took part in two matches; losing to Shawn Michaels in a singles match, and winning a tag team turmoil match along with Ric Flair, eliminating the face gimmick of the Dudley Boyz to become one-half of the World Tag Team Champions. 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 WWE Intercontinental Championship. They held the titles until the February 16, 2004, episode of Raw, when they were defeated by then-babyface, Booker T and Rob Van Dam. They later regained the titles for a short period. In mid 2004, after Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit for the World Heavyweight Championship, Triple H evicted him from the group, claiming that the title which Orton held was rightfully his. It was Batista who delivered an electric chair to Orton after Triple H gave Orton a "thumbs up" before turning it into a "thumbs down.

At the 2004 Survivor Series, Triple H, Batista, Gene Snitsky, and Edge faced-off against then-babyface, Maven, then-babyface, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and the face gimmick of Randy Orton in an 8-Man Elimination Tag Match for control of Raw over the following month; the members of the winning team would each be the Raw general manager for a week. They lost, causing unrest within Evolution.

Throughout the next two months, the relationship between Batista and Triple H began to deteriorate. After a loss to Chris Jericho by disqualification, Triple H verbally insulted Batista. Batista teased leaving Evolution that night, but declared that he was still part of Evolution and that they tricked everyone. Still, Batista began behaving more like a face in the next few weeks, despite Evolution's heelish tactics. One particular moment saw Batista express disgust as Triple H and Ric Flair boasted about how they had intimidated and/or beat up Jim Ross, Danny Hodge, and Stacy Keibler. He continued to show his loyalty to Triple H and Evolution by running down to the ring and assisting them in matches.


As 2005 began, Triple H realized the possibility of Batista, much like Randy Orton the year before, becoming a threat to his World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H suggested that Dave not enter the Royal Rumble, claiming that it would be selfish of him to do so, and to simply focus on Triple H retaining the title. Dave entered anyway and went on to win the Royal Rumble, last eliminating John Cena, earning the right to participate in the main event of WrestleMania 21 against the World Champion of his choice.

In an attempt to persuade Batista to challenge WWE Champion John "Bradshaw" Layfield rather than him, Triple H concocted a scheme to have Batista run over in a limousine resembling the one used by Layfield. Initially, Dave did not want help from Evolution and wanted to confront JBL by himself. Triple H insisted that Evolution stick together and accompanied Dave anyway, saving him from the oncoming vehicle. Batista became aware of the plot while sneakily eavesdropping on fellow Evolution members and signed a contract guaranteeing him a match with World Champion Triple H at WrestleMania 21, thus leaving Evolution and officially turning face for the first time in WWE. Batista initially pretended that he would sign with SmackDown!, giving Triple H and Flair the "thumbs up," but turned it into a "thumbs down" before attacking the pair. He emphasized his departure by powerbombing Triple H through the table used for the contract signing.

Batista went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship on April 3 at WrestleMania 21. Since this event, he has used the infamous "thumbs up, thumbs down" gesture before he performs the Batista Bomb on his opponent. Batista once again faced Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Backlash. He retained the title but continued to feud with Triple H. Along the way, he even helped commentator Jim Ross gain an upset victory over Triple H on Raw. After Batista retained his title against Edge, he was betrayed by Ric Flair, who helped Triple H viciously attack the champion as Triple H challenged Batista to a Hell in a Cell match at Vengeance. Batista survived the pedigree and won the match at Vengeance, retaining his title yet again. With this win, Batista became the first wrestler to pin Triple H in a Hell in a Cell match.

On June 30, Batista was revealed as the last pick in the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery; he made a surprise appearance while John "Bradshaw" Layfield was celebrating his victory in a six-man elimination match to win the new SmackDown! Championship. JBL and Batista faced off at The Great American Bash on July 24 where JBL defeated Batista by DQ after the referee saw Batista use a steel chair. They had a rematch at SummerSlam on August 21 in a No-Holds-Barred match in which Batista pinned JBL following a powerbomb on the steel steps. The feud culminated in a match between the two on the first episode of SmackDown! broadcast after the show moved to Friday nights, with Batista retaining the title in JBL's signature bull rope match. Soon after retaining the title in a feud with then-heel, Eddie Guerrero, reported that Batista suffered a muscle tear in his back at the taping for the November 11 edition of SmackDown! due to a double chokeslam from other face wrestlers at the time, Big Show and Kane. Plans had been made for Batista to defend the title in a triple threat match with the face gimmick of Eddie Guerrero and now-heel, Randy Orton on the November 18 episode, but the match did not take place due to the unexpected death of Eddie Guerrero on November 13, the date of the taping. Batista paid homage to Eddie Guerrero during the SmackDown! and Raw tribute shows dedicated to Guerrero's memory.

Batista led Team SmackDown! against Team Raw in an inter-brand feud before Survivor Series. The feud saw the Big Show and Kane chokeslamming Batista several more times in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series in an on-camera explanation for Batista's injury. Batista ultimately helped his team win the Survivor Series main event. After Batista saved Rey Mysterio from a double team attack by Raw's reigning World Tag Team Champions, Big Show and Kane, it was announced that Mysterio would team with Batista to face the Big Show and Kane at Armageddon, a SmackDown! exclusive pay-per-view.

On the December 16 edition of SmackDown!, Batista and Mysterio defeated WWE Tag Team Champions MNM to become champions in a match they dedicated to Eddie Guerrero, and the clash with the Big Show and Kane at Armageddon turned into a Champions vs. Champions encounter. Batista and Mysterio lost to Kane and Big Show at Armageddon when Kane pinned Mysterio after a chokeslam, and two weeks later on SmackDown!, MNM defeated Batista and Mysterio after help from the returning Mark Henry to regain the WWE Tag Team Championships. During the interference, Henry attacked Batista, and performed his World's Strongest Slam. The teams met again in a cage match that Henry also became involved in, and Batista and Rey were defeated again.


On January 9, announced that Batista tore his right triceps during a match with Mark Henry at a live event on January 6 in Verona, New York. announced that, due to his injury, Batista was forced to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship at the SmackDown! tapings in Philadelphia on January 10 (aired on January 13), two days after surpassing Triple H's previous mark of 280 days for longest reigning champion. Later that night, Kurt Angle won a battle royal to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. In his book, Batista Unleashed, Bautista said that he believed that Henry was "careless" during their match as he never gave Bautista any warning that the move (Chocolate Mousse) was coming. Dave went on to have successful surgery on his arm on January 12.

Batista made an appearance at No Way Out and told the crowd that once his arm had healed he would return to regain his World Heavyweight Championship. At WrestleMania 22, he interrupted a Randy Orton interview, putting SmackDown! on notice; the World Heavyweight Championship would return to him by WrestleMania 23. Batista made his official return during the July 7 edition of SmackDown! in Philadelphia immediately calling out and entering into a feud with the man who put him out with the arm injury, Mark Henry. At Saturday Night's Main Event, Batista won his first televised match since his return, a six man tag match with Rey Mysterio and Lashley taking on King Booker(heel gimmick of Booker T), then-heel, Finlay, and Mark Henry. In a bizarre twist of fate, Mark Henry was legitimately injured and was ruled out of the scheduled match between the two at The Great American Bash, thus further delaying a potential feud between the two after being delayed by Batista's initial injury.

Batista put out an open challenge to replace the injured Henry, which was answered by then-heel, Mr. Kennedy. Batista lost this match via DQ for failing to stop choking Mr. Kennedy into the turnbuckle with his boot, but continued to attack Kennedy resulting in a laceration on his forehead so severe that it exposed his cranium and required more than 20 stitches to close. Batista lost another match with Kennedy via count out in a rematch on SmackDown! before finally defeating Kennedy by pinfall on the August 4 edition of SmackDown!.

During this time Batista tried to regain a world title, facing both the heel gimmick of the Big Show for his ECW Championship during an ECW show, and King Booker for his World Heavyweight Championship during SummerSlam and SmackDown!. Batista won the SummerSlam match, but not the title as the contests ended via disqualification meaning Booker retained the title. In the SmackDown! bout a few weeks later, Booker retained with help from his Court.

Batista remained a top contender to the World Title, competing against King Booker on several occasions while feuding with Finlay, before finally defeating King Booker to regain the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series at Philadelphia's Wachovia Center. Ironically, the win occurred at the same arena where he surrendered the title in January.


At the beginning of the new year, Batista successfully retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Mr. Kennedy at the Royal Rumble. Two months later at WrestleMania 23, Batista lost the championship to the winner of the Royal Rumble match, The Undertaker. They continued to battle over the title to a stalemate in a subsequent Last Man Standing match at Backlash and a Steel Cage Match on the May 11 episode of SmackDown!. Following the latter, Edge took advantage and won the title from the Undertaker by using his Money in the Bank title opportunity. Afterwards, Batista challenged Edge unsuccessfully for the World Heavyweight Championship at Judgment Day, One Night Stand in a Steel Cage Match, and Vengeance. The loss at Vengeance stipulated that Batista could no longer get another chance at the World Heavyweight Championship while Edge remained champion.

Batista accepted an open challenge from The Great Khali for The Great American Bash. Edge relinquished the title due to an injury the week before the PPV, and Khali became the new World Heavyweight Champion, winning a Battle Royal and eliminating Batista. Batista and Kane, Edge's title opponent, faced Khali at The Great American Bash in a triple threat match where Khali retained the title. Batista received a disqualification victory against Khali at Summerslam after Khali used a steel chair, thus retaining the title again. Batista finally claimed his third World Heavyweight Championship after eight consecutive attempts, by defeating Khali in a match that included Rey Mysterio at Unforgiven. His first challenge was from the Great Khali in a Punjabi Prison Match at No Mercy where Batista retained his title despite Khali having the majority of the offense. He won the match by leaping from the inner bamboo structure to the outer one, shortening his escape route and beating Khali to the floor.

After the return of the The Undertaker at Unforgiven, the duo re-ignited their feud at Cyber Sunday where the fans chose Guest Referee Stone Cold Steve Austin. Batista won via two Batista Bombs. The feud continued with a Hell in a Cell match at Survivor Series. During the match, Edge returned and interfered by giving Undertaker a con-chair-to. He then pulled an unconscious Batista on top of Undertaker for the pinfall to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

Unfortunately for Batista, this was a sign of things to come. At Armageddon, Edge would be entered into a Triple Threat Match, alongside The Undertaker, to challenge for Batista's World Heavyweight title. This event would lead to the end of Batista's third reign as champion, after Edge managed to score the pinfall and claim the World Championship.


After Shawn Michaels defeated a now-babyface, Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV, Batista began a feud with Michaels, calling him selfish and egotistical. However just like his feud with The Undertaker no heel turns were involved. The two faced off at Backlash with Chris Jericho as the guest referee. Michaels won after faking a knee injury and performing Sweet Chin Music. Batista then defeated Michaels at One Night Stand in a stretcher match, thus ending their feud. On June 23, Batista was drafted from SmackDown to the Raw brand during the 2008 WWE Draft. Batista became a World Tag Team Champion for a third time on the August 4 edition of Raw when he teamed up with John Cena, his SummerSlam opponent, to defeat Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase for the titlebut failed to retain the title against the former champions on the next edition of Raw. Batista narrowly defeated Cena at SummerSlam.

In wrestling

  • Finishing and signature moves
  • As Batista

  • As Leviathan
  • Managers
  • Nicknames
    • "The Demon" - as Leviathan
    • "The Demon of the Deep" - as Leviathan
    • "Guardian of The Gates of Hell" - as Leviathan
    • "Big Dave"
    • "The Animal" / "Evolution's Animal"
  • Entrance themes
  • Signature taunts
    • Batista enters and crouches slightly as if he was seated and holds his hands out like he is holding a large, mounted gatling gun. He then pretends to fire the pantomimed weapon as his pyro goes off to follow suit. The entrance move he does are traced back to when he was break-dancing when he was younger.
    • Batista has used a "thumbs up, thumbs down" gesture before delivering the Batista Bomb ever since his WrestleMania 21 match against Triple H. This is a reference to the gesture Triple H used against Randy Orton when he kicked Orton out of Evolution (leading to a brutal assault). Batista took this gesture from Triple H when he feigned signing to SmackDown!. Before doing his "thumbs up, thumbs down", he often shakes the ring ropes violently which he has acknowledged he took from the Ultimate Warrior, after Triple H suggested that he should do it.
    • Batista frequently bangs his head or chest with his open hand, usually his left. Frequently this is used to illustrate his animality, thus earning him the nickname The Animal by Jim Ross during commentary.
    • Shane McMahon made the original suggestion to Batista to do a sitout powerbomb as his finishing move. The move was then dubbed as "Batista Bomb" by commentator Jim Ross.

    Championships and accomplishments


    Criticism of WWE/TNA

    In 2005, Bautista gave two controversial interviews to the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. In the first interview, Bautista, then wrestling on the Raw brand of WWE, criticized SmackDown!, stating, "I've watched their tapings live and it seems like a lot of the guys couldn't care less. There's a lack of passion and pride." In the second interview, Batista acknowledged that his statements had attracted considerable backstage heat from members of the SmackDown! brand. He then went on to claim, "there are guys on both shows who are lazy, couldn't care less and show no dedication." He then criticized rival wrestling promotion Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, claiming, "I've also seen clips of their car wreck matches with A.J. Styles doing his stunts. That's not wrestling. Wrestling is storytelling." In April 2006, Styles (Allen Jones) responded to Batista's comments, quipping, "I think it's funny that a guy who takes a bump and tears his back tells me that I don't know how to wrestle.

    Backstage problems

    Batista's backstage problems continued at a 2006 SummerSlam pay-per-view commercial shoot. It was reported that Bautista got into a real-life fistfight with Booker Huffman (Booker T). The incident was reported on, with both men telling their sides of the story. The fight was believed to stem from the idea that Bautista considered himself to be better than the rest of the roster due to his main event status and relatively quick climb to achieve it. It is believed that Bautista provoked the fight, though Huffman appeared to get the upper hand until they were pulled apart by various superstars at which time Bautista landed a punch on Huffman that caused considerable swelling. Huffman swore revenge, but the two seemingly put it behind them.

    Steroid allegations

    In August 2007, Bautista was accused of anabolic steroid use after an ESPN article released the names of wrestlers that were clients of Signature Pharmacy of Orlando, one of many pharmacies under investigation for filling illegal#adjective prescriptions. Bautista released a statement denying ESPN's allegations and was reportedly 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. The WWE reportedly suspended ten wrestlers named in the controversy, though Batista was not one of them.

    Personal life

    Bautista was married to a woman named Glenda in the early 1990s and had two daughters with her, Keilani (born in 1990) and Athena (born in 1992) before divorcing. Bautista married his second wife Angie on October 13, 1998, however they divorced in 2006. Before the age of 40, Bautista had already become a grandfather of two grandsons: Jacob & Aiden by Keilani, his first daughter. During his marriage with Angie, Bautista became an avid collector of vintage metal lunchboxes. He admits his favorite is the 1967 Green Hornet lunch box, as it has Bruce Lee on it. This collection started when he bought Angie an ET lunchbox and she did not want to break it, so he bought a second one. Bautista revealed that he and Angie were separated in the August 2006 edition of WWE Magazine. He later revealed, in his autobiography, a relationship with WWE Diva Melina after the divorce from his wife in 2006, which led to a brief angle on SmackDown! during a feud with MNM.

    In October 2007, his autobiography "Batista Unleashed", a WWE Book, was released. In an interview about the book, Bautista claims "I didn't want to tell my story unless it was honest," and that "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." One source of controversy was the mentioning of Chris Benoit, who was almost completely removed due to controversy. Bautista responded saying "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." 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."

    He has numerous tattoos, including a large Chinese dragon on his back, red Kanji lettering on his upper left biceps which says "Angel" in tribute to his former wife Angie, a signature design on his upper right biceps, and a small Sun on his stomach which encircles his belly button. He recently added a tattoo on his arm of the flags of the Philippines and Greece merged into one.

    Other media

    In addition to wrestling, Bautista has been in several commercials and on several magazine covers. He was shown breakdancing in a commercial promoting WWE SummerSlam 2004 where he did his take on a "floor routine", a routine that arguably mocked the floor routines shown at the Olympic Games. He was also on the cover of the April 2005 Flex Magazine and Muscle & Fitness for September 2008.

    Moreover, Bautista has acted and has 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 plays an extraterrestrial alien named Aldar that escaped from the Phantom Zone, who sucks the bones out of people for nourishment. 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.

    On November 5, 2007, he appeared on an episode of Family Feud with several other WWE superstars.

    On September 7, 2008, he appeared on an episode of Iron Chef America as one of the judges, with snails as the theme ingredient Batista, along with Candice Michelle, Shelton Benjamin, and Josh Matthews, represented the WWE at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in an effort to persuade fans to register to vote in the 2008 Presential election.


    External links

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