Dave ‘Batista’ Bautista: 2022 Biography, Net Worth, Family, Income
David Michael Bautista Jr. was born on January 18th, 1969 in Washington, DC. His early life was hard and he found himself stealing cars by the age of 13 and estranged from his parents by 17. Later he became a nightclub bouncer but was arrested and given a year’s probation after a fight that injured two patrons.
After an unsuccessful attempt at a bodybuilding career, Bautista turned to pro wrestling in 1999. He began training with Afa Anoa’i, one-half of the famed Wild Samoans tag team and debuted with the star’s WXW promotion that October.
In 2000, he signed with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, where he was named ‘Leviathan’. While there, he competed against the likes of Shelton Benjamin, Bull Buchanan, and had a main-event feud with The Prototype – better known today as John Cena.
In 2002, Bautista was called up to the WWE SmackDown roster where he accompanied D-Von Dudley – then going by Reverend D-Von – as his enforcer, Deacon Batista. In his first match on the blue brand, Batista teamed with Dudley and pinned Randy Orton, who was tagging with Farooq. Batista suffered his first loss against Rikishi thanks to D-Von accidentally punching him. This led to the pair falling out and going their separate ways.
Batista was moved to Raw that November and allied himself with Ric Flair. In January 2003, the two joined up with Triple H and Randy Orton to form Evolution. Unfortunately, Batista suffered torn triceps early that year and was unable to wrestle for almost eight months.
On his return, The Animal helped Evolution secure their dominance when he and Ric Flair became the World Tag Team Champions at December’s Armageddon pay-per-view while Orton captured the Intercontinental Championship and Triple H the World Heavyweight Title at the same event. Over the following months, Flair and Batista defended the titles several times before losing them to Booker T & Rob Van Dam on the February 16th, 2004 edition of Raw.
Heading into WrestleMania 20, Evolution entered a feud with Mick Foley which resulted in Foley bringing in The Rock to help him. This resulted in a Tag Team Handicap match between Evolution and The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection on The Grandest Stage of Them All. Evolution won the bout when Orton was able to hit Foley with an RKO for the pin-fall.
Later in 2004, Batista began establishing himself as a singles wrestler and achieved a notable victory over Chris Jericho at Vengeance. However, he was outshone by Randy Orton who made his way to the main event scene and defeated Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship. This led to Triple H ejecting Orton from Evolution and setting out to recapture the title for himself, which he did at the following month at Unforgiven with help from Batista and Ric Flair.
Cracks began to appear between the remaining members of the group as The Game began to distrust Batista and, for his part, Batista grew to dislike the heel antics of his teammates. Things came to a head when Batista won the 2005 Royal Rumble and chose to face Triple H, leaving Evolution in the process.
At WrestleMania 21, Batista defeated his former leader to become the World Heavyweight Champion for the first time in his career. He reigned for the rest of 2005, fending off challengers including Edge, JBL, and Eddie Guerrero. In January 2006, things came to an abrupt end when he was forced to vacate the title after suffering torn triceps during a match with Mark Henry.
Batista returned to action in July and set his sights on regaining the World Heavyweight Title he never lost from Booker T – then known as King Booker. After several failed attempts, The Animal finally defeated Booker at that year’s Survivor Series to begin his second reign.
After a short rivalry with Mr. Kennedy, Batista began a feud with the winner of the 2007 Royal Rumble match, The Undertaker. The pair were forced to team up at No Way Out against the team of Shawn Michaels and John Cena, but they were unable to co-exist as Batista turned on The Deadman to cost the team the match.
At WrestleMania 23, Batista fell victim to The Undertaker’s streak, losing his championship to The Deadman. The pair continued their rivalry for several weeks with both a Last Man Standing Match and Steel Cage Match between the two ending in draws. Following the Steel Cage bout, Edge cashed in his Money In The Bank contract to win the World Heavyweight Championship from The Undertaker. Batista challenged Edge for the title several times, but was unable to overcome The Ultimate Opportunist.
After Edge was side-lined with an injury, The Great Khali became the World Heavyweight Champion and Batista immediately targeted the Indian star. He received a series of title matches against Khali, eventually regaining the championship at September 2007’s Unforgiven event and then retaining it in a Punjabi Prison match against the giant the following month.
During the rest of the year, Batista reignited his feuds with both The Undertaker and then a returning Edge. At the final PPV of the year, Armageddon, the three men battled it out over the title with The Rated-R Superstar coming out on top with the help of his ‘Edge-Heads’, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder.
After failing to win the 2008 Royal Rumble, Batista spent some time out of the title picture with rivalries against Umaga and then Shawn Michaels. The Animal was able to defeat Michaels in a Stretcher Match at One Night Stand, ending the rivalry. He then became the Number 1 Contender to CM Punk’s World Heavyweight Championship, but their matches ended in interference, first from Kane and then JBL.
A feud with John Cena followed, and the two met in the ring for the first time since OVW at that year’s SummerSlam which Batista won after two Batista Bombs, leaving Cena with a legitimate injury to his neck.
While Batista continued to wrestle for some time after the bout, it was revealed in December that he had suffered a hamstring tear that he had been working through before finally deciding to undergo surgery. This put him out of action until WrestleMania 25 in April 2009 when he returned to help the McMahon Family and Triple H fend off Randy Orton and his Legacy stable of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr.
He continued to clash with Orton for the next few months and defeated The Viper to win the WWE Championship for the first time at Extreme Rules on June 7th. Unfortunately, he had to vacate the title the next night as he had torn his biceps and needed another surgery.
On his return in September, Batista ended his feud with Orton by defeating him in a No Holds Barred match on Raw before making the move to SmackDown. Following failed attempts to recapture the World Heavyweight Championship, he turned heel with a vicious attack on Rey Mysterio. The pair fought in several matches with Batista coming out on top in both a Singles Match and Street Fight before Mysterio finally got a victory in December in a Number 1 Contender’s bout for the World Title.
After being eliminated from the 2010 Royal Rumble by John Cena, the two men began another feud. Batista was able to defeat Cena at Elimination Chamber to capture the WWE Championship for the second time, but his reign only lasted until the following month’s WrestleMania 26 when Cena regained the title. The two then fought in an I Quit match at Over The Limit, which Cena won, ending their rivalry.
The night after the loss, Batista appeared in a wheelchair and claimed he would sue WWE for a spinal injury he suffered. The GM of Raw, Bret Hart, instead told the star he would be taking part in a match against Randy Orton. Batista refused and quit the company. In reality, he had decided to leave due to issues with the creative direction of WWE at the time and wanted to pursue an acting career.
He returned to the company four years later and was the winner of the 2014 Royal Rumble, setting him up for a match with Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. At the time, however, fans were fully invested in Daniel Bryan – now AEW’s Bryan Danielson – and his ‘Yes! movement’, leading to them reacting badly to Batista winning the Rumble while Bryan was nowhere to be seen.
At WrestleMania 30, Bryan was added to the Main Event between Orton and Batista, and ultimately won the match and the title by forcing The Animal to tap out to the Yes Lock. Over the following weeks, Batista reformed Evolution with Orton and Triple H and the trio attacked Bryan before being taken out by The Shield. This led to matches between the two factions at Extreme Rules in May and Payback in June with The Shield winning both bouts.
Batista left WWE again soon after, onscreen it was due to Triple H refusing him another chance at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but in reality, he had creative differences with the company.
It would be another four years before Batista returned to WWE. In October 2018 he attended an Evolution reunion for the 1000th episode of SmackDown and mentioned Triple H had never beaten him in a singles match. Then, in February 2009, he made a shock appearance on Raw, brutally assaulting Ric Flair before calling out Triple H. He then demanded a match against The King of Kings at WrestleMania 35, which Triple H accepted.
Triple H defeated Batista at WrestleMania with some help from Flair and the following night, he announced his retirement from pro wrestling. In 2020, he was due to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but the ceremony was postponed and prior commitments meant he couldn’t attend the 2021 event.
Outside of wrestling, Batista has forged an extremely successful acting career. After several roles on TV, he received his big break as Drax The Destroyer in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. He starred as the character in two of the movies as well as both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. He is due to reprise the role for a final time in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in 2023.
He has also had starring roles in Dune and Army of the Dead as well as notable appearances in the James Bond movie Spectre and Blade Runner 2049.
Batista married his first wife, Glenda, in 1990. The couple had two daughters, Keilani was born in 1990 and Athena in 1992 before they divorced in 1998.
He married again in October 1998 to his second wife Angie. The pair have a son together, Oliver. This marriage ended in divorce in 2006.
In October 2015, Batista married for the third time to Sarah Jade but the pair separated in 2019.
Batista is also a grandfather, having two grandsons through his daughter, Keilani.
During the latter years of his WWE career, Batista is reported to have earned $1 million per year. Since then, his acting career has netted him an impressive $14 million for his role as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies alone.
According to Cagematch.net, since beginning his career in 1999, Batista has competed in 991 matches, with a record of 618 wins, 342 defeats and 31 draws. That puts his career win percentage at 62.4%.
Figures are correct as of December 12th 2022.
WWE Champion – 2 times
World Heavyweight Champion – 4 times
World Tag Team Champion – 3 times
WWE Tag Team Champion – 1 time
Royal Rumble winner – 2005 and 2014
As well as taking part in WWE-related charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation while part of the company, Batista has made donations to several charities. The star also showed support for the Give Kids The World Village which supports children with critical illnesses and their families.
|Annual Salary||$1 million|
|Net Worth||$16 million|
|Endorsements||DC Society Ink tattoo parlour,|
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