Former WWE Champion Batista is currently starring in the third most watched film in Netflix history, but he might have missed out on the chance of a Hollywood career had it not been for the actions of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
During an interview with GQ, to promote Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Batista reflected on being disheartened at a lack of opportunities outside of WWE and how that led to his acting career.
With roles in film franchises James Bond and the Marvel Universe, Batista is in high demand. But it was not an instant success, with the man formerly known as The Animal, admitting that he nearly “lost everything” during early struggles to break into acting.
However, after securing the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, success followed, paving the way for a long standing Hollywood career.
Batista not getting equal opportunities
During his time in WWE, Batista became a headliner, after success in the faction Evolution, alongside Triple H, Ric Flair and Randy Orton, he went on to hold multiple titles and became the main event for the Smackdown brand.
But it was during this success that Batista started to feel he was not being offered the same opportunities outside of the ring as John Cena.
“John Cena and I were both headlining shows. “I was [the face of] SmackDown. He was Raw. But he was being used in [WWE-produced] films and television commercials and magazines, and I was just headlining shows. In fact, there was one point where he was off making a film and I was headlining both sets of shows and the pay-per-views. It was just a feeling of, ‘We’re not getting equal opportunities,'”
After deciding it was time to leave WWE, it was advice from Stone Cold Steve Austin that hugely impacted his approach to acting, without which, Batista might not have built such a stand out filmography.
“Before I left WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin pulled me aside and said, ‘You’re going to get offers for horrible scripts. The money will be tempting. Don’t get caught in that trap,'”
Batista hasn’t wrestled since being defeated by Triple H at WrestleMania 35.