After establishing himself as one of the biggest stars in WWE, Dave Bautista followed the likes of Dwayne Johnson into Hollywood.
However, in contrast to the Fast and Furious star, Bautista has prided himself on taking a wider variety of roles and pushing himself out of his comfort zone. This recently led director Rian Johnson to hail the star as the greatest wrestler-turned-actor in history.
Bautista is better known to WWE audiences simply as Batista. The star debuted on SmackDown in 2002 and went on to feud with the likes of Edge, Triple H, and The Undertaker before deciding to leave the company in 2010. After a four-year break, the star returned at the 2014 Royal Rumble winning the Rumble match in a wave of controversy after fan-favorite Daniel Bryan didn’t appear in the match.
Batista left WWE six months later due to creative differences.
Despite this, he returned to the ring one more time at WrestleMania 35 in 2019 where he lost to Triple H in a match that he stated was his farewell to wrestling.
From here the former World Champion’s acting star has continued to rise thanks to the success of his portrayal of Drax in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his recent appearance in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
Dave Bautista Rules Out WWE Return
The star is set to make his final appearance as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 which is released on May 5th. During an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday, Batista stated that he doesn’t want to return to the role and “tarnish” his legacy.
“Yeah, it’s weird. I don’t know why it’s news,” Bautista said. “This is my seventh film as Drax. And my third ‘Guardians’ [movie]. It was like our trilogy. That’s kind of what we all signed up for, to do a trilogy. And I think this will be the last version of our ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.'”
He added that the movie provides the perfect ending for his character, making it impossible to return. Batista likened it to the end of his wrestling career, something he admits he will also never return to.
“It’s the perfect exit. We all had those perfect character arcs and such a storybook ending,” he said. “I constantly relate it to the way I ended my wrestling career. I ended it on a storybook note. And I would never go back and tarnish that. And it’s the same with this.”
Wrestling fans have been hoping that Batista might make one more WWE appearance to get inducted into the Hall of Fame in California in 2023. The star had been due to be inducted in 2020 but the ceremony was moved to 2021 due to the COVID-19 andemic, which led to him pulling out.
H/t to Insider