You would be forgiven for thinking that Dave Bautista first rose to prominence thanks to his role playing Drax in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film. His performance was that of a dumb but loveable alien in the popular Marvel franchise, and it allowed him to make a name for himself in a number of other high-budget movies.
But long before his role as Drax, Bautista was an extremely popular professional wrestler that earned a name for his antics in the ring. It took hard work and dedication, but Bautista would eventually become one of the most well-known pro wrestlers of all time.
Bautista’s Early Life
Born in 1969 in the US state of Washington D.C, David Michael Bautista shared a name with his father, who was a hairdresser. Bautista has stated that he lived most of his life in poverty and had a lot of difficulties from a young age.
By the time he was a teenager, he was already committing crimes and was living on his own by the age of 17. He would work as a nightclub bouncer for a while but would be arrested and served one year probation. He devoted his life to being a bodybuilder, which would ultimately lead him to choose to become a wrestler.
His Wrestling Career
He originally tried out with World Champion Wrestling, but he was told by Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker that he would never amount to anything in the pro wrestling business. Bautista would continue trying, however, and approached the World Wrestling Foundation, where he was advised to train at the Wild Samoan Training Centre with Afa Anoa’i. He completed his training successfully and would debut in the first match of his career in 1999.
By December 2003, Bautista had earned his first championship title after fighting alongside The Nature Body. Two years later, Bautista had risen up the ranks, and when he won the 2005 Royal Rumble Match, Triple H believed that the new and upcoming wrestler was a threat to his World Heavyweight Champion title.
It was a prediction that would eventually prove to be true after he claimed the title at WrestleMania 21, and he became internationally famous, along with a favourite for online betting offers. Bautista suffered some setbacks in 2006 after injuries to his hands, but swore to come back, and would retain the title of World Heavyweight Championship during the 2006 Survivor Series.
A Promising Movie Career
Dave Bautista had been starring in film and TV series since 2006, but would only be given roles in more prominent movies by 2013 with the sci-fi flick Riddick. One year later, he would play Drax, the role that arguably catapulted him into true Hollywood stardom, and one that he would reprise for the sequels, as well as Avengers: Endgame. Roles in Dune, Army Of The Dead, and Thor: Love And Thunder truly cemented Bautista’s fame. His most recent work sees him returning as Drax the Destroyer for the third volume of Guardians Of The Galaxy, set to release in 2023.