Updated: Jan 22
A look back at the accomplishments and feats of the "animal" Batista!
January 18th was former WWE wrestler, almost WWE Hall of Famer, and Guardian of the Galaxy Dave Bautista's fifty-second birthday. After hearing of Batista's birthday, I found myself reflecting on the man's importance in my obsession with pro wrestling and felt compelled to write about it. Often when I am asked who my top five favorite wrestlers are amongst other wrestling fans, they are shocked to hear Batista is on that list. Dave Bautista is known now more than he ever was staring in major motion pictures, but long before the public eye saw Dave as a star, I regarded myself as The Animal's number one fan.
I take you back to a time when the independent( newly) twenty-six-year-old man who wrote this very story was a sniveling little seven-year-old boy seeking out time to spend with his father. My dad worked quite a lot, and I am the youngest of seven, so quality time alone with him was scarce to find. One Friday night, I found myself particularly in the state to spend time with him, so I went to his room where he was watching Smackdown on My27. We only had regular channels, not cable, which was subject to change once my fascination for the WWE began to grow, which started that night. That eventual fascination and obsession were only possible once the implacable music of I Walk Alone hit and Batista came out and drummed his pyro, instantly hooking the impressible boy I was.
He was in a feud with The Undertaker at the time, who was my father's favorite, so of course, the iconic legend also helped to spark the flame of one of the passions I still have to this day. It was Batista, however that kept me coming back each and every week and ask for PPVs and cable once he moved to RAW. His feud with Cena is still one of my favorites today as I was a strong hater to the Cenation, so I loved that my guy The Animal was going after him. I did not love his departure after the feud quite as much though his quitting made a great segment people still talk about today. It was also necessary for all of his surprise returns, in which I pop every time, to take place.
Last Year when Batista was announced as an inductee to the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2020, the kid in me returned as a sense of pride washed over me. Realizing the very reason I first began to enjoy WWE and Pro wrestling as a whole was finally be recognized as one of the best like I had always seen him. Of course, the Hall of Fame did not occur due to the global pandemic though I know The Animal will be unleashed on the Hall of Fame when the time is right again. In the meantime, I wish Dave Bautista nothing other than continued success as well as a happy belated birthday.