Batista Comments on Going Broke After WWE Career and His Breakout Movie Role

Batista is a former 6-time World Champion in World Wrestling Entertainment and a successful actor. At 50 years old, he announced that he had wrestled in his last match at this past WrestleMania 35 when he lost to Triple H.

Batista started on WWE’s main roster in 2002, became a WrestleMania main eventer three years later and was a top guy in the company for about five years when he decided to move on in 2010. He came back in 2014 for about six months, headlined WrestleMania one more time and moved on again. Last year he was back at Smackdown 1000 to start the storyline with Triple H and this year they had the WrestleMania match. Batista will likely be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame very soon and it could even be next year in Tampa where he lives.

Batista, whose real name is Dave Bautista, has gone on to have a very successful movie career thanks to his breakout role as “Drax” in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.

Recently, Batista appeared at the Denver Pop Culture Con where he was part of a panel talking about some tough times in WWE, losing money he had made and his successful acting career. Thanks to WrestlingInc for the transcript.

Batista explained his decision to leave WWE in 2010 due to how bad he was as an actor:

“I wanted to pursue acting because I found out how bad I was at it. I was horrible. I was with WWE at the time and I went and did a film. All I wanted to do was wrestle. I loved wrestling. I was obsessed with wrestling. I went in to do a film as a favor for a friend and I realized I was horrible. I was a horrendous actor. I was mortified and I wanted to prove that I could be better. [WWE] wouldn’t let me do anything outside the company. I was stuck within the company wrestling and I wanted to pursue acting. They said, ‘Sorry we need you here. We need you on the shows’. And I said, ‘Well if you’re not going to let me pursue something I’m really passionate about, then I’m going to leave.'”

Batista talked about the hardships he dealt with after leaving WWE and his big break in Hollywood:

“So about eight months later I walked out the door and they didn’t think I was going to. I walked out on top. I was very comfortable. I was making a very good living and I walked out. Then I starved for three years. I went broke and lost everything. I couldn’t get a job. I said, ‘I will never go back to wrestling until I prove what I set out to prove that I could make it as an actor.’

“Then I got the role in Guardians. The first call I made after I wrapped was to Vince McMahon and said, ‘Hey, I’d really like to come back and wrestle for a bit.'”

Batista also discussed what it was like to get the Drax role in Guardians of the Galaxy movies and how he connected with director James Gunn:

“It was a nightmare. I’d gone broke and lost all my money from wrestling. I got an agent and my agent said, ‘I had to fight really hard to get you this audition. They didn’t want any pro wrestlers.’ I found one picture of Drax and I said, ‘That looks like me. I get this picture. I relate to this picture’. I went and read for Sarah Finn and did my audition. She said, ‘Is there any way you could come tomorrow and read for the director?’ That’s when I knew it was real.”

“I read for James Gunn and I could tell right away that he really wanted me to be Drax. James and I connected really fast. Where I was at in my life—when I say that James Gunn changed the direction of my life, not just my career, this is why I am so loyal to him. You’re going to get me emotional—I connected with him right off the bat.”‘

You can watch some highlights below.

TJR Thoughts: I find it hard to believe that Batista went through millions of dollars that he made in WWE and had nothing left, but there’s also no reason for him to lie. I’m glad he’s doing well. I’ve always liked him.