3 Opponents who have defined Batista's in-ring career
One of the fastest rising superstars in Hollywood, Dave Batista has had quite a fascinating career both inside and outside of the squared circle. The Washington-native was part of the famed OVW graduates that had names like John Cena, Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar in its ranks. The Animal was someone who started in the business very late when he was in his 30s. Trained by Afa Anoa'i of The Wild Samoans, Batista made his WWE debut as Deacon Batista, the enforcer for Reverand D'Von.
Batista's career took a turn for good after he was paired with Ric Flair and would later join The Nature Boy, Triple H, and Randy Orton to form one of the most dominant stables in WWE history, Evolution. As part of Evolution, Batista would win the World Tag Team Championship alongside Ric Flair on two separate occasions. Batista would turn on his mentor, Triple H, following his win at the 2005 Royal Rumble. He would defeat The Game to capture the World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 21.
The Animal has since won numerous championships and headlined numerous pay-per-views for the company. One of Batista's strongest attributes has been his ability to prove his naysayers. When he left WWE for the first time in 2010, many questioned his decision to leave the company. People were skeptical about his move to Hollywood but the former World Champion proved them wrong. Not only is he part of two of the highest-grossing movies in cinematic history ( Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame), The Animal has also been able to vow audiences with his acting chops.
As the Animal gets set to be inducted into the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame, we can't help but look back at three opponents who have defined Batista's career inside the squared circle:
#3 John Cena
John Cena and Batista are arguably two of the biggest Superstars to have come out of WWE from the Ruthless Aggression era. The duo careers have sort of paralleled each other in more ways than one. Cena and Batista both won World Championships at WrestleMania 21 and never looked back. While Cena was ruling the roost as the WWE Champion, Batista was dominating SmackDown as the World Heavyweight Champion. The duo never got an opportunity to face off against one another during the initial phase of their careers until they were both drafted to RAW in 2008.
Batista and Cena even won the World Tag Team Championship for a brief period during the build-up to their match at SummerSlam 2008. Batista defeated Cena in the first-ever singles meeting between the duo. Cena would suffer an injury during the match which would keep him on the sidelines for the next three months.
It would be another year and a half before their paths would cross once again. After winning the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber, Cena was forced to defend the title against Batista in an impromptu match by Vince McMahon. Cena would lose the title to The Animal in quick fashion thereby setting up a dream match between the duo at WrestleMania 26. Cena would defeat Batista to win the WWE Championship at The Grandest Stage Of Them All. The feud with Cena was Batista's final one before he left the company in 2010.
Before moving on the next part of the listicle, gear up by listening to the latest edition of Dropkick DiSKussions featuring the veteran ring announcer Lilian Garcia!