18 january, 1969
David Michael Bautista Jr. was born on January 18, 1969. When WCW officials told him he'd never make it in sports entertainment, Dave Batista pushed himself to achieve his dream of being a Superstar. In May 2002, he made his debut on SmackDown but it wasn't until a move to Raw and two victories over Kane that "The Animal" began to make noise in the WWE Universe. The wins impressed Ric Flair and Triple H, who were looking to align themselves with the industry's brightest new stars. After a lengthy search, they identified Randy Orton and Batista. Collectively the four Superstars became known as Evolution.
Batista earned his first championship alongside "The Nature Boy" when the duo captured the WWE Tag Team Championships in December 2003. As Evolution dominated WWE, Batista started to emerge from the shadows of Triple H and Ric Flair. By the time Batista won the 2005 Royal Rumble Match, World Heavyweight Champion Triple H viewed him as a serious threat to his title.
After a triceps injury at the hands of Mark Henry forced Batista to relinquish the title in January 2006, he vowed to return. Batista successfully regained the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series in 2006. Four months into his second reign, Batista faced Undertaker at WrestleMania 23 against the Undertaker. "The Animal" took Undertaker to the limit, but was unable to stop the streak of "The Deadman" at WrestleMania. Though disappointed, Batista stayed hungry and always managed to keep himself in the championship hunt for the rest of his career.
At Bragging Rights in 2009, Batista shocked the world when he blamed Rey Mysterio for a loss to Undertaker, then attacked his former tag team partner. "The Animal" then became locked in a tense rivalry with another former friend, John Cena, over the WWE Championship. The grueling match at Over the Limit led to a wheelchair-bound Batista declaring "I quit!" the following night on Raw before fading from the WWE Universe in May 2010. Following his departure from WWE, he made appearances in the films, The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012) (V) and The Man with the Iron Fists (2012). Then two years later, he was embarking on a career in Mixed Martial Arts when he joined MMA and had his first professional MMA fight.