Dave Bautista has made a name for himself in Hollywood thanks to landing huge roles in films such as “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Blade Runner 2049” but to wrestling fans he’ll always be known as simply Batista.
When Batista first arrived on the WWE main roster he was paired with D-Von Dudley who was using a preacher gimmick at the time, and he worked as Deacon Batista. The gimmick wasn’t exactly a perfect fit for Dave, and it was pretty over the top. During a recent interview with Uproxx, Batista talked about the gimmick, and he made it clear that it’s not something he was a fan of.
“Only in WWE. When I first came up, I did this character called Deacon Batista, so it was the same last name, but I was working with this guy named D-Von Dudley and he was doing this televangelist preacher type deal where he was collecting money and I held this big, goofy box and I was a security guard of his money box. So ridiculous. It was horrible.”
The former WWE World Champion was also asked if he was the one who decided to change his name from Bautista to Batista, and he says he was told it was changed so people would have an easier time pronouncing it. However, it wasn’t until later that he realized why it was really changed.
“I actually didn’t. All right, here’s the funny thing about that, because when I was … when I went up, when I was called up from OVW, which was our training facility, they changed my name and changed it to “Batista.” I didn’t realized they changed the spelling of it. Well, I was told the reason they did that was so people would be able to pronounce it easier, and then I was told later by another wrestler, he said, “No, you dummy. They did that so they could own it. They just can’t own your name. They changed the spelling, now they own it.” Which was true. I left WWE without my wrestling name, went back to my real name, and started over.”
Batista is busy with his acting career, but it’s rumored that he’s being considered for the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018, and you can get more on that here.