Dave Bautista is an actor and mixed martial artist. He is formerly of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) promotion.
Unlike many wrestling stars from earlier generations, who worked their way to the big time after a long career in smaller promotions, Dave Bautista is more or less a home-grown WWE creation. He was recruited by the WWE and made his pro debut in the Ohio Valley Wrestling promotion, alongside other future stars like John Cena and Randy Orton.
Bautista openly admits to living a checkered life before he became a pro wrestler. He was, at various points, a petty thief, a lifeguard, and a nightclub bouncer before making the leap to wrestling through professional bodybuilding. He was trained by Afa Anoa’i – best known as Afa of the Wild Samoans – and landed a developmental deal with the WWE.
In OVW he was billed as Leviathan, the “demon of the deep,” and finished opponents with the “Demon Bomb” powerbomb that would later become his signature move in the WWE. When he made the jump to the big leagues, though, like several other OVW alumni he simply went by his real name – Batista.
He first became a main-event star as part of Triple H’s “Evolution” stable, winning the WWE tag-team titles twice with Ric Flair, but since then he’s broken out on his own as a solo star, enjoying three separate reigns as world heavyweight champion. His break with Triple H and Evolution won the 2005 Feud of the Year award from the Wrestling Observer, an honor he picked up again two years later for his championship feud with Edge and the Undertaker.