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It’s been a while since I bashed Dave Bautista, so it’s about time I give him another pop.
On December 23rd, 2013, WWE superstar (and I use that term loosely) returned to the squared circle after a four year hiatus from the business. The move hoped to mirror that of returns like Chris Jericho and The Rock, given short term contracts to help promote the company by being a headline attraction. Unfortunately, that didn’t go so well for our man Dave.
After wearing ridiculous outfits (his own style, not dressed by wardrobe – one which saw him tear his super tight trousers) and showing he was damaged by ring rust when he fell gasping for air after one move, the WWE Universe turned on him. That wasn’t the plan.
WWE had originally wanted Batista to return, win the Royal Rumble and go on to headline WrestleMania XXX against his former blue-chipper pal, Randy Orton. The WWE Universe hated this and as they booed him at every opportunity with chants of “Bootista” echoing around every arena. But they also started protesting, threatening an exodus before the WrestleMania XXX main event.
The WWE Universe were firmly on the Daniel Bryan bandwagon, much to, it seemed, WWE’s chagrin. So story-lines were quickly changed, Bryan was thrust into the WrestleMania main event and won the title. The entire arena erupting in chants of “Yes! Yes! Yes!” better for business than people walking out. Batista’s path changed, instead aligning himself with Randy Orton and Triple H, the three of them went off on another feud. It gave Batista exposure but this was not what he was promised.
Those non-wrestling fans will know Bautista for his work on probably the biggest blockbuster of the summer – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy where he played Drax the Destroyer. Before the movie was released there were rumblings within the internet that Guardians could be Marvel’s first flop. But after a box office raking of nearly $300 million, it’s quite a success.
Critics are raving about Bautista’s work, praising his deadpan delivery for the overly literal Drax. These critics can’t have seen him in a ring on Monday nights where his “deadpan delivery” is actually just his monotonous droll. Having seen the film myself, I can honestly say (despite my grudges) that Bautista was the weakest link in a film which included a talking racoon and Josh Brolin’s Thanos.
Wrestling fans might have seen the last of Batista if his Hollywood career is taking off. Marvel wanted to distance themselves from the WWE – does anyone remember seeing a single promo for Guardians on WWE programming? Instead focusing on Bautista the actor than Batista the wrestler. If now they want to sign him to a bigger contract, it might include steering clear of the squared circle.
Guardian’s success cannot be denied and as expected, Guardians 2 has been green-lit and for some reason, Bautista is renegotiating his contract which promises him roles in both Guardians 2 and 3 and also a “significant” role in Avengers 3.
Suddenly things are starting to sound awfully familiar aren’t they? Promises of big roles and title shots. We can only hope that reality mimics WWE and the world realises just how awful Dave Bautista really is and Marvel decide to kill him off early in Guardians 2.