At what point are WWE fans going to start regretting booing the crap out of Dave Bautista when he made his 2014 return to WWE and had the great misfortune of not being fan favorite wrestler Daniel Bryan?
Six-time world champion “Batista,” as he was called in the ring, left WWE in 2010 to pursue a Hollywood career that, let’s face it, nobody thought was going to be successful. When Bautista scored a role in the 2014 hit Guardians of the Galaxy, which was set to hit theaters the Summer following his January return to the ring, few believed that Bautista’s performance would be so entertaining as to catapult him to respectable status as an actor, but since then, Bautista has scored roles in Spectre, a Kickboxer reboot, a Blade Runner sequel, the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy (in theaters in May), Avengers: Infinity War, and a new film starring alongside Jodie Foster, Hotel Artemis. If we had known that, we, wrestling fans, might not have dubbed him “Boo-tista” and vented our frustrations against WWE’s management on him. And if we hadn’t done that, then there might be a snowball’s chance in hell that superstar actor Dave Bautista might grace wrestling fandom with another run in the ring.
Alas, things went a different way, and Bautista reportedly turned down a spot in last year’s Wrestlemania, and isn’t scheduled to appear at this one either. Bautista can bank on his reputation as an actor, rather than his pro wrestling stardom, and as a result, he doesn’t need us anymore. Oh, how the tables have turned! For proof, look no further than The Hollywood Reporters‘ description of Bautista from an article announcing his casting in Escape Plan 2:
Bautista is the former MMA champion who segued into acting, slamming through to star status with a scene-stealing performance as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians.
That’s right, he’s no longer the former pro wrestler who segued into action stardom. Pro wrestling doesn’t even rank above the fiction title of MMA champion, despite the fact that Bautista competed in just one MMA match (which was not for a championship). We screwed the pooch, WWE Universe.
Bautista joins Sylvester Stallone in the sequel to 2013’s Escape Plan, which paired Stallone with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Escape Plan 2 will begin filming this Spring.