Editor’s Note: Originally published in January 2010 in Ironpinoy Magazine. All photos courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment.
When most people hear the name Batista, they think of the imposing figure known for delivering his signature move, the Batista Bomb. But what lies beyond his in-ring persona? When tasked with interviewing him, I wondered what more there was to discover about this half-Filipino wrestling sensation. My search for insights led me to his autobiographical book, “Batista Unleashed,” where I delved into the untold aspects of his life.
Born on January 18, 1969, David Michael Bautista Jr. has a diverse heritage, with a Filipino father, David Michael Bautista, and a Grecian mother, Donna Raye. His younger sister, Donna, named after their mother, shared in the family’s trials and tribulations following their parents’ separation.
Even for those not typically fans of professional wrestling, Batista’s life story, as portrayed in his book, has the power to turn anyone into an admirer. The book’s depth of storytelling, combined with Batista’s unfiltered honesty about his experiences and thoughts, reveals an ordinary person who overcame life’s challenges and reached the pinnacle of his dreams.
Having explored nearly every facet of his life in the book, I formulated a series of questions for Batista, which he answered in a candid interview on December 20, 2009.
Batista’s Journey in Wrestling and Bodybuilding
I inquired about his transition from bodybuilding and working as a bouncer to his wrestling career. He explained that his physical prowess and physique initially caught the eye of WWE talent scouts, making bodybuilding a crucial stepping stone into professional wrestling.
Addressing the inevitability of injuries in the wrestling world, I asked about his most challenging injury and whether it ever made him consider quitting. Dave recounted a severe tricep tear in 2005 as his most debilitating injury but emphasized that quitting was never a consideration. Instead, he relied on rehabilitation and medical experts to make full recoveries.
Batista’s Personal Side
I probed into Batista’s emotional depth by questioning which of his entrance songs resonated most with him. He expressed a strong connection to Saliva’s “I Walk Alone” and its lyrics, which he believed perfectly encapsulated his persona.
I also inquired about the stark contrast between his emotional expressiveness outside the ring and his fierce demeanor inside it. Batista explained that his emotions were a vital part of connecting with the audience, drawing them into his character and story.
Addressing his advocacy for education, I asked whether he saw himself becoming an education advocate in the future. Batista reflected on his own life and the necessity of leaving school to support himself, expressing his wish for every child to prioritize education to avoid future regrets.
Batista on Manny Pacquiao
In an unexpected twist, Batista shared his friendship with Manny Pacquiao, expressing his respect and admiration for the renowned boxer and his willingness to support him whenever needed.
What’s Next for Batista
Batista looked ahead to his future in wrestling, promising to continue giving his all, proudly representing the Filipino people. He also hinted at WrestleMania 26 in Phoenix, Arizona, and the immense honor it was to participate in such a prestigious event.
Finally, he expressed his hope for WWE to host more live events in the Philippines, acknowledging the country’s passionate wrestling fans and the potential for future pay-per-view events.
Batista’s life journey is a testament to resilience and determination. From a life in poverty to the pinnacle of professional wrestling, his story serves as an inspiring reminder that anyone can overcome challenges and reach their dreams. We extend our gratitude to the World Wrestling Entertainment for allowing us to feature Batista in Ironpinoy Magazine.