When the 6-time WWE/World Heavyweight Champion Dave Batista left the WWE in 2010, there were endless rumors about why a star of his caliber who seemed to be going through a career resurgence would just walk away. Was it a budding movie career? Aspirations of becoming a MMA fighter before getting too old? Or was it the “PG” direction the WWE was taking that led “The Animal” to seek greener pastures? It turns out that the answer is all of the above.
When Dave Batista left the WWE in 2010, his character was riding high as a career resurgence as a heel led him to the WWE Championship and the main event of WrestleMania 26 against John Cena. He continued his feud with Cena through the next two pay-per-views, Extreme Rules and Over The Limit, but ended up quitting WWE on Raw the night after a brutal “I Quit” match at Over The Limit. At the time, the rumors as to why Batista left the WWE when he had just re-established himself as a main event heel were many and at times, outlandish. There were rumors of a career in Hollywood or MMA, his disappointment in the WWE taking a more “family-friendly” approach to their product and even rumors of steroid abuse & he wanted to leave before being caught by WWE’s Wellness Policy. All of those rumors are finally laid to rest in this documentary.
It turns out that while SOME of the rumors were true, most weren’t. Batista pulls no punches on his reasons for leaving the WWE when he did. Like most superstars who take time off, Batista was feeling the weight of the road on his 41-year-old body (a compression fracture of his L1 spine didn’t help either). He also wanted to pursue different opportunities offered up to him before he did become too old to take advantage of them. Proving that drugs or steroids played no part in his decision, Dave Batista pursued mixed martial arts under the training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu of the famed Gracie family. He would eventually earn a purple belt in jiu-jitsu and win his only MMA fight by TKO in the first round. Unfortunately Batista would realize that he was just too old to commit full-time to such a demanding sport and decided to turn his attention to Hollywood, starring in The Man with the Iron Fists, Riddick and Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy.
During the filming of Galaxy, Batista became in contact with Triple H more regularly and talk about a return was batted about. While Batista was seeing success in Hollywood, he felt that he had unfinished business in the WWE and plans were laid out for his return. But “Big Dave” made it clear, if he was going to return, he wasn’t coming for a part-time gig but a full-time run – house shows and all. Dave Batista would follow through with this promise, winning the Royal Rumble, contending in the main event at WrestleMania 30 and many of the following pay-per-views. Batista – The Animal Unleashed gives you a look into Batista return to the WWE and while the documentary doesn’t delve into the entire career of “The Animal”, it does answer a lot of questions that were never answered when he left the WWE in 2010 and his sub-sequential return. Add that to the incredible amount of matches added to the Blu-Ray version (WWE Championship “I Quit” Match vs John Cena, World Tag Team Championship Match with Ric Flair vs The Dudley Boys, Batista and Eddie Guerrero vs MNM plus over 5 hours more) and Batista – The Animal Unleashed is definitely worth a watch.
Remember you can always pick up the DVD or Blu-Ray versions of Batista – The Animal Unleashed at WWEShop.com for $23.99 or at local retailers.
Tags: batista, Daniel Bryan, Evolution, john cena, randy orton, royal rumble, triple h, wrestlemania, WWE, wwe championship