Weight: 318 lbs
Real Name: Dave Bautista
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Other Names: Kahn(WXW), Leviathan(OVW), "Demon of the Deep" (OVW), Deacon Batista(WWE), "Evolution's Animal"(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 1997
Finishing Maneuver: Spinebuster, Demon Bomb/Batista Bomb
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #6(2010), #16(2009), #15(2008), #13(2007), #23(2006), #1(2005), #20(2004), #28(2002), #257(2001)
Official Website: http://www.demon-wrestling.com/
History: (Last Updated: 6/04/2006)
Weight: 318 lbs
Real Name: Dave Bautista
Hometown: Washington D.C.
Other Names: Kahn(WXW), Leviathan(OVW), "Demon of the Deep" (OVW), Deacon Batista(WWE), "Evolution's Animal"(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 1997
Finishing Maneuver: Spinebuster, Demon Bomb/Batista Bomb
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #6(2010), #16(2009), #15(2008), #13(2007), #23(2006), #1(2005), #20(2004), #28(2002), #257(2001)
Official Website: http://www.demon-wrestling.com/
History: (Last Updated: 6/04/2006)
Dave Bautista's career in professional wrestling followed a familiar path for many former and current stars. Bautista, in Washington D.C, worked as a bouncer for nightclubs and as a body builder, sculpting his body into a tower of strength. Little did he know that this would be the start of international fame in the squared circle.
In early '99, Bautista joined the Wild Samoan Training Camp in Allenstown, Pennsylvania, run by a former wrestling great, Wild Samoan Afa. For the next few months, Bautista worked on his skills inside the ropes and out, learning the basics needed for a long wrestling career. After only a few months, Bautista debuted in Afa's WXW promotion as Kahn. Kahn quickly became one of the most dangerous wrestlers in the federation, working as a strong contender for the next couple of months. It didn't take long for World Wrestling Entertainment to take notice, as they had strong ties with Afa's organization.
After some negotiating, WWE signed Bautista to a developmental contract, and sent him to their training organization, Ohio Valley Wrestling. In July '00, the Demon of the Deep, Leviathan, made his debut, joining up with the Disciples of Synn. Leviathan didn't take long to become a dominating force in the company, taking on all comers, including gaining victories over WWE stars like Kane and the Big Show. In November '01, Leviathan gained his first major wrestling title, winning the OVW Heavyweight Title from "The Machine" Doug Basham. Leviathan defended the title for the next few months, until he was beaten in controversial fashion in February '02 by the Prototype (later known as John Cena in WWE). This loss stung Leviathan, who demanded a title rematch for his belt. Synn, apparently deciding that Leviathan was showing too much independence as the months went by, 'sold' Leviathan's contract to Reverend D'Von Dudley, from WWE.
WWE Smackdown: 2002
Deacon Batista made his WWE debut in May '02, carrying the donations box of Reverend D'Von. Batista routinely helped the Reverend win his matches, usually using the steel box as a powerful weapon. At Global Warming in August '02, the Deacon & the Reverend competed on a pay-per-view for the first time, losing to Mark Henry & Randy Orton. However, tensions were building between the two men, as Batista seemed to feel that the Reverend was holding him back. Only a short time after Global Warning, Batista was shown in the back, during a Smackdown taping, shoving Reverend D'Von to the ground and breaking away from him. The two had a match a few weeks later, with Batista getting the victory over his one-time ally.
WWE Raw: 2002
In November '02, David Batista switched over to the Raw brand of WWE, getting several squash victories over competitors like Justin Credible and D-Lo Brown. Batista also began to ally himself with a great veteran in "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. With Flair helping out, Batista turned to his first big challenge, facing a former foe from OVW in Kane. For the rest of the month, Batista & Flair had interactions with Kane & his ally, the Hurricane. At Armageddon '02, Batista faced off against Kane in a singles match. Thanks to Flair's interference, Batista was able to put Kane away, getting a major victory for himself in World Wrestling Entertainment.
Going into 2003, Batista continued to work well under the tutelege of Ric Flair. But there were better things to come. During the month, "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner had become a force to challenge for Hunter Hearst Helmsley's Raw Heavyweight Title. Batista & Flair, along with Randy Orton, joined up with Helmsley to beat down Steiner, to try and take him out. This was the beginning of the formation of Evolution. The group of wrestlers did damage in many areas, including Batista & Orton throwing Goldust into an electrical box, badly electrocuting him, simply because Goldust was the ally of Booker T, who was to challenge Triple H at Wrestlemania '03 for the gold. Just when things were looking up for Evolution, however, Batista's career was temporarily put on hold, as he tore his bicep muscle in a match against the Dudley Boyz in March '03. Things grew worse as Batista later injured his triceps muscle while jogging, and needed surgery.
In late October '03, Bill Goldberg, the current Raw Heavyweight Champion, had been made a target by Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Triple H had put a $100,000 bounty on Goldberg's head, for whoever could take him out. On one night, Goldberg had a scheduled match with Shawn Michaels. During the match, Batista suddenly appeared, attacking first Michaels, then Goldberg, taking both out. Batista added to the injury by placing Goldberg's leg in a chair and jumping on it, trying to break it. Batista then celebrated with the rest of Evolution, showing that they were back in full force. Batista also celebrated his recent financial gain, as he apparently won the $100,000.
For the next few weeks, Batista joined Evolution in their feud against Goldberg. But Batista also had his own feud, having continuing brawls with "HBK" Shawn Michaels. After one tag match between the two that Batista lost, Batista choked out Michaels, causing him to bleed from the mouth. The two met up at Armageddon '03, matching up as Batista's power vs. Michaels' speed. Flair's presence at ringside was also a factor. But at the end, despite multiple spinebusters from Batista, Michaels got a win with a surprisingly quick Sweet Chin Music shot, getting the pin.
A furious Batista was seen in the back later on during Armageddon, with Flair trying to calm him down and saying that they would deal with Michaels some other night, but more was to come. The tag-team titles were on the line in a "Tag-Team Turmoil" Match. When all the bouts had apparently been completed, it seemed that the Dudley Boyz had won the tag titles. However, Eric Bischoff cut off the music and announced one more team in the mix: Batista & Flair. The Dudleys were too fatigued to put up much of a fight, and Batista got the win with his Batista Bomb, earning him & Flair the Raw Tag-Team Titles.
Batista & Flair and the Dudley Boyz continued their feud into the new year, with the champions winning several bouts through interference. A "Tables" Match was set up between the two teams for the 2004 Royal Rumble. The bout was considered a specialty of the Dudleys, putting the odds against Batista & Flair retaining the belts. But Batista & Flair got some unexpected help from the Coach, who distracted the Dudleys long enough for Batista to enter the ring and put D'Von, his former 'Reverend', through a table with a spinebuster to win the match. Batista & Flair continued to defend the Tag-Team Titles into February '04, facing off against some tough teams. One team, Rob Van Dam & Booker T, proved to be too tough, winning away the belts from Evolution.
Batista & the rest of Evolution next focused on ending the career of Mick Foley, who had been a thorn in the side of Triple H for a long time. Foley enlisted the aid of another legend, the Rock, to help him in his fight. Foley & the Rock took on Batista, Flair, & Randy Orton at Wrestlemania XX in a "Handicap" Match. The match was a rapid one, with Foley & the Rock doing well despite the odds against them. Batista did get in a major move in the match, hitting his sit-down powerbomb on the Rock. Later on, the Rock made the tag to Foley, who looked to be about to win the match. But Orton pulled his finisher, the RKO, out of nowhere to get the victory for Evolution.
A little over a week after Wrestlemania XX, a draft lottery took place. During the night, Triple H was traded to Smackdown, a shocker to Evolution. Fortunately, Bischoff was able to trade Booker T & the Dudley Boys to Smackdown to get Helmsley back. Also during the night, Batista & Flair won back the Raw Tag-Team Titles from Rob Van Dam & Booker T (before Booker T was traded). For the next couple of weeks, Batista & Flair defended the belts against various teams, before being beaten by Chris Benoit & Edge, again losing the titles. Batista allied with various members of Evolution over the next month, trying to regain the Tag-Team Titles, without much success. Batista did, however, get a squash victory on Maven during Sunday Night Heat, the match before the beginning of Bad Blood '04.
In June '04, Batista's battles against the faces of Raw focused into one target: Chris Jericho. Batista and Jericho battled on several shows, in various tag-team formats, leading up to their scheduled match at Vengeance '04. Jericho used his greater speed to his advantage at first, but Batista got his knees up during a lionsault attempt, which injured Jericho's leg, hobbling him. The injury allowed Batista to capitalize on some moves, and he scored with a spinebuster, followed by the Batista Bomb. Batista then covered Jericho, who put his foot on the ropes. Before the ref could see, though, Batista grabbed the leg and pulled it off, getting the three count and the victory.
Over the summer months, Batista continued to be the powerful force behind Evolution, always being willing to do whatever is best for the group. This usually meant an assault on a face or two, although Batista DID have to be nice to Eugene for a while as well, as the 'special' wrestler was being set up by Triple H. Batista also got involved in the Intercontinental Title race after Randy Orton lost the belt to Edge. At Summerslam '04, Batista was signed to fight in a "Three-Way" Match for the belt, going against Edge and Chris Jericho. Batista was the huge heel for the match, as Summerslam was being held in Canada. The advantages in the match switched rapidly around for the three men, with each challenging for the gold. The end came, though, with Batista on the outside. As Batista attempted to reenter, Jericho hit a springboard dropkick to knock him back out. However, this left Jericho open to an Edge spear and pinfall victory, once again keeping Batista from holding WWE singles gold.
One night later, on Raw, Batista joined with the rest of Evolution in celebrating with Randy Orton, who had beaten Chris Benoit the night before to win the Raw Heavyweight Title. Orton and Benoit faced off once more in a rematch that night, with Evolution helping to distract Benoit to help Orton win with his RKO maneuver. After the match, Batista hoisted Orton onto his shoulders, apparently celebrating with him. But when Triple H gave the thumbs down, Batista threw Orton to the ground, and Evolution proceeded to beat the hell out of him. Batista even threw in one of his Batista Bombs. The three men then left Orton a bloody mess in the ring, showing that the friendship was over, and that Triple H was going to come for Orton's title. The next week, Evolution came out and gave Orton an ultimatum, telling him to turn the World Title over to Triple H. But Orton refused, knocking out Helmsley instead and running before Batista & Flair could catch him.
While the feud between Evolution and Randy Orton continued, Batista & Ric Flair had their own feuds going on with Chris Benoit and William Regal. On one Raw, Batista defeated Regal after Flair used brass knuckles from the outside while the referee wasn't looking. Later on, when Benoit was beating Flair in a match, Batista charged in and caused the DQ, nailing Benoit with the Batista Bomb. The four men continued to brawl for the next few Raws, leading up to the Unforgiven '04 PPV, where a tag-team match was signed for Batista & Flair vs. Benoit & Regal. The match almost ended quickly, as Benoit immediately went for the Crippler Crossface on Batista, who managed to escape to the outside. This trend continued for a while, as it seemed Benoit & Regal had all the momentum. Batista turned things around with a big knee to Regal while not the legal man, allowing Flair to get on the Figure Four, but Benoit made the save. The match finished with Batista on the outside, brawling with Regal. Inside, Flair went again for the Figure Four, but Benoit reversed it into the Crossface, causing Flair to tap out, giving Batista & Flair the loss.
It wasn't a terrible night for Evolution, however, as Triple H won back the Raw World Title from Randy Orton. So, on the next Raw, Evolution came out amidst confetti and a large cake to celebrate the victory. After Helmsley bragged about his victory, he asked which of his teammates had gotten the cake with the woman inside. Neither Batista nor Flair had. It turned out that Randy Orton was inside the cake, as he came out and cleared the ring, knocking out Helmsley in the process. A furious Triple H later demanded that he get Orton in a match later on, but Eric Bischoff had a better idea, setting up a 3-on-1 handicap match, Evolution vs. Orton! For a while, Orton actually seemed to be doing well despite the odds, but Evolution had no intention of 'playing fair', as all 3 members entered the ring and beat down Orton, leading to the DQ. As the beatdown continued, however, both Shelton Benjamin and Chris Benoit ran to the ring, getting rid of Helmsley & Flair and leaving Batista to get hit with all 3 men's finishers.
Near the end of September '04, it was announced by Vince McMahon that a PPV would be held where the fans voted on who competed in what match. It was called Taboo Tuesday. One of the potential votes went for an Intercontinental Title match. The belt was held by Chris Jericho, and Batista was one of the potential competitors. While Batista was interested, however, he also had revenge on his mind for the beating he had taken. On the next Raw, Evolution took on Orton, Benoit, & Benjamin in the main event, with Batista nearly beheading Orton with a massive clothesline that sent Orton, injured, to the back. But Orton returned before the match could end, tagged himself in, cleared the ring, and got Flair with the RKO to get the victory.
A week later, it was announced that, for Orton to be in the running for a World Title shot against Triple H, he would have to win a "No-Disqualification" Match over Batista. During the night, Orton and Flair had a battle on the mic, with Orton telling Flair to break away from Triple H. In the match, Batista dominated at first, slamming Orton around, but Orton quickly made a comeback. This led to Helmsley coming to the ring to make it 2-on-1, with Orton having troubles with the numbers game. Flair then came to the ring, and grabbed a chair, causing Batista & Triple H to back off. But Flair used the chair on Orton, showing that he was still strongly affiliated with Evolution. This allowed Batista to easily take Orton out with the Batista Bomb, costing Orton his chance to regain the World Title.
For the next few weeks, Batista 'campaigned' for his shot at the Intercontinental Title by going after the champion, Chris Jericho. But at Taboo Tuesday, after Vince McMahon endorsed Shelton Benjamin, the fans voted for him as well, keeping Batista from his shot. Batista did make an appearance at the pay-per-view, though, interfering during Triple H's title defense against his nominated opponent, Shawn Michaels. It took a different kind of interference to change the outcome of the match, however, as Edge, angry about not being picked by the fans for the shot, came to the ring and Speared Michaels, taking him out. Triple H made the quick cover, winning the match and keeping the belt. Batista & Helmsley celebrated the controversial victory afterwards.
On the next Raw, Bischoff, sore about losing his hair at Taboo Tuesday, left the arena, leaving "the inmates in charge of the asylum". Evolution quickly stepped in and claimed that they were giving the orders for the night. Batista was assigned what looked like an easy match against Maven. But Maven escaped from the Batista Bomb and got a sunset slip for the victory, leaving Batista extremely upset. He tried to go after Maven, but was stopped by Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit, who came out to celebrate with Maven. Later in the night, Flair had a match with Orton, with the stipulation that, if Orton lost, he'd never get a title rematch against Triple H. During the match, Batista came out to interfere, but was attacked by Maven, Benoit, & Jericho, taking him out of the equation. Triple H came from the other side, though, and took out Orton with a chair, allowing Flair to get the win. After the match, though, Flair & Helmsley were unable to escape, as all of the faces on Raw kept them from escaping, eventually beating the two men down (while Batista was out cold in the back).
Going into November '04, an angry Eric Bischoff seemed to turn against his friendship with Evolution, blaming them for not coming to his aid when he had his hair cut. Bischoff set up an "Elimination" Match for the '04 Survivor Series, with Batista, Triple H, Edge, & Gene Snitsky facing off against Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, & Maven. Evolution was upset, due to the fact that Ric Flair was left off their team, but Bischoff wasn't done. He announced that the winning team would be in charge of Raw for a month (one Raw per team member), while Bischoff took a much-needed 'vacation'. While the face team seemed to be working well together, Batista's team seemed to be falling apart, as both Edge and Snitsky said that, on their week, they'd have a World Title match with Helmsley. Triple H and Batista seemed to be more of a unit, but even Batista was seen glancing enviously at the championship belt.
The '04 Survivor Series match started out with a lot of back-and-forth action, with no quick eliminations this year. At one point, Benoit seemed to be in control, catching both Triple H & Edge with his flying headbutt. But Snitsky broke up the cover. As the ref was distracted by Snitsky, Benoit got the Crossface on Edge, only to have Triple H get the Pedigree, allowing Edge to eliminate Benoit with a weak cover. However, dissention soon kicked him for Batista's team, as Snitsky & Helmsley argued with each other, allowing the faces to come back. Flair tried to intervene to help, but the referee saw him, and ejected Flair from ringside. Meanwhile, while Batista was brawling with Jericho, Orton got the World Title and clocked Batista from the outside, allowing Jericho to get a running enziguiri to eliminate him. The eliminations continued, until Orton took out Triple H with the RKO to become the 'sole survivor', winning his team the right to control Raw.
The first Raw after Survivor Series was run by Maven, who immediately made a match: Maven vs. Helmsley for the World Title. During the night, Helmsley offered a spot in Evolution to Maven, if he would cancel the match. Batista was annoyed by this, telling Triple H that, since Helmsley can easily beat Maven, why should he be offered a spot? Triple H, though, told Batista that he shouldn't be thinking for the group, apparently annoying Batista. Helmsley then told him to lighten up. Although Helmsley went on to defeat Maven in a heavy-interference bout (with Batista helping from the outside), tensions seemed definitely to be growing between Batista and the champ.
On the next Raw, Chris Benoit was put in charge, and he immediately made a match between him and Triple H for the World Title in a Steel Cage. During the night, the problems between Batista & Helmsley grew worse, with Batista taking out some of his frustrations on Chris Jericho, losing via DQ after refusing to release a hold. Helmsley used this for his arguments, saying that Batista shouldn't have lost the match. Just before Triple H's title defense, Batista was seen storming from the building, with Flair following him in histerics. Meanwhile, Triple H was shown out cold in the locker room, forcing his title defense to be scrapped. Benoit went on to battle and defeat Edge in the cage instead. Soon after the main event finished, Batista came to the ring and demanded another piece of Helmlsey. Triple H obliged, only to show that the whole thing had been a swerve to keep Helmsley from having to defend his title. Batista was still a strong member of Evolution. While they were celebrating, however, Randy Orton came out to talk about how he was in charge of the next Raw. Since he couldn't fight Helmsley for the title (due to a previous stipulation), he instead announced a Battle Royal match involving Helmsley, Batista, Flair, and most of the locker room, with the World Title on the line.
A week later, it was announced by Vince McMahon that, since anyone could win the Battle Royal, the winner of the match would instead get a title shot against Helmsley (who wouldn't compete in the Battle Royal). Batista & Flair then joined 18 other superstars for the shot at the title. Batista lasted a long time in the match, and had a memorable staredown with fellow 'monster' Gene Snitsky. Batista got the upper hand on Snitsky, then attacked other wrestlers as well, eliminating, in order, Eugene, Tajiri, Christian, and, surprisingly, Ric Flair! Batista then made it to the final four, with Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and Edge. Batista managed to grab Jericho on the run and throw him out. Batista then went after the other two finalists, going for the Batista Bomb on Benoit, with Benoit trying to block it. During the scuffle, Edge dropkicked Batista, leaving him to tumble out of the ring, while Benoit held on. Benoit and Edge both later eliminated each other, leading to both getting a shot at the title later that night. Batista & Flair had a confrontation in the back later, with Batista saying his elimination of Flair was an "accident". He then told Helmsley, with a smile on his face, that he had Triple H's back. During the title match, Batista did indeed come out with Flair to help Helmsley, attacking Benoit. But Orton ordered the two men away from the ring, and Edge & Benoit later fought to a controversial finish, with the title holder unknown.
It was announced on the next week's show, with Chris Jericho as GM, that the title was actually vacated. Helmsley, upset, lashed out some at Batista, who then told Triple H that, if not for him, the belt would be around Benoit's waist. He then told Triple H "You're welcome" and left. Later on that night, Batista & Triple H were put in a tag-team match against Benoit & Jericho. Evolution did well in the match, but lost it via DQ when Helmsley decided to use a chair on Benoit. He then swung at Jericho, but hit Batista instead, knocking him down. Helmsley then laid out Jericho and tried to apologize to the hurting Batista. On the next Raw, Batista & Helmsley were given a rematch with Benoit & Jericho, with Eric Bischoff back as the GM to decide what happens with the World Title. Triple H wanted to kiss up to the boss, but Batista stopped him, convincing him to show his worth in the ring instead. It didn't work out as planned, though, as Batista saved Helmsley from the Crippler Crossface and hit a Spinebuster on Benoit, pinning him, and making Batista look stronger.
In a surprising announcement later that night, Bischoff told Helmsley and the rest of the Raw locker room that there would be a 6-man Elimination Chamber match at the next PPV, with the Raw Championship on the line. The competitors would be Triple H, Benoit, Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, and Batista! A brawl broke out between the combatants as the show ended. On the final Raw of 2004, Bischoff announced a new twist: each of the 6 wrestlers would compete that night against assigned foes. Whoever won their match in the quickest amount of time would be given the coveted final entry into the Chamber. If anyone lost, they would forfeit their spot. Batista had his match before Triple H, with the assurance that he wouldn't make the time any harder to beat. But in his match against Rhyno, Batista hit two Batista Bombs, then decided to make the cover, winning the match in only 3:02! Helmsley yelled at Batista later, with Batista apologizing and saying that Rhyno had pissed him off. When Triple H continued the tirade, Batista got in his boss's face, saying "Now YOU'RE starting to piss me off!" Flair separated the two, and they went on with their business, with Batista watching as Helmsley defeated Shelton Benjamin in the main event, but being unable to beat Batista's time. This made Batista the last man to enter the Chamber.
In the Raw before the PPV, Batista was placed in a match with Chris Benoit. Near the end of the match, Benoit got Batista in the Crippler Crossface, but Batista shockingly powered out of it, placing Benoit on his shoulders and slamming Benoit's head into an exposed turnbuckle multiple times. Batista then Batista Bombed Benoit and won the match, gaining even more momentum. Later on that night, Helmsley had a match against Randy Orton, and he asked Batista to stay in the back while he handled the business by himself. Batista agreed to stay away, unless, of course, Orton started kicking Triple H's ass. Later on, Batista did, in fact, start to come down to help out Helmsley, but got into a brawl with Benoit instead. Helmsley ended up losing the match to Orton, with the special guest referee for the Elimination Chamber match, Shawn Michaels, making the count.
At New Year's Revolution, the Elimination Chamber took place, with the vacated gold on the line. Benoit and Jericho started out the match, with the rest locked in the chambers. The two fought hard on each other, doing a lot of damage, before Triple H came in third. Helmsley had the advantage at first, but Benoit & Jericho started working together against him, with all three men bleeding from various wounds. Edge came in next, and attacked everybody, including an Edgecution on Triple H that nearly eliminated him. Orton was next, and the five wrestlers brawled, still with no eliminations. Finally, during the melee, Edge accidentally Speared the ref, Shawn Michaels, who later came back with some Sweet Chin Music. Jericho then got the Lionsault on Edge and pinned him, taking him out of the match. Benoit & Jericho then got Triple H in two submission holds at once, but Batista was released and made the save. Batista went on to eliminate Benoit with the Spinebuster, and took out Jericho with the Batista Bomb. But a low blow from Orton weakened Batista enough for the RKO, sending him out of the match. Batista didn't leave quietly, though, taking out Orton with a massive clothesline that allowed Helmsley to get the Pedigree and win the match, regaining the Raw World Title.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Helmsley praised Batista as a team player, giving him lots of credit. But Orton interrupted the celebration and talked Batista into seeing a video of the match, showing that Helmsley had a chance to save Batista from elimination, but didn't take it. This caused more friction between the Evolution members. Eric Bischoff then came out and announced that Batista would face Orton in a #1 Contenders Match for Helmsley's Title! Throughout the night, Helmsley and Batista interacted, with Helmsley telling his man that he deserved the shot, and Batista saying "Eventually people get what they deserve". In the match, Batista seemed to be on the verge of winning, but was distracted by Triple H, who wanted to hit Orton with a chair. Batista didn't want to go that route, telling Helmsley to leave, but Orton then shoved Batista from behind into the chair, then rolled him up, getting the pinfall and earning the title shot. A furious Batista glared towards Triple H as the show ended.
A week later, Batista showed up later than usual, and told a worried Triple H that he was forgiven for the mistake. Batista then went to see Eric Bischoff, who told him that he'd have the chance the next week to enter the Royal Rumble Match, if he won a Qualifying bout. Helmsley didn't seem to like the possibility of facing Batista, as he & Flair told Batista that it would be better for Evolution to focus on retaining the World Title, instead of the Rumble. Batista said he would think about it. He also had a match that night, defeating the 500-pound Viscera with a huge spinebuster.
Batista made his decision on the next Raw. After listening to Triple H & Flair talk about how they had beat up on Jim Ross, an old wrestler, and Stacey Keibler (Batista seemed annoyed by the assaults), Batista told his fellow Evolution mates that he had decided to take the qualifying match for the Rumble, in order to ensure that, if Helmsley lost the title to Randy Orton, Batista could get it back. Batista went on to win a Handicap Qualifying Match, defeating the Tag-Team Champs, La Resistance, on his own. He also followed through on a threat, sticking the French flag inbetween Rob Conway's legs. Helmsley later countered by saying that Flair would also be in the Rumble, for more Evolution 'security'. At the end of the night, Flair fought Orton, with Batista & Triple H watching from ringside. At one point, Helmsley tripped up Orton. The ref, knowing something had happened, blamed it on Batista and had him thrown from ringside, with Helmsley not even looking at him. Orton went on to win the match.
At the '05 Royal Rumble, Batista was approached in the back by Smackdown's Carlito Carribbean Cool, who wanted Batista to sign his petition to get Smackdown's GM, Theodore R. Long, fired. Batista refused to sign, angering Cool, who bit into his apple, the usual start to Cool spitting the apple in someone's face. But when Batista reminded Cool about the flagpole incident with La Resistance, Cool thought better of it. Later on, in the Royal Rumble Match, Batista got a sweet draw of #28, and immediately struck gold by eliminating Gene Snitsky. He then took out Kane with a Batista Bomb, then caught Chris Jericho in mid-air and tossed him as well. When Ric Flair came down as #30, Batista teamed up with him, helping Flair to eliminate the Coach, then joining together to toss out Chris Benoit. Soon afterwards, Batista got a Spinebuster on Christian (with Flair's help). Batista lifted the semi-conscious Christian into the air and threw him out (onto Tyson Tomko, Christian's ally). Soon after, though, Flair surprisingly tried to eliminate Batista, then claimed it was all a mistake. As Flair was distracted, though, Rey Mysterio & Edge eliminated him, setting the Final Four as Batista, Mysterio, Edge, & John Cena. After Mysterio and Edge were thrown out, it came down to Batista & Cena. The two both went for their finishers, then fell out together, ending the match in controversy. But Vince McMahon wouldn't have it, restarting the match. Batista was then able to avoid an FU and get the Spinebuster, before tossing out Cena to win the Rumble, celebrating afterwards.
For the next few weeks, the main speculation on both Raw and Smackdown was, where would Batista go? Having won the Rumble, Batista had the choice of challenging either World Champion on the two shows. While Triple H seemed to be interested in a match between the two men, he also decided that Batista should take the Smackdown Title from John Bradshaw Layfield, meaning that Evolution could rule both shows. Batista was further influenced by several Smackdown interviews mysteriously played on Raw, showing Layfield and the Big Show talking down to Batista. On one Raw, Batista was in the midst of a match, when Helmsley interrupted to point out that Layfield's limo had just pulled up outside the arena. Helmsley wanted Evolution to beat down Layfield, but Batista disagreed, wanting to handle things on his own. This was nearly his undoing, however, as the limo tried to run Batista over, with Helmsley making the last-second save. A furious Batista watched the limo drive away, then declared that he was going to Smackdown, alone.
On the next Smackdown, everyone was anticipating Batista's arrival. Layfield was upset about it, saying that he wasn't the one who had driven the limo to Raw, and believed that the GM, Teddy Long, had set him up. At the end of Smackdown, Layfield and his Cabinet went to the ring, calling out Batista. Batista then was shown driving up, getting out of his car, taking a baseball bat to the limo, then driving off again as the Cabinet chased him. Meanwhile, in the ring, Layfield was attacked by the Big Show (whom he was feuding with at the time), but the Cabinet returned to make the save. Batista then surprisingly ran out, apparently having returned to the arena, and helped the Big Show take out the Cabinet. Afterwards, Batista & the Big Show did a stare-down, before both turned back to Layfield. That weekend, Smackdown held their February PPV, No Way Out '05. After the main event, with JBL retaining the Smackdown Title, he and his Cabinet beat down the Big Show, only to have Batista appear again, making the save along with John Cena, who had just won the #1 Contendership. Batista and Cena stared each other down to end the PPV.
The contract signing for Wrestlemania 21 was held on the next Raw, with Triple H and Flair both sure that Batista would sign to face JBL for the Smackdown World Title. In his gloating, Triple H revealed to Flair that he actually had been the one to set up the JBL limo attack on Batista, as well as playing the Smackdown clips on Raw. Triple H claimed to have done it for Batista's benefit, although it was clear it was more to keep him from challenging Triple H. Unbeknowst to Helmsley & Flair, though, Batista was listening in outside the door, with a tight smile on his face. Later on that night, Batista, along with Helmsley & Flair, made his way out to where Bischoff & Theodore Long were waiting. After speeches from both GMs, as well as Helmsley, Batista announced that he had known all along what he wanted. He dropped the Raw contract and seemed to be about to sign with Smackdown, giving the thumbs up to Evolution. In an ode to what happened to Randy Orton, however, Batista changed it to a thumbs down, then attacked, throwing Flair out of the ring, then Batista Bombing Helmsley through a table! Batista then signed the Raw contract, saying that he was coming for Triple H's title!
A week later, an irate Helmsley threatened to beat Batista within an inch of his life as soon as he arrived at the arena. When Batista did arrive, though, he didn't seem worried about the warning from Coach, instead saying that he had to thank Hunter for unleashing the Animal. Batista came to the ring later on for an interview with Jim Ross, talking about why he wanted to face Helmsley. Batista said that he wanted to beat the man, so that he could become the man, stealing a line from Flair. A few minutes later, Helmsley & Flair came out, surrounding the ring. But only Flair entered, getting beat down by Batista, as Helmsley continually started to enter, only to back away. Batista once again showed the thumbs down, before drilling Flair with the Batista Bomb, as a frustrated Triple H stomped outside the ring, unwilling to enter. Helmsley later arranged for Batista to face Flair in a singles match on the next Raw.
Before the match, a worried Flair was reassured by Triple H that he would be there with the sledgehammer to ensure victory. Bischoff nixed that, however, saying that he couldn't risk his Wrestlemania main event, and banned the sledgehammer from ringside. Even so, Flair had Triple H in his corner, and nearly beat Batista with the Figure Four. But Batista came back, took out Triple H, and Batista Bombed Flair again for the victory, gaining more momentum. On the next Raw, a "Pick Your Poison" Match was set up, as Batista got to choose Helmsley's opponent. He picked Chris Benoit, who had beaten Triple H at the previous Wrestlemania (Triple H won the match that night, though). Meanwhile, Batista had a match against Gene Snitsky, with Flair motivating the big man to take out Batista. It didn't stop the Animal, though, as he seemed to have everything in hand near the end of the match, preparing to powerbomb Snitsky. Flair and Triple H then jumped into the ring, causing the DQ, and joined Snitsky in an assault, with Kane (who had problems with Snitsky) making the save. Triple H then decided that, for his "Pick Your Poison" decision, he was selecting Kane as Batista's next opponent.
It was announced on the next Raw that not only would Batista have to fight the Big Red Machine, Kane, but it would also be a "Lumberjack" Match, with wrestlers handpicked by Triple H at ringside. The plan somewhat backfired on Triple H, though, as some of the wrestlers also had a grudge with Kane, and attacked him as well during the match. In the end, both Batista and Kane took out most of the lumberjacks, then got back to the fight, with Kane nearly winning with a Chokeslam. But Batista came back and got the Batista Bomb to walk out victorious, with Triple H angrily looking on from the announcers' table. The two wrestlers had an orchestrated Face-Off on the final Raw before the big event, with security at hand if needed. Triple H talked about how he had created Batista, and subsequently been betrayed. Batista simply said he would take the title, that Flair was a true legend, and that Triple H was an a**hole. This led to Triple H throwing over the table between them and slapping Batista, prompting a "thank-you" from the Animal, since this allowed him to fight back. The two brawled, with Flair, Bischoff, & security all trying to break them up.
at Wrestlemania 21, Batista finally got what he had been waiting for: a WWE World Title shot against Triple H. The match started slowly, with both men feeling the other out. Helmsley tried to go for it all soon after, though, locking on the Pedigree, only to have a fresh Batista easily escape. Flair, at ringside, worked to help Triple H, distracting Batista to let Helmsley get the advantage, as well as later choking Batista from the outside. The match went back and forth, being fought both inside and outside the ring, including Triple H trying for a Pedigree on the steel steps. Batista countered by throwing the champ into the ring post, busting him open. Later in the match, when the ref was knocked down, Flair entered with the belt, looking to knock Batista out, only to taste the Spinebuster. This allowed Triple H to recover, however, and he nailed Batista with the belt. Batista was able to kick out at 2, then came back and got the Spinebuster on Helmsley. When he went for the Batista Bomb, though, Triple H got a low blow, stopping him in his tracks. Triple H then went once again for the Pedigree, but Batista stopped it with an incredible slam. He then gave the Thumbs Down and Batista Bombed Triple H, pinning him and becoming the WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion!
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Batista celebrated his victory, while an angry Triple H spoke about how he would get the gold back. At the same time, an upset Randy Orton spoke about how he had hurt his shoulder at Wrestlemania, but still wanted a piece of his former Evolution partner, since he was the one who was supposed to be holding the gold. Batista obliged him, and won the match, adding more injury to Orton's shoulder in the process by throwing him into the ring post. Orton later left to have surgery on the shoulder, and blamed it on Batista. On the next Raw, Batista had an in-ring interview with Jim Ross, where he talked about how it felt to be the champ. Triple H then interrupted the interview and attacked out of the crowd, but was stopped from using the Pedigree by being backbodydropped out of the ring. As Batista stood in the ring, Triple H demanded a one-on-one match for the next week... against Ross.
Although Batista said he would be in JR's corner the next week, he was late getting to the arena due to Triple H paying off his limo driver. This led to Jim Ross taking a bad beating from Triple H in their "No Disqualification" Match, a beating so bad that Jerry "The King" Lawler tried to make the save, only to be Pedigree'd. Batista then finally showed up, and took out both Triple H and Flair, before dragging JR on top of Triple H to get Ross the improbable victory. A week later, Batista celebrated JR's win, even calling him the "#1 Contender" at one point. He added more fuel to Triple H's fire by showing the clip of him being pinned several times. That night, Batista faced off in a "Non-Title" Match with Christian. It was announced that Triple H would be in Christian's corner, while Flair would be the timekeeper and the Coach would be the referee. Despite the odds, however, Batista was able to come out on top, taking out all 3 before Batista Bombing Christian and pinning him (while using a limp Coach's arm to make the count). After the match, though, Triple H had the last laugh, knocking Batista out with the Pedigree.
The two men faced off again for the Raw World Title at Backlash '05. This time, Triple H seemed to have all the motivation and momentum behind him, as well as Ric Flair. Triple H was also obsessed with the Pedigree, believing that that was all he needed to get the win. Batista had to escape the hold multiple times early on, while attempting his own Batista Bomb, with no success. The two fought to the outside, and even briefly into the crowd, showing their hatred for one another. Later on, Batista was looking to end the match early with the powerbomb, but while Flair distracted the referee, Triple H was able to slam the World Title against Batista's skull, getting a near fall. The fighting continued, with the referee accidentally taking a bad hit from Batista. This allowed Triple H to get the Pedigree, but the ref was down and couldn't make the count. Flair later entered the ring to help out, but was taken out by Batista. In the end, Batista caught Triple H in the corner and got the Batista Bomb, with a semi-conscious referee making the count, keeping the title around Batista's waist.
It was announced on the next Raw that Batista's next opponent would be chosen through a "Gold Rush" Tournament. When Bischoff told Batista the news, he also said that Batista had the night off, to which Batista jokingly replied that he wanted to face Bischoff in the match, badly scaring the GM. Batista did have an effect later on that night, as he helped cost Triple H his spot in the tournament, attacking Helmsley & Flair when the ref was down and cheering as Chris Benoit locked on the Sharpshooter. With Batista pulling away the ring rope, Triple H had no choice but to tap out. A week later, Batista watched as Triple H "took his ball and went home", leaving Flair behind. Batista then spent the rest of the night keeping track of the semi-finals of the Gold Rush Tournament.
A week later, Batista got to see the finalists, Kane and Edge, go at it, with Edge winning the title shot thanks to Lita turning on her husband to join Edge. This set up a World Title Match between Batista and Edge on the next Raw. Batista also had action of his own, as he surprisingly came to Flair's aid after Flair was double-teamed by Christian & Tyson Tomko. Flair thanked Batista for the aid on the next Raw, showing that the two wrestlers might still have a bond from their Evolution days. Batista then took on Edge in the main event, with Lita, Christian, & Tomko all backing Edge. When the ref went down, everyone went after Batista, with Flair returning the favor by making the save. Edge still nearly won with his Spear, but Batista kicked out of the slow count, then came back to win with the Batista Bomb, staying the World Champion. After the match, however, Triple H reappeared, heading for the ring with his sledgehammer. As Batista turned to face him, Flair gave the champ a low blow from behind, turning again on Batista. This left Batista wide open to a vicious assault from Triple H, including several sledgehammer hits and a Pedigree on the title belt. Triple H then challenged the bloodied Batista to a Hell In A Cell Match at the next PPV.
On the next Raw, Batista accepted Triple H's challenge, then said he'd take out his frustration that night on Muhammad Hassan (who had called Batista a rascist for not giving him the title shot). Batista actually lost their match later on, but it was by DQ, as Batista completely destroyed both Hassan and his manager, Khosrow Daivari, leaving both bloody messes in the ring. Batista and Triple H signed the "Hell In A Cell" contract the next week, with an intense nose-to-nose staredown afterwards. Meanwhile, at the time, the 2005 Draft Lottery was taking place, with a wrestler being moved from each program each week. On one show, Kurt Angle came over from Smackdown to Raw, immediately wanting to get a crack at Batista, while confronting Triple H (and Flair) about who the top dog on Raw was now. A match was signed the next week for Batista vs. Angle, but the match didn't last long before Triple H & Flair attacked Batista, DQ'ing the bout. The trio attacked Batista until Shawn Michaels came out for the save, leading to a tag match between Batista & HBK and Angle & Triple H. Thanks to Flair distracting Batista, Triple H was able to get the win with the Pedigree, stunning the World Champion.
At Vengeance '05, Batista put his WWE World Title on the line against Triple H, with the two facing off for the third PPV in a row. The two battled inside the Hell In A Cell, with each bleeding from the sheer violence of the match, utilizing whatever weapons they could get their hands on. This even included a chair wrapped in barbed wire, which got the "ECW" chants going. Near the end, Batista took control over his former mentor, actually using the ring steps as a landing zone for a Spinebuster on his opponent! A badly hurting Triple H was then easy pickings for the Batista Bomb, with Batista once again retaining the title. Batista had done what few people ever expected: he had beaten Triple H three times in a row.
WWE Smackdown: 2005
On the last Smackdown of June '05, a 6-Man Elimination Match was set up to supposedly choose a new Smackdown champion (since John Cena had been drafted to Raw). John Bradshaw Layfield, through various methods, managed to survive the match, and thought he was again the champion. However, Smackdown GM Teddy Long informed JBL that, although he won the match, he was NOT the new champion. Instead, JBL would have to face the final draft pick of Smackdown, Batista! Batista came out carrying his title, proudly displaying it to the shocked JBL. In a shocking turn of events, Batista was now the Heavyweight Champion of Smackdown, while Cena was now the sole Heavyweight Champion on Raw.
On the next Smackdown, Batista continued JBL's suffering, as he helped JBL lose to the Blue Meanie. Later on, Batista defeated Christian in a "Non-Title" Match, then fought off a double-team from JBL & his Chief of Staff, Orlando Jordan, eventually Batista Bombing Jordan after JBL ran away. This led to Batista facing Jordan (who was the US Champ at the time) in another "Non-Title" Match the next week. Despite JBL interfering with a steel chair, Batista got the victory over OJ with the Batista Bomb. But Batista tasted the Clothesline From Hell after the match, showing that JBL had the ability to floor the champ. The two wrestlers faced off for the title at the '05 Great American Bash, with Jordan continuously trying to interfere for JBL. This backfired in a big way for the duo, as Batista intercepted a chair and violently beat down both JBL & OJ with it, causing the DQ. Batista didn't seem too concerned, though, as he Batista Bombed both men before leaving the ring.
JBL earned another shot at Batista on the following Smackdown, when he defeated the Undertaker in a #1 Contenders Match (albeit because of Randy Orton's attack on the Dead Man). The two men signed the contract a week later, with Batista leaving the "stipulations" section open so that JBL could choose. This way, Batista said, JBL couldn't complain if he lost. JBL chose to have a "No Holds Barred" Match, then signed the contract, setting it in stone. A week later, Batista took on Christian again in a "Non-Title" Match, after Christian asked for the bout. Batista seemed to have the win at hand when he was suddenly attacked by JBL, who beat him down with a steel chair. Batista got revenge on JBL on the next Smackdown, attacking him after his match with Funaki. Before Batista could do any serious damage, though, Jordan pulled JBL out of the ring, with the two leaving quickly.
At Summerslam '05, Batista and JBL met again for the gold, in their "No Holds Barred" Match. It proved to be every bit as violent as expected, as a variety of weapons were used, including fire extinguishers, steel chairs, and the ring steps. In fact, the ring steps proved to be the most dangerous weapon, as Batista was able to shake off a Clothesline From Hell and come back to land a Batista Bomb, followed by a second Batista Bomb on the steps!! It was no surprise when JBL was not able to kick out after that maneuver, as Batista won the match and stayed the World Champion. Batista added to his winning streak on the next Smackdown, as he, Chris Benoit, & Rey Mysterio won a "Six-Man Tag" Match over JBL, Orlando Jordan, & Eddie Guerrero, thanks to a Batista Bomb on OJ.
On the first Smackdown of September '05, Simon Dean came out and praised Batista, saying that Batista used his patented "Simon System" to stay the champion. Batista then came out, saying that he didn't ever remember using Dean's product, but said he was willing to give it a try. To everyone's surprise, Batista said that he liked it. In fact, it made him feel more aggressive, which was bad news for Dean, as Batista destroyed him (while taking a break inbetween beatings to take another drink). The next week, Smackdown moved to Friday nights, with Batista facing his old foe, JBL, in a "Bullrope" Match for the World Title. It was touch and go for a time, as both men were touching the turnbuckles on the way around. When they came to the fourth 'buckle, JBL lunged, but couldn't quite reach it, as Batista was able to pull him back and hit a Spinebuster before tagging the 'buckle himself, winning the match and again retaining the title.
A week later, Batista came out to the ring to find out the new #1 Contender. Although it seemed that GM Teddy Long was going to announce Rey Mysterio, Palmer Cannon (the Network Representative) grabbed the mic and announced Eddie Guerrero instead. Guerrero came to the ring and talked about being a new man, no longer being interested in taking the cheap way out. Guerrero also claimed that he and Batista could be 'best friends'. Batista then surprised Guerrero by saying that "friends don't shake hands; friends hug!" The two continued their dynamic relationship for the next few weeks, with Guerrero trying to act like he was truly changed, while Batista, while not seeming to believe it, nonetheless played along.
On one Smackdown, when Batista & Guerrero were supposed to fight the Tag-Team Champions, M-N-M, Eddie claimed that he had food poisioning and couldn't wrestle. Guerrero did have a sexy nurse come in and work on him, but Batista soon changed him up by bringing in a proctologist (complete with rubber gloves) to 'clear him up'. Batista basically wrestled alone against M-N-M, while Eddie painfully walked around on the ramp, holding his back side. However, late in the match, with Batista seemingly in control, Eddie came down and tagged himself in, leaping over with the Frog Splash and stealing the pin from Batista.
A week later, Batista & Guerrero were again put in a match together, this time against the Legion of Doom '05. At one point in the back, Eddie was eating some real Mexican food (since the show was in Laredo, Texas), but Batista took it away, saying that Eddie had to watch out for a relapse of what had happened last week. Batista ate the food instead, with a pained Eddie watching. The two men wrestled well together against the LoD '05, but an attack by M-N-M ended the match with a No Decision. As the brawl broke out after the match, Eddie seemed to be swinging at Joey Mercury with a chair, but hit Batista instead! In a funny moment, Eddie turned to Mercury and said "Why'd you move?!?" Eddie then tossed the chair to Mercury and fell down, as an angry Batista turned towards them, intent on destroying Mercury, who seemed to be the one who had swung at him. Mercury tried to protect himself with a swing, but Batista took him down anyway. The faces celebrated after the match.
Batista was scheduled to appear in a special Smackdown match on WWE Homecoming (Raw's return to USA Network), teaming with Rey Mysterio & Chris Benoit against Guerrero, JBL & Christian. But Eric Bischoff killed the match, shutting off the lights so that they couldn't wrestle. On the next Smackdown, Batista confronted Guerrero about the hit from the last week's show, showing the video footage that Guerrero had been the one to hit him. Batista showed his distrust in Guerrero, while Eddie seemed disgusted that Batista wouldn't trust the new and improved Eddie. The match that had been scheduled for Homecoming took place on that Smackdown, with the same teams going at it. During the match, Eddie betrayed his teammates, instead attacking them and helping Batista get the pin on Christian! Afterwards, both JBL & Christian attacked Guerrero, trying to get some revenge, but Batista came in to make the save, apparently now buying Eddie's convictions.
Guerrero and Batista met in the Smackdown World Title Match at No Mercy '05, with everyone wondering if Eddie truly was a changed man. The match was an excellent bout, with Eddie having the chance at one point to use a steel chair on Batista, bringing it into the ring. But Guerrero looked around, then seemed to change his mind, throwing the chair away. Unfortunately, this left him open to a Spear from Batista, who then took it to Guerrero and eventually got the win with the Spinebuster. After the match, the two men shook hands, still staying friends afterwards. On the next Smackdown, Randy Orton (with his dad, "Cowboy Bob" Orton) laid down a challenge, saying that he wanted Batista's title. But Guerrero then interrupted, saying that he wanted one more shot. Batista came out as well, basically setting up a "#1 Contenders" Match between the two men. Guerrero went at it hard with Orton, but when Guerrero went for the Frog Splash, Cowboy Bob pushed him off the turnbuckle, causing the DQ. The Ortons attacked Eddie after the match, with Batista making the save.
Batista & Guerrero were set to team up against the Ortons on the next Smackdown, but "Cowboy Bob" claimed to be injured, so Randy was able to substitute in Mr. Ken Kennedy. The four men had another good match, but it ended when Kennedy hit Guerrero with a chair shot (Guerrero was trying to protect Batista at the time). Kennedy & Orton, with "Cowboy Bob", who came to the ring apparently not injured after all, then took out both men, with Theodore Long coming out to announce that Kennedy & the Ortons would have to face Guerrero, Batista, & their new partner, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, on the next show. The match went down, with all six men going at it. In almost a tribute to the past, Piper got the victory, knocking "Cowboy Bob" out with the sleeper while Guerrero & Batista stood guard.
Going into November '05, Batista & Guerrero stayed a team, facing off against the new Smackdown Tag Champs, M-N-M, with the gold on the line. It seemed like Guerrero & Batista couldn't help but win the gold, but M-N-M had Melina helping them. Near the end of the match, Guerrero prepared for the Frog Splash on Mercury, when Melina crawled into the ring. Guerrero decided he could splash her instead, taking her out. But what he hadn't seen was Melina giving Mercury some brass knuckles, which knocked out Guerrero, allowing for the roll-up pin, keeping Batista & Guerrero from getting the gold. A week later, it was announced that Batista would be the leader of the Smackdown Survivor Series team, which would face the Raw team at the next PPV. Batista watched several "contender" matches throughout the night, as Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, and JBL all earned spots on the team. Later that night, Batista was set to have a match with Raw's Edge. But, as the rest of the Smackdown team was distracted by an assault on Teddy Long by Chris Masters, Batista was instead beaten down and Double-Chokeslammed by the Raw Tag Champs, Kane & the Big Show, injuring him with the maneuver (for real).
On the next Smackdown, a "Triple Threat" Match was expected for the World Title between Batista, Randy Orton, and Eddie Guerrero, with Batista most likely giving up the title due to his injuries. Tragically, this was not the case, as Eddie Guerrero shockingly passed away before the Raw/Smackdown tapings. Instead, both shows were dedicated to the memory of Guerrero. Batista was one of the men most hardest hit by the loss, as he had become great friends with Guerrero. A tearful Batista did a taped interview on Raw, then opened up Smackdown by driving out Eddie's low-rider to the ring. Batista, obviously very emotional, talked for a while about his lost friend, saying good-bye, before leaving the World Title symbolically sitting on the hood of the low-rider.
A week later, Batista & the rest of Team Smackdown (with Randy Orton taking Guerrero's place) showed up on Raw, challenging Team Raw to a Parking Lot Brawl. Team Raw consented, with the wrestlers fighting all over the place. The brawl basically ended, though, when Batista again was caught by Kane & the Big Show and Double-Chokeslammed onto a parked car!! Batista was taken to a medical facility, even as JBL was given a match against Shawn Michaels in a "Lumberjack" Match. The bout broke down at the end into an all-out brawl, with a hurting Batista surprisingly returning to knock out both Kane & the Big Show with a steel rod, then giving the Big Show a Spinebuster. On the next Smackdown, as Batista was having a match with Randy Orton, the Raw wrestlers came out and brawled with the Smackdown wrestlers. During the chaos, Batista was caught by the Raw Tag Champs and Chokeslammed once more, this time through the announce table! Batista's ability to wrestle at the PPV now had to be seriously questioned.
At the '05 Survivor Series, Randy Orton began to try to get himself named as the Team Smackdown leader, due to Batista's injuries. But when Batista confronted them, all of the wrestlers agreed that he was in charge. The team then headed for the ring. It was Batista, Orton, JBL, Rey Mysterio, & Bobby Lashley vs. Shawn Michaels, Chris Masters, Carlito, Kane, & the Big Show. The first to be eliminated was Lashley, as he was caught by a Chokeslam from Kane from the outside, then pinned by HBK. Batista worked to lead his team back, though, getting the tag from Mysterio and taking out Kane with a Spinebuster, evening the odds. However, when Kane refused to leave, instead joining with the Big Show to get another Double Chokeslam on Batista, the injured wrestler just couldn't cope, getting pinned by the Big Show. Orton was later able to defeat Shawn Michaels to become the sole 'survivor' of the match, getting the win for Smackdown.
With Batista still suffering from a back injury, he began wrestling more in tag-team matches going into December '05, teaming with Rey Mysterio against the Raw Tag Champs, Kane & the Big Show. To continue their momentum, Batista & Mysterio were given a Smackdown Tag-Team Title shot against M-N-M. Before the match, Melina, M-N-M's manager, tried to convince Batista not to wrestle, instead giving him some 'favors'. However, afterwards, Batista said that all Melina had done is give him more energy, leaving a distraught Melina behind in the locker room. Batista & Mysterio then went out and were able to take down M-N-M, winning the Smackdown World Tag-Team Titles. At Armageddon '05, Batista & Mysterio took on Kane & the Big Show in a "Champions Non-Title" Match. The four men had a tough fight, as Batista was looking for revenge on the men who had been trying to injure him for the past few months. In the end, though, while Batista was fighting on the announce table with the Big Show, Kane was able to catch the smaller Mysterio and Chokeslam him for the victory.
On the final Smackdown of 2005, Melina, the manager/valet of M-N-M, came out for a public announcement in the ring. Teary-eyed, she claimed that Batista had sexually harrassed her in the locker room before the match with M-N-M (rather than Melina trying to offer her 'services' so that Batista wouldn't wrestle). She called Batista a sexual predator, and announced her intentions to sue him. Batista refused to comment, rather wanting to focus on the title rematch with M-N-M that night. Although Batista & Mysterio once again seemed to have things in hand, the referee was knocked down during the match, which allowed Melina's newest ally, Mark Henry, to come out and attack Batista, crushing him with a splash, then getting Joey Mercury to make the cover and pin Batista to win back the Smackdown Tag Titles. Batista now had a large opponent to face off against.
Batista gave a press conference of his own on the next Smackdown, admitting that he and Melina had been 'intimate', but that she had never said no to him. Henry then interrupted the press conference, talking about how Batista had been abusive to the girl. Batista told him, though, that now was not the time & place for that, unless Henry WANTED it to be. Henry backed off gradually, leaving Batista to prepare for the third match between Batista & Mysterio and M-N-M, this one inside a steel cage! The match for the Tag Titles went back and forth, with Batista & Mysterio in charge at first, but M-N-M using strong teamwork to take a long advantage. Near the end, though, Batista had stormed back, taking control, which led to Melina calling Henry down to ringside. Although it seemed that Henry couldn't get in to do anything, he managed to rip the door off the cage! Batista, meanwhile, was distracted, allowing Henry to attack him and Mysterio and take them down. M-N-M was able to get the pin on Batista, again retaining the titles, as Henry climbed the cage and celebrated the win.
It looked like Batista and Henry were headed towards a World Title match at the '06 Royal Rumble, but things took a bad turn for Batista, as he injured his triceps during a house show match. Batista had already been working through other injuries, but this one was too much, especially since Batista had torn his triceps twice before. In an emotional speech on the next Smackdown, Batista had to vacate the Smackdown World Title, giving it over, reluctantly, to GM Teddy Long. Batista thanked the fans for all their support, giving what sounded like a "retirement" speech. However, Batista ended it by saying that he would, someday, regain the World Heavyweight Title. He then walked off to the cheers of the audience, throwing his jacket to the crowd (although it was later recovered by security after the cameras went off).
Batista's surgery was partially shown on the next Smackdown, with it being a complete success, according to the doctors. Batista would next reappear during No Way Out '06, giving a speech to the fans about being there because he missed the excitement. He also wanted to see the Kurt Angle/Undertaker World Title Match, and promised that, now that his injury was healing, he would be returning to face one of them for the Heavyweight Title. It was a surprising addition to a great show, letting the fans know that the Animal was still at large in WWE. On the last Smackdown of May '06, it was announced that the Animal was not only at large, but that he would be returning to action in July, getting the fans riled up for Batista's return.
Batista made another PPV appearance a few months later, at Wrestlemania 22, interrupting a speech from Randy Orton to once again announce that whoever was the World Heavyweight Champion was simply holding the belt until he returned. Batista also let the wrestling world know that his return would be coming soon, and that by Wrestlemania 23, he would be champion again. Going into May '06, an incident occurred, as Batista and Booker T got in a scuffle at a commerical shoot for Summerslam '06. It was unclear whether this was a shoot or a work, as it was announced on wwe.com. Later on, Batista & Booker T had a lunch and apparently cleared the air, settling their differences.
Pay-Per-View/Show Summary: (41 - 36, 1 DDQ, 1 Draw)
- OVW Christmas Chaos (January 31, '01) = Leviathan was pinned by Kane.
- OVW Indianapolis Show (March 2, '02) = Leviathan won, via DQ, over the Prototype. Later on, Leviathan won a Battle Royal.
- OVW Last Dance (June 27, '01) = Leviathan & Diamond Dallas Page lost, via DQ, to Kane & the Undertaker.
- OVW Spring Break-Out '02 (April 5) = Leviathan won a "Handicap" Match over Chris Cage & Johnny Jeter.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (May 31, '02) = Leviathan fell to Seven.
- WXW Cedar Beach Show (July 14, '02) = Batista beat L.A. Smooth.
- WWE Global Warning (August 10, '02) = Deacon Batista & Reverend D-Von Dudley fell to Mark Henry & Randy Orton.
- WWE Armageddon '02 = Batista won over Kane.
- WWE Royal Rumble '03 = Batista competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Brock Lesnar.
- WWE Armageddon '03 = Batista fell to Shawn Michaels. Later on, Batista & Ric Flair won the "Tag-Team Turmoil" Match, which won them the WWE Raw Tag-Team Titles.
- WWE Royal Rumble '04 (January 25) = Batista & Ric Flair stayed the WWE Raw Tag Champs, winning a "Tables" Match over the Dudley Boyz.
- WWE Wrestlemania XX (March 14, '04) = Batista, Ric Flair & Randy Orton won a "Handicap" Match over the Rock 'n' Sock Connection.
- WWE Bad Blood '04 (June 13) = In a dark match, Batista defeated Maven.
- WWE Vengeance '04 (July 11) = Batista won over Chris Jericho.
- WWE Summerslam '04 (August 15) = Batista lost a "Three-Way" Match to the Intercontinental Champion, Edge. Chris Jericho was the other participant.
- WWE Unforgiven '04 (September 12) = Batista & Ric Flair fell to Chris Benoit & William Regal.
- WWE Survivor Series '04 (November 14, '04) = Batista, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Edge, & Gene Snitsky fought in an "Elimination" Match with Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, & Maven. Batista was eliminated by Jericho. Orton was the sole 'survivor'.
- WWE New Year's Revolution (January 9, '05) = Batista competed in an "Elimination Chamber" Match for the vacated Raw World Title, which was won by Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The other participants were Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, & Edge.
- WWE Royal Rumble '05 (January 30) = Batista won the Royal Rumble.
- WWE Wrestlemania 21 (April 3, '05) = Batista won the WWE Raw World Heavyweight Title from Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
- WWE Backlash '05 (May 1) = Batista stayed the WWE Raw World Heavyweight Champion, defeating Triple H.
- WWE Vengeance '05 (June 26) = Batista retained the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, winning a "Hell In A Cell" Match over Triple H.
- WWE Great American Bash '05 (July 24) = Batista, as the WWE Smackdown World Heavyweight Champion, lost, via DQ, to John Bradshaw Layfield.
- WWE Summerslam '05 (August 21, '05) = Batista retained the WWE Smackdown World Title, winning a "No Holds Barred" Match over John Bradshaw Layfield.
- WWE No Mercy '05 (October 9) = Batista kept the Smackdown World Championship, defeating Eddie Guerrero.
- WWE Taboo Tuesday '05 (November 1) = Batista won a "Street Fight" Match over Jonathan Coachman.
- WWE Survivor Series '05 (November 27) = Team Smackdown (Batista, Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, & John Bradshaw Layfield) fought in an "Elimination" Match against Team Raw (Shawn Michaels, Chris Masters, Carlito, Kane, & the Big Show). Batista was eliminated by the Big Show. Orton was the sole 'survivor'.
- WWE Armageddon '05 (December 18) = Batista & Rey Mysterio (Smackdown Tag Champs) lost a "Non-Title" Match to Kane & the Big Show (Raw Tag Champs).
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #33 (July 15, '06) = Batista, Bobby Lashley, & Rey Mysterio defeated Mark Henry, King Booker, & Finlay.
- WWE Great American Bash '06 (July 23) = Batista lost, via DQ, to Mr. Kennedy.
- WWE Summerslam '06 (August 20) = Batista won, via DQ, over the WWE Smackdown World Champion, King Booker.
- WWE No Mercy '06 (October 8) = Batista lost a "Four-Way" Match to the WWE Smackdown World Champ, King Booker. Finlay and Bobby Lashley were the other participants.
- WWE Raw Family Reunion (October 9, '06) = Batista, Bobby Lashley, & Rey Mysterio took down Chavo Guerrero, William Regal, & Finlay.
- WWE Survivor Series '06 (November 26) = Batista won the WWE Smackdown World Heavyweight Title, beating King Booker.
- WWE Armageddon '06 (December 17) = Batista, as the WWE World Champ, & WWE Champion John Cena defeated King Booker & Finlay. Neither title was on the line.
- WWE Royal Rumble '07 (January 28) = Batista stayed the WWE Smackdown World Heavyweight Champion, taking down Mr. Ken Kennedy.
- WWE No Way Out '07 (February 18) = Batista & the Undertaker fell to John Cena & Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Wrestlemania 23 (April 1, '07) = Batista lost the World Title to the Undertaker.
- WWE Backlash '07 (April 29) = Batista fought to a Draw in a "Last Man Standing" Match against the WWE Smackdown World Heavyweight Champion, the Undertaker.
- WWE Judgment Day '07 (May 20) = Batista lost to the World Champion, Edge.
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #34 (June 2, '07) = Batista & Chris Benoit defeated Edge & MVP.
- WWE One Night Stand '07 (June 3) = Batista lost a "Steel Cage" Match to the (Smackdown) World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
- WWE Vengeance '07 (June 24) = Batista lost, via Countout, to the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge. This was Batista's last chance at the title as long as Edge retains it.
- WWE Great American Bash '07 (July 22) = Batista lost a "Triple Threat" Match to the World Heavyweight Champion, the Great Khali. Kane was the other participant.
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #35 (August 18, '07) = Batista & Kane defeated Finlay & the Great Khali.
- WWE Summerslam '07 (August 26) = Batista won, via DQ, over the World Heavyweight Champion, the Great Khali.
- WWE Unforgiven '07 (September 16) = Batista won the World Heavyweight Title, winning a "Three Way" Match over Rey Mysterio and the Great Khali.
- WWE No Mercy '07 (October 7) = Batista retained the World Title, winning a "Punjabi Prison" Match over the Great Khali.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '07 (October 28) = Batista stayed the World Champion, defeating the Undertaker. Steve Austin was the special referee.
- WWE Survivor Series '07 (November 18) = Batista kept the World Title, winning a "Hell In A Cell" Match over the Undertaker.
- WWE Armageddon '07 (December 16) = Batista lost the World Title, losing a "No Disqualification Triple Threat" Match to Edge. The Undertaker was the other participant.
- WWE Royal Rumble '08 (January 27) = Batista competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by John Cena.
- WWE No Way Out '08 (February 17) = Batista competed in the "Smackdown #1 Contenders Elimination Chamber" Match, which was won by the Undertaker. Big Daddy V, Finlay, the Great Khali, and MVP were the other participants.
- WWE Wrestlemania 24 (March 30, '08) = Batista, representing Smackdown, won a "Brand Supremacy" Match over Umaga (representing Raw).
- WWE Backlash '08 (April 27) = Batista fell to Shawn Michaels. Chris Jericho was the special referee.
- WWE One Night Stand '08 (June 1) = Batista won a "Stretcher" Match over Shawn Michaels.
- WWE Night of Champions '08 (June 29) = Batista lost to the World Heavyweight Champion, Edge.
- WWE Great American Bash '08 (July 20) = Batista fought to a Double Disqualification with the World Heavyweight Champion, CM Punk.
- WWE Saturday Night's Main Event #36 (August 2, '08) = Batista, John Cena, & Cryme Tyme fell to John Bradshaw Layfield, Kane, & Simply Priceless.
- WWE Summerslam '08 (August 17) = Batista defeated John Cena.
- WWE Unforgiven '08 (September 7) = Batista lost a "Scramble" Match to Chris Jericho, who won the World Heavyweight Title. John Bradshaw Layfield, Rey Mysterio, and Kane were the other participants.
- WWE No Mercy '08 (October 5) = Batista won a "#1 Contenders" Match over John Bradshaw Layfield.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '08 (October 26) = Batista won the World Heavyweight Title, beating Chris Jericho. Steve Austin was the special referee.
- WWE Survivor Series '08 (November 23) = Team Batista (Batista, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, & R-Truth) lost an "Elimination" Match to Team Orton (Rhodes, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, & William Regal).
- WWE Armageddon '08 (December 14) = Batista defeated Randy Orton.
- WWE Backlash '09 (April 26) = Batista, Shane McMahon, & Triple H fell to Legacy (Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, & Cody Rhodes). Due to Orton pinning Triple H, Orton won the WWE Title.
- WWE Judgment Day '09 (May 17) = Batista won, via DQ, over the WWE Champion, Randy Orton.
- WWE Extreme Rules '09 (June 7) = Batista won the WWE Title, winning a "Steel Cage" Match over Randy Orton.
- WWE Hell In A Cell '09 (October 4) = Batista & Rey Mysterio lost to the WWE Unified World Tag-Team Champions, Chris Jericho & The Big Show.
- WWE Bragging Rights '09 (October 25) = Batista lost a "Fatal Fourway" Match to the World Champion, the Undertaker. Rey Mysterio and CM Punk were the other participants.
- WWE Survivor Series '09 (November 22) = Batista defeated Rey Mysterio.
- WWE TLC '09 (December 13) = Batista lost a "Chair" Match to the World Champion, the Undertaker.
- WWE Royal Rumble '10 (January 31) = Batista competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Edge.
- WWE Elimination Chamber '10 (February 21) = Batista won the WWE Title, defeating John Cena.
- WWE Wrestlemania XXVI (March 28, '10) = Batista lost the WWE Title, falling to John Cena.
- WWE Extreme Rules '10 (April 25) = Batista lost a "Last Man Standing" Match to the WWE Champion, John Cena.
- WWE Over The Limit '10 (May 23) = Batista lost an "I Quit" Match to the WWE Champion, John Cena.
- OVW Heavyweight Champion (11/28/2001 - 2/20/2002)
- (WWE Raw) World Tag-Team Champion w/ Ric Flair (12/14/2003 - 2/16/2004)
- (WWE Raw) World Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Ric Flair (3/22/2004 - 4/19/2004)
- (WWE Raw/Smackdown) World Heavyweight Champion (4/03/2005 - 1/10/2006)
- WWE (Smackdown) Tag-Team Champion w/ Rey Mysterio (12/13/2005 - 12/27/2005)
- (WWE) World Heavyweight Champion(2) (11/26/2006 - 4/01/2007)
- (WWE) World Heavyweight Champion(3) (9/16/2007 - 12/16/2007)
- (WWE Raw) World Tag-Team Champion(3) w/ John Cena (8/04/2008 - 8/11/2008)
- (WWE) World Heavyweight Champion(4) (10/26/2008 - 11/03/2008)
- WWE Champion (6/07/2009 - 6/09/2009)
- WWE Champion(2) (2/21/2010 - 3/28/2010)
PWI Achievement Awards: (2 wins, 2 1st RUs, 2 2nd RUs, 2 3rd RUs)
- 2004 Most Improved Wrestler, 2nd Runner-Up
- 2005 Wrestler of the Year
- 2005 Most Popular Wrestler, 1st Runner-Up
- 2005 Feud of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up (Batista vs. Triple H)
- 2005 Most Improved Wrestler
- 2007 Wrestler of the Year, 2nd Runner-Up
- 2007 Feud of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Batista vs. The Undertaker)
- 2010 Feud of the Year, 3rd Runner-Up (Batista vs. John Cena)