Dave “The Animal” Bautista is officially a Superstar of the past. He is happily retired from the ring and is now laser-focused on Hollywood.
At WrestleMania 35, Batista lost to Triple H in the final match of his WWE career. The Game had put his own career on the line but successfully managed to defeat his former Evolution stablemate with a crucial assistance from his mentor Ric Flair, the 16-time World Champion who The Animal had kayfabe assaulted on his 70th birthday bash on Monday Night RAW to lay the seeds for the epic WrestleMania feud.
On Talk Is Jericho, Batista revealed how his road to WrestleMania was like – the former World Heavyweight Champion had kept on bugging Vince McMahon to get the [No Holds Barred] match at ‘Mania.
“I kept bugging Vince for it. I actually bugged him about it, I saw him we were both having surgery. I had like a hamstring repair a few years back and he was down getting, I think, his knee repaired. I talked to him about it and he said he was gonna call and he never called and I ended up talking to Hunter later about it and I was a little upset, you know because I told him this match, what about this match at Mania?”
“He said, ‘Yeah we’re really starting to put some thought into it.’ Then I asked Hunter about it and he said Vince didn’t remember the conversation which is fair because he may have been on something because he just had surgery…I said, ‘I don’t think so man, that doesn’t sound like what I want.’ Hunter was there and I said, ‘When are we gonna start talking about me and Hunter at Mania?’ Again, Vince was like, ‘Yeah, yeah we’re thinking about it, we’ll talk about it’ they just never showed any interest in it.”
WWE teased the Batista vs. Triple H match at SmackDown 1000 last October and things eventually fell into place with the assault on Flair 4 months later in February.
“So the SmackDown 1000 was when it started. Originally I wasn’t invited back to the SmackDown 1000. So I was asked about it on Twitter and I said, ‘Yeah, I wasn’t invited, shocker,’ so a couple of weeks before [the show] and the very next day after I tweeted that I got a call from guess who? [laughs]”