Former WWE World Heavyweight Champion Dave Batista will be inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2020, WWE has announced.
Dave Bautista signed with the then-WWF in 2000, joining their then-developmental program Ohio Vally Wrestling. He debuted in WWE in 2002 but his career took off when he joined Triple H’s Evolution faction featuring Ric Flair and Randy Orton. His impressive run saw him winning the Royal Rumble 2005 and then the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at WrestleMania 21 main event the same year.
Batista holds the record for the longest single World Heavyweight Championship reigns with 282 days after his WrestleMania 21 win. He continued with WWE until 2010 and won the World Heavyweight Championship 4 times and WWE championship twice in that time. He returned to WWE in 2014 and won the Royal Rumble 2014 before headlining WrestleMania alongside Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan.
Batista hasn’t been a full-time wrestler since his run with WWE in 2014. But he has gone on to become a big movie star and has appeared in Marvel Cinematic Universe, James Bond films, Riddick, Blade Runner, and many other films. His most famous roles came as “Drax the Destroyer” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe which he has played over four movies.
Batista’s last WWE match came at WrestleMania 35 earlier this where he faced his long-time rival/friend Triple H in a No Holds Barred Match in a losing cause. After the match, Batista announced his retirement from the pro-wrestling.
Talking to People about his WWE Hall of Fame Induction, Batista revealed that Vince McMahon was one who called him for the news. “Vince called me personally to ask me, I was just.. I wasn’t surprised, but I was pretty happy. It’s a good feeling, it’s a really great feeling.”
“I don’t think it’s sunk in,” Batista continued. “And I was thinking about it because I mean, it seems like a long journey, but it also feels like yesterday when I started my career. And it also feels… because I’m still working so much, it doesn’t feel like an end of a journey.”
WWE Hall of Fame 2020 Induction ceremony takes place on 2 April 2020 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida, as part of WrestleMania 36 weekend. Tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday, 13 December 2019. Batista joins the NWO(Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Sean Waltman) as the first inductees announced.