WWE Hall of Famer Batista has admitted that he was completely “unprepared” for the victory that transformed his career.
In 2005, two WWE icons came of age on the same night at WrestleMania 21 when John Cena captured his first WWE Title while Batista overcame his former Evolution mentor Triple H in the main event to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Now, 18 years later with Batista’s wrestling boots well and truly hung up and the real-life Dave Bautista continuing to make his mark in Hollywood, the star has celebrated his 54th birthday by reflecting on his major win and shared his thoughts on social media:
“WrestleMania 21, this is the end of the match and I can’t believe this is happening at this point. I can’t believe this. This happened so fast where I went from being a guy in the background that they never had any big plans for to being the top guy in the company to now I’m the flagship, I’m the guy holding the belt.”
“A lot of responsibility comes with that. I was so unprepared. I was not prepared for what was coming my way. Triple H was my mentor, he groomed me as best he could up until then. It just came to a point where I was on top now and I had to come into my own. It was still a lot of learning lessons after this. I was thrown into the deep end. I didn’t plan on this.”
“Watching it makes me emotional. I just never planned for this. When I was wrestling, I was just happy to have a job and always thinking that I was going to lose my job any day. Becoming World Champion was something I never imagined. They always say, ‘Why do you want to be there if you don’t want to be champion?’ I was content just having a job. I just wanted to make a living, being able to support my family.”
“Being champion and being on top of the company was something that was beyond my dreams. With me, it’s always baby steps. I find things by accident, almost, and then I chase them once I find out that I really love something. I put everything I have into it, I put blinders on, and sometimes that’s been a fault. I’ve sacrificed some things because of that, but my life is what it is because of that. This is still surreal, watching it.”
Batista put the bow on his wrestling career with one last WrestleMania match against Triple H in 2019, with The Game finally avenging his loss from 14 years prior.