Batista was a long way from becoming a WWE legend in 2002.
Prior to becoming one of the top stars of The Ruthless Aggression Era and being in the main event of WrestleMania multiple times, The Animal debuted as muscle for D-Von Dudley, who had just begun his solo career on SmackDown after being split from Bubba Ray Dudley in the WWE Draft.
As D-Von Dudley would quickly discover, Batista’s in-ring ability would need a lot of work. Speaking with PWInsider Elite, the Hall of Famer revealed how little time inside the ring the former World Heavyweight Champion had prior to making the jump to the main roster:
“It was great working with him, it really was,” D-Von said. “I remember Dave telling me that he really didn’t have that much of knowledge in terms of working in the ring because, when he was in OVW — and again, this is coming from Dave — all they did was have him do run-ins and things like that. So he never really had full matches,” Dudley continued, “and if he did have a match, it was like what they did with the Ultimate Warrior; he was in there for maybe two to three minutes, and that was it. So he never had a full match.”
D-Von would then go on to say how much he admired The Animal’s drive to improve and how they would work together before SmackDown went on the air:
“But it was great because we got to work together before the people got into the building. He would show up to the building and I would get into the ring with him,” he added, “and we would go over stuff and things like that. He was very eager to learn, so that was the one thing that I was very happy with Dave [about].”
Is Batista Still Wrestling In WWE?
The Royal Rumble winner would have his final match at WrestleMania 35, losing to longtime friend and foe Triple H in a No Holds Barred match. In more recent years Batista has been known for his work in Hollywood starring in blockbusters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Dune and Blade Runner 2049.
Following the footsteps of The Rock and John Cena, one filmmaker believes that the former World Champion is the best wrestler who has transitioned into acting.
H/t to Wrestling Inc.