Monday marked 20 years considering that Dave Bautista (Batista) made his WWE debut as Deacon Batista on an episode of SmackDown. To commemorate the moment, a few of "The Animal's" biggest allies and rivals from throughout the years connected to gratulate the previous WWE Champion. John Cena composed, "20yrs ago @DaveBautista began turning doubters into followers. Crafting an amazing tradition in @WWE and continues to amaze with his incredible work as an actor. He's outspoken, sincere & 1 of the nicest, most offering people I've ever met. Pleased 20yrs from an OWV schoolmate. Cheers!" That tweet got an endorsement from James Gunn, who directs Batista in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and Cena in Peacemaker.
Triple H, who would bring Batista into the Evolution faction within a year of his arrival, wrote, "In the 20 years since @DaveBautista was first presented to the @WWE Universe, he has never stopped growing and progressing. A main event gamer, multi-time champion and Hollywood star, something has stayed the exact same: he never stopped chasing his dreams. Congratulations Dave! #Proud." That post triggered a reaction from Batista, writing on Instagram, "This is everything. @tripleh.".
Another star to post a homage was Titus O'Neil, a friend of Batista's. He composed, "My Friendship with @DaveBautista has been Very unique to me and my Family for many years. I've viewed him excel in @WWE and in Hollywood & through both I've always seen Dave for what he truly is.A Brother to me, An Uncle to my kids and A GREAT HUMAN BEING!! Congrats on 20 years !!".
Batista's WWE career resulted in him becoming a six-time world champion and two-time WrestleMania primary eventer. He formally retired following his No Holds Barred match with Triple H at WrestleMania 35 and was supposed to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020. That event needed to be delayed and his induction has actually because been pushed back to a yet-to-be-announced date. He'll apparently lastly get the induction in Los Angeles ahead of WrestleMania 39 in 2023.