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Batista to Be Inducted in 2020 WWE Hall of Fame; Vince McMahon Called to Ask

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

FILE -In this July 10, 2019, file photo, Dave Bautista attends the LA Premiere of
Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press

A year ago, Batista returned to a WWE ring at WrestleMania for a grueling loss to Triple H. A day later, he announced his retirement from professional wrestling.

Now, he's headed to the WWE Hall of Fame.

Rachel DeSantis  Lindsay Kimble of People reported Batista will be part of the 2020 class, joining the New World Order as part of a star-studded lineup.

“Vince [McMahon] 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," Batista, who now spends most of his time as a full-time actor, told People.

Batista made his WWE debut in 2002 but became a superstar as part of Evolution, the faction with himself, Triple H, Randy Orton and Ric Flair. He took on an enforcer role with the faction before ascending to main event status, eventually becoming a six-time world champion, four-time tag team champion and two-time Royal Rumble winner.

Batista's initial run with WWE ended in 2010 after a falling out over storyline issues. He returned in late 2013 as part of a WrestleMania XXX program that ended in Daniel Bryan becoming WWE champion after defeating Batista and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat. Another lengthy hiatus soon followed as Batista again quit the company over creative frustrations, this time leading to an absence of more than four years that coincided with his ascent as an actor.

Batista returned for a final time last year to feud with Triple H after the former attacked Ric Flair at his 70th birthday celebration. They had a no holds barred match at Wrestlemania 35, which Triple H won after interference from Flair. Batista called the final match against Triple H the "icing on the cake" for his career.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in,” Batista said. “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.

"And I said that at WrestleMania last year: It’s the end of my in-ring journey, but it’s not the end of my journey with the WWE. I will always be connected with them, I’ll always be affiliated with them, I hope that I will always have a good relationship with them. So it doesn’t really feel like an ending for me, it feels like, kind of, I’m right in the mix. … All I can say is it feels good, it’s just satisfying. I feel like I accomplished something. I feel like it was all worth it.”