Dave Bautista "Went Broke" after Leaving WWE

It seems like Dave Bautista is on top of the world. After his retirement bout against Triple H at WrestleMania, reprising his role as Drax in Avengers: Endgame, and headlining a pair of action comedies this year with Stuber and I Spy, it seems like the actor's profile has never been higher. But he embarked on a risky journey when he first left WWE, and Bautista recently revealed he was in big trouble before his big acting break came.

Bautista appeared at Denver Pop Culture Con over the weekend and revealed during his spotlight panel that he nearly went broke after leaving the wrestling promotion.

"I was with WWE at the time and I went and did a film. I had zero interest in acting, all I wanted to do was wrestle. I loved wrestling, I was obsessed with wrestling, and I went and did a film as a favor for a friend and I realized I was horrible," Bautista explained. "I was a horrendous actor, I was so mortified that I wanted to prove I could be better. And the company [WWE], they wouldn't let me do anything outside of the company."

Bautista explained that if they wouldn't let him pursue acting that he would eventually leave, but the WWE execs didn't believe him. Just eight months later, Bautista explained that he walked out on top and was very well off financially, ready to pursue his acting ambitions. But then things got bleak very quickly.

"And then I starved for three years. I went broke, I lost everything, I couldn't get a job. And I said that I will never go back to wrestling until I prove what I set out to prove, and that was that I can make it as an actor. And then I got the role on Guardians [of the Galaxy] and when I got the role... I finished the film and the first call I made after I wrapped was to Vince McMahon. I said, 'Hey man, I'd really like to come back and wrestle for a little bit.'"

Bautista's next stint in the WWE wasn't as long because he had then secured a spot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, reprising his role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and then going on to Blade Runner 2049, Hotel Artemis, and the James Bond movie Spectre.

It's safe to say that he made the right call with his career, but not without a lot of sacrifice.


Bautista can currently be seen in Avengers: Endgame, now playing in theaters everywhere.