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Why the Animal Uncaged Himself From WWE in 2010

When it comes to many names who have wrestled within WWE, it's very common for them to leave someday. Whether that be to venture into new things, due to being fired, down to frustration, or even retirement... every Superstar make their exit eventually. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t come back in the future... & that was the case when it came to WWE Hall of Famer Dave "the Animal" Bautista. In 2010, among the Federation’s biggest stars of the last decade, made his exit from the promotion, but why exactly was that?

WWE Champion Just A Few Months Before Leaving In 2010?

In the month prior to Batista leaving WWE, he was positioned as among the top names in the company. Heading into 2010, he had just become a tarheelian for the 1st time since his days in Evolution... & it had led him to the WWE Championship, igniting a feud with John Cena. He held the top belt for a couple of months, before losing it in 1 of Wrestlemania 26's marquee matches. From there, the Chain Gang Commander & the Animal battled in 2 back-to-back Pay-Per-View main events, with his success rate not looking like it was for a soon-t-be-former employee.

However, following his I Quit Match against Cena, in which he uttered those embarrassing words, causing him to lose, he came out on Monday Night Raw. Battered, bruised & in a wheelchair, the former WWE Champion looked like a broken man... & after cutting a scathing promo, with spit flying everywhere, he shouted out “I Quit”. This time, it was for real... & it was his last appearance in WWE for a whole 4 years. However, his seething rage & anger weren’t just a kayfabe reason for his departure.

WWE Denied Batista’s Wishes To Try Out Acting

Whilst he may have been angry in character, Dave was also angry in reality too. Bautista had made it clear to the Federation for quite some time, that he wanted to try acting in either TV or movies... & when seeing others such as John Cena the opportunity to do so, the Animal attempted to follow suit. Unfortunately, WWE said no to him on several occasions... & since Batista was such a big star, this refusal felt unjustified... & it is easy to see why.

After wrestling for a decade, the former WWE World champion wanted to explore something else that wasn’t professional wrestling... though he still intended to stay committed to the company whilst acting. However, with WWE’s complete indifference to his wants, Bautista allegedly gave a year’s notice back in 2009, ahead of his eventual departure in 2010. From there, He Who Walks Alonnnnnnne went on to appear in several movies... most notably The Guardians of the Galaxy, in which he would retain a recurring role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Over the next few years, Dave Bautista continued appearing in Marvel movies, in addition to James Bond’s Spectre {his climactic scene therein was a bit of a train wreck...!}... the new Blade Runner... & other big hits such as Dune & Army of the Dead {the latter of which sponsored a WWE PPV in 2021}. That last point was quite ironic, as the Federation mostly ignored the fact that Batista was making moves in Hollywood, when he returned for a short time back in 2014, so to see them heavily advertise this movie was a complete turnaround, from their attitude towards him, several years prior.

Batista Didn’t Like WWE’s PG Era

The WWE Hall of Famer’s wish to act wasn’t the only reason for him leaving in 2010, with another being the direction of the company. When Dave debuted, it was within the Ruthless Aggression Era, in which things were grittier & more authentic, with it being the perfect aftermath of the Attitude Era. Over time, WWE’s product became more family-friendly, especially after the official move to the PG Era in 2008. The Animal felt muzzled, with this move possibly destroying wrestling as fans knew it... & he wasn’t entirely wrong, with viewership plummeting over the years whilst the Federation has been rated PG, with a move to a less gritty product, with several more constraints.

Both these points were key reasons for his departure... & another was his wish to delve into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, though his career would be quite short-lived, in that field. Batista left the WWE due to a collection of frustrations, which were all warranted. Instead of sticking around in a place he was unhappy, he decided to pack up & find success elsewhere... & he certainly did just that, proving his acting credentials & making a huge name for himself in Hollywood, further distancing himself from the world of professional wrestling, though he now seems on better terms with the Federation, especially following his retirement match in 2019.

Source: the Sportster

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