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How Dave Bautista Rose Above His Difficult Past

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Can you imagine watching Guardians of the Galaxy without Dave Bautista? The legendary WWE star is known for his epic role as Drax the Destroyer in the Marvel Universe. When he’s not killing it onscreen, he’s bodyslamming opponents in the wrestling ring. But Bautista’s life wasn’t always as charmed as it seems. Find out why Dave Bautista championed his difficult past.

Born To Fight

It would be a massive understatement to say that Bautista had a rough childhood. The Guardians of the Galaxy star publically shared his struggles with poverty and violence in his tell-all novel Batista Unleashed. In it, he detailed his life growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Washington, DC. Throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, Bautista confessed that he was forced to witness the destruction of the drug epidemic that was sweeping the nation. In his book, he also admitted that a child’s life expectancy growing up in his area was even “worse than in many third world countries.”

As a child, Bautista persevered throughout many traumatic events. According to Bautista, he claimed that he had already seen three people take their last breaths outside his house by the age of nine. As if that weren’t enough, one man even died of a bullet wound on Bautista’s front lawn. A born fighter, Bautista didn’t even cry when he saw this disturbing scene go down. Fortunately, his mom was able to move their family far away to sunny San Francisco to escape the violence in their neighborhood.

The Ultimate Showdown

Bautista has faced the ultimate showdown against his problems and won every time. However, it took him some time to gain a clear path to success. As a youth, Bautista got involved with some petty criminal activity with local gangs. During an interview on Anna Faris’ podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified, Dave confessed to Anna that he and his friends would break into their classmates’ homes to snatch nice clothes or other expensive items.

Once he developed into a man, the WWE champion became an even bigger force to be reckoned with. The Tampa Bay Times reported that the athlete grew into such an intimidating figure that he soon transformed into the protector of his crew of friends. According to the media outlet, Dave’s body became one that “implied violence.” Instead of lamenting about this, though, the fighter channeled it to become a reliable bouncer at a popular nightclub.

Heart Of A Champion

Before he was famous, Bautista spent a decade dedicated his life to his family, his job as a bouncer, and his commitment to the gym. In fact, his passion for working out supposedly caused some serious tension between himself and his loved ones. During his 20s, Bautista reportedly spent his nights being a security guard at the club and his days pumping iron in the gym. Whenever he was home, he was apparently way too exhausted to spend time with his two little girls. By the time he was 30, he finally realized that he should try professional wrestling. Even though he was way more mature than his fellow wrestlers, he overcame the odds and became a household name.

However, one issue that Bautista still struggles with is his battle with dyslexia. He and his Guardians of the Galaxy co-star Zoe Saldana have both openly shared about their fight with dyslexia. When Bautista appeared on Chris Jericho’s podcast Talk Is Jericho, Dave dished to Jericho that his learning disorder made reading the script for Avengers: Infinity War extremely challenging. Thankfully, Bautista’s difficult life never stopped him from pursuing his Hollywood dreams!

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