Tapping out! Dave Bautista is retiring from professional wrestling, but his acting career shows no signs of slowing down.
Bautista, 50, announced his retirement via Instagram on Monday, April 8, following a defeat by wrestler Triple H at WrestleMania 35 the previous day. “To all the WWE fans across the world that gave me the opportunity to suspend your disbelief, thank you,” he wrote in the post. “From the biggest part of my heart thank you for letting me entertain you. Tonight was my story book ending and I wanted to leave you with all I had to give.”
He continued: “I’ll miss this theater of violence more than I can express in words but I am officially retiring from Sports Entertainment. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, I leave in great health, and without a doubt the show will go on. I had a hell of a run. Thank you for the journey.”
Bautista joined the WWE’s developmental system in 2000 and made his television debut in 2002. Since then, he has won four World Heavyweight Championships and two WWE Championships.
Outside of the ring, the Virginia native has become a bona fide film star, playing Drax in two Guardians of the Galaxy films, Avengers: Infinity War and this month’s Avengers: Endgame. Last August, he threatened to drop out of Guardians of the Galaxy 3 if Marvel didn’t use the script written by James Gunn, who had been fired as the threequel’s writer and director amid a Twitter controversy. (Gunn has since been reinstated.)
Bautista — whose other film credits include Riddick, Spectre and Blade Runner 2049 — will appear in the upcoming Dune remake costarring Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson. And on Friday, April 5, Deadline announced he’ll star in the big-budget zombie heist film Army of the Dead.
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