Batista: Check out our guide to WWE Royal Rumble entrant
Last Updated: 27/01/14 11:22am
Batista: discover more about the Animal with our by-the-letters guide
To long-term addicts of WWE, Batista needs no introduction.
The Animal - who returned to the company for the first time in almost four years on Monday night - was a huge star throughout the 2000s, headlining WrestleMania XXI and becoming a six-time world champion.
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However, fans who have picked up the WWE bug only recently may be less familiar with the Batista, who has acted in films such as The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption and Riddick since putting his grappling career on hold in 2010.
So skysports.com thought it would boost your knowledge of the former Evolution star.
Read on for our by-the-letters guide to Batista...
B is for... Beginnings
Batista joined WWE's then-developmental system Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2000 and won the territory's heavyweight championship before being promoted to the main roster in May 2002. The Washington, DC powerhouse served as Reverend D-Von's muscle during his embryonic days in the big time but after turning on the sinister minister, he entered into the dominating stable Evolution, alongside the legendary "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, "The Game" Triple H and "The Viper" Randy Orton.
A is for... Animal
Animal is a nickname that sums up Batista perfectly. Standing at 6ft 6in and weighing almost 300 pounds, yet remaining so agile, he has floored the likes of Edge, John Cena, The Great Khali, Umaga and Chris Jericho in the past. The 45-year-old has veered into the world of mixed martial arts during his break from wrestling, winning his maiden match in the sport, against Vince Lucero, in the first round. The skills he has accrued from that should put the WWE locker room on notice.
Triple H: Batista's ally turned adversary
T is for... Triple H
Batista was moulded by Triple H, a 13-time world champion and the current Chief Operating Officer of WWE, but they switched from friends to foes in 2005. The Game tried all manner of dastardly schemes to keep the Animal away from his cherished World Heavyweight Championship - including having him run over by a limousine - but Batista used his Royal Rumble match win to challenge The King of Kings at WrestleMania XXI and subsequently snare his first world title with a Batista Bomb.
I is for... I Walk Alone
The Animal's entrance music, a song by Tennessee rock band Saliva, is pretty apt, too. After breaking free from Evolution, he went on to capture multiple world titles and came top of Pro Wrestling Illustrated's top 500 in 2005. Batista has enjoyed similar success away from the squared circle as well and in addition to the film credits already mentioned, he will star as Drax the Destroyer in Marvel Comics movie Guardians of the Galaxy, which hits cinemas in August.
S is for... Smackdown
Monday Night Raw has witnessed many spectacular Batista moments, but the recent returnee has also enjoyed his stints on Smackdown. He switched to the blue brand during the 2005 Draft Lottery and proceeded to defend the World Heavyweight Title against JBL and the late Eddie Guerrero. But Friday evenings were also where his kinship with Rey Mysterio developed, and the duo went on to capture the WWE Tag Team Championships by vanquishing Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro.
The Undertaker: the Phenom and Batista have engaged in some epic battles
T is for... The Undertaker
Batista's rivalry with The Undertaker was simply Phenom-enal! The Superstars' paths first crossed at WrestleMania XXIII, when the Demon of Death Valley defeated the Animal to keep his unbeaten streak at the Show of Shows and collect the World Heavyweight Championship. Over the months and years that followed, Batista and the Deadman would meet in barbaric Last Man Standing, Steel Cage, Chair and Hell in a Cell matches, regularly serving up a treat for the WWE Universe.
A is for... Alberto Del Rio
Ever since it was announced that the Animal would be on the warpath in WWE again, Alberto Del Rio has been an unhappy bunny. Mexico's Greatest Import slammed Batista on television and on Twitter and vowed to deal with the returning hero at the Royal Rumble. Oh dear! Del Rio was made to pay for his words on Raw when, after besting the Animal's long-time friend Mysterio, he was clobbered by a brutal Batista Bomb. Still, he won't be the last Superstar to suffer that fate...
Will Batista win the Royal Rumble or will a different victor emerge? Find out by watching WWE Royal Rumble, 1am, Sunday (Monday morning) on Sky Sports Box Office.
Royal Rumble repeat booking details
WWE Royal Rumble will be repeated on Sky Sports Box Office (channel 743) BUT NOT Sky Sports HD Box Office (channel 752) between 9am, Monday, January 27 and 9pm, Saturday, February 1. Repeats showing will last for three hours.
The event is priced at £14.95 for UK customers, €21.95 for customers in the Republic of Ireland.
You can order WWE Royal Rumble from Friday, January 17 by pressing the Box Office button on your remote. Select 'sports & events' and follow the on-screen instructions.
Viewers can call 08442 410 888 from Friday, January 17 to book WWE Royal Rumble. (There may be an additional charge for telephone bookings).
You can also book WWE Rumble online from Friday, January 17 by visiting this link: https://my.sky.com/orderboxoffice/
Cable customers should contact their local cable operator.