Dave Bautista is currently making a name for himself in Hollywood, but for many he will always be known for the impact he made in professional wrestling. Along with the NWO, Bautista, known as Batista while in WWE, will be the first inductees in the Class of 2020 WWE Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 2 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay, Fla. It will be one of the many events that will be taking place during the week of Wrestlemania 36.
PEOPLE and ESPN were the first to report the news and the WWE announced on Monday. Bautista and the NWO were superstars that changed the direction of professional wrestling according to Paul “Triple H” Levesque, WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative.
“Batista was one of the fastest rising stars ever in WWE with an incredible list of accolades, and the success of the nWo changed the course of sports entertainment history,” he said. "It is only fitting that they all take their rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame.”
Once Bautista heard the news, he wasn't sure how to react.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in,” he said to PEOPLE. “And I was thinking about it because I mean, it seems like a long journey, but it also feels like yesterday when I started my career. And it also feels … because I’m still working so much, it doesn’t feel like an end of a journey.”
He continued: "And I said that at WrestleMania last year: It’s the end of my in-ring journey, but it’s not the end of my journey with the WWE. I will always be connected with them, I’ll always be affiliated with them, I hope that I will always have a good relationship with them. So it doesn’t really feel like an ending for me, it feels like, kind of, I’m right in the mix... All I can say is it feels good, it’s just satisfying. I feel like I accomplished something. I feel like it was all worth it.”
During his time in WWE, Bautista won the WWE Championship two times, the World Heavyweight Championship four times and he won the Royal Rumble in 2005 and 2014.
The NWO features, Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman and they might be the most famous pro wrestling group in history as they took over WCW television and started a Monday Night Ward with the WWE with the shows Monday Nitro (WCW) and Monday Night Raw (WWE). This will be second time all four members of NWO will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Hogan was inducted as an individual in 2005, Nash was inducted in 2015, Hall was inducted in 2014 and Waltman was inducted in 2019 as a member of the group Degeneration X.
"That was a blast," Hogan said to ESPN when talking about his time with the NWO. "It was so much fun. It was crazy. It was like you were out in the backyard with all the kids in the neighborhood raising hell. That's what it felt like."