Dave Bautista, also known as Batista in WWE, and Booker T never really talked, but they came head-to-head over a Wrestler’s Court situation revolving around 3x Women’s Champion Melina. In the wrestling business, there are checks and balances, tiers that the talent need to adhere to, unwritten rules and regulations that every single person who finds themselves backstage needs to get in line with. Wrestler’s Court came into effect whenever someone didn’t follow the unwritten rules in the back. There was a judge, usually Undertaker, a prosecution that generally was JBL (although there are quite a few others who filled the role), and a defense that was played by anyone brave enough to back up the accused’s case. In Melina’s case, she was convicted of “diva-ism,” which happened to have Booker as one of the prosecutors. This may explain some of the tense feelings between him and Batista which led to the brawl.
When you’re on the road and around the same people for long periods of time, the chances are you are going to have confrontations creep up from time to time! The year was 2006, it was Summerslam season and a group of superstars were heading down to a beautiful mansion in California to shoot promos for the upcoming pay-per-view.
Related: Tales from WWE’s WRESTLERS COURT
Batista, rumored to be having relations with Melina at the time, was hot about the conviction and had some ill feelings towards Booker. They steered clear of each other for the most part, but in the setting of the mansion for the promo shoot, it was hard to avoid one another. According to rumor and innuendo, Batista was stirring a lot of the SmackDown! roster the wrong way, acting as though he was the standard and the top star, essentially not paying the respects to anyone who deserved it. Booker T confronted Dave Batista about the way he was acting. One thing led to another, and according to a day-of WWE.com report from WWE’s then-director of TV promotions, a “brutal, bloody, vicious affair” ensued.
Booker T Recounts His Version of the Brawl with Dave Bautista
On his podcast Heated Conversations, Booker T recounts, “I remember being out in the pool with Tatanka, and then Dave Batista shows up and it was almost like a cloud coming over that nice beautiful scenery. What ticked Batista off with me was that I was always vocal with things. At this shoot, I told Batista, ‘Hey man, let’s just get this out in the open… I really don’t like you, you really don’t like me, but we gotta work together! It’s our jobs! We gotta go out and perform together, ya know what I mean? But if you ever cross me, you gonna have to deal with these [fists]!’
Booker T continued, “Later on him and I actually confronted each other like men, the fight went down and ya know, I’m not gonna get into too much detail but I got fast hands man, I’m quick with my hands. I remember when I was a little kid, I was about 13 years old and I got beat up in my front yard, that was the last time I lost a fight. Needless to say, I put a good beating on the boy!”
Dave Bautista Recounts His Version of the Brawl
“We had to get past this. It had been brewing for a long time,” said former World Heavyweight Champion Dave Batista in an exclusive interview with WWE.com about the brutal fight he had with Booker T on the set of the WWE SummerSlam commercial shoot in Encino, California. The fight was so intense both men were left swollen and bloodied and it took nearly a half dozen Superstars to separate them.
“It’s over,” said Batista. “We will agree to disagree. We won’t be friends, but we will work together. I can promise you we won’t cause problems.” But Dave Batista does have an issue with the way he’s been portrayed in the locker room. “Some guys say I’ve been running around claiming to be the top-money draw in the company, that I’m carrying the WWE on my back. I never said anything like this, the rumors break my heart. I would never disrespect guys like Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H with comments like these. I am not a prick!”
Batista said he hopes the issue is finally over. “I want to move on, it’s like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can’t wait to get back to work again.”
“It was simply about respect, that’s all,” reflected Booker T. “I have no ill will toward Dave, but I feel like he doesn’t know the history of the business that’s all. Maybe he should study the history. There’s a lot of us who paved the way in this business for men like Batista,” says Booker. “When I started, guys like Greg Gagne, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and countless others were in WCW. I walked into the locker room and had to earn their respect. It took me 16 long years, but I earned it. Respect isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.”
Have Dave Bautista and Booker T Buried the Hatchet?
When asked if the two men have buried the hatchet, Booker T pointedly says, “We’ll never be friends. We’ll never exchange Christmas cards. But I will work with Dave in the ring like nothing ever happened. It’s not about us, it’s about the company and more importantly, it’s about entertaining the fans. I’ll never do anything to hurt our product.”
The majority (if not all) of the dirt sheets will say Booker T won the fight, but Fit Finlay insists otherwise. Finlay, who was called into the room after the brawl had begun, had this to say about the brawl in a recent shoot interview with RF Video:
“I don’t know what started it but they were rolling on the floor. They will say that Booker T got to Dave, but that’s not how it was. Dave was on top of Booker T, you know? Booker T had a swollen eye. When we pulled it apart and stood em’ up, Sharmell kicked Dave right in the nuts. Nobody will tell ya that, but she snuck a kick in and kicked him right in the nuts. And he didn’t sell it! Booker was threatening, ‘I’ll come to ya door!! I’ll find ya in the dark!’ and Dave Batista said, ‘No, we’re gonna sort it out right now if this isn’t over it’s gotta be over right now!’ Then it broke down and it sort of fizzled out and they just agreed to disagree after that. But Dave didn’t get beat up by Booker T, that’s probably the main story out there but that’s wrong.”
AFTERMATH of the Dave Bautista and Booker T Brawl
It seems things have calmed down since Booker T claimed, “We’ll never be friends!” As it turns out, Booker T had this to say eleven years later, “Batista and I, right now, guys, we’re good friends. We buried the hatchet. That’s water under the bridge.”
In this crazy world of pro wrestling, somehow they managed to patch things up like most superstars with intense beef seem to eventually do. They probably send each other Christmas cards now, too.