Bautista and Booker T’s Infamous Mansion Brawl: Did 6 Wrestlers Stop Them?

Backstage Heat: Dave Bautista, Booker T, and the Controversial Melina Incident in WWE

In the summer of 2016, things get heated between Batista and Booker T.
Photo Credit: WWE.

Dave Bautista and Booker T never really talked in WWE. However, things would heat up between the two backstage over circumstances involving Wrestlers’ Court and 3x Women’s Champion Melina!

The Real-Life Altercation Between Dave Bautista and Booker T

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In the SummerSlam season of 2006, WWE superstars were heading down to a beautiful mansion in California to shoot promotional material for the upcoming pay-per-view.

There are unwritten rules and regulations in the wrestling business that every person who finds themselves backstage needs to get in line with. Wrestlers’ Court came into effect whenever someone didn’t follow these 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.

The Backstory Behind Dave Bautista and Booker T’s Brawl in WWE

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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 Dave Bautista (Batista), which led to the brawl.

Romantic Entanglements and Tense Encounters

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Bautista, rumored to be having relations with Melina at the time, was hot about the conviction and had some ill feelings towards Booker T. They steered clear of each other for the most part. Still, in the mansion setting for the promo shoot, it was hard to avoid one another.

The Explosive Confrontation Between Dave Bautista and Booker T in WWE

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According to rumor and innuendo, Bautista was stirring a lot of the SmackDown! roster the wrong way at the time, acting as though he was the standard and the top star. Booker T confronted Bautista about the way he was acting.

According to a day-of report, one thing led to another, and a "brutal, bloody, vicious affair" ensued.

Booker T Recounts His Version of His Fight With Dave Bautista

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On his podcast, Heated Conversations, Booker T recounts, "I remember being out in the pool with Tatanka, and then Dave Bautista shows up, and it was almost like a cloud coming over that nice beautiful scenery.

"What ticked Dave Bautista off with me was that I was always vocal with things. At this shoot, I told Bautista, ‘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 Opens Up: Recounting the Confrontation

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Booker T continued, "Later on, he 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

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"We had to get past this. It had been brewing for a long time," said former World Heavyweight Champion Dave Bautista. 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 Bautista. "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 Bautista does have an issue with the way he’s been portrayed in the locker room.

Bautista Clears the Air

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"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 *****!"

Bautista 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.

Addressing Rumors and Finding Closure

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"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 Bautista," 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?

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When asked if the two men have buried the hatchet, Booker T pointedly said, "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."

Conflicting Perspectives: Fit Finlay Sets the Record Straight

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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 fight in a recent shoot interview with RF Video.

"I don’t know what started it, but they were rolling on the floor," stated Finlay. "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."

Fit Finlay’s Account of the Brawl

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Finlay continued, "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 Bautista 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."

The Aftermath

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It seems things have calmed down since Booker T claimed, "We’ll never be friends!"

As it turns out, Booker T, eleven years later, said, "Bautista and I, right now, guys, we’re good friends. We buried the hatchet. That’s water under the bridge."

Booker T Clears the Air: Dispelling Rumors of Lingering Beef with Dave Bautista

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In 2023, Booker T also shot down any lingering rumors that he and Dave Bautista have a long-standing beef stemming from their physical altercation in WWE.

Booker explained that it was due to “a lot of testosterone in the locker room,” and that not all wrestlers get along.

Booker T’s Admirable Appreciation for Dave Bautista

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Booker reiterated that stance on the latest “Hall of Fame” podcast and said if they met, he’d tell Dave Bautista he admires him as an actor.

“If I saw Bautista today, I would give him a hug and tell him how great he’s doing in Hollywood,” he said.

“He’s knocking it out. He’s freakin’ killing it.”

Booker T Reflects: Final Thoughts

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Booker T admitted both men haven’t addressed the incident much in the media.

“It was an incident that happened between two men,” Booker expressed.

“And if you’re a man, you know something about that. If you’re a man who’s got testosterone running through your body and you’re in a testosterone-driven business, you might get in a fight with somebody.

“That doesn’t mean you hate them. Don’t mean you don’t like them. It was an incident that happened.”

Behind the Curtain: The Unpredictable Dynamics of Pro Wrestling Friendships

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To give an example of how often scuffles happen, Booker claimed he and Eddie Guerrero even almost got in a fight, despite being close friends.

“I don’t even remember what the fight was about,” he chuckled while wearing Guerrero’s t-shirt.

In this crazy world of pro wrestling, somehow, Dave Bautista and Booker T managed to patch things up like most superstars with intense beef seem to do eventually. They probably send each other Christmas cards now, too.

The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels Fight That Almost Was

The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels Fight That Almost Was

Undertaker: "If Shawn Michaels were on fire, I wouldn’t have [peed] on him to put him out!”

Shawn Michaels was in a bad place leading up to WrestleMania 14. He was not an easy person to get along with at the time, and he was doing everything in his power not to drop the belt to Steve Austin in the main event. Many didn’t take this lightly, including The Undertaker, who stood stoically backstage in Gorilla Position, fists wrapped, ready to confront Michaels!

Read: The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels Fight That Almost Was

Randy Savage and Road Warrior Hawk: Their Real-Life Fights

There was real-life animosity between Road Warrior Hawk and Macho Man Randy Savage, and on two occasions, these wrestling giants got into heated brawls.

GORGEOUS GEORGE: “They had the urinals ripping off the walls, the doors, oh lord!”

HAWK: “Randy got the living **** kicked out of him!”

In the ’90s, there was real heat between "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Road Warrior Hawk. These two wrestling giants would get into it on two separate occasions: once at a New Japan show and another time in the VIP bathroom of a Kid Rock concert. It would lead to a costly battle in court and Hawk’s wife suffering permanent damage due to their second altercation.

Read: Randy Savage and Road Warrior Hawk: Their Real-Life Fights

Vince McMahon and Kofi Kingston Fight at an Airport!

A bit of liquid courage: Kofi Kingston challenges Vince McMahon to a fight!

KOFI KINGSTON: “Do you have a problem with me?"

VINCE MCMAHON: "Maybe I do. Do you wanna do something about it?"

In the leadup to WrestleMania 26, John Cena, Kofi Kingston, and Chris Jericho were sharing a ride with Vince McMahon on his private jet. Drinks were flowing for the entirety of the four-hour journey when McMahon made an unfair comment to Kofi. A real-life scuffle between the two on the airport tarmac would ensue!

Read: Vince McMahon and Kofi Kingston Fight at an Airport!

The Messy Fight Between Paul Orndorff and Vader in WCW

Paul Orndorff, Vader, and backstage witnesses describe the messy backstage fight that led to the departure of Vader from WCW in 1995.

PAUL ORNDORFF: "Vader sucker-punched me. He made a bad mistake because I got up!"

In 1995, Paul Orndorff and Vader got into a heated argument backstage in WCW which led to an all-out brawl. According to onlookers, it was the messiest fight they ever saw!

Read: The Messy Fight Between Paul Orndorff and Vader in WCW

Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper: Their Heated Backstage Fight!

A fight between Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper took place backstage at WCW’s Slamboree ’97 pay-per-view. Here, both men give their differing takes on what happened.

RODDY PIPER: “I got up, charged Kevin Nash, and threw him out of my dressing room!”

KEVIN NASH: “Piper is a deranged old fool. He got slapped to the floor.”

During the height of the Monday Night Wars, a rift was growing backstage in WCW, leading to a real-life dispute between 7’0", 300lbs Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper. As you’ll soon discover, Piper wasn’t called "Rowdy" for nothing!

Read: Kevin Nash and Roddy Piper: Their Heated Backstage Fight!

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Braeden Farrell is a senior writer for Pro Wrestling Stories. He is a long-time fan of wrestling based out of Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached on Twitter @braedenfazza.