Despite his status as a Marvel movie star, Dave Bautista says he wasn't even invited to WWE's upcoming gathering for SmackDown's 1000th episode. Before breaking into Hollywood via his role as Drax the Destroyer in the Guardians of the Galaxy films - and later in Avengers: Infinity War - Bautista first earned fame as a top superstar in WWE's world of scripted sports entertainment. Debuting on WWE TV in 2002, Bautista would ascend to the level of world heavyweight champion by 2005, defeating the now-legendary Triple H for the title at WrestleMania XXI.
By the time he first left WWE in 2010, Bautista had amassed a huge collection of championships, including four world heavyweight titles, two WWE titles, three world tag team titles, and a single WWE tag team title reign. He had also won the Royal Rumble match in 2005, which granted him his aforementioned WrestleMania shot at Triple H. In early 2014, Bautista returned to WWE, subsequently winning the Royal Rumble again and going on to challenge for the WWE championship in the main event of WrestleMania XXX, a triple threat match won by Daniel Bryan. After a brief but memorable feud between fast-rising faction The Shield (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins) and a reunited Evolution (Triple H, Bautista, and Randy Orton), Bautista again left WWE.
At the time he departed in 2014, Bautista was said to be unhappy with the creative direction WWE had in mind for his onscreen character. In more recent years though, the wrestler turned actor has expressed a desire to have one final run with the company he once called home. Surprisingly enough though, WWE doesn't seem to reciprocate that desire to work together again, despite Bautista's booming film career. In a recent Tweet, Bautista replied to a fan's question about him possibly appearing at SmackDown's upcoming 1000th episode celebration by sadly noting that he hadn't been invited.
Surprise surprise!! I wasn’t invited! And it’s in my hometown.! 😳.. guess by now I shouldn’t be shocked anymore. https://t.co/r1NwUNlRnf— Dave Bautista (@DaveBautista) September 13, 2018
To add insult to injury, as Bautista points out in the Tweet above, WWE is holding the big event in his own hometown of Washington, D.C. As much as WWE tends to love associating with more mainstream forms of entertainment like movies, TV, and non-scripted sports, it's a bit puzzling why they wouldn't be jumping at the chance to bring Bautista back. Clearly though, there seems to be some semblance of bad blood between the two parties, judging by the tone of Bautista's Tweet.
In absence of an official explanation, one can make some educated guesses as to why this rift might have formed. One possibility is that WWE management simply resents Bautista for leaving the company due to creative differences in 2014, after such a short return. Another more interesting possibility is that WWE has been turned off by Bautista's recent vocal support of director James Gunn, who was famously fired by Disney after some old offensive Tweets resurfaced. In that case, WWE might be afraid of drawing the ire of the same groups that targeted Gunn - should they work with Bautista again - or just simply not want to be caught up in the ongoing controversy. Whatever the case is, there has to be a reason, as WWE is said to be reaching out to dozens of former stars to make appearances during SmackDown 1000, set to take place on Tuesday, October 16.
Source: Dave Bautista