When one looks back on Batista's initial WWE run, it's hard to remember that the guy accomplished as much as he did in a relatively short period of time.
Batista: I Walk Alone was released in 2009, although I only recently picked it up (not thinking it was going to be anything special). I was pleasantly surprised.
The 90-minute documentary portion of the three-DVD set begins with David Bautista's rough-and-tumble beginnings growing up in a rough Washington, DC neighborhood.
Bouncing back and forth between his parents and mixing in with the wrong crowd, young Bautista was more likely to become a dreaded "statistic" than he was a licensed WWE superstar.
In his teenaged years, Batista becomes one of the most popular bouncers in his neighborhood and a bad-ass bodybuilder, when meets the love of his life, Angie (unfortunately, his first wife wasn't aware of it at the time. Whoops.).This segues into The Animal's move to wrestling, which almost ends early when he's told off by WCW trainer "Sarge" Dwayne Bruce.
Bruce, likely best known by wrestling fans as part of the jobber tag team The State Patrol, suffers from a "Napoleon" complex, according to Big Dave and sends him packing from WCW's Power Plant training facility.
So instead of ending up in WCW, Batista goes to WWE instead, though first spending time in Ohio Valley Wrestling. From there, it's a move up to debuting on SmackDown as D-Von Dudley's "Deacon" and a decent stint in the Triple H stable Evolution before feuding with The Game and becoming a singles star.
But not only are Batista's major feuds and alliances covered off, so are the obscure ones that many of us have since forgotten. For example, do you remember his reign with Ric Flair as World Tag Team Champions?
Me neither, yet Dave ranks it among his greatest accomplishments because of everything he learned under the tutelage of Nature Boy.
Or how about Batista's feud with Edge? Sure, you may have remembered that they'd competed before, but did you recall that they headlined three consecutive pay-per-views?
One of the most fascinating things about this documentary is how many times Batista has changed his look. I'm not just talking about his WWE-era penchant for shaving his head every few months, but an entirely different look during many periods of his life.
In terms of actual matches, the DVD collection has two discs with in-ring competition, although much of it feels repetitive. You have representation from Batista's series of bouts with Triple H and The Undertaker (which, in all fairness, were both excellent), as well as matches against Edge, John Bradshaw Layfield, Kane, Randy Orton,John Cena, and his first "big" match in OVW agaist The Machine Doug Basham.
Not exactly a bad collection, but it hardly comes off like the career retrospectives for, say, Flair or Stone Cold Steve Austin.
So the million-dollar question: should you spend your money on this? Well, if you're a Batista fan... I'm guessing you've already spent your money on it. And if you're not, this probably isn't the collection for you. I'd put it in the category of "not a bad choice at the discount bin."
I Walk Alone