Dave Bautista – in-ring name Batista aka "The Animal" – returned to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for the first time since his short appearance during the celebrations for Smackdown Live’s 1000th episode Monday during the airing of RAW. And it was an explosive return as he attacked legend Ric Flair, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, as a message to Triple H, his former Evolution team member.

There had been talks in recent weeks about WWE discussing a potential return for Batista, who has not wrestled in over three years. He reignited the feud in 2018 and it has now been carried on with a possibility of "The Animal" facing Triple H at WrestleMania 35 in April.

Batista is now a well-known face in Hollywood after his portrayal of the hilarious Drax character in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers" franchise. And he revealed it was Vince McMahon who drove him out of WWE, which allowed him to pursue his acting career seriously and land prominent roles in multiple box-office hits.

The 50-year-old was a four-time WWE world heavyweight champion and was much loved by the WWE universe, but he revealed that it was one particular incident with chairman McMahon that made him think his days in the squared circle was coming to an end.

The incident occurred at a time when WWE was looking to become a more family-friendly show, but Batista made himself bleed during a match with Chris Jericho, which did not sit well with McMahon. And the WWE chairman handed out a $100,000 fine to Batista, which did not go down well with the wrestler.

"I knew we weren't supposed to do it…I knew I would get consequences but I didn't think they'd be as harsh as they were. Then he starts passing out fines. So my fine was $100,000…My heart dropped. I thought it would be like $25,000…When he said $100,000, I was just heartbroken. I literally think that he sucked the life out of me that day. I think that's the day that I knew things were never going to be the same," Batista said on the “Talk Is Jericho” podcast recently.

Batista was clear that he wanted to be in movies and has carved himself quite a successful career after his initial struggled with B-grade action movies. Apart from his roles in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers", he played a role of an orderly in "Hotel Artemis" that also had Jodie Foster and he will also be part of Denis Villeneuve’s "Dune" remake.

John Cena and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are two other former WWE stars who have successfully made the transition from squared circle to the big screen, but Batista scoffed when he was compared to the duo. He said, talking to the Tampa Bay Times: “Do not compare me to The Rock or John Cena. Everyone does it. Those guys are wrestlers who became movie stars. I’m ... something else. I was a wrestler. Now, I’m an actor.”

Batista said he has immense respect for "The Rock", who was at one time the highest paid Hollywood stars but does not consider him a great actor. The Animal is not keen to be part of action franchises like "Fast and Furious" or "Bumblebee" as he is keen to play more roles with character, while also wanting to work with Academy Award-winning actors and directors.

"Rock was, in a way, a movie star before he was even a movie star. There is something about him that’s really special. I’d never take that away from him,” Batista said. "Would I consider him a great actor? F--- no.”

“I want good roles. I don’t care about 'Fast and Furious' or 'Bumblebee'. ... That’s not the kind of stardom I want. ... I want to be in 'Dune'. I want to work with Denis Villeneuve. I want to work with Sam Mendes and Jodie Foster. I want to work with Academy Award winners. I’m proud to be a character actor. I want that respect and credibility and education.”