Bill Apter recently recalled meeting Batista for the first time when he worked for Ohio Valley Wrestling and instantly recognizing his potential as a major star.
Debuting in 2002, The Animal quickly rose the ranks in WWE thanks to his association with Evolution. He went on to headline WrestleMania 21 in 2005, where he won the World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H.
For the next decade, Batista remained one of the biggest names in the company until he shifted his focus to Hollywood, where he became a bankable leading man.
On Sportskeeda’s The Wrestling Time Machine podcast, Bill Apter recalled the 54-year-old performer’s early days in OVW, where he was known as Leviathan.
The veteran journalist added that he recognized The Animal’s potential and knew he had it in him to become a ‘megastar” in the global juggernaut.
“Now Batista, by the way, was Leviathan back in Ohio Valley Wrestling. And I remember meeting him first in the office camp and then OVW, and I was like, ‘My god, this guy has to be a megastar.'” said Apter. [3:18 – 3:34]