John Cena and Batista came up in WWE together, and dominated the wrestling scene in the 2000s. John Cena was the WWE Champion throughout his stint in WWE, whilst Batista had incredible battles with Triple H, The Undertaker and Edge over the World Heavyweight Championship.
After both their careers were done, both John Cena and Batista aimed to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. Both have gained some kind of success, but Batista has undoubtedly found more success in Hollywood. The Animal has starred in huge blockbuster after huge blockbuster including James Bond’s Specter and Avengers: Endgame.
John Cena has recently upped his game, staring as the titular Peacemaker in the HBO series, and in the DC movie The Suicide Squad. He has built a big name for himself in Hollywood, but his biggest role almost didn’t come to fruition.
John Cena and Batista were heated rivals in the ring, but no-one quite expected their rivalry to spill out into competing for roles in big Hollywood movies too.
John Cena on Batista
John Cena and Batista, along with The Rock, represent wrestling’s foray into Hollywood. However, due to their association with WWE, both John Cena and Batista can be typecast in a certain role, and be rivals in some aspects.
This came to a head when James Gunn was casting for the role of Peacemaker in The Suicide Squad. The role was ultimate played by the 16-time WWE Champion John Cena, although The Champ revealed that he was not always the first choice for the role.
At the Florida SuperCon in 2021, John Cena revealed Batista was the first choice to star in The Suicide Squad, and was hand-picked by director James Gunn, who had worked with Batista on the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. However, Batista did not take the role, and it instead fell to John Cena, who made it his own and earned his own HBO TV Series.
“I was thrown in there last minute because they had no other options. That’s like the story of my life by the way. I was just — all my opportunities came when either James Gunn was sick or nobody showed up to wrestle or they didn’t have anybody else to bet on.
I’ve never been — even for Peacemaker, I know James had Batista in mind for it. That’s okay. I think yet another lesson here is don’t ever be ashamed with how opportunity finds you. Be ready and knock it out of the park.“
While John Cena took the role and made it his own, it is interesting to think about how Batista would have fared as the incredible Peacemaker in the movie and accompanying TV show. Even though John Cena and Batista are two of the greats in wrestling, they still manage to face off with each other in competing for roles in Hollywood movies to this day.
Who would you rather have seen as Peacemaker – John Cena or Batista? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more.