Batista on his new tattoo shop

Apr 15, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

Photo Credit: WWE

WWE Legend Batista has opened his new DC Society Ink tattoo studio in Tampa, Florida.

The Kennedy Boulevard tattoo studio actually opened in January, but The Tampa Bay Times just profiled Batista and his co-owner John Kural. Kural has also worked as Batista’s personal tattoo artist since 2006.

Batista, who owns a house in the Tampa Bay area, finally realized his dream of bringing a tattoo clubhouse to life. He recently visited the shop while on a brief break from filming Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 in Atlanta. The Animal noted that this is his last installment in the film franchise, admitting that he’s tired and the shoot has been exhausting.

Batista told The Times that he will spend the rest of April wrapping up “Guardians” and will also film a “Guardians” Christmas special that is set to air on Disney+ later this year. He will then travel to Philadelphia to film M. Night Shyamalan’s “Knock at the Cabin” film, then a sequel to the “Dune” movie, and a buddy cop comedy with Jason Momoa.

Batista noted that the high-end tattoo studio has been a longtime dream. It took more than one year to transform the former boxing gym into a tattoo studio. He and Kural, who has worked in the Tampa area for more than 25 years, have hired more than a half dozen highly-regarded artists who get up to $300 per hour.

“I’m just the money guy,” he said. “This is completely personal for me. I don’t need this, my career is doing great, but this is like a clubhouse for me. I wanted to create an environment for people who want to get a tattoo but they don’t want to go into one of those tattoo parlors. It’s intimidating and scary and your average person is uncomfortable in that environment.”

Batista revealed that the DC Society Ink name comes from his childhood home in Washington, DC, and his motto – Dream Chaser, and their hope that they create a space where tattoo artists and people who love tattoos feel comfortable hanging out.

The shop has a steampunk vibe, with gleaming black terrazzo floors, and industrial aspects like chain-link fencing that offers a look at the artists at work from the lobby, plus exposed duct work. There are also nods to Batista’s Hollywood career with some of his movie posters on the walls. The shop also has luxe touches, and a soundtrack of hip-hop and rock. The tattoo machines are specially made to operate silently as tiny needles jab skin with ink, like mini sewing machines.

Batista has also hired Big Jay The Barber to perform SMP (scalp micropigmentation) work on balding customers who get a close shave on the hair they do have. Big Jay is a favorite of WWE Superstars in Florida, who are regulars at his Razorz Edge Barbershop.

Batista said going into business with Kural was a natural extension of their relationship and his circle of friends.

“This is a personal investment. It’s not going to be making me big money, I know that,” Batista said. “But I have an investment in this because this is my community and this is what I love. These are my people.”

Batista is still due for a future WWE Hall of Fame induction, but there’s no word on if it will happen in 2023 in Hollywood or not. He was originally scheduled to be inducted in 2020, but the event was postponed due to COVID-19. It was then announced that the 2020 Class would be inducted alongside the 2021 Class at the induction ceremony held during WrestleMania 37 Weekend, but Batista removed his name from the list due to previous obligations, revealing that WWE honored his request to induct him at a future ceremony.

Stay tuned for more.

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