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Pic: Batista as Tong Po in the Kickboxer remake

We've covered it quite a bit lately, but my boy Dave Bautista is on a roll.

It's amazing to think that we're not only less than two years from him getting booed out of Pittburgh after winning the Royal Rumble, but that coming into his WWE return a few months earlier, a lot of newer and younger fans were asking "who is this guy? Is he a big deal?"

Now, he kind of is, after a heel turn made him a fan favorite just before he left the squared circle and a couple of prominent supporting roles in blockbusters raised his mainstream profile.

Is a turn as a villain in the remake of a beloved 80s action flick the right next step in his career?

Now that we have our first look at him playing Tong Po in the relaunch of a franchise that helped make Jean-Claude Van Damme a star, we can start to judge...

For comparison's sake, here's Michael Quissi playing the fist-licking, concrete-kicking monster in the original:

Kickboxer: Vengeance stars French-Canadian stuntman Alain Moussi as the hero, Kurt Sloan, with Van Damme returning to play his mentor. Mixed martial artists Gina Carano and Georges St-Pierre (all names listed under Big Dave's on marketing materials). It's scheduled for release sometime in 2016.


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