Former WWE Superstar and emerging Hollywood actor Dave Bautista (Batista) was recently interviewed by the MLW Radio’s “Writers Room” podcast and spoke about a number of WWE-related topics. Below are some of the highlights.
On if he prefers being a heel or babyface and the changes in WWE crowds over the years:
“I love being a heel. I feel confident as a heel. I feel comfortable as a heel. People like to see me as a heel. But I can’t be a heel if they’re constant beat me! I’ve got to be a strong heel, so when I put somebody over, it actually means something. I think a lot of people missed that point. I don’t know how they missed it, but what really bothers me about that run as well is while people were so busying chanting ‘CM Punk’ or ‘you suck’ or ‘Bootista’ or Bluetista’, they actually missed a lot of really good wrestling. Like Dolph [Ziggler] and I had some kick-ass matches we threw together at the last second and everybody missed it, man, because they were so busy wrapped up with their ‘CM Punk’ chants or ‘Bluetista’ chants. They missed out on a lot of good wrestling, man, a lot of good, old fashioned storytelling. It really hurt my feelings that people just missed out on that. It was just a shame.”
On fans booing him during his 2014 run with WWE because it became the trendy thing to do:
“I struggled so much with promos early because people were writing them out for me and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t cut a promo until you gave me bullet points. If I had bullet points, then, I could just do that and make it conversational and I was okay. I still struggled to remember stuff word for word and when people were writing that stuff out for me, I was always so stressed about it, just remembering all that stuff and it was horrible and I struggled and struggled. It was later when they really just kind of let me do my own thing. Then, I’d go to Vince [McMahon] and say, ‘Vince,’ or Michael Hayes or whatever, ‘what point do you want me to get across?’ and they’d give me a point and I’d say, ‘okay, I got it’ and I’d go out and I’d kind of wing it, but I’d make the point and that’s when I really came into my own as far as promos go. But I was always a very shy person, so public speaking was always terrifying to me.” Batista added, “it’s weird, man, because that’s where all the sunglasses and all that stuff came from. They were my pacifiers. I was hiding behind them. I was trying to hide my fear, but it was a terrifying thing for me to go speak in front of people.”
On leaving WWE in 2010 because the company wasn’t supporting his non-WWE ventures as much as John Cena:
“Basically, kind of mirror images of each other on our respective shows, but I’m getting afforded a lot less opportunities and that didn’t sit well with me and I wasn’t okay with that. I wasn’t content with that. And so, when they said no, I wasn’t going to be afforded those opportunities, I said, ‘well, I’m going to leave then’ and that was kind of it.” Batista commented, “it’s funny. I do a lot of things because I get pissed off and I really hate when people tell me I can’t do stuff. And when WWE had started on films and commercials, and I noticed that everything more and more was going to Cena, but at the same time, he’s main eventing one series of shows [and] I’m main eventing the others, but he’s getting all these opportunities that I’m not getting. It just seemed a little unfair to me that I’m still out there busting my ass to do these shows while he’s making movies and getting paid a butt load of money to make these movies. So I simply asked a question, ‘is there any opportunity for me to do films?’ and there wasn’t. They had no interest in me doing that, so I said, ‘well, if I’m not afforded the opportunity here, then I should be afforded the opportunity to go outside the company and audition.’ And the answer was, ‘you’re our property – get dressed for the house shows and get to work’. I just thought it was unfair, so I thought it’s just really unfair. It’s unfair career wise and it’s unfair to me financially.”
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