Former World Heavyweight Champion Batista was a guest on F4Wonline.com’s Wrestling Observer Radio this week to discuss his time with WWE, MMA, the future and lots more. Here are highlights from the excellent interview:
* Batista said he left WWE because he felt like he didn’t fit in anymore. He feels like wrestling is in a bad spot right now and has gone down hill since the whole PG direction. Batista said it leaves a bad taste in his mouth and became too unbelievable & hokey. He added that the things he learned from guys like Triple H and Ric Flair, you couldn’t do anymore. He said you couldn’t use your tools anymore. Batista said he felt like he became disconnected from the business and became unhappy with it. He still believes in WWE as a company but there wasn’t a place for him anymore.
* Regarding his most recent run where some felt it was the best work of his career, Batista said he knew he was leaving and basically did what he wanted to do and eventually it worked. He didn’t care about pissing anyone off on the pic and just put his thoughts out there more without worrying about upsetting anyone. He said this started to work so Vince McMahon let him work with it. He recalled one promo before his last WrestleMania in San Jose, California where he let it run how he wanted to do it, ripping on several people. When he got backstage, Vince told him that he went too far with the promo and gave him a good earful.
* The spotlight that he was using before leaving WWE was an idea that Michael Hayes came up with.
* Regarding his departure, Batista gave WWE about 7 months notice that he wanted to finish outright. He wanted to go out the right way and give WWE plenty of notice. That 7 months ended up turning into 9 months because they needed him longer. Batista made it clear that Vince left the door wide open for him to come back. He said he enjoys having that opportunity there to go back, if he wants.
* He had reached out to Strikeforce while with WWE and the MMA promotion expressed interest but he didn’t actually sit down with them until he left WWE. His intentions were doing a MMA fight when he first left WWE. At one point he had a 3 fight deal with Strikeforce that would have him do a CBS fight, a Showtime fight and then a pay-per-view fight, all leading to a fight against Bobby Lashley. Batista cited scheduling, his movie work and financial differences, among other things, as to why the deals never worked out. They had another deal almost ready to be signed that would have sent him directly to pay-per-view to fight but his manager Cesar Gracie didn’t think everything was fair. Strikeforce was bought by UFC and that was that as far as Batista fighting for Strikeforce goes.
* Batista feels that WWE had a huge missed opportunity with Kennedy, now known as Mr. Anderson in TNA, and was shocked when he was released. He feels WWE could have done more with Ted DiBiase Jr. and knew Kofi Kingston would be a top star when he was in FCW. He also says Sheamus has potential and was one of the smart guys who hooked up with veterans like William Regal to learn more about the business. He added that Sheamus took some crap from people for hooking up with the veterans but it was worth it.
* Regarding Mason Ryan, Batista doesn’t think the Nexus star is imitating him and if he was, Batista would be flattered. Batista thinks Ryan is a great guy after meeting him in London and is curious to see where his career goes.
* As far as his future in wrestling goes, Batista does not want to have another full-blown run but would like to return to WWE and officially retire with a small run or something like that. He is also interested in working with WWE in some other capacity. He doesn’t want to be a full-time actor and doesn’t think he will ever be qualified to be one. He is also looking to continue his MMA training and eventually get a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.