Former WWE Superstar turned Hollywood actor Dave Bautista (Batista) recently appeared as a guest on Edge and Christian’s podcast, E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness, for an in-depth interview. Featured below are some of the highlights.
On contacting WWE to return after filming “Guardians of the Galaxy”: “After I had finished filming that, which was late 2013, I believe, is when I, that’s when I started making calls to Vince and Hunter, and saying, ‘man, I’d really love to come back’ because I felt like that’s what I set out to do. I had accomplished what I set out to do. Now I could go back and feel like I didn’t go back because I failed. I actually accomplished what I set out to do. Now I could go back and do some wrestling.”
On the WWE product not being as good as it used to be: “This is not a dig on anyone, but I just don’t feel that the product is as good as it used to be. I think it [has] just changed in a lot of ways and not for the better. When I came up with [Edge and Christian], I mean, everybody was rockstars, man! They were real, live rockstars! They were real performers and everybody had kind of an edge to them. They were interesting and different individuals and I feel like a lot of that [has] just been lost. I feel like a lot of the edginess has been taken out of wrestling, the creativity. There’s still great stuff going on with the company, but I don’t… and I feel like a dinosaur when I’m saying this, but I don’t feel like the product is as good as it was.”
On talent not taking chances as much these days and the WWE Performance Center being a “wrestler factory”: “I think a lot of the guys, their hands are tied and I think a lot of the guys now, they’re terrified that they’ll lose their job. If they do something wrong, they’re going to lose their job. They’re much more easily replaceable now because they have a factory for them! NXT, it’s a wrestler factory. They just turn out wrestlers. I think a lot of them, again, I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, I don’t mean [it as a] dig, a lot of them are cookie cutter. They’re coming up with these kind of characters for them. They’re cookie cutter and they’re not individuals. They’re not thinking outside of the box.”
On creative issues during his last WWE run and if he would consider returning: “I don’t want to say I was given a raw deal, but creatively, when I went back last time, it was a constant struggle. I mean, [Edge and Christian] know that anxiety of having to go there and having to wait outside of Vince’s office and know that you’ve got to go in and argue with Vince because you hate something that’s creative. Well, I had that every week and it’s just an awful, awful feeling and I don’t want to experience that. I don’t want to go back and have to do that, so I said, ‘this is what I’ll come back to do, this is what I’m interested in, and this is probably the only thing that would bring me back.’ So yeah, I miss it. I miss it all the time. There’s no other feeling like it.
“Before I’m too old, yeah, I would, I would like to go back, But it’s going to have to be under certain conditions. I won’t go back and go through what I went through last time. And I don’t care, the fans can boo me. I don’t care. Whatever. As long as, I hope, they’re watching some of the matches. And it seems like from what I’ve seen that the crowd has changed a bit. They’ve matured a bit and I think it was a real transition point when I went back. It was almost like a whole new generation of audience and I think that it was a really, really weird [pocket], but I think the audience has matured a bit and they appreciate the wrestling a little bit more and are less focused on what’s not there and instead paying attention to what’s on the show.”
Check out the complete Dave Bautista interview from E&C’s Pod Of Awesomeness at Art19.com.