Edge opens today’s show speaking about his wife, Beth Phoenix’s horrible travel day which resulted in her having to make her commentary debut on last week’s Mixed Match Challenge on just 2 hours sleep. He says everything that could have went wrong in regards to her travel did so, and she really showed a lot of strength and work ethic in order to get to the show on time and make her commentary debut.
He adds that she beat herself up over the job she did on commentary that night, but he comforted her by pointing out that getting good at commentary will be a work in process. Edge and Christian both say that they loved doing commentary, but it was incredibly difficult. There’s no doubt that it takes a long time before anyone can feel 100% comfortable behind a commentary table in WWE.
Edge and Christian welcome Batista to the show.
Batista points out that at one point in time during his WWE career there was a storyline in place for him that would have revealed him to be a “rape child”, and this was a storyline that he wasn’t happy with. He didn’t think this was one of the creative team’s finer moments, but he was still rather new in the company and didn’t want to turn anything down.
Edge points out that when you’re involved in these types of storylines it can often follow you around for the rest of your career because unlike professional actors, sometimes fans have a hard time separating professional wrestlers from the characters they see on television each week.
Batista admits that from his first day in WWE up until his final year there he was constantly worried about being fired. During his last year in WWE he began to feel like he had finally become a commodity to the company and his fear of being fired subsided.
He admits that he had a hard time understanding wrestling psychology during his early years in the business. After realizing his shortcomings in this area he became determined to learn, and from that point on all he cared about was having good matches and giving fans their money’s worth.
Batista informs that during his last run in WWE, they let him have a lot more creative control than in his early years in the company. He remembers cutting one promo that he thought was amazing, and when he went backstage Pat Patterson told him it was great. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon completely disagreed, calling it the worst promo he’d ever heard.
Batista mentions that he’s always loved bumping for people, and Edge says that’s rare for a big man. Batista’s always worked hard at making sure he makes his opponents look good in the ring, and that’s why it really bothered him when fans started chanting, “You can’t wrestle” during his most recent run.
He continues by saying that during his last run, he felt like the audience was cheating themselves out of the entertainment in front of them by worrying about things that weren’t there. They were chanting for Daniel Bryan who was hurt, or CM Punk who had flat-out left the company, instead of enjoying the action in front of them. In Batista’s opinion, the fans just felt unfocused and it confused him.
Batista adds that he always liked CM Punk and he thinks highly of him, so he doesn’t want people to think he’s taking a shot at Punk. On the other hand, he admits that he wasn’t happy with how Punk left the company.
Overall, he simply wishes that his last run didn’t happen at all because it was bad all around. He specifically wishes that he would have put more effort into being in better shape for the return, because when he sees pictures of himself at that time it upsets him. He knows that fans expected a certain look from him and he didn’t deliver that.
Speaking about his transition into acting, Batista says he always wanted to be an actor in good films. He actually passed up leading roles in straight-to-dvd films early on, even though he needed the money. He took that advice from Steve Austin, who told him to avoid those movies because he could quickly get caught in a rut doing that.
Batista thinks WWE’s current product simply isn’t as good today as it was in years prior. He points out that the top guys were rock stars back in the day, and that’s not the case today at all. He doesn’t put all of the blame on the performers, pointing out that WWE’s “cookie cutter wrestler factory” doesn’t do anything to inspire creativity or originality in performers.
He also thinks that people are afraid to step on toes in WWE nowadays, out of fear that they’d lose their job. He can’t blame people for thinking this way, especially after the “ridiculous” firing of Fit Finlay last year, which he had a big problem with.
Batista informs that he’d certainly entertain a return to WWE. He says there’s no better feeling in the world than performing for the WWE Universe, but he doesn’t want to be arguing with McMahon about creative decisions every week. For this reason, if he were to return to WWE it would have to be under certain conditions.
That sums up this week’s episode of E&C’s Pod of Awesomeness. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!