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PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: E&C Pod of Awesomeness with Batista on the original awful idea for his character, how the release of a wrestler really bothered him, the reaction to his 2014 return, problems with today’s product, will he ever come back to WWE?

Daniel Bryan interview

Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap

By: Jeff Indelicato

Release Date: January 19, 2018

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)

  • Batista’s initial reaction to Vince’s suggestion that his character should be a foster child was that it was awful.
  • He was always fearful that he was going to lose his job up until his last year with the company.
  • He was unsatisfied with his return in 2014, and was frustrated with not only the company, but the fans as well.
  • He would be open to returning, but only under the right circumstances.

“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”

00:00: Show Introduction
21:20: Sponsored Ad
22:20: Interview with Dave Batista
49:00: Return in 2014
56:00: Acting Career
1:29:00: Would he return to WWE?
1:23:00: Wrap Up & Close

“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)

Opening Intros 00:00-21:20

The boys open up with their usual banter. Edge talks about Beth (Phoenix), and her recent experience providing commentary for the Mixed Match Challenge. Apparently, she had quite the travel woes on her way down to the show. They then discuss how difficult commentary can be, and how it’s a thin line trying to tell a story while not taking away what’s happening in the ring. In addition, concentration is key as there is someone in your ear during the show as well.

Speaking of traveling issues, Christian has a funny story from around 2011. He had received his booking sheet, which listed future traveling dates, cities, etc. One of those was for a house show in Springfield, MO. On the day of the show, he flew in to St. Louis, drove to Springfield, checked in to his hotel, and headed to the arena. When he arrived, he couldn’t find any WWE trucks, or how to get in.

After talking with the boys, he discovered that he had an old booking sheet, and that the show was moved to Cape Girardeau, which is a few hours in the other direction! He then sped and sped trying to make the show, as he was in the main event with Randy Orton, who had called Christian, laughing at the situation. Christian even had to stop off at a gas station to change into his gear. Long story short, he finally made it just after the bell had rang for the final match, as Cody Rhodes replaced Christian. To make it up for the crowd, Captain Charisma came out afterwards and did something with Orton and sent them home happy. He then apologized to everyone in the back, and drove all the way back to his hote..in Springfield.

Ad for Origins Podcast 21:20 – 22:20

Interview with Batista 22:20 – 1:23:00

Christian is in person at Batista’s house, who is wearing Chewbacca Crocs. To kick the interview off, they play the Ballad of Little Dave Batista, sung by Brian Gewirtz, and recapped on a previous episode. Long story short, Vince McMahon had wanted the wrestlers to have more personal stories/backgrounds, and had come up with the idea that Batista should be a foster child who was angry at the world for his situation. Batista’s initial reaction? That it was awful, and that his Mom was going to hate it, since she was his biggest fan. Thankfully, the story didn’t go anywhere.

Batisita never imagined that his life would pan out the way it has, and up until his last full year with the company, was always afraid that his was going to get fired.  

Christian tells the listeners that Dave always stayed true to who he was, and while he may have spoken his mind, it was never from a selfish place. Batista adds that he wasn’t obsessed with the spotlight, but was with the psychology of wrestling. They talk about how it’s not an easy thing to do, but that he had mastered it by the time he was ready to walk away in 2010. Dave says that by that point, the company had put more faith in him, but that you’d never know sometimes if the work was good or not. He references a promo he did the week before WrestleMania 26 where Pat Patterson came up to him and loved it. Then he saw Vince, who thought it was one of the worst promos he’d ever heard. Edge laughs and remembers a similar experience where Vince gave him grief over a promo, and yet, fans still quote it to him today.  

Edge loved wrestling Dave, and talks about what a giving person he is. Batista replies that he loved taking bumps and selling, and didn’t just want to be the big guy who beat up others. Edge loved that, and that’s why he’d get irritated at the fans who chanted “You Can’t Wrestle” at the Animal. Christian agrees, and thinks that those fans just saw the size, and didn’t look past the surface. Edge takes it one step further by saying that Batista is one of the most underappreciated talents. This leads to his next topic that he wants to discuss: Batista’s return in 2014.

For Edge, the fan reaction to Batista’s return (specifically the Royal Rumble) really irritated him, because he knows the kind of person that Dave is, and that he came back because he loves wrestling, nothing more. For Dave, it was an uphill battle from the beginning. What really frustrated him was the crowd reaction, as he felt they didn’t get it, and lost sight of what was in front of them, which was all the great wrestlers/wrestling that was happening throughout the shows. He felt that they were the most unfocused group of fans he’d ever encountered, and didn’t understand why they were paying for a show that they essentially weren’t watching. It also bugged him that these fans didn’t know what was going on backstage or why he left the first time around, yet they believed he was holding back other stars, like Daniel Bryan and CM Punk.

Edge also didn’t understand it, and notes that here was a guy that wanted to come back, not for the glory, but because he loves it, and yet, the fans were chanting for a guy that walked out. Batista agrees, and states that he loves Punk, but wasn’t crazy about the way he left. It’s not a knock on him personally, but just a difference of opinion. We’ve been hearing this back and forth for four years now, so here’s my quick two cents. There were times when the fans were over the top with their negative reaction; however, the WWE has been quoted a number of times that they listen to what the fans want. It was clear as day that the fans wanted Daniel Bryan & CM Punk to be the focus of the company and in the main events. Batista comes back, wins a Royal Rumble that Daniel Bryan wasn’t even in, and that leads to fans rejecting the system, which Big Dave just so happened to be a part of. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Overall, Batista was just unhappy with that return, and remembers arguing with Vince and the writers about the storylines and segments. His one regret was that he wished he was in better shape for that return. Edge laughs and says if he looked like Dave from 2014, he’d be a very happy man.

We then move on to his successful transition into acting. When his contract was up in 2010, Dave had a long talk with Vince, and didn’t feel it was fair that he wasn’t getting to pursue opportunities outside the company. So, he made the decision to walk away with the goal to be an actor. Dave elaborates that there is a difference between being an actor and a movie star, and he only wants to be an actor.

After doing a few straight to DVD films, he had a conversation with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who advised him to consider his future choices. Per the Rattlesnake, “If you keep taking those roles, you’re gonna get stuck in that rut.” Dave followed that advisement and after sticking it out, finally received the opportunity to audition for Guardians of the Galaxy, which was a rough casting process.

It turned out that his agent had to lobby hard for him just to get the audition. He remembers being terrified, but after doing it, received a call to stay and read for the director (James Gunn). James was very energetic, made him feel comfortable, and liked him for the part, but the process continued as Dave had to go on 3 or 4 more auditions, followed by screen tests. Months later, Batista finally got the call that he was Drax.

Of course, more pressure would follow as the media began speculating that the movie could be Marvel’s first flop; however, as history showed, it was one of their biggest hits. He really enjoyed making the movie, and felt it was something special.

For Dave, wrestling helped make him into the actor that he is, because it is essentially performance theater. It really irritates him when people don’t see that or appreciate it. Edge asks him if, due to his and The Rock’s success, if that perception is getting any better. Dave is split on that because, in his opinion, the product is not as good as it used to be. When he was a wrestler, and even before then, the wrestlers were rock stars who had an edge to them. They were interesting and different, who were willing to take risks with creativity. With that said, he believes that it’s not necessarily the wrestlers fault, as their hands are tied, and they feel that they are easily replaceable, citing NXT as a factory. He doesn’t want to be disrespectful, but he feels that most of the stars are cookie cutter, and too similar.

In addition, he doesn’t understand the way of thinking with regards to booking, using Bray Wyatt as an example. He feels that Bray is money, and doesn’t like the way the character has been booked. He also talks about his return in 2014, and how he worked to put the Shield over, only for them to break up the day he left. He also held resentment over the way a guy like Fit Finlay, who’s a great guy, was released back in 2011. Yes, Finlay is now back with the company, but the circumstances of his original release really bothered Dave.

With all of that said, would Batista be interested in returning to the WWE? Yes. While he may have had a lot of creative frustrations in 2014, he misses it. He also feels that the crowd has matured a bit, and seem to be appreciating wrestling more. With all of that said, the return would have to be under certain conditions, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Wrap Up & Close 1:31:00-1:39:00

The boys thank their guest again for joining them, and talk about how great of a person he is. It turns out that they didn’t even realize it was his birthday during the interview.

On a closing note, Christian had to put his cat Felix down. He was loved, and a member of the family, and this episode is dedicated to him.

You can follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at ecpodofawesomeness@gmail.com, and call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.

Jeff’s Take:  7 Kazoos out of 10

This was a good episode, but there were issues as well. I appreciated them getting Batista for the interview, and it was good to hear his honest feelings and responses. With that said, it became very repetitive going back and forth between how great Dave is, to negative feelings about the 2014 return. As noted above, I get the frustrations, and some are justified, but I feel the bigger picture and fan’s side are overlooked in this case. It also didn’t really cover much of Dave’s career, so I’d like to hear more about that, and see that revisited in a future interview. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at indelpw@gmail.com. See you next week!

About the Author

Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.

 

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