Batista Looks Back At His WrestleMania 23 Showdown With The Undertaker
Former WWE Superstar Dave Bautista recently appeared as a guest on Jim Ross’ weekly podcast, The Ross Report, for an in-depth interview. Below are some of the highlights.
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On learning the ropes in the pro wrestling business: “There [were] a few people that believed in me and there [were] a few people that just didn’t know what the hell to make of me. And sometimes, I didn’t know what the hell to make of myself. I tell people I got into [pro] wrestling for all the wrong reasons. I was desperate, man. I was going on 30 [years old] and I didn’t have a dime to my name and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I was somewhat of an athlete and I had somewhat of a look. I had some athletic capability, so I gave it a shot. And then, once I did, I just fell in love with it. I was obsessed with it, but often times, I found myself lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself, who to be. It was a big puzzle I was trying to figure out.
“Even when I moved up in WWE, I wasn’t ready. It took me a long time to figure out things. I just kind of… I just kept putting my best foot forward and kind of tried to show people I was working hard and that I really wanted it, but I was still trying to figure out that puzzle of being very much an introvert and it wasn’t easy. A lot of times, people took me the wrong way, so, no, it definitely wasn’t easy and I have to be the first to say I wasn’t ready.”
On feeling like he finally came into his own during his WrestleMania 23 match with The Undertaker: “It was weird because by the time I came in for my first run with Take, going into WrestleMania 23, I believe it was, I was really starting to come into my own. And I think that match we had at WrestleMania was when I actually felt like I had really come into my own and I could really carry my own weight. I didn’t feel like people were carrying me through matches anymore or building me. It was actually that time that I could start to build other guys. That was that time when I felt like the company’s investment in me had paid off, that I was really going to start making some money for them, serious money for them.”
On feeling like his WM23 match with Undertaker should have closed the show: “I was really upset that we weren’t the main event. I just felt like we should have been. We deserved to be. We set some milestones with that and I know with the exchange of title and everything, it was just more significant of a match. And I also just felt like Take deserved that to be the main event and should’ve gone on last. So I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. It was [John] Cena/ Shawn [Michaels], I believe. And I just didn’t.. I felt like we got robbed of that top spot and we should’ve had it. And I felt like our match speaks for itself. I think we had the match of the night. And I just felt like Taker should have been the last thing that people saw that night, so I had a chip on my shoulder and I was a little bent out of shape that we didn’t.
“It was just a special night. It was the first time [Undertaker] held that particular title. And I still feel like we should’ve [closed the show]. Again, I say our match speaks for itself. I believe personally that we stole the show that night. I’ll just kind of leave it at that.”
Check out the complete episode of The Ross Report featuring the Dave Bautista interview at PodcastOne.com.