Recently on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness, six-time world champion Batista joined the program. Among many other things, Batista talked about reaching out to WWE brass after wrapping Guardians Of The Galaxy. Batista claimed that the WWE product is not as good as it was in the past. Also, Batista talked about a possible return to WWE.
According to Batista, he reached out to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE Superstar/Executive Triple H about a return after filming for Guardians Of The Galaxy wrapped because he felt like he accomplished what he set out to do in Hollywood and could go back to WWE without feeling like a failure.
"After I had finished filming that," Batista recalled, "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."
In Batista's opinion, the WWE product is not 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."
Batista continued, "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'tů 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."
Additionally, Batista averred that talent are less likely to take chances to stand out because they are far more replaceable and when talent do not stand out, they do not get over. 'The Animal' went on to call The WWE Performance Center a "wrestler factory", producing generic characters.
"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."
Batista shared that does not understand why more is not done with standout performers like Bray Wyatt.
"There are a few guys that are and they easily stand out. Some of the guys that stand out and I feel that they should do a lot more with. I feel like they're for some reason holding them back. Like Bray Wyatt. There are a lot of things with the direction of Bray Wyatt that I just didn't get why they were doing certain things with him because that dude, I think he's money, man. I think he's money all day long."
Another point of contention for Batista with respect to WWE is that The Shield was broken up immediately after Evolution put them over. In Batista's view, a lot of money was left on the table by splitting up the trio prior to a major babyface run.
"I was really enjoying putting The Shield over. That was the thing, my last run, I was really just loving putting these guys over and just building them, building them, and when I left I really felt like I had accomplished something and I really felt great about what we did. And as soon as I left, they broke these guys up. I didn't get it, man. And I just didn't get it, man! They should have milked that thing for all it was worth."
In addition to talent, some writers and producers are scared to lose their jobs at Titan Tower, in Batista's estimation.
"I think there's a big writers room of writers afraid to step on people's toes as well." Batista explained, "they're afraid to piss anybody off. And even a few producers, they just don't want to step out of line and possibly lose their job."
On possibly returning to WWE, Batista said performing for the WWE Universe is "an incredible feeling" that he truly misses.
"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." Batista added, "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."
Apparently, Batista would like to go back to WWE for one last run before he is too old, but certain conditions must be met.
"Before I'm too old, yeah, I would, I would like to go back," Batista confirmed. "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."
Don't be a big, fat failure turtle - check out the podcast here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness