As Sergio noted not long ago, Dave Batista is no fan of the WWE's PG Era. He blames John Cena, of all people, for killing hardcore, edgy wrestling and says the current product is far too watered down for his tastes.
He's pushing that same line in a recent interview with the Daily Star:
"It's brutal. I can't watch it. I can't connect with it. I no longer know this business. I don't do PG wrestling."
There is no worse meme in pro wrestling than that of smarks, marks and even the wrestlers themselves blaming the PG rating for the bland nature of TV shows. It's a crutch more than a legitimate complaint. No amount of edgy booking can cover up a near complete lack of charisma. Funny how it's guys like that who do the loudest complaining, though Batista was really coming into his own just before leaving the business last year.
In his zest to slam WWE, "The Animal" touched on an issue the company will always have with one of its top stars, The Miz:
"Love me or hate me, when I was there everyone took one look at me and knew I could beat someone up. I don't think they look at Miz that way. It's sad. It's not their fault. These days the guys have their hands tied, they are so limited in what they can do. The difference is that guys like Rock, Austin, Triple H, excuse me, but they had to have the living sh*t beat out of them to get where they are. They went through war and the audience knows it and the audience appreciates it. The guys today will never get to that level. It's sad, but that's the reason for it."
Miz has never quite looked the part of someone who should be taken seriously as a threat because it's simply impossible to ignore the reality of the situation.
He's not intimidating ... at all. He's the opposite, in fact.
Batista, whenever he walked into a room or stepped inside the ring, commanded respect. Not because we were told he should but because he naturally exuded the quality necessary to make me believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that he could kick my ass -- or anyone else's ass -- if that's what it came down to.
And in pro wrestling, that's all it comes down to.
The Miz can try his little heart out but his meanest face and most intimidating stare is still the duck face that is far more likely to induce laughter than fear. PG or not, Miz is never going to come off credible as a threat because he simply doesn't have the talent to make up for his lack of size, a la Shawn Michaels.
Nonetheless, Miz's current character is that of an unstoppable heel who takes guys out and "makes an impact" while doing his best to look like a complete badass. But all it does is magnify the gap between himself and someone like Batista.
And it's pretty wide.
None of that can be blamed on PG, of course, but Batista makes a valid point. He says he has no plans to make a return anytime soon, despite his mixed martial arts aspirations crashing and burning with the Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce and a lack of interest from even smaller promotions. Surely we'll see him back again one day but apparently that won't happen as long as the product is PG.