Former WWE Superstar Dave "Batista" Bautista was a guest on The Chad Dukes Wrestling Show this week and let out a zinger of a quote in regards to Mr. John Cena.
"... the hardcore fans can't stand him. He is Mr. Hokey, Mr. PG ... to me, he killed hardcore, edgy wrestling."
Wow. That's quite a burden to bear for the "Doctor of Thuganomics." John Cena is solely responsible for the death of hardcore and edgy wrestling?
What a crock.
You can accuse Cena of a lot of things -- being stale, phoning in promos, inconsistency in the ring -- but the former Evolution member is way off base with this one. Batista is obviously a fan of the WWE's Attitude Era where bosses got flipped off, T&A was flaunted, and wrestlers were having sex with dead women. He fancies himself an extension of that sort product but the fact of the matter is, he was never that far from tame.
I'm not exactly sure what "The Demon" even means by "hardcore, edgy wrestling" but anything resembling that hasn't been a huge staple in the WWE since before Cena was a main event star. Fans didn't start to gravitate towards Cena which forced the WWE to completely reevaluate their product, it was the other way around. The WWE's output changed and Cena was pushed as a result.
I guess Batista considers his run in the company as edgy since he has tattoos and would lay people out like a billy bad ass while having a smile on his face? I just don't get it. That's not edgy, there have always been guys like that. The Four Horsemen built their entire legacy on doing that exact same thing.
Batista's biggest and best storyline -- his star-making series of matches with Triple H -- was about as conservative as you can get with wrestling booking. Young up and comer in the shadow of his elder finally breaks free and becomes his own man, usurping the throne. It's tried and true. It was extremely well done but edgy it is not.
Writing about professional wrestling can be difficult sometimes. When someone like Batista says this, you absolutely always have to take it with a grain of salt. For all I know, he's a catering demand away from inking a new contract with Vince McMahon and this will be used to rev up another feud with Cena.
But in a business where wrestlers make money off people who buy into the entire spectacle -- marks they're called -- sometimes the biggest marks are the wrestlers themselves.