Batista - edging towards an eventual WWE comeback, despite opening a new MMA gym and still being down on their PG product. (Wikimedia Commons)
I would like to put over Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez of f4wonline.com for their very newsworthy eighty minute subscribers only interview with Dave Batista covering the whole of his WWE career and his recent forays into acting and mixed martial arts. It's the most in depth shoot interview Batista has ever given and certainly worth checking out if you subscribe to their website. To whet your appetite, here are some paraphrases from the interview about how his deal with Strikeforce fell through, how he felt upon hearing the news that Strikeforce had been sold to UFC, how his new Gracie Fighter Gym came about and how he wants to retire in WWE despite still being down on their current PG direction:
No, originally it kind of fell apart because they couldn't figure out what they wanted to do. Originally they wanted to do a CBS fight with me, then a Showtime fight, then possibly a PPV fight. Something happened, because originally they wanted to lead up to me and Bobby Lashley in a fight.... One the movie got pushed back, so I needed eight to ten weeks to train for a fight and it just didn't work because of the movie schedule. And then Bobby had lost, so they lost their interest in that fight. Then they were going to pair me up with a guy named Mariusz Pudzianowski and it was one thing after another. First we couldn't agree on what we were going to do with pay and pay per view points and this and that, we could never agree on anything. And then of course just recently we just went back and started talking about it again, we had another contract on the table ready to be signed. We just were trying to work out, because they wanted me now to go directly into a PPV, and we couldn't come to an agreement on the points, because my manager Cesar Gracie he thought they were low balling me on the PPV points. So this lasted about a week and a half before they sold out to UFC and then everything just kind of went in the toilet.
It totally blindsided me, nobody, not one person said anything to me, which kind of sucked. I really felt kind of duped by Scott Coker, because he told me himself out of his mouth that he really wanted to do this fight and it really just kind of broke my heart, because I really had my heart set on it.
The way it happened was I wanted to do it for awhile because you know it was really hard for me to go out and train on Pleasant Hill and train, but I really wanted to train with Cesar.... It was just too hard to travel back and forth, so my trainer ... he said that he would be willing to move here, so I found this great place for a steal and I said man I'll open up a gym and it'll be a lot better if I can train here.... But it just kind of fell into place, it wasn't anything that I planned to do, but kind of one thing led to another and so we did it. Actually originally I wasn't even going to open up to the public, I was going to keep it private, but I figured it would be great if I could open this great training facility and have people come in, people who, like myself, really want to learn martial arts and train and work hard and love MMA and love jiu jitsu, so that's why we decided to open it to the public.
I'd love to, not really have a full blown run in wrestling, but I would like to go back and do something with the company. Yeah, I really deep down am a WWE guy. I'd like to go back and actually officially retire, so I'd like to have that run. I definitely don't want to be a full time actor. That's just you know I don't think I'm ever going to be qualified to be a full time actor. But yeah I'd love to continue my training and achieve a black belt under Cesar Gracie, you know if I can make that happen I will, it's definitely one of my goals. It may take a good ten years