Over at Fight Opinion, Zach Arnold has posted a transcript of Dave Meltzer's account of his conversation with Dave Batista at the Strike Force E3 show.
DAVE MELTZER: At the show tonight, I talked to Dave Batista and I… you know… he said that, you know, the reason he left (WWE) was because he was sick and tired of the direction of WWE. He said it was not the wrestling that he grew up liking. He was not enjoying wrestling and he just felt he needed to get out. He didn’t, um… he said that the wrestling of Steve Austin and The Rock and all that stuff that he really liked doesn’t exist there any more and he just felt that he needed to leave.
I was surprised. I thought that you know he was going to say that "I wanted to be an actor" and it wasn’t that. He said he wanted to go out. I asked him if he was interested in coming back like (Chris) Jericho did and his reaction was, "just don’t compare me to Jericho." And he didn’t give like he didn’t rule out coming back, but he sure didn’t act like he wanted to and I asked him like what he’s doing and he said ‘I’m unemployed and I’m working for work, that’s why I’m here in Los Angeles.’ So, he’s an unemployed wrestler looking for, him and Scott Hall. Looking for work, obviously looking for acting work and looking for, I mean, he talked to Scott Coker, you know, you can make of that what you will. You know I mean he was talking to Scott Coker and Scott came up to me and just goes, he goes, ‘you know we haven’t signed a deal yet, so don’t start saying that we have.’ So, um, I mean, I can’t imagine him doing MMA. The idea of it is… is ridiculous.
Nevertheless, he was talking to people you know like he was intrigued and interested in doing it. I mean it was funny, he’s like, he said that he’s been a fan of MMA for 25 years, which is… amazing. You know, think about it. Since it didn’t exist in this country 25 years ago… …you know people were asking him MMA questions. He clearly is a big fan, you know a lot more than some people in wrestling who you know their fans, he’s at a different level, I mean when he was talking about his favorite fighters I mean he mentioned you know Jake Shields, Gilbert Melendez, and Nick Diaz, which is not exactly you know that means he’s more of a fan than many.
And you know people were asking him about you know, it was funny, they’re going you know like you know comparing and coming from and it’s so you know he was just like you know what I did in pro-wrestling has nothing to do with MMA. It was entertainment, this was sport, and he’s just putting over the MMA guys and you know not… I don’t know, I mean he was… he was more negative on pro-wrestling than I expected him to be, put it that way. A lot more, almost stunningly you know as far as I just wanted to get out there type of thing. Man, you know, I mean, my advice to him is he’s… he’s 41 years old or older and he was making you know $2 million a year or more in WWE and I would not give up these later prime years if that’s what they are you know because he ain’t going to be an MMA fighter and… you know, if he’s going to be an actor, he’s not going to be, you know what I mean? 15 years from now he may want those $4 million dollars from the next two years if he gives up these two years and then tries to go back in his mid-40s, but anyway that’s his thing.
He’s also a lot smaller than he was as a pro-wrestler and he is training at the Affliction gym and you know he’s lost a lot of weight. I don’t know… I mean, you know obviously he’s a still good-sized guy but nothing, nothing close to the size that he used to be.
BRYAN ALVAREZ: Meaning 220 pounds?
DAVE MELTZER: I would think he’s bigger than 220, but I don’t think he’s 260. You know, he’s, you know, if I’m going to guess a weight, 255? I mean he was… you know, I would say every bit of 280, 285 when he was in wrestling and obviously he’d been you know way over you know way over 300 you know years back when he was a lot bigger.
I'd really love to know what Batista was watching starting in the mid '80s that he thought was MMA. The "mixed matches" from New Japan Pro Wrestling with Antonio Inoki and others vs various martial artists (of which only Inoki vs Muhammad Ali was a shoot)? Is he a closet UWF fan who thinks that Akira Maeda, Nobuhiko Takada, et al were all shooting back then? Did he comb over the planet for vale tudo tapes? Did he travel to Pittsburgh for that style vs style toughman thing hyped now as the "Godfather of MMA"? Did he really badly misunderstand kickboxing ("...sport of the future...") while watching ESPN and/or get thrown for a loop when he saw Maurice Smith doing MMA?