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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Unique Tale Of The Generic Dave Batista
July 28, 2006 by Matt Cooper


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The story of Dave Batista's wrestling career is an interesting one.

Batista began wrestling in general slightly after his mid 30's. He didn't come to WWE until his late 30's. He won the World Heavyweight Championship when he was about 40. As if that right there isn't weird enough, there's more...

Like mentioned, Batista is, by all accounts, a fairly generic big man. His style and gimmick best fits that of a badass tough (gimmick) mid-carder or a bodyguard. Naturally, this is where Batista was when he debuted in WWE alongside Reverend D-Von and again during Evolution.

Like many before him, alongside him, and after him, Batista found himself in the average big man niche. Most rightfully thought that he would stay here as usually generic or relatively generic big men usually do. If you look at most of the successful big man wrestlers, they have a unique gimmick and/or move-set that sets them aside from the rest. Kane and Undertaker are monsters. Big Show is a hulking giant. Lesnar had a generic gimmick, but was quite the agile and technical wrestler, Kevin Nash had a good amount of charisma. Yokozuna was a giant sumo wrestler. Kamala was a creature from the jungle rather than a man. The list goes on and on, and yes, there are some exceptions. No one, however, expected Batista to be one of these exceptions...

No one really expected a near 40-year-old generic big man bodyguard to win the World Heavyweight Championship. But he proved them all wrong on the night of WrestleMania 21, defeating Triple H to hold the World Heavyweight Championship.

Although in the weeks preceding, this event was quite predictable, when compared to Batista's talent level, it was quite the surprise...Batista had a pretty small move-set. Although he started talking on the mic, he didn't have too much charisma and wasn't super comfortable. He was, and still is, rather plain if you ask me. Gimmick-wise, Batista was basically in the same spot. Only rather than being a bodyguard, his gimmick basically became that of a big man whose potential was unleashed upon WWE. This was fairly similar to his OVW days minus the demonic factor.

With that said, people got confused when John Cena was boring in the fans eyes and Batista wasn't. Although Cena wasn't very gifted in the ring himself, he certainly had Batista beat. And unquestionably he had Batista beat in the gimmick and mic skills department. And there was generic old Batista who still had the fans in the palm of his hand. Talent-wise, it's very weird. But considering the fact that Cena is much more in the fans' faces and was treated like Superman, it's fairly obvious why the fans preferred the more subtle, act-like-yourself Batista.

Where Batista will go from here, who knows" He is getting up there in age, but he's still in great shape. And still just as over with the fans as he was before he left.

But the story of Batista does not end here. And that in itself is enough to surprise anyone...

by Matt Cooper..


Johnny wrote:
Batista is a great superstar. Actually, I think he might be a better version of a "Superstar" than Hulk Hogan. Just picture Batista coming through the 80's. He is perfect as himself, and he would be the most dominant WWE Champion. Great Column
Brandon Buckner wrote:
After reading the intelligent article by Matt Cooper three names automatically came to mind. Lex Luger, Scott Stenier, and Rick Rude, three of the most used "big" men in modern wrestling. All three men were pioneers for the likes of Dave Batista, muscles upon top of muscles wrestlers who were used for the most part as a heel to put over the face. Batista is different in the fact the fans put him over huge when he was in Evolution, without saying anything, he was being cheered for the simple fact he was in HHH's shadow. Now it seems Batista is in fact a heel being cheered until the heel turn comes. The romance with Batista is now gone, he is no longer in Evolution, and the new has wore off, so now the obvious facts are there, a "big" man with mediocre mic skills means only one thing, heel all the way. Thanks, Brandon Buckner]
Kilo charlie wrote:
Batista. What can you say about this guy" Great physique, powerhouse, and the ladies seem to like him. Can he be compared to Hogan" No way! Hogan had ten times the charisma of Batista. Lesnar" Nope, Brock was scary athletic for his size. Luger, Steiner and Nash" That's a much better comparison. I actually enjoy watching him take a beating more than I enjoy him winning. Why" Because for a big man he sells fairly well. He'll definitely get the title back because he has that heavyweight champion look to him, and he's definitely over with the fans (one of the best entrances out there). How long will he last" Who knows age doesn't seem to be a factor these days, look at Shawn Michaels. He does seem to be injury prone, but let's hope he goes heel and/ or gets a stable behind him.
Marc Mattaliano wrote:
I've been seeing a lot of articles on this site bashing Batista, and I won't say all them are completely unwarranted. I agree with much of what's being said here. Brandon, you actually brought up a good point about Batista leaving Evolution, which is a pretty good point about when some heels turn face in general. Maybe the romance is gone for him and his time as a good guy is over, but I think he may have a lot of potential.

One of the reasons I started liking Batista in the first place was that while he was still with Evolution, Hunter would make it out like Batista was just a big dumb enforcer who should know his place and do what he was told. But every so often, Dave would listen in on a conversation, he would pander Hunter and butter him up and worked over Hunter's ego so he thought Batista was on his side when we all knew he was just biding his time before he pounced on the champion and took his title. That took a little skill and pinache. You can't just pull the wool over the Cerebral Assassin's eyes just like that. Think about how many people can actually say they've tricked Hunter in some way, Batista ends up on that list, and that's a pretty good accolade. Also, think about when Dave was solo after winning the title, people tried to get on his good side but failed. Remember when he was Eddie Guerrero's "friend"" Sure, it was cool for a while, but Eddie tried to use Batista for his own purposes, and once Batista got wind of this, he started playing little tricks on Eddie to mess with his head. Remember when Eddie was "injured," and Dave got that special doctor to look at Guerrero's leg, and Eddie ended up getting a little more than an examination" All these things started showing me that there was more going on in Batista's head than we all thought, and I really liked that. I like big guy wrestlers that have some brains. That's why Triple H has always been one of my favorites. He's huge and he can go with the best of the best, but he also has some smarts to balance it out. I can get behind a big guy who just dominates people, but like you guys, even I'll admit that can be a bit boring, especially when those big dominators start losing. Then, not only are they devoid of a compelling personality, but their ability to dominate is also being held in check, making them ultimately worthless. A big huge dominator is just fine in my book, but if they can't do the one thing they're good at, then forget it.

So I think as long as Batista gets his groove back....in other words, he starts winning matches with some brains as well as brawn (like I know he can do), he regains that little bit of cockiness and confidence to balance out the business end of his power, and he keeps his "Animal" instincts for getting psyched about a match as opposed to being 100% animal in the ring and just being pure adrenaline and getting wildly outsmarted as a result, then his mic skills might get a bit better, his personality and intelligence might show through a little more, we can get a better handle on Dave's motivation, and we all might be able to enjoy Batista once again -- But, at least for the time being, people, I feel your pain.
Tristan Warneke wrote:
Dave Batista is truly my favourite WWE wrestler.why you ask, wellk some people will say this is because i am only 14, that is a good point and true, others may say that i am stupid, and have not been watching wrestling long enough to truly know batista, that part is debateable. i started watching around, this time last year, so not long at all. my very first match i ever saw batista in was a six man tag match. i instantly saw my (now) great favourites, rey mysterio, eddie gurrero, JBL and most importantly, (at that time) the world heavyweight champion.have any of you out there noticed that his matches do not go on for THAT long. the WWE is perserving him, doing the right thing. Because with powerhouses we are likley to get bored of them if thier matches go on for too long. Take Lashley for example. But Latley i have been sittingg through basicly every single match, even the crappy ones to see Batista, and the match is not very long but i feel satisfied. a feud between Batista and Kennedy is gonna be great and hopefully it will be a best out of 7 matchup for the number one contender spot. i also think a great match would have been Batista vs Kurt Angle, but i doubt that will happen, also Batista vs Undertaker would be a good match as well, but alas, i do not see this happening, so although i agree with this article, i do not think there is much for Batista to do right now, but once he wins his title a world of oppertunities will arise.
Matthew Ritchie wrote:
Dude i'm not sure I liked your column. I mean I dont mean to be harsh but I dont like your writing style or the way you structure your column I was expecting to see this depth look into batista's wrestling career however I found myself struggling to read controversial views that YOU made. Anywho I agreed and disagreed with your column. You said that he it was a surprise and I fully agree and did not expect him to get this far in the business. Also, John Cena in my opinon is a great competitor and probably beats Batista as far as talent potential goes. However I have to disagree with the fact you say he has very little mic. skills the dude made thousands cry when he gave his surrending the title speech. You also stated on the fact that you think he got saddled with the big man gimmick. His Gimmick took a new side to it just before he left evolution and he started coming out of his shell. This dude says to me when i see his intro and what he says that he is fighting for the power of good and he don't give a damn who gets in his way.
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