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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Has Batista Bombed"
September 21, 2005 by Mike Bradbury


"Never lock an animal in a cage!" cried Batista prior to his Hell In A Cell match at Vengeance. Well, if the animal is 'Dave Batista' then locking him in a cage with anyone other that HHH should be out of the question, especially following his lackluster performances at The Great America Bash and SummerSlam. Even putting him in a ring at all should be seriously reconsidered. Are the WWE so bereft of ideas that giving this guy an extended run with the title is the best option they've got" It makes JBL's run seem positively awe inspiring. I don't blame Batista too much, but a man's got to know his limitations. Clearly he, or more likely the booking team, don't.

The biggest problem is that the guy is not championship or headlining material. His mic work is poor, his work rate is low, and his character is, well , characterless. Batista is a big guy who executes those big power moves that the WWE is so fond of, with near flawless execution. His role as Evolution's enforcer was perfect for him - he kept his mouth shut and made a big impact in a short space of time by disposing of Triple H's enemy's with minimum fuss and painful results. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Giving a guy like that a proper feud with extended promos, and worse, extended matches, is like throwing water on a fire.

Given the soap opera approach the WWE takes, the most important aspect on any storyline is strong characters. Now, I'm not saying we need a convoluted back story or a War & Peace size plot for their motivation, but we need a character. What's Eddie Guerrero all about" Describe John Cena's personality to me. What's gets JBL fired up to get in the ring" You know the answers, so do all WWE fans, even casual ones, because they all have well defined personalities (too often bordering on parody, or worse, racial stereotypical, but that's a whole other issue). Now tell me about Batista. Is he a heel" Given his opponents, and his turn on the biggest heel around, HHH, logic would say not. Is he a face" Well, given his opponents the conclusion would be yes, but his feuds never involve any kind of moral high ground that usually accompanies a face run, he no longer seems to pick up clean wins, and he now seems to prefer beating the hell out of an opponent with a chair in some kind of animal rage, not the most face of activities. So is he a tweener" The introduction and push of tweeners saw the WWE through the Attitude era and beyond, the most obvious example is Stone Cold, but these guys are less "in-between" than heels that the crowd love. Taker had it for years. But what's to love about Batista, why cheer for him regardless of the morality of his actions" We've got Christian for that! All we really know about Batista is he's "an animal" (although he talks about being an animal more than he acts like one), and he usually wears a suit. And sunglasses. At the same time. That's pretty much it.

But hold on, all hope is not lost! He doesn't need to take on some kind of gimmick or undergo a personality transplant. As I said before, he was perfect in Evolution - now being that character may not be the best thing for his run with a belt, but you play with the cards you're dealt. Clearly what Batista is crying out for now is the big guy himself, yes, The Pain. Brock Lesnar. Two muscle bound monsters with not an ounce of personality between them. You don't need an angle for a feud like that, you don't need witty promos. You need two guys claiming to be the biggest, baddest lumps of rock to have ever set foot in the WWE, and then watch them beat the hell out of each other to prove it. It's solid gold. It'd be like Goldberg vs. Nash, but good!

What will actually happen with Batista's career next is not too clear though. Whilst I don't expect the WWE to run with my idea (are you reading Stephanie!"), they have apparently wised up to the fact that Triple H was carrying Batista through their entire feud and that without that talent he's just the latest in a long line of impressive bodybuilders who generate no interest from the wrestling fans. Batista's over at the moment, but that's WWE-created popularity (yes they do manage it sometimes!), but he doesn't have the talent to keep up steam. However, given the lack of anyone else to really challenge JBL on Smackdown!, Batista will have to keep the main event status for the foreseeable future. Whether he or the WWE can use that momentum to put some fresh ideas forward and create an interesting wrestler or angle remains to be seen, but public opinion and time seems to be against them.

by Mike Bradbury ..


Brandon Stevenson wrote:
I think the next step that the WWE SmackDown creative are coming up with Batista is putting him in a feud with Eddie Guerrero. I think this is a great idea,as I am loving Eddie's new, sick, and twisted side. He kind of reminds me of a Latino version of my idol Eddie Gilbert in that he will sucker anyone into his trap only to zing one in or zing one out. Batsiat knew what to expect from Triple H as he was his mentor and teacher for a long time and got to know his ins and outs. But Guerrero is a different breed of competitor. I think we will start to realize what kind of perverted mind games Eddie really can play in this next big SmackDown title feud. I would also love to see Lesnar vs Batista at Wrestlemania in Chi-Town next year (dont let WWE fool you, they got the Vanilla Gorilla reisgned and waiting for the cash cow to be deposited in the right way!) Well, those are just a couple of my thoughts...peace....
Jonathan Batista wrote:
I respect your thoughts, but I have to disagree. Character-less" His current role is that of a cool, calm, collected beast who may be powerful but is also intelligent and won't take any ****. Mic-less" Sigh. He is bad when trying to be intimidating(Like, gasp, Chris Benoit!), but when he's being cool and confident(Again, like Chris Benoit), he's GREAT. And I won't deny that he hasn't been anything great in his programs against JBL, but it's JBL. When he goes up against a REAL solid star like Eddie Guerrero, I'm sure his positive traits will shine through.
Huthaifa Abdulhafeez wrote:
You have hit on the head. Dave needs to fight monsters. He needs to be feuding with the Undertaker,Kane, The Big Show, and hopefully soon Brock Lesnar. If that doesnt work, he needs to be fighting stables. He needs opppsition, that test his power,that might be able to beat him fairly. That the only kind of champion, he can be. He has to be a face as well. He cant immediately go back to his old role as big man backup. The only "small" guys that could believably take him are Angle and Benoit.Smackdown is really built for Dave, and its sad that the powers that be, dont recognize that fact.
matt iluvchristian wrote:
hes just way to laid back.... yet he claims to be the animal, i just dont get it! TOO MUCH GRAY AREA! HE HAS NO REAL PERSONALITY!
Josh wrote:
The column about Batista was a joke. Mike Bradbury must not remember a muscle bound champion who critics said had no personality, Hulk Hogan. I'm not saying Batista is the next Hogan. But he definitely has it. You can't compare him to Brock, because Batista has the ability to entertain the crowd as a heel or a babyface. You will eventually eat your words Mike. This site is too good to have a stupid observation of a great champion and great power wrestler.
Aaron Tolles wrote:
I would half agree with Batista bombing.It hasn't been the greatest run thus far,but I don't blame Batista.I blame the writing staff and Vince for making these decisions.In the same right,I feel John Cena hasn't exactly torn things up with his title reign either.This has been a mistake Vince has made repeatedly.Brock Lesnar and Big Show are perfect examples...great look,great gimmick,horrible title run storylines.But in due time we will see a champ will peek our interest,just need to sit back and wait for this low period(that we see every 3 or 4 years) to end.
Antonio The Great Muscleman of New Havens wrote:
Batista may not have the mic work or the character development to make him out as something. But his presence itself as a 6'5" 317 pound man certainly still helps him out quite a bit. After all, didn't that work for Brock Lesnar" And when you think about that, it should tell you that he's probably gonna be around the WWE for some time.
K. Owens wrote:
That sounds like a good idea but remember Brock vs Goldberg worst match i can remember and its burned into my brain now first time i saw wrestlemania in a long time and i got a main event staring contest even goldberg's one burst or a attemp of a match soon faded and stone cold stunning them was the best part of it all point being you cant mask lack-luster people with muscles even if you throw in more muscles and batistas not to blame look at cena hogan Nash even rock when someone gets to popular they down grade a three attack move-list and constant playing to the croud and thats not a call card of batista but merely what WWE does with popular big guys
Billy Bob wrote:
I really think Batista gained a lot of momentum just because we had noone else to cheer. I mean lets face it, Orton bombed as a face, why would a guy like Orton want support from the fans or any of the other wrestlers" He is a natural heel and thats what will propel him to greatness. Anyway, back to Batista. I went to a RAW not to long ago at the Qwest center here in Omaha (always a great show) and the fans went absolutely nuts for him. I wasn't going in expecting that he would get that loud of a pop but the fans loved him. It was then and there that I came to the conclusion, we cheer him because he's the only face that the fans believed could dethrone Triple H. Batista aint great on the mic or on charisma as you mentioned, but he was a great temporary top face. I also think one thing that hurt Batista was his move to Smackdown. I believe many fans thought WWE wasn't putting faith in Batista to carry their flagship show RAW. I really don't know what the future holds for Batista or the suffering Smackdown, but hopefully WWE can turn things around and get Smackdown on another network with a better timeslot. Batista was a great face on Raw, but I don't think he's great enough to single handily carry a show and sell out arenas for Smackdown.
Richard Powell wrote:
Certainly Batista has bombed. So has John Cena, but Cena is another issue for another day. Clearly the absence of Triple H and the removal of Batista to Smackdown and Kurt Angle to raw has left no one to challenge for the World Heavyweight Title. JBL is a joke, Benoit has been reduced to mid-card status once again stuck with wrestling Orlando Jordan for the one billionth time over that worthless piece of tin called the United States Championship and Booker T is merely a shadow of his former self (Former Five Time WCW World Heavyweight Champion) and relegated to wrestling Christian for the one millionth time. Yes, quite a few threads have been woven by WWE and Vince McMahon to bring about these tragic results. But all of the "trash" that one sees in wrestling today occured when McMahon Vince Russo, Erich Bischoff, and Hulk Hogan succeeded in running everyone else out of the business, especially NWA/WCW. This is why a one man monopoly on the wrestling industry is ultimately bad, because the product in the end becomes of poor quality. Need I say more"
TIMOTHY STEVENS wrote:
Batista has most certainly bombed. In all truth there is no one who can really pose much of a threat to the "character" that the WWE has created. We have been given no inkling of any weakness of "the animal". This is great in the short term period, allowing the fans some cheap action, however people will become bored eventually. Eddie Guerrero will not prove to be any great rivalry to Batista, because Eddie has left his once great ring skills behind to embrace the cheating character. And, although Brock Lesnar versus Batista would be a great one time match, there would not be any long term rivalry there either, simply big time moves planted time after time. The WWE had chances to alleviate the weak character of Batista with much of there upcoming talent, but foolishly they have gotten rid of that talent. Muhammad Hasan was to be in Eddie Guerrero's place as Batista's rival, which would have allowed for Batista to take the standard "American" side, however WWE caved and canned Muhammad thanks to UPN's pressure. And then there was Matt Morgan, who sadly was given that idiotic stuttering character. There was so much potential with a young man with the strength to F5 the Big Show, and the WWE gives him a stutter" But no worries, he was also fired. So, as the WWE thins its rosters and story lines, the ECW, oh excuse me, I meant TNA, can only get stronger.
Ben Vonstein wrote:
I watch SD most weeks as most parties I attend don't start before 10 or 9:30 and so I have watched Batista progress from an unstoppable power monster that made Goldberg successful in WCW into a viable Champ. Coming out in nice suits and sunglasses he is becoming a slick champ with solid mic skills. He definately has developed some charisma in a Hurry and having him feud with Kane/Giant (err...I mean big Show) is great for his character as he has become vulnerable and actually become an underdog versus these 2 mamoths, thus getting him completely over with the fans. Teaming him with Mysterio forces some of Mysterio's appeal to pour onto Batista. Overall the guy is a young and improving Champ. Could they have waited to let him develop even more charisma before "unleashing" him", sure but the WWE has set him loose and now they have to help him develop. Ideally Kane or Show will beat him for the title due to some outside interference by the other and he will have to beat the 2 of them to get his title back.
Lady Wrestler wrote:
One word. HELL NO! O.k. 2 words. there is no way that man is through. He is at the prime of his career. I should know I have watched wrestling for over 35yrs. I have seen them come and go. I can tell who will stay and who won't. Batista is one for the record books. He is not one of the one hit wonders. That comes in and stays a yr or 2. And then splits. You know like Brock Lesnar. When he had to lose his belt. He quit. Like a spoiled little brat that he is. I just hope he has grown up. He was like the little boy who cried "I'm going to take my ball and go home if I don't get my way". I mean come on people even said Triple H would not last. Yes, he married the bosses daughter. But, you have to give the devil his dues. He can put up a good fight. Look at the legendary Rick Flair. They said he would never walk again after the plane wreck. But, look at him now, he is still in the ring. And he can take and he can give an ass kicking. So, I look for Batista to be around for awhile. That is unless my cousin Vince screws me over. Like he likes to do other talented wrestlers. Why do you think Angle left WWE" Because, Big Show could not beat him. So Cousin Vince pushed him out. And where did he go" TNA. Which is where alot of talent is going if Coz. does not watch out. He will wind up in the vry same trailer park where he found his dad Vince Sr living in. If he is not careful. In Havelock NC. Vince is from Pinehurst NC. I am from Greensboro NC. His mom married a member of my family tree. The branch that is either related by blood or by marriage. So Vince comes from a very poor background. How many knows that" And w/o the fans he will return to that poor background. He needs to keep the guys like Batista, John Cena, Just to name a few. In order to keep the co. going. Plus he needs to be careful about investing in all the other side things he has going. Like the mobile, etc. We all remember the XFL. And how that went. Anyway BATISTA IS DA BOMB! Peace,
wrote:

wrote:

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