It’s hard not to take it personal when 15,000 fans are booing every move you make. That is why it should be of no surprise to read Batista tell WWE.com that not only was he surprised by fan reaction to his return, but he took it personally.
“It was weird. It wasn’t like a normal response. It was almost like a personal attack. It had to do with factors that were not in my control, factors and things that were going on in the company with other people, stuff that really had nothing to do with me. To me, it was a little frustrating, a little confusing, and, you know, I don’t want to say I completely took it personal, but I did somewhat.
What I heard over and over was, “Batista doesn’t deserve this,” and that’s what I took personally, because it’s like they forgot about my 10 years of pain and suffering and sacrifice. When I left the company, I gave plenty of notice, I left the right way, I did everything right. And also, my very last match, I broke my back. So I literally broke my back for the fans. And for me to come back and for them to say that I didn’t deserve the spot that I was being put in? For one thing, I didn’t ask for that spot. And here’s my thing with wrestling, and I tell this to everybody: If you get an opportunity, take the opportunity, and if you pass it up, you’re a fool. And if you hate on a guy just because he’s taking advantage of an opportunity that’s given to him, then you’re an idiot.”
He is right. I still don’t understand why the attacks turned so vicious on Batista. People are quick to forget that when Batista left, he was in the midst of one of the best heel runs in years. He did it the right and left the company after giving plenty of notice. He truly did work his tail off during his first run yet all the fans saw was a guy standing between Daniel Bryan and the WrestleMania main-event and they made sure their voices were heard.
The irony of this is that Batista has always been a Daniel Bryan supporter. There is a famous story that he was booked to squash Bryan a few years ago in a WWE television match but instead pushed to give Bryan plenty of offense in the match because he believed in him. Contrary to popular belief Batista was actually excited to see Bryan added to the Mania WWE world title bout.
“Oh, I was super excited. I was super excited, because, you know, we needed that element. Even speaking from a fan’s standpoint, for me, it’s hard to get sucked into a [bad guy vs. bad guy] match. We needed a hero, man, and Daniel Bryan was the biggest hero in the company. I knew this was gonna be good. It’s so much better when the fans have an emotional investment. And they were so emotionally invested in Daniel Bryan, and they were so absorbed in their hatred for me that I knew it was gonna be good stuff.”
Batista feels that his return could have been better and well, it certainly could have. Batista blames a lot of that on Internet rumors and thinks if the fans didn’t buy into all of the gossip (Batista not wanting to work with Bryan), his return would have played better with the fans.
“But I still feel like, with the fans and the audience being really wrapped up in internet rumors and whatnot, they really missed out on a lot of good entertainment. And that’s a shame, because I had some good matches, man. Like you said, I had some really good matches with Dolph. There were a few people that were paying attention, but I think a lot of people missed out on it, man. Maybe because there wasn’t that built-in story behind it, but we made the best we could out of it. Even going back to when I started with Alberto Del Rio. We had some good matches. We had a good pay-per-view, we put our hearts into it, but the fans were so intent on booing for no reason, they weren’t even paying attention to the match. That’s a shame, because we were out there killing ourselves to entertain people. So that’s the only thing that I feel like is a downside, you know?”