NZPWI Editor-in-Chief, Dion McCracken, interviewed Batista twice during the tour, once for Mai FM and once for SKY Television. The SKY TV interview was never aired, but thanks to the good people at SKY, NZPWI is able to present the full interview video for NZPWI readers!
The interview took place on a rainy Auckland day just moments after Batista was presented with a New Zealand Warriors jersey from Reuben Wiki. It was also the week that Triple H went in for surgery for his most recent injury.
In this brief interview, Batista discusses coming back from injury, wrestling in the rain, his disappointment at missing the first WWE New Zealand event and raising two daughters!
Batista went on to successfully defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Ken Kennedy at the Christchurch and Auckland shows.
Dion McCracken: Dave, fantastic to see you back in New Zealand, we’ve turned on the weather for you.
Batista: Yeah no it’s OK, I don’t mind this.
You know, in February we’ve got the big show in Auckland, that’s also an outdoor show. Have you guys wrestled outdoors when it has rained before?
I’ve actually wrestled in two inches of water, when I first started. It’s not really glamorous, when you’re first starting out. I’ve gone out there and I’ve wrestled at fairs, in front of 5 people, in stormy rainy weather. So it doesn’t matter how hard it’s pouring, we’re gonna be wrestling.
You must have been quite disappointed missing out on the last show, of course with that tricep tear?
I was heartbroken. I came over and promoted the tour, and went back and told everybody how great the fans were, and how great the nightlife was, how we’re going to have such a good time… I got nothing but stories from all the other guys, so yeah it was heartbreaking.
How did the rehab go? That must be quite hard to go through, seeing the guys going on TV and you’re at home working away at the injury…
Oh yeah… it’s brutal… but you know, the rehab was good, the repair was good, which is the important thing. I always try to look at it like – at least I’m able to come back. Certain guys haven’t been able to bounce back, they have injuries that have left them sidelined permanently. So as long as I’m able to rehab and come on back, then I’m pretty lucky.
Have you spoken with Triple H this week? Of course, he’s just gone through surgery himself…
I actually called, the last time I called him he was going in for his MRI. I did not talk to him, I talked to Stephanie, she said his spirits were good. He was upset because he’s going to miss out on WrestleMania, which is heartbreaking for anybody in this business. But Hunter’s a tough guy. He’s going to bounce back from this, I guarantee you.
Speaking of WrestleMania, have you got your eyes set on someone that you want to take on in that big show?
That’s a big question. That’s a big question. I’ve run my course with a lot of guys on SmackDown… we’re going to be making some changes in the show, switching up some talent. So I don’t know. I really don’t know who I’m gonna be in there with, but I’m gonna be in there with somebody!
Earlier today we saw you get the Warriors jersey from our own league team here in New Zealand; what did you think of the haka, as they presented that?
It’s very intimidating. Being on the opposite side of that looking at those guys, and they look like they just want to eat you alive. And they’re all huge guys, it’s a little bit intimidating. But it was really cool. And I was honoured.
Last time you were here we gave you an All Black jersey as well; does that take pride of place in your wardrobe?
Of course it does. It’s worn regularly. Usually at the gym; there’s something about that All Black jersey… it’s intimidating.
What do you think it is about the WWE that makes fans so passionate about it?
It’s good entertainment. It’s fun. It’s something that transcends easily, and internationally. You don’t have to speak a certain language, you don’t even have to be a huge fan of the show, or an historic fan of the show, you can flick it on anytime and figure out what’s going on, you can figure out who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy, that’s the art of telling stories in the ring. It’s very simple, and it’s good fun.
Finally – which is tougher? Working a crowd of 20,000 people or bringing up two daughters?
Two daughters. By far. Compared to bringing up two daughters, working 20,000 people’s a piece of cake.
Well Dave, I know you’ve got a busy weekend so thanks very much for your time.
Thank you, I appreciate it. It’s good to be back.