Half Pinoy WWE wrestler and former champion Dave Batista aka The Animal is in the Philippines for a visit. Here’s an exclusive feature/interview with the popular wrestler by the Inquirer:
“For Dave Batista, more known for his moniker Batista, wrestling isn’t all about brawny alpha males breaking each other’s backs. Currently signed up with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Batista was quick to admit to the entertainment aspect of professional wrestling.
“It’s not really so much about the moves you do or stunts you perform. We’re telling stories in the ring – who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy,” the four-time world heavyweight champion told INQUIRER.net in an interview.”
“We try to make it as dramatic as possible because that’s what draws the crowd in and makes them emotionally invested in a wrestling match,” he continued.
Batista, who is half-Filipino, half-Greek, is in Manila promoting upcoming WWE events courtesy of local cable channel Jack TV.
He was born David Michael Bautista Jr., and admitted to have been estranged from his father but grew up close his grandfather who passed away 10 years ago.
“My devastatingly handsome good looks,” he answered, jokingly, when asked what distinctively Filipino trait he got from his father side.
“What I have always admired about my grandfather is that he was very driven. He was what you would call a hustler, a go-getter,” he said.
At six feet six, 290 pounds, Batista is all muscle but appeared relaxed and was laughing at times during the interview.
He admits to having shifted from one job to another – including a disastrous stint as a club bouncer that led to him being arrested – before finally heeding the call of professional wrestling.
He credits Ric Flair and teammate-turned-nemesis Triple H for his ascent as one of the most recognizable wrestlers around.
“Being driven is what I would say I got from him [my grandfather]. I’m a living proof that dreams do come true,” he declared.
In many interviews and articles written about him, Batista admits to having lived the hard life, raised in the rough neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.
Using his popularity, Batista said he has always preached the value of education to kids, the same way he has done to his two daughters.
“I consider it to be one of the biggest regrets of my life,” he said. “If I could, I’d probably be making a living off my mind and not beating myself to death.”
This is his third visit to Manila but admits not having done enough to explore his Filipino heritage. He sports a tattoo on one arm, an illustration that merges the flags of Greece and the Philippines into one.
“If anybody here would research about me, I’d love to know about it. I’m pretty sure I have a lot of relatives here,” he said.