In the second installment of his recent appearance on Talk is Jericho, Batista and Jericho touched upon the fact that wrestlers occasionally butt heads with Vince McMahon, prompting a thorough discussion of an incident in 2008 when Batista was hit with a substantial fine by McMahon.
Batista added that he thought about in-ring storytelling in a relatively "old school" frame of mind, believing that if someone would, say, get hit over the head with a pipe, he'd be expected to bleed. Indeed, that was the agreed upon finish for the match, with Jericho garnering the win after belting Batista with a metal pipe he'd stashed atop the steel cage.
"This was a point where we weren't shedding blood any more," Batista recalled. "We were PG and that didn't make any sense to me. I just didn't want to hear that, especially when there's a title match involved."
Batista implied that he employed a blade to "shed a little blood for the business" and then added that he was also busted open "the hard way" during the match. Both men agreed that it was an exceptional match.
"I can't believe we had to deal with grief over that," said Batista.
Jericho then noted that as they came back through the curtain after the match, "there was a lot of yelling and screaming going on," ostensibly because Batista had bled during the match. He said Vince declined to discuss the matter in depth, indicating he'd address it the following week and decide on a punishment for both wrestlers. Jericho said he tried to discuss the issue with Vince in a subsequent phone call that lasted only 18 seconds and included Vince telling Jericho to "shut up" and "F off."
Batista picked up the story and said that the following Monday, Jericho and he met with McMahon and that Dean Malenko, who produced the match, and referee Mike Chioda were also present at the meeting. Vince apparently played the match back for them multiple times in slow motion and with footage from various angles to show the moment at which Batista had apparently initiated his own bloodletting. Jericho noted that he'd known through some conversations with Batista that Batista was looking to bleed in the match but he didn't know exactly what he had in mind.
"I knew we weren't supposed to do it…I knew I would get consequences but I thought I would get the consequences and I didn't think they'd be as harsh as they were," Batista said.
Jericho recalled that Vince contemplated firing Batista but felt like that would be the easy way out.
"Then he starts passing out fines," said Batista. "So my fine was $100,000…My heart dropped. I thought it would be like $25,000…When he said $100,000, I was just heartbroken. I literally think that he sucked the life out of me that day. I think that's the day that I knew things were never going to be the same."
He expressed some degree of lingering bitterness about the incident to this day, indicating that he felt Vince was unnecessarily heavy-handed in the situation.
"I did the right thing. It was good business," Batista added.
Despite having written about this story in one of his books, Jericho said he was very surprised to hear Batista's reflections on the incident because he'd never discussed the matter in detail with Jericho.
Jericho was only fined $5,000 by McMahon and Vince leveled the same fines against Malenko and Chioda. In addition to paying his own fine, Batista also paid the other fines.
Batista continued, stating that he felt like the PG Era was killing the art form of professional wrestling and that this contributed to his decision to leave WWE in 2010.
Part two of Batista's interview on Talk is Jericho is online at this link.
Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.