Perhaps the greatest separator in all of wrestling is the ability to connect with the crowd on the microphone. In his early days as a WWE Superstar, Dave Bautista was well aware of this principle, and as a weak public speaker, he had to figure out a way to make things work.
During an appearance on Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast, Batista revealed not just his fear of cutting promo's but the hack he used to make things easier.
That was one of the things that I really struggled with wrestling, to begin with, is to speak at all. It was a natural—it was a phobia of mine—public speaking, I was terrified of it," he said.
However a big man who is a shaky talker isn't that valuable of a commodity in WWE, so to boost his career, Bautista knew he had to improve.
I was always a physical person and I knew that I could rely on my physicality. I thought that I really wanted that to carry me through. There came a point where, again—if I really wanted to move up, if I wanted to progress in my career—I had to be a well-rounded professional wrestler. Which means you have to start speaking and acting; it was my nightmare," he said.
However, Bautista found a coping mechanism that helped him relax.
"My pacifiers were—and people always ask me why I wore sunglasses and hats and stuff when I was doing promos in the ring—that was my pacifier, hiding behind those things," he said.
Not only did Bautista learn to cut a promo, but now he's developed into a bankable Hollywood star. However recent months have seen the 49-year-old launch a campaign to get back in WWE. There's been no shortage of headlines regarding Bautista and a WWE reunion, but his interview with WhatCulture Wrestling may have been the most poignant.
"I have to say that it's something I think about daily," Bautista said. "I miss it daily. I love it, I have a passion for wrestling. I feel that at the core of me that's just who I am. I'm a physical performer, and I miss it every day."
Clearly, this is something he's thought about because Bautista already has some of the specifics in mind for his potential WWE return.
"I think, one, it would have to be the right time, and two, it would have to be the right opponent. That's pretty much it, and it would have to make sense," Batista said. "Yeah, I think the last time I went back was with really good intentions and I felt like I wasn't delivered what I was promised and that was just creatively. So, that would be it, I'd have to have a strong say of what I did and who I worked with. It would have to make sense as far as time, not only do I have to be free, but I also have to factor in there is a risk that I would be injured. If I got injured I would need some time to rehabilitate myself, so I always kind of factor those things in," he said.