When Batista won the Royal Rumble, I was one of those fans who threw a fit. I didn’t go as far as Mick Foley by smashing a little boy’s flat screen and taking a shot at former New York Yankee Sal Fasano. Instead what I did was fall to the level of snark and uselessly complain on Facebook.
Looking back, I hate myself for doing that. (I deserved to strikeout with women during this time frame. You should never cry over wrestling at 25.) Two weeks before Wrestlemania XXX and now I get why Batista’s there. It has everything to do with Marvel’s Guardians of Galaxy. That may sound awful at first, but take a step back and notice how important this is.
As wrestling fans, we have to regard every man, woman, Paul Heyman Guy and Vickie Guerrero as our own. Anytime someone can break into the mainstream, they need to be embraced because, I don’t know if you guys noticed this, but our love of professional wrestling is the bastard child of fandom. Go to a bar and try to explain to a woman you just started talking to that you’re a wrestling fan.
If she was born after 1994, she will laugh at you. It’s guaranteed. This girl wasn’t one of the millions (and millions) of the Rock’s fans. She has no concept of our Attitude Era and Stone Cold Steve Austin. All she knows about wrestling is it is men in tights who sweat on each other. (OK, so maybe she isn’t exactly off.)
You’d have a better shot keeping your window of opportunity open by explaining you’re an Al Queada sympathizer than saying you get worked up over WWE. Batista being in a Marvel comic movie is the best-case scenario.
Since every girl born in the Clinton administration is a nerd, they’ll most likely recognize Batista and give the product some credibility since that’s where he started. This is important because it can help keep that window of opportunity open a little while longer. Every little thing counts in those situations.
Having our WWE superstars in movies doesn’t just help us on a personal level. It helps the product grow. For some reason whenever fans see growth they instantly use the word sell out. Stop with that; it’s irrational. We should want WWE to be successful. Anybody who doesn’t see this isn’t a real wrestling fan. They’re just projecting hate on it because their lives are miserable and need everything to be in the gutter with them.
We need to be better than the weak Metallica fans that refuse to hear the band because they cut their hair. If Guardians of the Galaxy does well then that means more wrestlers will be used in more projects like that. That’s huge for us. Anytime we get someone in a flick that’s not a straight-to-ABC-Family film is a step in the right direction.
I’m not saying cheer for Batista over Daniel Bryan. (I know I certainly won’t. I’m all about that #BuryMovement.) You have the right to cheer for whoever you want. I just think we need to appreciate him. He could help a WWE superstar like Dolph Ziggler move from Hollywood, Fla., to be a real superstar in the Hollywood people actually care about.
Batista may not be well loved but he’s doing a great job in killing the dirty stigma unfairly attached to professional wrestling. He’s certainly doing a better job than the smarks who cry on twitter because Monday Night Raw, a show that’s completely predetermined, didn’t go their way. As the skinny-jean-wearing superstar says, “deal with it.” (Waaaah.)