Batista was this week’s guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia, and was asked about his reaction to Arrow star Stephen Amell’s Tweet where he took a perceived dig at another ‘celebrity angle’ in wrestling.
Batista said he knows Amell ultimately meant no harm, but the comment could have been very damaging to his WrestleMania 35 match due to Amell’s large social media following taking it out of context:
“Let’s not get shit twisted here. [laughs] That was the thing, and the only reason I said that was, we had some personal correspondence with us. He was afraid—he didn’t mean to offend me, but he did a little bit. The reason I responded the way I did is because he has a lot of impact on people. He has a huge outreach on social media, and what he said could really lead people’s thought process in a very different way than I need it to be. I need them to be invested in this match because it means something. It means something to Hunter, it means something to me.
This is my whole career, so him making a comment not meaning any disrespect, it could’ve caused a domino effect of a really negative outlook on people’s [perception] of our match. Fans will carry that to the arena, and we’ll get that Daniel Bryan / CM Punk effect, where we’re going in there and killing ourselves, but they’re just chanting something else because that’s what they learned on the internet. That’s what someone like Stephen, who has such influence, has told them to feel about this. They already go with this mindset and that’s bullshit. This is what this match is about, this is what’s on the line, I’m risking my whole career to come back and do this match. Don’t dismiss it like it’s some kind of celebrity thing, like it’s something to catch people’s attention to sell a few tickets. It’s way more than that.
This match deserves to be on the card, maybe not at the top, but it deserves to be on the card. It’s a very credible match. I just felt like he was taking away from the credibility of it.”
Batista says he didn’t see Amell’s response to Batista’s original reply, but explained that they’ve already hashed things out and he told Amell himself why he didn’t appreciate the remark.
“I didn’t see it, but we had some correspondence through a mutual friend [Smallville actor and Amell’s friend] Michael Rosenbaum. He’s such a great dude, but he hooked us up, and I absolutely told him why I responded, and why I responded the way I did. It was definitely no disrespect because I love Stephen. I love him, I love his show, I’m a fan.”
Lilian reads Amell’s response to Batista
“That’s funny, and he knew that I wasn’t trying to be personal, it’s just that I was afraid how that Tweet would affect his very large audience. That’s a lot of people to be reaching out to.”
Lilian asked if Batista was ever on the other side of this issue and if he had been criticized for public remarks, and the actor / wrestler talked about people’s reactions to him defending James Gunn last year:
“The worst backlash of negativity I ever had was when I defended James Gunn. I got beaten up, and I got beaten up royally, to the point where it was almost intolerable. It was overwhelming how bad I got bashed, but some of the stuff in it was crazy. People started accusing me of crazy shit, just pulling stuff out of nowhere. I actually got—one guy accused me of sexually harassing WWE Divas. I immediately said ‘if you’re making a formal accusation, get ready to get a lawyer, buddy.’ Get ready to be penniless. That’s not me. Mama didn’t raise me that way. That’s just not me, I’m not that guy.
People just started accusing James of all this crazy stuff that he’s never done, never condoned or encouraged, but people just jumped on this negative bandwagon. If it was my last breath I was going to be defending him because I knew I was right. I knew he was a good guy, but that was the worst I’ve ever gotten beaten up publicly.”