During a recent appearance on Talk Is Jericho podcast, Jim Cornette talked about WWE almost firing Batista before he became a main event star.
Below is what Cornette said:
“The most over gimmick we ever had in OVW, and people gave him standing ovations was Leviathan, the Demon of the Deep Batista, the right hand of Satan himself.
He was 6’5, massive, tattoos; so we put the chain around his neck. We put the contact lenses in; and he was invulnerable; unstoppable, sold nothing, never did a job.
He beat up 2-3 people at a time. He was powered by the sorcery of the dark side. We were thinking that he can steal pay-per-views with The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show; at the time i think Foley and Steve Austin, all those top guys.
Yeah, he was injury prone and a bit older, so his window was short and thought that we should get him while he is hot, for 5-7 years, which is what his career ran.
He doesn’t need to be on television every week; let’s create an attraction for the big guy. Him and Undertaker, that is why I brought both Kane and Undertaker to the Gardens to work with him because I had done the same thing to Kane when he was in Smoky Mountain.
I had brought Undertaker to help him and I told them both that this is their future pay per view opponent so now you take him and see what you can do with him, and if you can get the things you want out of him then you go tell the boss that they have a guy they can make money with.
We did all that and tailor-made gimmick for Undertaker, Kane and Big Show, and they bring him up and put him with D-Von, hang that thing around his neck and put a suit on him to cover up his muscles. I had lost my mind; then they were on the verge of firing him until he started working out with Triple H.”