Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker: Why WCW Turned Down Batista
WCW had the chance to train 'The Animal' in 1999
You often hear of wrestling companies having potential superstars in the palm of their hand but letting them go off to the competition instead because they didn’t see their value.
Steve Austin was famously released by WCW before becoming the biggest name in the industry in WWE, and it seems WCW also passed up on Dave Batista before ‘The Animal’ became ‘The Animal’.
Talking with SK Wrestling, former WCW Power Plant trainer Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker spoke of rejecting Batista from the Power Plant in 1999, and claims it was a blessing in disguise for Batista:
“You know what, WCW was set-up for training program there,” Parker recalled. “He did come for a tryout, I did run him off but I knew WCW was not going to take him like he was. I thought I did him a great favour going to WWE because I sent him to the Cincinnati – whatever their training ground is. But he still holds it against me. But all things looking at it, it was the best thing to happen for him.”
As to why he passed up on the hulking Batista, Parker claims it wasn’t anything to do with his own personal opinions on the performer:
“Well, it wasn’t necessarily him,” Parker said of Batista. “It was most necessarily with WCW because they didn’t have a program for him to go.”
Batista himself recalled the incident on an episode of Talk is Jericho in 2014, saying:
“I went down there at 340 pounds, was all jacked up, went down with a buddy of mine and Sarge jumped in our faces and just got on us and he wanted nothing more than to just run us out the door. He was just a bitter troll of a man.”
H/T: Wrestling Inc.