Wrestling for Mom
BY Paul Pratt
November 06 2007 1:00 AM ET
At 6 foot 5 and
more than 340 pounds of solid muscle, World Wrestling
Entertainment superstar Batista has never been afraid to
hand out beat-downs—in or out of the wrestling
ring. In his new autobiography, Batista Unleashed,
the reigning World Heavyweight champion describes how
his single mother moved coast-to-coast to protect him
from violence and his own criminal behavior as a youth.
Batista—who recalls seeing three people shot in his
Washington, D.C., front yard before he turned
9—discovered bodybuilding. The pastime not only
chiseled his physique into a weapon mass destruction,
it kept him off the streets and in the process probably
saved his life.
At 30, usually
the midway point in a pro wrestling career, Batista found
his way into the WWE. In short order he became one of the
multimillion dollar industry’s top draws,
ultimately headlining WrestleMania, the Super Bowl of
sports entertainment, where he won his first of three World
Heavyweight Championships to date.
In this exclusive
interview, the athlete born Dave Bautista but known to
millions around the world as “the Animal,”
discusses his respect for pro wrestling’s
highest-ranking gay, the former WWE superstar turned agent
Pat Patterson, how the industry is changing to accept
greater diversity, and why nobody would dare mouth off
about his lesbian mom.
In Batista Unleashed, you mention your
mother and father attempted to reconcile during your
early childhood--despite the fact she’s a lesbian. It was just one time they tried to reconcile
which I really remember, and that was after my mom
moved to San Francisco. They tried to save the
marriage, but I don’t even remember that lasting very
As a child, how did your mother’s sexuality
impact you? It didn’t. It really didn’t. I
don’t really remember my mom not having
girlfriends. I never really thought about it. I
don’t think I was really aware then. It’s not
like my mom was making out with girls in front of us.
[Chuckles] She just had her girlfriends around,
and that’s how she referred to them—she called
her girlfriends “girlfriends.” Even my
dad—I don’t think I really ever noticed my dad
that much either. I don’t have any strong
recollection of him being with us for any long period
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