"Fieldhouse to host ‘Great Bash’ Sunday

Once he steps on the ramp leading down to the ring, World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Dave Batista is a very intense, intimidating person. But before he makes his way through the curtains, it’s a different story.

“I’m all nerves and jitters before I step out [onto the stage],” said Batista during a recent interview.

The 6-foot-5, 317-pound Washington, D.C., native is one of the WWE’s biggest wrestlers, both in size and popularity. His physical strength is quite evident during his matches, and unlike some other people in his business, Batista is a man of few words.

In January of this year, the tricep muscle in Batista’s left arm was severely injured during a match against the behemoth Mark Henry. It was an incident that forced Batista to relinquish the WWE World Heavyweight title, undergo surgery and endure months of physical rehabilitation.

“Thirty days after the surgery I was doing cardio [exercises],” Batista pointed out. “Six weeks after the surgery I was working with weights. And three months after the surgery I started to work on the arm.”

According to Batista, the repairs that the surgeons made to his injured tricep feel good. But he added that time will tell if the surgery was a complete success.

As an athlete who enjoys staying busy, in the gym or in the ring, Batista wasn’t totally inactive during the time he wasn’t doing physical rehab.

“The WWE kept me busy making appearances,” Batista said. “The company also sent me tapes of the shows while I was recovering, so I could keep up on what was going on, and to check out the newer wrestlers in the organization.”

While there was contact with the fans when he made appearances, the reaction Batista has received at the shows since his return to action has been truly indicative of his popularity.

“I’ve been back three weeks [since mid-June], doing house shows. The reaction from the fans has been great, and I feel great.

“I had to deal with some anxiety the week before [his first in-ring appearance on Smackdown]. It was nerve-racking. But my adrenaline was so high that night, I was able to go out and do my thing.”

A WWE Superstar since 2000, Batista believes in going out and giving it his all for those who come to see the matches.

“I work to give the fans the best product I can. The bottom line for all of us WWE Superstars is to entertain.”

Unlike some of his fellow WWE Superstars, Batista has no plans to write an autobiography, or make any movies in the near future.

“I’m a pretty boring guy (laughs), but I do have some good road stories that I’ll probably never [put in a book].

“I’ve had a few offers [to do movies]. I look at the Rock [former WWE Superstar] as a movie star who was a wrestler. In my case, I would be a wrestler who fell into acting. But the roles they’ve offered me so far haven’t been very good ones, and that’s why I turned them down.”

WHAT: World Wrestling Entertainment presents The Great American Bash

WHERE: Conseco Fieldhouse

WHEN: Sunday, July 23, 7:45 p.m.

TICKETS: Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone, 317-239-5151