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Batista puts fight in perspective
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun


Dave Batista is a man's man. With muscles on his muscles. And tattoos on his tattoos.

And he's a champion ... WWE's world heavyweight strap holder, a title he'll defend against 10-time champ and the man he beat at Wrestlemania, Triple H, at tonight's Backlash pay-per-view.

But his battles pale in comparison to the ones fought by his wife, Angie, a real-life warrior.

Angie has fought off two bouts of ovarian cancer and another one to her lower intestines.

"It makes you put a lot of things in perspective," says Batista. "There's a feeling of helplessness. She's faced death. She's proven she's stronger than I'll ever be.

"She didn't want me to see her that way ... so she'd wait until Mondays, when I was out of town, to have her treatments."

One of his tattoos, on his left arm, means "Angel," a reference to his wife.

"Her mother drew the design on a piece of paper and I had it done as a tattoo," says Batista, who's come a long way in a short time. Now, 36, he began wrestling in 1999, after a conversation with Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig and Animal of The Road Warriors. He quit his job as a bouncer and left behind his dream of being a bodybuilder to train under Wild Samoan Afa.

Says Batista: "My wife and I moved out of Washington to Allentown, Pa. I dropped everything. I was so unnatural at it, it became a challenge."

In his first match, he squashed Gillberg (Duane Gill) with a powerbomb. After a WCW tryout, he landed in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's training territory. He wrestled as Leviathan and soon got his break in WWE, initially as Deacon Batista, a bodyguard for D-Von Dudley. A long stint in Evolution with Ric Flair, Triple H and, for a while, Randy Orton, ended. And now he's a champ, although Batista says his three daughters aren't that impressed.

"One of my 14-year-old daughter's friends had my picture up and my daughter was really creeped out by that," says Batista. "They're not impressed. To them I'm just Dad."

Yeah, Dad at home. But wrecking machine in the ring.

Looking back at Wrestlemania, Batista says: "I'm not the most emotional person, but (after I won the title), I broke down. I cried. I lost it, which is very strange for me. But it was the end of a long journey, a storybook tale, beating a 10-time world champion."

But maybe his status, maybe his role in WWE history hasn't really set in yet.

"We were taking a picture ... I was in it with Shawn (Michaels), Ric (Flair) and Triple H. I was thinking out loud: 'How in the hell did I weasel my way into this picture, it doesn't seem right?' "

Sure it does, champ.

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    * Chris Candidois dead. Candido, who wrestled in the WWF as Skip of The Bodydonnas, suffered a broken leg following a collision with Sonny Siaki at the TNA Lockdown pay-per-view last Sunday and had surgery on Monday. Johnny Candido said his 33-year-old brother died of a blood clot brought on by complications from the surgery. Candido's girlfriend was Tammy Sytch (formerly Sunny in the WWF).

    * Here's the rest of the card for Backlash: Chris Jericho vs. Shelton Benjamin; Muhammad Hassan and Daivari vs. Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels; Edge vs. Chris Benoit (Last Man Standing match); and Kane (with Lita) vs. Viscera (with Trish).

    * Here are the results from TNA's Lockdown: Apolo and Siaki beat Lance Hoyt and Candido; Dustin Rhodes beat Bobby Roode; Shocker beat Michael Shane, Sonjay Dutt and Chris Sabin; Jeff Hardy beat Raven; America's Most Wanted beat Team Canada; Fallen Angel Christopher Daniels beat Primetime Elix Skipper; DDP, Sean Waltman and BG James beat Jeff Jarrett, Alpha Male Monty Brown and The Outlaw and AJ Styles beat Abyss. All matches were fought in a cage.

    * ESPN recently signed a deal to show Monday Night Football. TSN will have no choice but to pick it up. Here's the dilemma. TSN's RAW is the highest-rated specialty program in this country, followed in order by Spongebob Squarepants, CFL and NFL. Showing a taped version of RAW at midnight, then a prime-time showing on Tuesday, would seem to be the only solution if TSN keeps RAW. And remember, it'll only be for 17 weeks.

    * Volumes 1-3 of Pro Wrestling Superstars -- Past, Present and Future are are now available at Music World across Ontario.

    * Author Greg Oliver will be in Ottawa at Chapters/Indigo at Pinecrest on May 13 to sign the new book he co-authors, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Tag Teams and the book he wrote, The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame:The Canadians. Oliver is producer of the fine SLAM! Wrestling website. The books can also be ordered at slam.highspots.com.

    * Ultimate fighting legend Tito Ortiz will appear at TNA's Hard Justice pay-per-viewon May 15.

    * CPW's Battlemania show is set for May 14 in Gatineau.


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