Thus the function of the wrestler is not to win: it is to go exactly through the motions which are expected of him… Wrestling offers excessive gestures, exploited to the limit of their meaning. In wrestling, a man who is down is exaggeratedly so, and completely fills the eyes of the spectators with the intolerable spectacle of his powerlessness.
- Roland Barthes, “The World of Wrestling”
Dave Batista says, “Wrestling is storytelling.” Wrestling is not about scinillating maneuvers or off-the-hook pain, but stories and plots. Take a Batista match, for example.
Batista’s matches run like clockwork. The pyrotechnics signal the arrival of the Animal. Slam, punch, kick. Both wrestlers get thrown out to the arena floor, and the opponent takes the advantage. After trading blows through the course of a match, the downed Animal starts to get second wind, and unloads powerful punches of his own. Kick, punch, slam.
Batista whips his opponent to the corner; he runs toward his opponent, and clobbers the bad guy with a clothesline. The whiplash is enough to disorient the opponent, and Batista hoists him on his broad shoulders, slamming him to the mat with a forceful slam. The opponent is whipped to the ropes, and Batista lifts him up with a powerful, authoritative spinebuster.
“BA-TIS-TA! BA-TIS-TA!” The crowd cheers, realizing that this 6’6″, 300-pound monster is about to put the exclamation point to the match, which is all but seven minutes into an unannounced time limit. The muscle-bound multiple-time World Heavyweight Champion walks towards the ropes. He stomps his foot with ruthless aggression. He shakes the rope violently; the thumbs go up, the thumbs go down. The crowd goes wild in anticipation.
Batista hauls his beaten opponent to his shoulders, and delivers the Batista Bomb. With a violent crash that makes the whole ring shake, with the opponent knocked out cold, Batista makes the cover. One, two, three… it’s over.