Dear powers that be who work for World Wrestling Entertainment,
My name is Ryan Michael and I am a devout fan of your product.
I watch your programs every week and get the privilege of being entertained by all that you have to offer. In that respect, I am forever grateful and encourage you guys to keep up the great work.
Unfortunately, for every "hit" you guys have nailed over the past few months (putting the WWE title on your most talented superstar, Randy Orton, was a huge plus), there have also been a few "misses," and Dave Batista is certainly one of them.
Don't let the fact that I unofficially speak on Randy Orton's behalf regarding everything half-relevant on this website fool you into thinking that the criticisms that I'm about to lay forth are reflective of any biased nature on my part.
I actually like the role that Dave Batista portrays, and the fact that I detest his character gives me all the more reason to tune in every Monday Night to hopefully see his skull get kicked in.
No criticism there as the ultra-powerful ignorant animal we call Batista is a creation for which I value a great deal and it is due to the value which I place upon his services that I come forward to you with some very legitimate concerns.
People often criticize Batista for his lack of in-ring abilities.
Nobody would ever confuse him for the likes of Shawn Michaels or man whom you should pursure re-signing (Kurt Angle).
Yet even with as bad as people make Batista's abilities out to be, he's not exactly light years behind Hulk Hogan circa 1985 and nobody seemed to have an issue with that.
Never the less, I would encourage you to put a stronger emphasis upon his progression as an in-ring competitor.
As we all know, pure strength alone is not enough to put butts in the seats. You guys already tried and failed with The Great Khali but were at least wise enough to push him down to where he belongs.
Besides, I kind of prefer Khali kissing the likes of Santino (or is it Santina) Marella more so than I ever "bought" his ability to compete with the likes of The Undertaker or Triple H.
I suppose there was little issue turning Khali from a former World Heavyweight Champion into the "largest" source of comedic relief in recent memory and I applaud Khali's ability to remain humble enough to change in the effort to better entertain the fans.
If a seven-foot monster can become a Pujabi Playboy for the betterment of your product, than Batista can learn to hone some of the most basic skills required to become a quality main-event competitor.
The most glaring weakness to me is his complete and utter lack of ability when it comes to speaking.
Vince McMahon knows as well as anyone that the ability to cut quality promos on a regular basis is absolutely essential to the "storytelling" for which you writers work so hard to provide.
When the entirety of Batista's repitoire consists of the following...
"I getting really pissed off!"
"When I get my hands on you, I'm going to hurt you!"
Then what you have is a very real issue with a performer who is undoubtedly one of the top Superstars representing your company.
Every Superstar is different and I wouldn't suggest that they should all act the same but when part of your storyline is trying to push the view that Batista "shot way past Randy Orton", it shouldn't appear blatantly obvious that he would benefit from both in-ring training as well as promo-training from the very man for whom he is supposed to be superior to.
I know that the WWE has had some issues with Ric Flair these days and I completely understand that. So I know that bringing him back yet again for a feud that is not even centered around a top-tier PPV must have been a move made in desperation.
That necessity, of course, can be no secret by now, Dave Batista needs major help to even get through a "One Night Stand" month of storytelling.
All the credit in the world has to be given to Ric Flair, who performed brilliantly last week on Raw.
The promo he cut with Randy Orton (who's work was equally impressive) was the stuff of legend. I couldn't get enough of seeing that classic Evolution interaction being worked on by the two greatest stick-men to come out of that Super-Stable.
Yet with as much as I enjoyed the Randy Orton/Ric Flair confrontation, the greater issue is the fact that Ric Flair had to be brought back to essentially work for Batista.
You guys know as well as I do that if Batista had to walk out after Judgement Day and pic up the microphone, the fans would be exposed to the same garbage we saw a month prior.
The fact that he uttered the word "loathe" must have been the most complex word he's ever spoken on camera but even that was not enough to sell what could (and should) have been a great storyline between those two great Superstars.
So I plead to you World Wrestling Entertainment, let this storyline involving Ric Flair play itself out next week but after that it has to be time to take the training wheels off Dave Batista.
The man has been been working for you guys for the greater part of this decade, and if he hopes to remain one of the top Superstars, please push this man to work a little harder on the basic sports entertainment essentials.
If the issue is that he has been working as hard as I'm suggesting and what's we've seen on television is the culmination of his best efforts, then it might be time to re-think how you use him within the landscape of the WWE Universe.