WWE Magazine Feature of the Week : The Animal experiment

WWE Magazine Feature of the Week : The Animal experiment

This week's WWE Magazine Feature of the Week gets a first-hand look at excerpts from the magazine's exclusive interview with Batista. Also, check out WWE.com's exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos of Batista as he shoots the cover of the June edition of WWE Magazine, on newsstands this Tuesday. (PHOTOS) ("WWE Magazine: Feature of the Week")

Returning from this most recent injury, the fifth in your seven-year WWE career, do you think you'll still be able to compete at the highest level?
I think my biggest competition is myself — I'm my own worst critic. So I'm training harder than ever, especially with my cardio. I've always prided myself as being a big guy who can go for a while. I'm inspired by guys like Undertaker, who, even though he's one of the biggest guys in our business, never gets tired. I want to prove to people that I'm not just all show — I'm go.

You're a main-eventer and a four-time World Heavyweight Champion. What's driving you at this point?
I'm always hungry, man. I've always prided myself on being hungry. I'm irritated by guys who are content, because I always want to be better, and I feel that in this business you always can be better. You can perform better, get in better shape, and learn new things.

Do you think your fellow Superstars see an opportunity when you get injured, because they get to step into your spotlight?
I always tell guys, "I want you to take my spot. In fact, I dare you to take my spot." I want guys to step up. I'm not afraid of competition, so if you think you can take my spot, go ahead and try. Because one day I might be retiring and these guys are going to be the future.

Retiring? Are you saying this is the end of the line?
No, not yet. But I would say that I'm closer to the end of my career than I am to the beginning. I have to be realistic.

When you do retire, how would you like to go out?
At WrestleMania. The way Ric Flair went out was a dream, but for me, instead of a veteran like Shawn Michaels, I'd like to face a young guy on his way up. And if I went out on my back, it would kind of pass the torch and hopefully in the process create a future star.

To stave off retirement a little bit longer and stay injury-free, have you changed your training regimen?
I do a lot more stretching, endurance work and agility training. It's a more well-rounded athletic program beyond straight weight and cardio training. I've added a lot of martial arts styles that involve balance and footwork.

So you've gone all "Karate Kid" on us?
I do different forms of martial arts. I might perform three styles in one day. I usually warm up with Kali, which is a Filipino style of knife-fighting, then I might do some Muay Thai for footwork and agility, and then Jiujitsu, which I'm really comfortable with. My trainer does Capoeira, which I find completely fascinating, but it's really hard for me. I've been trying to pick that up, too, though.

How do you think Ric Flair went 30 years practically injury-free?
He's just a tough S.O.B. He doesn't get a lot of credit for being tough because he was too busy stylin' and profilin', but Ric's definitely one of the toughest guys in this business. And he's one of those guys who just stays in great cardio shape. When he wants to, he can go on the treadmill for an hour!

What's a workout with The Nature Boy like?
Triple H and I used to hit the gym with Ric, but we wouldn't really work out together, because we couldn't keep Ric still! We'd concentrate on working the chest, or the arms, do some cardio, but Ric would be all over the place. He'd do cardio, then get off and do chest, then back to cardio. We'd be like, "What are you doing?"

Don't miss the entire exclusive interview with Batista in WWE Magazine's June edition, on newsstands this Tuesday.

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