Circle of Champions: Batista Grants Stanley Wade's Wishes
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- For Make-A-Wish Foundation's Stanley Wade, 13, of Little Rock, Ark., a chance to meet "The Animal" Batista was an opportunity that he longed for ever since the 6-foot-6, 290-pounder's 2002 WWE debut.
"When I first saw Batista I thought ‘wow, he's so strong., I should make him my favorite wrestler,'" Wade said, moments before seeing his favorite Superstar face-to-face for the first time. "The Animal rocks out loud and has raw power! There are not enough words in the English language to describe my feelings on Batista. He's just totally wickedly awesome!"
Wade, sitting patiently, expressed his opinions about the upcoming WWE Draft and how he wants Batista to stay on SmackDown. Then, the "True Champ" pulled out his notepad to read over the six specific questions he wanted to ask the three-time World Heavyweight Champion, nodded and told his mother he's ready.
Three minutes later, the moment that Wade had been waiting for ever since that lone Friday night six years ago, occurred -- The Animal walked into the World Arena locker room area and sat next to the True Champ.
"Are you able to breathe in this high Colorado altitude?" Batista, who had arrived to Colorado Springs after a week-long Australia promotional tour, asked.
"It's hard to breathe being next to you," an excited Wade declared.
Batista signed autographs, posed for photos with the True Champ and his family, and gave Wade tons of WWE merchandise. Unearthing the budding journalist in him, Wade quickly gathered his composure, pulled out his pen and notepad, and began firing away with questions at his favorite Superstar. The Animal answered Wade's question about his toughest match -- the Hell In A Cell Match against Undertaker, his matches against Khali and his road to WWE.
"Stanley is definitely a future reporter. For such a young age, he was so prepared, organized and very professional," Batista recalled, admiring Wade's journalistic skills. "I was very impressed. Usually when you meet kids they're kind of star-struck and completely forget every question they had."
Batista, a huge fan of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, reflected on what it means to him to experience being a part of granting the Circle of Champions honoree's wishes.
"It's one of the coolest things about our job. It's amazing that a kid's one wish is to meet you. That's one of those things that 99 percent of the world will never get to know. It's such an honor. If I wasn't doing this I wouldn't have the opportunity to make a kid smile," Batista expressed.
And smiling is what the True Champ couldn't help but do.
"I'm so excited now. The only part that shocked me is that he answered all my questions," Wade described. "My friends back in Little Rock won't believe me. They'll probably think that I got my pictures off the computer. I'll tell them I didn't. I saw the real Batista."