twitter google-plus feed2 chevron

Former WCW Power Plant Trainer Dwayne Bruce Responds To Batista’s Criticism

Dwayne Bruce appeared on World Wrestling Insanity (interview available on

The biggest question that most fans might have for “Sarge” Dwayne Bruce is about Dave Batista. In his book, Dave said that during his WCW tryout, Sarge worked him out until he vomited, told him he’d never become a wrestler, and had a “Napoleon Complex.” James Guttman tells Bruce that he knows he’s often asked about the harsh comments, but has a different spin on the question. James mentions how he took some classes at a local wrestling school before he began writing about wrestling.

The experience taught him to respect even the simplest of bumps but also included some insane training methods. The first day, the trainers had everyone running until they threw up and all Guttman could think was how awful the trainers were as people. But, as James got older, he understood the reasoning. After pledging a fraternity, being the new guy in different situations, and just learning more how the wrestling business worked, Guttman had a better understanding of why the trainers did what they did and what they were preparing their students for.

This leads to the question. Batista’s harsh comments about Sarge’s training didn’t come out early in his career. In fact, they came out years into his big time run. Guttman asks Bruce if he was surprised that, by that point, Dave Batista still hadn’t “gotten it” or if that’s common. Dwayne doesn’t feel it is and asks host Glacier if he agrees.

“No, that’s not…I wouldn’t say…Ray, do you think that’s common for people not to ‘get it’ that far into their career? It just went along with the training, didn’t it? You know what? I told everybody at every tryout that they would never be a wrestler. Listen, if I can tell anybody anything to get a little more out of them, and believe me, I’ve evaluated every person that tried out. What their strong points were, what were their weak points, what we had to work on – throughout the tryout, I did that every night. They talk about squats and all that, but listen brother, I did that with them.”

The proof is in the pudding and even in the infamous Louie Theroux documentary that Sarge discusses in-depth during his appearance, you can see him working out alongside the hopefuls. It’s how he runs his training session and those who studied under him can attest to that.

“I lead by example and, the thing is with Batista, I don’ t really remember him trying out. That’s how much he stuck in my mind from the tryout. Yeah, I guess I did tell him he was never gonna make it and all that and whatever. But maybe he’s blessed that he didn’t make it through the Power Plant. I think he turned out OK… You’ve got to be mentally tough.

“You’ve got to be physically tough. If you’re not mentally tough, it’s so easy to get led astray. That’s another reason why the Power Plant was so hard…I guess I told him all those things. But you’re supposed to be smart enough that by the time you made it through and you’re making the kind of money that he was making, at the time (he wrote his book), I guess he should have gotten it. But some people never get it.”

As the interview continues, Dwayne reminds us all that wrestling is constantly changing. Some of the intense training methods are put into play to gage whether someone can stick with a business that often sticks it to you. Bruce once again shows that he lead by example – even when it came to TV time.

“Ray’s put all his heart and soul into everything. Even as gimmicks change. My gimmicks changed. Hell, I’ve been a freakin’ leprechaun. What the hell? (laughs) You’ve got to take everything at face value and know there’s a price. Blood, sweat, tears is what you have to pay.”