Batista and Titus O'Neil have been friends dating back to when O'Neil still was playing football. During a recent appearance on Chris Jericho's podcast, the former six-time champion turned movie star Batista had some strong words for what happened to his friend when he was suspended for 60 days by WWE last year. O'Neil was suspended for a physical, yet playful, altercation with McMahon as Raw went off the air on the night Daniel Bryan announced his retirement.
"I've given him advice over the years—some of it he 's taken, some of it he hasn't. I told him he should have left the WWE. After he got suspended," Batista said on the latest episode of Talk Is Jericho. "I was just like, dude, I would've been out of there. I thought that was a conversation, Vince should've pulled him aside and said, 'Don't ever do that again.' And then it would have never happened again. It should have been a man-to-man type thing. If he had such an issue with it. I could see the point where he may, just bad timing."
Batista went on to say that O'Neil should have gotten the benefit of the doubt, especially given his track record for being what Batista describes as "super loyal" to WWE.
"The guy doesn't have any bad intentions in his heart, man. He's just such a good guy. And so I hated it. I felt like it was such a slap in the face. I really feel like they spit right in his face. They also suspended him right through WrestleMania. You don't do that. That guy busts his ass all year and then you take that away from him? Not only did he [McMahon] not talk to him and tell him, 'You shouldn't have done that, man', you suspend him, but he didn't even do it personally. He had somebody else do it. And then he fined him. Man up. That's when you man up. He's just so loyal to the company. You give him that respect."
Last year, on an episode of his own podcast, Ryback Reeves talked about how Vince McMahon would regularly sneak up on people backstage and apply submission holds.
Batista was influential in getting O'Neil into WWE but downplayed that influence in the interview with Jericho.
"He always gives me way more credit than I deserve. I didn't really do anything other than, tell him what he needed to do, and then he did it all on his own," Batista said.
O'Neil remains part of WWE, as a midcard heel on the Raw roster.