With his in-ring WWE days largely behind him, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has become increasingly comfortable with discussing the inner workings of his career, from his signature matches to the feuds and friendships he picked up along the way.
Appearing on The South Kongress Podcast with Cameron Hawkins to discuss his Hall of Fame career, Austin was asked to name some performers he had exceptional chemistry with in the ring. Unsurprisingly, Austin tabbed two of his all-time greatest in-ring foe but described how the way they operated was notably different.
“That’s a hard question to answer as, for some reason, they’re on the same page as you and in opposite fashion. Because if you’re doing this, they have to do the other part, that gear and working with Steamboat man; if I grabbed a headlock on Steamboat, I would work the headlock, but he top wrist out of it. I didn’t have to tell him to do that. He would just do that; Steamboat would do Steamboat stuff,” Steve Austin said via WrestleZone.
“The Rock did electrical stuff. You know, he’s the most electrifying man in sports entertainment. For some reason, the hunger that he had and the passion that I had, I mean, when we got together, I brought out the best in him, and he brought out the best of me, and it was about two cats trying to be number one. But not trying to be number one by one-upping each other, but by working together to make each other the biggest and best so — I don’t know, you just find that groove.
“It’s kind of like talking with people. Sometimes you find like — have you ever been on the phone and maybe it’s a connection or something like that, but you step on each other and right when they’re tailing off, you’re trying to jump in, and then they continue, and it’s like, I’ll go in there and talk to my wife, and I’m like, ‘have you ever talked to so and so on the phone? It’s weird.’ That’s kind of like you’re doing that in the ring. So, anyway, I don’t know chemistry is chemistry for some reason. I wish I could give you a better answer than I tried to give you.”
In a career with literally dozens of highlight reel moments, Austin's time in the ring with Steamboat and Johnson strand above the rest; though the former feud was more wrestling, whereas the latter focused on the microphone almost as much as the in-ring wrestling, both proved just how versatile a performer “The Rattlesnake” can be, leading to many considering him the greatest of all time.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin wasn't surprised to see Vince McMahon sell WWE.
Sitting down for an interview with Jimmy Traina on the SI Media Podcast, Austin was asked about the biggest development to happen to professional wrestling in years, Vince McMahon's decision to sell WWE to Anthem. Unsurprisingly, Austin was on board with his long-time employer's decision, as he views it as an opportunity more than anything else.
“I wasn’t shocked at all. It had been in the grapevine, and then it happened, and it kind of made sense. UFC did it. Why not WWE? Triple H went out there and cut that promo saying they are not going anywhere, meaning the people that are running WWE,” Austin said via Fightful. “I think it needs to come from a wrestling-minded family, all those key players. It’s a tricky business, not anybody with a television background can walk into the pro wrestling industry and can produce results. You keep the people running it that do because they know their fanbase better than anybody. I remember when Vince took the company public. I asked him, ‘Vince, why do you want to do this?’ He said, ‘Steve, to legitimize the business.’ I’m an old school wrestler. I don’t have that business brain that Vince has. I thought, ‘Dude, just hang onto it yourself.’ He’s done what he’s done. He’s the greatest wrestling promoter that has ever lived. It’s a business opportunity, and the machine rolls on.”
Will incorporating WWE under the same banner as UFC help to legitimize the business? Or do fans pretty much know what to expect from WWE and professional wrestling as a whole, with match outcomes *spoiler alert* pre-determined and the company looking to sell action figures to children as much as they want to entice Attitude Era fans to give them another try. Either way, “Stone Cold” is on board with the decision, and that's the bottom line.