Steve Austin Talks The Attitude Era, Current Product, Jim Ross, C.M. Punk & More
|By Jay Calderon | October 19, 2012 | Comments|
On what separated WWE from WCW and ECW back in their hay days: "Man, it was a great ride back in the day. Obviously, I started out in WCW and I was a good mechanic back in the day. Got fired from that gig, made a turn for ECW. Hooked up with Paul Heyman, got a chance to kind of channel the pissed off energy that I possessed at that time. Got a chance to vent. Finally, it was time to ride off into the sunset and join WWF at the time, which is WWE, and -- man, it was a pure free-for-all. It was a competition. Everybody was out to be number one.
"All of a sudden, it turned into the Monday Night Wars with WCW and WWE and [WCW] stomped our ass for two years. Then, due to some good booking, great characters and great story lines, we started kicking their ass and never looked back. It was a great time to be in the business, it was a great time to watch the business."
On what set the Attitude Era apart: "A lot of people say, 'What set the Attitude Era up or what started the Attitude Era.' To me -- and I was allegedly the leader of it -- sports entertainment, pro wrestling, whatever you want to call it has always had an attitude. So, why that particular generation got labeled, I don't know.
"Nonetheless, speaking for myself, I just channeled what I felt, gave what I felt. Finally, I unleashed the personality of me in a competitive environment which is a killer instinct to dominate and win everything I can and unleash that in a 20 x 20 ring. Good booking, great announcing with my buddy Jim Ross coloring and embellishing all the stories I partook in. It just turned into what it turned into -- it turned into a damn monster."
On what Jim Ross brings to an announce team: "Unbridled passion, knowledge and a great story teller. He tells it like it is. When you've got someone who can verbalize what's going on in the ring like he can, it makes the match all that much better. So, he was an important part of my career, he's had an outstanding career starting from everywhere he started all the way to where he ended up, that's why he's in the Hall of Fame. In my opinion, he was the best ever. But, when you bring passion, knowledge and the ability to tell stories and make people feel what's going on in that ring, you've got a winner."
On what the crowd reaction does to a performer and the match: "When that glass broke and 'Stone Cold' was making an entrance and that roof blew off that building, that sends you higher than life or anything that I know of. It's an adrenaline rush you can't explain. Now, when you get in that ring and you start working, start telling that story, you're using that crowd to make your decisions. Based on what you do, it illicits a response. According to that response and what that crowd gives you, you proceed accordingly.
"You feel off that, man. You're in there, you're having a match and you're feeding off that crowd. That's the gasoline that fuels the match and that's how you make your decisions. If you're not listening to that crowd when you're working, you're missing the biggest part of what working is all about. Coming out to the ring, it's an adrenaline rush. In the ring, it helps you make your decisions. The more that crowd gives you, the more you can give them. It's a win-win situation for them watching and for us being in the ring working."
Axel Montalvo contributed to this article. Got a news tip or correction? Send it to us by clicking here.