Source: Ring Rust Radio
As noted earlier, Bleacher Report featured columnists Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin recently interviewed WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, which you can check out above. Here are some more highlights from the interview:
Donald Wood: You are one of the biggest names in wrestling history and you are now making waves with your podcast The Steve Austin Show on PodcastOne. With a long list of exciting guests, how have you found the transition from wrestling and movies to the podcast medium?
Well, you know, it's interesting. Asking people questions, carrying on conversations, you certainly develop a rhythm and a style. I learned early on that one of the mistakes I was making early on was trying to cram too much stuff in an interview. I'd talk to guys who had 20- to 40-year careers and try to condense that into a two hour session, and it just doesn't happen like that. So now, I just have bullet points and we start talking and it ends up just being a conversation. I don't paint by numbers anymore, I just go by how I feel and try to take the conversation in different places and just go with the flow. It has been an interesting transition. I enjoy doing it. It allows me to use some of the creative energy that I put into Monday Night Raw way back in the day and it gives me a way to maintain communication with my fan base and to just simply and purely entertain them. I don't talk about religion, politics, none of that bull****; it's just audio whoop ass for the working man and the working woman to take their mind of the task at hand.
Mike Chiari: You've already interviewed many of the biggest stars in wrestling on your podcast, but who's one person you haven't had on the show yet who tops the list in terms of desired guests?
I'd like to talk to Hulk Hogan, of course, because he's one of the biggest names in the history of the business, if not the biggest. So, obviously I'd like to talk to Hogan. 'Superstar' Billy Graham. I'd like to talk to Dusty Rhodes face-to-face, in person. I had a chance to talk to him on the phone in the early stages like some of the people who I've already interviewed.
It's always different talking to someone on the phone, of course. I've talked to Bret "The Hitman" Hart and Shawn Michaels on the phone, but a one-on-one conversation is the best. I've actually just connected to Kevin Von Erich the other day, we've been trying to get together for a while and I'm actually going to make a trip out to Hawaii. The wife has been trying to con me into going to Hawaii forever. That's one place that I have not been, so while we go to Hawaii to satisfy my wife's desire to go to and lay on the beach, I'll be interviewing Kevin Von Erich, so he's a guy I'm really looking forward to talking to. Hopefully, I get a chance to talk to him in the next few months. I talked to Undertaker. I asked him if he wanted to do the show, he said he would, and that's a matter of me getting out to Austin, Texas, and talking to him one-on-one, but he's another one I'd love to talk to.
Brandon Galvin: You're the host of Redneck Island, which correct me if I'm wrong, will air this summer in the United Kingdom. In wake of the success of WWE's Legends' House, have you ever thought about doing a version of the show with former or current wrestlers?
I haven't thought about it, but I mean, it's not up for me to come up with ideas for the network. I haven't pitched them anything. I don't know what they're looking for. I know they just rolled out the network and I just finally subscribed to it the other day, so I definitely think there's room for something like that, but it all depends on how far they want to go with it. I would certainly be willing to engage in conversation about doing something like that, and I'm looking forward to Redneck Island finally getting over to the UK because I have so many listeners to my podcast over there in the UK and I'm very excited about them getting the show over there and seeing it. I'm surprised that Redneck Island hasn't gone to Canada because they have CMT Canada, but it's not even over there. It's a great show, and I think they're going to enjoy it and it's certainly a different cup of tea than what they are used to on their programs.
Donald Wood: Another interesting addition to the WWE Network is a new season of Tough Enough. For many fans, your presence on the show was the highlight of the program. Are there any plans of having you back on the show and is that something you would be interested in?
I'd certainly be open to it, but I get my Google alerts and I read that they were bringing back Tough Enough, but then there have been delays in it. I would consider doing something along the lines of Tough Enough because that was my first endeavor into reality television and that is a world I know and love, and that's why I was on that show. I'm not going to blow smoke up my ass, I love the business of pro wrestling and it is something I know better than anything else I know about. So if I get a chance to do that show or they offer that spot to me and we could make it work, I'd love to do that show.
Donald Wood: You are also now working on a new show called Steve Austin's Broken Skull Ranch Challenge on Country Music Television. For the fans excited about the new program, will you explain exactly what should be expected from the series?
The thing about the Broken Skull Challenge is that there's really nothing else like it on television. I was talking on some interviews the other day that kind of brought up American Ninja Warrior, but that kind of plays more to the parkour type athlete and crossfitting as well. Those men and women that do American Ninja Warrior are bad ass in their right, no doubt about that, they're bad ass. But they're competing on a course and competing against the clock. At the Broken Skull Challenge, each week I bring participants to the ranch. We did 10 episodes, five episodes with guys, five with gals. It's head-to-head competition for three rounds, and if you win, you go to the next round. If you lose, you leave the ranch immediately. At the end of the day, we narrow it down from eight to one individual and that individual will take on my personal obstacle course. It's a half mile course, 10 bad ass obstacles that you must overcome. I made my course the skullbuster because it is specifically designed to whoop a man's ass. You beat my course; I'll give you $10,000. If someone has already beaten my course and you beat their time, I give you $10,000 and you will be my returning champion and until someone beats your time, you will get that $10,000. It's nothing fancy; it's down and dirty and you need strength, stamina, determination, will power, a lot of heart and determination to beat my course and to win and succeed at my competition. It's bad ass and we had some hellacious athletes come out to the ranch. On Redneck Island, a show I love, there was a lot of drama and storylines going on because someone's always voted off the island through process of elimination. Here your fate is in your own hands. I set the stage for these athletes to come out here and put on the best performance of their lives or they have to go home; simple as that.
Donald Wood: Have you tackled the obstacle course yourself?
I tackled it, I didn't do it at full speed because I had some knee issues, but certainly I've been through the course, I know how rugged it is and once you watch it and you see how this course breaks down these individuals, piece-by-piece, body part by body part, then it starts getting in their head and messing with their brains and they start doubting themselves. To see the course in a wide shot is one thing, but to see all of the elements in effect and how it affects the men and the women; it's pretty bad ass.
Donald Wood: You have accomplished damn near everything a wrestler could ever imagine in the business. Is there anything now looking back that you wish you had a chance to do? Maybe a certain match or feud?
Well, I wasn't in the right place, mentally, when they wanted to do Hogan. As far as what would draw money, hell that would do a ****pile of money, but I didn't figure the match would be what it could have been if it had happened sooner. That would have been one that would have been cool if it happened. The Goldberg match, which was a no-brainer, but Bill decided to take the guaranteed money from Turner rather than jump into the WWE window and that didn't really work out because he didn't exactly peak out in WWE like he was in WCW. So that never really happened, but it would've been a great match. And I'm not putting Bill down for taking that money, I'm just saying that's the way he played those cards and I can appreciate that. Just as far as key big guys off of the top, a match with Brock would've been bad ass, me and Punk would've been bad ass, and John Cena would've been a bad ass match. I think I could've gotten more out of Cena than anyone he's ever worked with. I'm someone he can go out there with and have a come to Jesus meeting and get his ass fired up. I've got nothing but respect for that guy and a program with Steve Austin would've put him on another level that he has not been yet. He's a top guy, and going to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, so when I say all that I mean it in a positive regard.
Mike Chiari: You, Hulk Hogan and The Rock kicked off WrestleMania 30 in grand fashion in a segment that was just universally loved by wrestling fans. You've obviously had a lot of great WrestleMania matches and moments, but how does that one stack up to the rest?
That was fun, you know. Hogan goes out there first and botches the Superdome, but he catches himself. So I go out there and say, 'it's great to be back here in the Silverdome' just kind of ribbing him and then The Rock comes out, which is great. It was interesting; you saw Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold and The Rock...
I actually pitched to Vince in the back that I wanted to sing Jambalaya. It's an old Hank Williams song and he shot that down. He didn't think it would get over and I think there are some copyright issues or whatever, but could you imagine 70-80 thousand people singing Jambalaya; it would've been bad ass. But what you should have heard was me singing Jambalaya to Vince in the dressing room with Triple H pacing back and forth getting ready for his match. It was pretty damn funny.
Brandon Galvin: WWE recently released their Best of RAW After the Show DVD and as expected, you're featured heavily and quickly become the highlight of the DVD. You were also the focal point for some of the most entertaining segments in wrestling history. I'm curious to know if you had more fun during your career when you were in the ring wrestling or when you were cutting promos and interacting with other wrestlers and fans?
The stuff that happens in the ring, that's what you're there for. That's what brought the people to the building and that's what you take pride in is the stories and the work you put in the ring and being able to take those people on a ride with your opponent. Whether you're working heel or baby face, that's the bottom line. When I got a chance to turn heel and when the lights went down and the cameras seemingly stopped rolling and we were off the air, that was when you could, not break kayfabe, but certainly break your character and do all kinds of stupid *** from rolling down to the ring in the office chairs to singing and telling jokes and ****ing with the crowd. It was an absolute blast. The most fun, bottom line, is in a match, when the ****'s on, and you have to deliver. The shenanigans and all of the haha stuff was very enjoyable, but it all starts and stops with what happens in the ring and on the air.
You've haven't been shy in weighing in on CM Punk's absence from WWE. If he were to make a return to WWE, how would you bring him back?
Man, I don't know. I haven't made too much of it. I predicted he would make a comeback at WrestleMania 30 and obviously that didn't happen. He left the company and whenever he comes back, that's up to him. I don't know how I would bring him back. I just know that when I got out of the business for about 6-10 months, I lost a **** load of money and I believe that if you have got some miles left in the tank, you should make your money while you can and don't leave it on the table because you'll never make that money back. At the end of the day, you can say, 'it ain't about the money.' Well, it is about the money because you need to make as much of it as you can before you can't make that money anymore. I don't know how you bring him back. Certainly the fans would welcome him back because he was doing a great job before he left and when he gets his head right and wants to come back, I believe he will. As far as me playing Mr. Booker, I don't have a clue.
Mike Chiari: You were always viewed as a hugely talented performer throughout your career, but you reached unimaginable levels of success when you developed the Stone Cold character. Do you see anyone on the current WWE roster who may not be a featured part of the show right now, but has the potential to become the next top star and take a path similar to yours?
Man, I think it could be any one of a pool of people. I can't sit here and drop names because I haven't paid that much attention to the roster. I've been trying to DVR the shows. I am several months behind. I just subscribed to the WWE Network and I watched half of the pay-per view so far. Just from guys on the radar right now, I think all of the guys from The Shield have got big futures ahead of them. I don't think they're all carved in stone yet and there are still some missing pieces within each individual part of The Shield. Antonio Cesaro still has a hole somewhere in his game, but he's certainly there. I predict a lot of success for that guy. I think Bray Wyatt is starting to kick ass and do a lot of great things. When they put Cesaro with Heyman, that was an interesting move because there were a lot of people starting to get off on Cesaro, and so they put him with Heyman, which put him back as a heel. The rest of the roster, I don't know enough about. Here's one thing that I will say; I remember watching some of my matches from Dallas on my email, and I was watching them back and I see an athletic body and a guy that's stable, but the look was just not that great. So there are some guys down there that, as they go through the process and they're not afraid to embrace making some changes and making some alterations to their gear, to their look to find the right gimmick and package to bring it all together. Man, there's probably two or three diamonds in the rough down there because they're not close to an appearance that is going to be the final thing that actually helps them get over and be received by the crowd as a heel or a babyface.
Click here for highlights from the interview that we posted earlier, where Austin discussed originally being scheduled to hit the ring last at WrestleMania 30, if he would wrestle Brock Lesnar, CM Punk leaving WWE and more.