Source: The Steve Austin Show
Recently on The Steve Austin Show with guest Vince Russo, the self-professed global icon and national treasure, Steve Austin, discussed the current state of WWE. Austin suggested that today's WWE lacks continuity in storylines. Also, Austin said that the current environment is a far cry from the days of The Attitude Era. Austin purported that WWE should be presented as a shoot. Finally, Austin said that WWE is failing to live up to its potential because the decision-makers are afraid to venture into uncharted waters.
"There [are] just no interwoven storylines, which carries through the course of a Monday Night RAW where something, a seed is planted at the beginning of a Monday Night RAW and threaded through the entire show. It's just match after match, segment, or in-ring segment, skit, whatever you want to call it, backstage promo."
Austin professed that times have changed since The Attitude Era, where there was a two or three person writing team and agents or producers were not getting involved in putting matches together as much. A lack of trust on the part of Vince McMahon may be the reason for the current setup.
"I remember in the match where I wrestled Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 in Chicago [Illinois], I was going to pass out in the Sharpshooter in a pool of blood and we go into the finish room and that's all we get. 'Hey Steve, you're going to do the honors today and you're going to pass out in the Sharpshooter.' Didn't say anything about blood. That was to come later. So, we listen to the orders from our leader and I said, 'okay' and of course Bret was over. And Bret was a great business man and a guy I have a lot of respect for. So we walked out of the room. And so, my point is, me and Bret were going to discuss different parts of the match and a little bit of color. And I would cycle back into Vince's room and say, 'hey Vince, are you sure about this finish?' He goes, 'God dang, Steve. I'm telling you it'll work.' I said, 'okay. Good enough.'
"And so, my point is, he gave us a directive, he gave us the finish, and he trusted us to go out there and execute everything. No agent, nobody helped Bret and I with that match. We went out there, we had a little conversation. There was a fishbone of events and the rest was called on the fly and we executed with extreme precision, probably the only real double turn done in the history of WWE that I know of at that high of a level. And there was work on the backend for both of us, but it was trust."
Austin argued that WWE should be presented as a genuine athletic competition. As a purported league or promotion, WWE should adhere to certain rules that help tell stories.
"Everything's so slick now. I would just present it as more of a competitive endeavor. Make it seem like a shoot. I mean, we know the [professional wrestling] business is a work, but present it as a shoot. I mean, have Seth Rollins Curb Stomp somebody. Fine him $15,000. Hey, maybe the money's not going to change hands, but it's the fact that you have a set of rules, guidelines, presentation. You can have all the high production values that you want. Yeah, that's great, but just present it in a competitive atmosphere, so that your storylines reflect that reality."
Similarly, Austin stated that the so-called 'Reality Era' lacks realism.
"They call it the reality era, but it's anything but reality. And on the other note, going into unknown territory or uncharted waters, back in the day, man, whether you're a fan or not of some of the storylines or angles we were shooting, they were edgy as hell and we weren't afraid to push into those uncharted waters or territories. And if you're afraid to do that, if you're afraid to try to grow, if you're afraid to take a chance as a company, whether you're publicly traded or not, then you're failing to live up to your potential as a company! I mean, because that's what the entertainment business is. If wrestling falls under the entertainment umbrella, people need to push the envelope!"
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