Source: 2 Chairs And A Microphone

As noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin was recently a guest on Paul Mecurio's 2 Chairs And A Microphone show. Among other things, Austin talked about studying the greats, what Mick Foley is like as a person, and whether it is possible to prepare for big bumps.

When asked what professional wrestlers can do outside of the squared circle to improve their craft, Austin replied that studying the likes of Shawn Michaels, Bret 'Hitman' Hart, Ric Flair, and Hulk Hogan helped him step up his game.

"Man, I watched everything I could get my eyes on. Oh yeah, you've got to see what everybody else is doing, like a cat like Shawn Michaels, such an innovator, and back in the day when you were jealous of him you said 'oh, he's just a high spot artist'. He did a lot of things off the ropes. Hey man, Shawn Michaels is probably the greatest in-ring performer I've ever seen in my life. You watch a cat like that, see how he operates, watch his in-ring movement, watch his psychology, the way he does things. Watch Bret Hart, watch Ric Flair, hell, even watch Hogan, who's a limited athletic performer, but he was so over, study why he's so over, the persona, the charisma, the interview, the whole package. So man, I studied every single one of these guys."

On the subject of Mick Foley, 'The Texas Rattlesnake' spoke favorably about the current General Manager of WWE Monday Night RAW, except when it came to Foley's driving ability.

"Mick Foley is a tremendous cat. Very, very smart guy. Oh man, yeah, the most gentle guy who could be probably one of the toughest human beings in the world from the standpoint of absorbing punishment that he has put his body through. The M.O. of his work style in the ring or his persona with barb wire, thumbtacks, bumps, 25, 30-foot bumps, and the tables, chairshots, barb wire, fire. Anything, you name it [and] Mick [has] done it. But as a human being, anytime I came to work, which was anywhere in the world and there was Mick, I'd say, 'hey Mick, I have a question to ask you' because if I had anything that would require some deep thinking, I'd always ask Mick. And as my travel partner, one of my travel partners who would share a s--t box with me, I wouldn't let him drive. He's a horrible wheelman and if he's listening to this, he knows he's a horrible wheelman. No, he's not a great driver. 'Diamond' Dallas Page, another one of my good friends and travel partners, horrible driver."

With respect to whether it is possible to train for a big bump like Mankind's iconic dive off of Hell In A Cell, Austin responded in the negative.

"How do you train for a 25-foot bump off of a steel cage on top of an announcer's desk? You don't. You look at it, or you have this idea in your head, and you think you want to take this bump because it's the biggest pay-per-view of the year and you want to go out there and put it all on the line and you decide that's what you're going to do because at least you are trained in learning how to take a bump, learning how to fall." Austin elaborated, "we know how to fall, but you don't know how to fall from 25 feet. But you know you're going to have to time that thing, so you're going to be on your back when you hit that desk and it's a calculated risk at best."

Austin recalled that Shane McMahon used to practice big bumps with crash pads.

"Now, I won't say that no one has ever practiced a gag before a Monday Night RAW, because sometimes when they come off of that scaffolding, back in the day, I think Shane McMahon would do a test onto a crash pad before they removed that and used whatever they use, not in the form of a crash pad. But as far as Mick Foley going that night or several times doing what he did, hey, you take a look at it, you talk to the guy about it, and 'this is how it's going to be done.'"

Check out the podcast here. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit 2 Chairs And A Microphone with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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