Source: The Steve Austin Show
Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin talked about an old photograph taken during a WWE European tour, which features many professional wrestling greats at the back of a tourbus, which is below. Also, Austin shared some insight with respect to WWE's European tours.
"We [were] on a gig over there in Europe, having a damn good time, and wrestling our ass off, putting asses in the seats. Guys were laying their stuff in and the business was on fire. That's what it was." Austin said, "the picture is probably from, it was '97 or '98. I'm almost positive. And this was, we were on a tour. We were over in Germany and over in the U.K., either one. I don't remember which country we were in, but it was on that tour because we would go to Germany for seven days, and then, we'd go to the U.K. for seven days, or vice versa. And this is the back of a tourbus. And, I tell you what, we we're traveling with two tourbuses. Normally, it was heels on one bus, and babies on the other bus."
Interestingly, Austin struggled to determine whether the photograph was taken from the back of the heel bus or the babyface bus.
"Man, and by looking at this, I'm thinking this is, this looks like it's the babyface bus. Naw, that has got to be the heel bus. Man, everybody here flip-flopped so many times, I don't know which bus it was! But I'll tell you what, we were having a damn good time."
Austin noted that while only 11 people are in the picture (Jerry Brisco, Triple H, Henry O. Godwinn, Kevin Nash, The Undertaker, Phineas Godwinn, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Razor Ramon, 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels, 'X-Pac' Sean Waltman, and Paul Bearer), their crew was up about 30 strong.
"It's a circular table back there and you see in the picture, damn near everybody has a beer. The beers are all covered up because there are so many arms. Henry Godwinn has got a bottle of Jack [Daniels] and we were passing that thing around." Austin added, "there are 11 people crowded around this table. Not everybody was in the back of the bus. Not everybody was in on the party thing. There are a lot of guys in all the seats up ahead, so, man, we probably had a crew of guys, man, probably 30 strong."
According to Austin, Triple H was the only person at the back of the bus who would not consume alcohol.
"Everybody on the damn back of the bus was drinking, except Triple H. Only every now and then would Triple H would have a drink with the boys because the dude just doesn't drink and he's into his body and his physique."
Also, during Austin's discussion of the photograph, he ran down how the European tours would go back in those days.
"This was what it was like every single night. Once you got through, everybody hit the showers, everybody got their stuff, everybody got on the bus, they had a to-go meal, and, man, as soon as we got on that bus, the drinking would commence. A lot of times, back in those days, those trips were anywhere from, shoot, two or maybe an hour-and-a-half, to seven hours long. It would all depend on where you were and which country. Some of them were quite extensive and guys would be passed out. And what we'd do, we'd just go back there, pass that bottle of whiskey around. If we'd drink that one, we'd pass another one around. Most of the guys were drinking beer. If you were to look in the front of the bus, there's a big container, like a plastic box, iced, full of beer, whatever the local flavor was of whichever country we traveled in, that was always in the box and we always had beer."
Austin continued, "and this was back in the party days. And wherever we were going, whether it was in either country, Germany or the U.K., we had a standing agreement, some kind of relationship with all the hotels we were staying at, and these were all real nice hotels, but wherever we went over there, it was so cool, that no matter what time we showed up, whether it was 12 midnight, two in the morning, four in the morning, five in the morning, the bar was always open. Most times, we'd get to the destination, give or take, between 1 and 3 a.m., and the bar was open, so, man, all the guys would go put their stuff in their room, and some of them would take a shower and whatever, drop your stuff off in your room, call home, and then, everybody would go down to the bar to continue the mayhem."
Apparently, Austin did not go to the gym while on European tours for WWE.
"And I'll tell you what, we would live it up on the road and just have a good time. And then, when you wake up, a lot of guys would go to the gym. Sometimes, most times when we were overseas, I didn't go to the gym because I didn't like the gym scene over there, trying to catch a taxi or whatever to get a workout in."
Austin concluded his comments on the picture by indicating that he looks back at that time fondly.
"We would run roughshod over there. We'd drink heavy, we'd work hard, put on a good show at the matches and I look back at this picture, and to me, people always ask me, 'hey man, do you ever miss the business anymore?' I say, 'naw, I've been out long enough that I've got it out of my system, but I miss the guys. I miss the good times. I miss the crowds. I miss the fans.' I miss stuff like that. You miss the adrenaline rush and now you don't even miss it. You just have fond memories of it. When I look at this picture, man, I see 11 guys. Well, Kevin Nash is kind of mad dogging the camera and Taker has that cool look on his face. Everybody back there is having the time of their life, living out their dream, traveling all over the world wrestling in the squared circle. If that wasn't what the personification of what pro wrestling is, then I don't know what it was all about."
Check out the podcast here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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