On a recent episode of The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin talked about his stint with ECW prior to making the jump to WWE as 'the Ringmaster'. Austin claimed that he would not have found the success he had as 'Stone Cold' without having been 'Superstar' Steve Austin in ECW first.
Austin indicated that his time with ECW was just what his career needed at that point, having been terminated by WCW in 1995.
"[ECW] was just a great environment at that point in my life," Austin recalled. "[ECW] was just a hub of so much creativity and guys going through the refining process, trying things out, experimenting, and, of course, guys with great success with real cool gimmicks laying down some heavy stuff. So, it was a great learning process for me and a real eyeopener as far as the creative freedom that Paul E. [Heyman] harbored down there and you were able to do anything that you wanted to do to get over and that doesn't exist in today's system."
Austin stated that he may not have ever truly become 'Stone Cold' had he not worked with Paul Heyman in ECW.
"I really value my days down there in ECW in Philly." Austin continued, "it was a pivotal time in my career and I dare say that if I'd not made my stop through [ECW], I don't know if I'd ever really [become] 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin. I always give Paul Heyman all the credit in the world for helping me get to the level [to which] I got."
On the topic of Heyman and his ability to get the most out of talent, Austin compared him to 'The Dog Whisperer' Cesar Millan.
"That dude's like Cesar Millan talking to a dog. Dude can just talk to a cat. I don't even care if it's a guy or a girl, but he'd get you in a frame of mind where he opens your mind up, or focuses you, or gives you confidence in yourself, or just sparks some kind of creative spark in your brain, but the dude just has a way to talk to talent to get them to crank out some bad ass stuff."
In addition to talking about ECW, Austin discussed WWE's current product, reality television, and his new beer. Click here to check out the rest of the show. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Taz Show with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond