Recently on The Steve Austin Show, 'Global Icon & National Treasure' Steve Austin spoke with Ken Anderson, formerly WWE's Mr. Kennedy, on a number of professional wrestling topics including his thoughts on the current WWE product, the main difference between working for WWE and Impact Wrestling, and the importance of learning the basics for new pro wrestlers.
According to Anderson, he is frustrated by WWE's apparent reluctance to offer great creative freedom to its performers. Requiring WWE Superstars to strictly stick to the script has a middling affect where the talent is not permitted to succeed for fail on their own terms.
"The thing that's frustrating to me is that it seems to me that guys are told, and girls are told, exactly what to do paint-by-numbers," Anderson said. "It's not 'just go out there and try some stuff and see what works and what doesn't work' and it's just people are handed a script and told, 'say this exactly verbatim.' That's what's frustrating to me. I wish more people were given the opportunity to fail on their own or succeed on their own. That's the only thing that really frustrates me."
When asked what was the major difference between working for WWE and Impact Wrestling, the former TNA, Anderson divulged that WWE was a much more tense environment than Impact.
"When I was at the WWE, it felt like, at least towards the end, that everybody was walking around on eggshells. Everybody was worried that 'tomorrow might be my last day if I say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, I'm going to get fired.' When I got to TNA… And I think that's the sort of management style of WWE. It's the way they always wanted everybody to be sort of on edge. When I got to TNA, it felt like, 'go out there and do your job and do it to the best of your ability.' Cool. There weren't any politics or anything like that in TNA and the biggest thing, the biggest difference, for me was Eric Bischoff was a big part of me coming to TNA. Like, and when I got there, he said, 'I know that they're sort of hamstringing you, to a degree, in WWE and telling you, 'this is what you have to say - this is when you say it,' he said, 'I'm just going to give you bulletpoints. I don't care how you get there, just here's this main point we want to get to. You just figure out how Ken Anderson is going to get us there.'"
Notably, Anderson shared that he would call ECW maestro Paul Heyman for advice during 'The Head Asshole In Charge''s Impact run and Heyman wrote a lot of Anderson's material.
"The interesting thing was Vince Russo and whoever else was writing at the time, would hand me a script and a lot of the times, I would call Paul Heyman," Anderson revealed. "I was really good friends with Paul and I would say, 'here's what they got for me, here's what I'm thinking, what do you think?' and a lot of times, he would really help me out and come up with a better way to say everything and do it, so Paul actually wrote a lot of my stuff at TNA when I first started."
As previously noted, Anderson and Shawn Daivari run The Academy: School For Professional Wrestling and have Shawn's brother, Ariya, as a trainer. Ariya, aka WWE 205 Live's Dinero Daivari, told Anderson that 205 Live roster does impressive aerial maneuvers, but get critiqued for their in-between work by WWE brass.
"You might be able to execute this pretty, beautiful move, but it's the in-between stuff that looks like crap. That's actually, Ariya Daivari is in WWE right now and he told us the guys on 205 Live do all the pretty stuff, but their in-between sucks sometimes and when they get back through the curtain, that's what they're hearing. They're not hearing, 'oh, that move you did was fantastic.' They're hearing, 'man, your rear chinlock sucked,' 'your punches suck,' 'your forearms suck.'"
Oh, hell yeah! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
Source: The Steve Austin Show