As noted, former WWE superstar Scott Steiner was recently interviewed by Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc. Steiner discussed how he made the transition from collegiate wrestling to the professional wrestling industry.
Before he was the muscle-bound "Big Poppa Pump" we all know and love, Steiner was an amateur wrestler at the University of Michigan. He competed in the 190-lb weight class and was a three-time Big 10 runner-up. He also earned Division I All-American honors in his senior year, during which he placed sixth in the nation. Steiner immediately made the jump to pro wrestling because he had a desire to perform alongside his brother Rick Steiner. Once Steiner was able to develop his character as "Big Poppa Pump," his popularity greatly increased.
"It was a culmination of my career. I first started pro wrestling right after I got out of college at the University of Michigan so I was in that frame of mind where I wanted to wrestle with my brother," Steiner said. "After I changed my hairstyle, became a 'bad guy' and became 'Big Poppa Pump' that was kind of the way I thought at the time. There were a lot of politics and bull**t in wrestling. That was the way my mind was. People seemed to like it, and took off with it. My interviews were the way I thought and the way I came across it seemed believable because that was the way I was thinking. The fans got with it and liked it."
The Steiner Brothers enjoyed a lot of success as a tag team and Steiner was able to find success as an individual competitor. When asked about his favorite memories in the pro wrestling industry, Steiner mentioned winning championships as the most memorable moments of his career. He also said he enjoyed his time as part of nWo and believes that period was a Golden Age in pro wrestling. Steiner also pointed to a string of sell-out shows in North Korea when he worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling.
"I think the moment sticks out when you win the World Title and World Tag Team Titles. Things like that. The nWo was the greatest time in professional wrestling because we were going into mixed stadiums like the Georgia Dome. That was one of the greatest times in pro wrestling and was the most profitable time in pro wrestling. That was the best, and unfortunately, unless another television company gets involved with pro wrestling that time will never return again," he said. "Another thing that sticks out was when we went to North Korea with 193,000 people for three nights. That will be a record that would be hard to break. It was for New Japan Pro Wrestling. That was the best period that sticks out to me, but it is always great when the house is packed. Makes it fun for everybody."
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.