Stone Cold Steve Austin recently chatted with Dale Earnhart Jr, on Dale Jr, Download. Austin shared multiple interesting items including memorable opponents, safest workers, working with blood, Mick Foley, and of course beer.
"I loved working with The Rock," Austin said. "Wrestlemania 17 was a hell of a ride. And I loved working with Vince. Because the Vince feud transcended wrestling. For two years, it was water cooler talk. I don't care what you did, at lunch you'd ask, 'Hey man, did you see what Stone Cold and Vince did last night?' And Vince was an awesome opponent because he feels this stuff as much as I do. He's an animal. He's one of the most interesting people I've ever met in my entire life. And I love the guy."
The concept of having another performers life and safety in your hands was spoken about. When pedaling through the list of safest workers in wrestling, Austin mentioned Bret Hart multiple times. Among a collection of noteworthy superstars, Bret Hart appeared to come out as the safest and most respected in Austin's opinion.
"I loved working with Bret Hart," Austin admitted. "There was so much trust and respect. And like I said the high profile matches I've had with The Rock, Undertaker, Triple H, Mankind, the list could be a mile long but if I've got to give you one guy, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart. There was a trust and respect there from day one. He picked me as his opponent to come back for Survivor Series."
While discussing his bloody Bret Hart match at Wrestlemania 13, Austin hit on some of the psychological and physical aspects of using blood and its sanitary dangers in professional wrestling.
"It's the exclamation point on a great feud - it ended in a blood bath," Austin explained. "It's a very interesting feeling when you first push that blade into your head because there's a crackle of the skin and you got to drag just a little bit. It's like a rite of passage though. You're expected to do it because you grew up seeing it and now you get a chance to do it. All of a sudden, it's in the nineties, you're trading blood with a lot of people. Some of these guys who are party animals...there's always the guy who bites the open cut and spits the blood out, I was like 'Holy s**t!' Any night of the week, you could get staph infection."
During the conversation surrounding the violent side of wrestling, Mick Foleys name was bound to come up. Austin claimed Foley was one of the smartest performers in the wrestling business and willingly utilized his physical style of wrestling because that was what best worked for Foley.
"[Mick Foley] knew that he wasn't going to be a high flyer or a mat technician," Austin said. "I think to an extent he enjoyed the pain. When Undertaker threw him off that cage onto the announce desk, I think he did it because it was a means to an end. It was a style that worked for him. I think that was his calling card."
Synonymous with beer, Austin cracked the topic of the beverage gimmick open for discussion. Austin claimed that though Sandman in ECW did it first, he used it more as a prop in the ring while enjoying it more as a consumer outside the ring. Austin also used the opportunity to humbly plug his own line of beer, Broken Skull IPA.
"I didn't invent it. Sandman was doing it in ECW," Austin said. "I would just crack them together. You gotta add some showmanship to it. I would tell people I was drinking for a living and wrestling on the side. I got into the beer business. All this craft beer stuff started popping up and I thought let me give this a try'. I teamed up with El Segundo Brewing Company to get into the beer market. So, I have Broken Skull IPA. That beer is hand crafted by myself and the owner Rob Croxall to my specifications, I'm very partial but that beer was built for me. It was one of the of the best IPAs in America."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Dale Jr, Download with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.