WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was a guest on ESPN First Take Tuesday to promote the new season of Straight up Steve Austin and to preview Sunday’s Super Bowl LV.

During the show, Stephen A Smith brought up the fact that professional wrestling had changed drastically since the 1980s and 1990s.

When asked to comment on the state of pro wrestling in 2021, Austin said that the product is more athletic but different to the bygone era.

“You’re spot in saying that today is a different era,” said Austin. “It’s a more athletic product, the guys and girls are better athletes than we were.

“Growing up, I was a big fan of promotions such as NWA, Mid South, and WCCW as well, and during the Attitude Era, we really pushed the envelope creatively. I just think the business was a lot more protected back then, and it was a grittier product, which is what I thrive on.”

Austin went onto praise today’s WWE Superstars for performing through the pandemic.

“That said, all due resect to all the men and women of WWE for working through the pandemic, and without crowds. When you watch the football games even with even 25 percent capacity of crowds, those fans really affect your performance.

“This is especially true in professional wrestling because that’s how you get your feedback in your decision-making process. I miss the crowds. But yes, it is a different product today.”

As noted, RAW Superstar Randy Orton tweeted at Austin Tuesday, asking The Rattlesnake to interview him on his Broken Skull Sessions WWE Network series.

You can watch Austin’s full First Take appearance below: