On today’s episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho sat down with Austin and Colten Gunn of The Gunn Club. Austin and Colten have joined their father Billy on AEW, but Jericho asked if the two ever considered going to WWE. Austin and Colten revealed a piece of advice their father gave them, which reminded Jericho to reveal similar advice he once gave to a former multi-time tag champion.
“So obviously the relationship with WWE and my dad has been rocky, I guess, up and down, up and down, up and down,” Austin noted. “Obviously, this came up, and I was like, ‘What do you think about the Performance Center?’ He goes, ‘I don’t want you to lose your love for wrestling that you have right now by going there and then them having you turn into that Performance Center, follow directions. You need to be this instead of me being just free spoken and just express myself naturally.’ So it was a discussion that we had, but we tried everything to not go there.
“I think the discussion was, if I remember it correctly, more of like, you can go there, but you need to go do your own thing for two to three years, and find out who you are and try to develop a character yourself or feel out the landscape before you just go straight to the Performance Center and they tell you what to be,” Colten added. “As opposed to you know kind of what you are when you go in there and you have a little more confidence.
“I told Harry Smith (Davey Boy Smith Jr.) that years ago,” Jericho recalled. “WWE’s not going anywhere. You can go tomorrow, or you can go three years from now. What’s the difference, because in that three years, you’ll get not just the in-ring experience, life experience, like you said, seeing things differently, but I mean, that’s one thing that’s great about AEW is that we really have kind of brought it back to wrestling is about you, about a character that you create not what someone tells you what to create. And it’s fine if you’re there, but to me, as a young guy, it’d be way better to be here.”
Austin then discussed the opportunities that he has in AEW that he wouldn’t have gotten in WWE. Jericho then noted another key thing that would not be acknowledged in WWE.
“I don’t think we would get the opportunities to take over the Instagram. I don’t think we would have the opportunity to be in the crowd and be as obnoxious as we are,” Austin pointed out. “I don’t think we’d get as much creative freedom as we have here because we just have to go ask somebody to take over the Instagram and now we do it every week. It’s very easily acceptable for the things that we want to try. If we fail, we fail, but at least we get to try new things here.
“You wouldn’t even acknowledge the fact that Billy Gunn’s your dad,” Jericho noted. “‘Austin and Colten Drinkwater. We’re the Drinkwater twins!'”
Billy’s last appearance in WWE was at the WWE Hall of Fame when D-Generation X were inducted. Austin, Colten and Jericho recalled the moment where Triple H took a shot at AEW.
“That was the Hall of Fame,” Austin recalled. “We were front row.
“So tell me,” Jericho said. “Wasn’t that DX and the whole thing? I’m surprised they let him show up.
“We were too,” Austin admitted. “We were like, oh yeah, absolutely, yeah, okay.
“Well, I think the dig was DX was doing this whole thing like, ‘Vince doesn’t like it when you say his name in the speeches, and he forbids it, but he let DX do it’ or whatever,” Colten explained, “So Shawn and Hunter going were going, ‘We can’t say Vince’s name. He’ll fire us,’ and my dad grabbed the mic. He’s like, ‘Well, he can’t fire me.’ I think it was ‘piss-ant little company’ as a rebuttal.
“We’ve grown up around the business,” Austin noted. “We’re not looking through it through naked eyes and going, ‘Hey, what did you say about my dad?’ We bum rush the ring. ‘Who are these two kids? What is going on?’ But we understood, but I mean, what are you gonna do?”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.