MORE FROM STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
During his interview with OC Weekly, Austin touched on numerous subjects beyond his new movie career. There wasn't room enough to cover all of them in print; here, for the fans, he offers up some additional uncensored opinions.
On rumors of a WWE-brand beer: Oh, we were going to come out with a beer. And then we were in the middle of research & development and I even went down to Rochester, NY, to the place where we was gonna make the beer and participated in some of the testing and tasting and stuff like that. I can't remember what happened back then, but there was a difference of opinions between, I guess, me and Vince [McMahon] at the time, and we never came out with it, but were certainly going to.
Kicking Donald Trump's ass at WrestleMania: Donald Trump was a class act. I think him doing business was good for us, and him doing business with us was good for him. It was to his credit that he took a Stone Cold Stunner. I take my hat off to the guy. He was wonderful to work with.
That scene in The Longest Yard where he beats Nelly up and uses the N-word: It was a very uncomfortable situation, because in using the language that I used, there was obviously a little bit of tension on the set. But that's what the script called for and that's what we did. It got a little old pretty quick. But it was all for the movie, and everybody after that point was happy-go-lucky again, but it was a tough day at the office.
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Working with former WWE wrestler Nathan Jones again, this time onscreen: You know, Nathan Jones was a big Stone Cold fan. I remember when he came to WWE, he would stand in the middle of the ring before Monday Night Raw and he'd cut promos on me that he'd memorized for years and years and years. And when I went to
His "WHAT?" catchphrase, and how to counteract it: You know, there's a deal with that. I had so much fun doing that. Who would have known that it would have turned into what it would have turned into? All you do, if you're cutting a promo and don't want that "What!?!" chant to happen is you just change your cadence. You take out that little hesitation, that little pause, you don't give 'em room to insert that "What!?!"… and you continue accordingly. That's all there is too it. Pick up the cadence and hold back on the pauses.
Fellow Texan beer-guzzler and Smackdown superstar John "Bradshaw" Layfield: Let me tell you somethin'. We've been on so many overseas tours, where we're ridin' that tour bus and everybody's kind of goin' to sleep or playin' video games and me and ol' JBL are sittin' there sluggin' 'em back. And lemme tell ya somethin'… we never turned it into a contest because it would have been too brutal, but he's a guy who enjoys his beers just like I do. And when you're on tour, you're supposed to drink beer! That's what pro wrestling's all about! And he's a great, great drinking partner and I love to listen to him do his commentary on Smackdown. I think the guy's hilarious.
Potential wrestling mega-stars of the future: It remains to be seen. Right now, if Ken Kennedy can put it together, he's the guy that can do it. Right now, John Cena's doing wonderful, but at my level? He's not there… he's doing wonderful where he's at. But my level was the highest level that it's ever been and I don't see that happening in the near future. I want it to happen, though, especially for the lucky individual that it happens to.
Current WWE champion John Cena, and the mixed reaction he gets from fans: It's interesting. I've got respect for the guy, for the shoes that he's walking in. The girls and the kids love him, but your older guys seem to boo him. That being said, I don't care what they do… he's still their top guy. Right now, he's their top guy by far. To me, he's carrying the company and I think he's really responsible for the huge youth movement that they're seeing right now. Lots of kids. Probably the biggest kid fanbase that they've had in a long time. And he's great business for corporate sponsors, because he's got the good image, he says the right things, he looks the right way. He's got a lot going on for himself.
Brock Lesnar, "The Next Big Thing": He could have been, but he dropped the ball and decided he wanted to play football and was tired of livin' on the road. I like Brock. I wish him well. If he's happy with his decision, then more power to him. I tend to think that he'd like to come back.
The Rock's claim that it's important to lose as many matches as you win, to create a sense of jeopardy: First of all, that's bullshit. The Rock never went up to Vince McMahon and said, "I need to lose more matches." Ever. Now, I will say that when I first came to this company as The Ring Master, I got beat like a drum… and deservedly so. I was a nobody, I was a mechanic. And I was a guy… I could have good matches with top guys, but top guys needed to beat me. I loved being in the ring with The Rock. I have nothing bad to say about him, and nothing but good things to say about him, but let me tell you somethin'… there's no way that Rock ever went to Vince and said, "I need to lose more matches, so that people will think there's some jeopardy." I will guarantee you that.
Wearing a suit for the Hall of Fame, after refusing to ever do so in character: You go to the Hall of Fame, and I'm so happy to go every year, because of my love for the business and my respect for the guys who paved the way for cats like me and everybody else… Stone Cold Steve Austin is never gonna be a corporate guy in a WWE storyline. But in showing respect to the guys that were the best of the best, I'll wear a tuxedo any day of the week, to get out there and hang out with those guys, pay my respects and certainly, above and beyond, to be able to induct somebody into the Hall of Fame. It's a very big honor to be a part of that. You have to act and dress accordingly.
Former WCW head honcho Eric Bischoff,who fired him for not being marketable enough, and now says Austin should thank him for it: Well, I was mad when they fired me, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And he's right. Me and Eric buried the hatchet a long time ago. We're not around each other anymore, but when he was up on Monday Night Raw, Eric likes to drink beer, so we'd always have a few drinks after Monday Night Raw. The guy did what he needed to do back then, thought he needed to do and… they walked out, and it went really well for me. So I have absolutely no hard feelings towards Eric. He's actually a real funny guy.
The revived, McMahon-owned ECW: You know, I love all of the programming that the WWE tries to do, but it's such a diluted product from the original idea. That being said, the original idea being as violent and aggressive as it was, you know, I don't know how you run a promotion like that. I'm just glad that they've still got a show and the guys are still out there, getting a benefit from it, getting some TV time. I think there are guys that are always gonna have that kind of a ring style that's more conducive to a show like ECW, moreso than the traditional storytelling style, like a Ric Flair. So I think it's a good platform for a lot of guys, but certainly not too reminiscent of the original ECW...I'll never forget the day after I got fired from WCW. Paul Heyman was on the phone the next day. "Steve, come up here and go to work for us." "I can't, Paul. My arm's hurt." "You ain't gotta work, just come over and cut promos." "Really?" "Yeah!" There I was, the next week. Phildelphia. ECW was a good place for me. Someone finally put a microphone in front of my face and gave me camera time. Paul E. Dangerously, one of the best promos ever cut. He's puttin' me in front of the camera and says, "Go ahead." I said, "Well, I don't know what to talk about." He goes, "Just talk." And I did. We're coming out with a new DVD, coming out at Christmas, and there should be some of the promos I'm talking about on there. Things that were a big part of the Stone Cold that was yet to come. And Paul E. Dangerously, we used to travel together, me, him, Rick Rude. I loved the psychology of the business, his great mind and he was always good to me and ECW was a great place for me. And I'm grateful that he gave me that opportunity because it helped me to get into the WWF.
TNA wrestling, and their six-sided ring: I think that shape of ring… Strike that… I don't like that shape one bit. It just ain't pro wrestling. I enjoy people tryin' things, but when things ain't workin', retry or go back to what wrestling was made to be, in a 4-sided ring. The old squared circle. That's what people wanna see. That's what pro wrestling is. Put Ric Flair in that ring. Could he have a match? Yeah, but I don't wanna see Ric Flair in a ring like that. I dunno what Dusty Rhodes'd do in a ring like that or Jake the Snake Roberts. I damn sure don't know what I'd do in it. That being said, I wish TNA luck, because I want competition. But I think if they got rid of that ring and went to a squared ring, they could have more success. And I'm glad those guys have jobs and I wish 'em all safe health, good health and lots of money. And I wish all the people behind TNA all the success in the world, because competition's only gonna make them better and the WWE better and it's gonna give more boys more jobs.