Legendary wrestler, podcast host and star of CMT's Broken Skull Challenge, Stone Cold Steve Austin joined the latest episode of Off The Board with Jimmy Traina.
During the wide-ranging, 37-minute chat, Austin talked about transitioning from the WWE to hosting a podcast and television show. He also previewed the upcoming season -- Season 5 -- of Broken Skull Challenge, which debuts on Sept. 26, before reminiscing about his illustrious career and sharing his opinions on a slew of topics. At the very end, he talks about his beer drinking exploits.
Here are some highlights:
On his all-time favorite memory during his time in the WWE: "WrestleMania 13 with Bret "The Hitman" Hart was one of my favorites of all time. I just remember laying there in a pool of blood and he had the sharpshooter on me. I was struggling to get out and just the feeling I was getting from that Chicago crowd. ... I remember him finally breaking the sharpshooter off of me and I knew we accomplished the mission at hand, so that was a favorite moment.
And if you go to WrestleMania 17, that night me and The Rock pulled down the AstroDome, it was an all new indoor attendance record for the AstroDome-- they said George Straight broke it later on, but whatever -- but being in there with The Rock and just lighting that crowd up. We started that thing off as a brawl, nothing but right hands, and went 25-27 minutes. I didn’t like the heel turn at the end now that I look back, but, man, being in there with The Rock and lighting up 65,000. Off. The. Charts. And then stunning Vince McMahon, driving the Zamboni and clotheslining his ass in Detroit, stuff like that. Those things are some of the highlights I treasure."
On broadcaster Jim Ross: "That guy was a walking, talking, living soundbite and his soundbites resonated and they struck a chord and a nerve with people and people will never forget it. That’s why he has all those memes all over social media."
On his famous 15-minute singalong promo with The Rock: "I remember it that night as being one of the coolest things that could ever happen. I broke in in '89 and was still alive and well. … So all these years later, there I am singing with one of my arch rivals and dear friends, who I respect the hell out of, and we’re out there singing and sharing a microphone and not doing too damn bad and everybody’s eating it up. It was funny as hell. … I look at some of that stuff and I can’t believe some of the good times we had and a lot of them I’ve forgotten about. But I remember that night. How much fun it was as I look back and see how much fun we were having, it’s like Jesus Christ, we were getting paid to do this? And they were paying us a shitload of money to do it. It was great."
On Roman Reigns: "I think Roman is a star and I think WWE needs to continue to go down the path they’re going with him. They don’t need to flip him heel just arbitrarily to make the fans happy... I think Roman is a star. Now with that being said, is there still room for him to learn and grow? Oh, hell yeah. By leaps and bounds. He’s nowhere near where he will be in three or four years. But at this point in his career, with a few not-so-great booking ideas, but also a learning curve on his part, he is where he’s at and he’s a top guy on that roster and he’s still gonna keep improving and he has to because he’s not a seasoned veteran.
You put that guy in that line up during the Attitude Era, with that roster of Hall of Famers, guys that have yet to be in the Hall of Fame, holy smokes, I think the guy could’ve been lights out because the competition was so hot, heavy, and fierce. It was sink or swim. You got a bunch of guys out there with knives and you get in the way and they will cut you, so, I think he would’ve thrived in the Attitude Era and right now, just with his looks, his size, his physicality, he’s gonna be just fine and he’s gonna be a big star."
On whether he could be a star if he broke into the WWE now: "I’m thankful I came along in the wrestling business when I did because it was the last of the wild, wild west and the last of just going out there and trying to do something to get over and, God dang it, I had a blast."
On whether he'd ever give the fans something they've never seen -- a match with Hulk Hogan: "I declined that match and I know Hogan was game. I was kind of in a different place in my head at the time and I don’t know where I was at, but it wasn’t in the wrestling ring. The stars just didn’t align for that match to happen. Obviously that’s a great match on many people's list and it would’ve been a match I wish I would’ve had. I won’t have it now. I can’t do the things I used to do. It would’ve been a great moment to be in there with one of the all-time greats."
On getting into the podcast business: "I was rough as hell when I started, I’m still not NPR quality, my show is what it is. And I have fun doing it."
Austin also talks about how one of Donald Trump's people almost prevented him from taking the Stone Cold Stunner, the craziness of the Attitude Era, working with Vince McMahon, whether CM Punk will return to the WWE, drinking beer and much more.