The legendary WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sat down with ESPN to discuss the airing of his interview with the Undertaker for his new WWE Network show “Broken Skull Sessions” this Sunday night immediately following Survivor Series. Austin spoke on the fact that Taker doesn’t do out of character interviews, and admitted that he was a little nervous going into the interview.
“There was so much to cover. And also the first time you do anything — I do a podcast, but this is more like an interview show on television via a network — so when you’re doing something for the first time, it is a little nerve-racking. And then you’re trying to cover a 30-year career. You realize right before you start rolling, there ain’t no way we can cover 30 years in this amount of time. So, I think we’ll see another session with The Undertaker, because he’s had such a long, successful career and it covered so much information.
As much as I’ve known Mark — and I’ve always called him Taker — as long as I’ve known Taker and I’ve worked angles with him, we were strictly business. We didn’t always just sit around and shoot the breeze. So, this is one of the first times I’ve really sat across the guy and traded stories about life, about the business, life inside the business, how he made that character work. It was daunting. I was a little nervous, but I had a blast once we started rolling, and I watched that guy light up like a Christmas tree and laugh and smile like a regular human being. He’d tell stories that are just unbelievable.”
Austin went onto admit that when he and the Undertaker were both competing every night, that they were more like acquaintances than close friends.
“We were friends, but we were more acquaintance friends. Because man, back in the ’90s and that Attitude Era, he was kind of reinventing himself coming back from an injury and he came out with American Bad Ass. That was such a competitive time. We were at war with WCW, with Nitro. But man, within that locker room, we were all getting along, you know we were traveling together — it’s like a package deal because there are 10 matches on the card and you’re in that circle. It’s like a brotherhood, or a sisterhood, like a group of people that do a very specific thing and there’s not a whole lot of people doing it.
So in some form, in a way you’re very close. But also, because it’s so dang competitive, everybody is fighting to get to the top of that card. A lot of times you’re holding your cards pretty close to your sleeve just because you’re trying to get on top. That whole locker room now, when you look back at that Attitude Era, almost everybody on the card is or is gonna be in the Hall of Fame. Everybody there was kicking, scratching and clawing to get to the top.”
Austin then went on to discuss if he has considered returning to the wrestling ring for one more match.
“I’d be happy to give you a two-letter answer: N.O. It’s like people say, it’s show business, and in the wrestling business, it’s never say never. If you ask me, ‘Steve do you have a couple of Stunners, a couple of right hands or do you have some hell raising left in you?’ Absolutely, I do. But just to go in there, lace them up and go in there for a 15-, 20-minute match? No, man. I don’t. Nor do I want to. I did what I did, and in WrestleMania 19, that was my last match with The Rock and he beat me 1-2-3 right in the middle of the ring. Took three Rock Bottoms, but that was the last match that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will ever have.”
Austin explained further why he is content with not wrestling again.
“The wrestling business for me, it’s very addictive. I was hooked on that business, and I loved it. As many years as I’ve been away from the business, I have fond memories. Whereas, when I was forced to take myself out of the equation, I had a hard time dealing with it. So why go back and get so immersed in that world, knowing that it would be a short road? And the build up and then the match. I just think when it was all said and done, it would be anticlimactic for me. I don’t have anything to prove. People can judge me on the career that I had. So, I’d rather leave well enough alone is the simple answer.”
Austin then discussed the return of CM Punk to “WWE Backstage,” and if he thinks Punk will ever return to the ring.
“Pure speculation, but he’s certainly young enough and in good enough shape to do it. I know that he’s still doing his MMA training, so I know that means he’s in shape. I don’t know, that’s completely up to CM Punk. But I’m just excited that he’s back with the WWE. Some things have been mended. I know there was hard feelings on either side, so the fact that he’s back in the fold, I know he loves the business of professional wrestling or sports entertainment. He’s very opinionated, has a very knowledgeable opinion of the business, because of the roads that he’s traveled and the level of success that he’s had. And he’s a really smart guy and he’s a great promo and a great analytical mind. So, I’m glad that he’s back. I hope that he enjoys his ride. It’s good to see him and WWE have mended whatever happened back in the day. I’m excited for him, because I’m a CM Punk fan and I always have been. I’m happy for the guy.”
Finally, Austin gave his thoughts on numerous hours of wrestling content that are now available to watch every week.
“I DVR everything, and I watch specific matches that people tell me to go check out. AEW is doing AEW and WWE continues to do WWE. I’m seeing so much wrestling on television, along with the Backstage show, which I think is great. I love SmackDown on Fridays and I love NWA Power on YouTube. I’m just glad there’s been a resurgence in the business and it’s coming back on television with the volume that it is. I’m hoping with all the wrestling there is that people are digging it and it grows the audience. I don’t know if it’ll grow it back to what it was during the Monday Night Wars, but I hope it grows the business and it continues to provide a great living for the guys and gals that get in this business and need a place to work.”
Check out a preview clip of Austin’s interview with The Undertaker below.
Matt’s Musings: With there now being thousands of wrestling Podcasts in the world, The Undertaker is the last living wrestling legend to not share his story. That makes this Sunday’s interview with the Undertaker must watch programming for most wrestling fans. As for Austin wrestling one more match, I would love to see it. I understand, however, Austin not wanting to deal with the pressure and extremely high expectations that would come with having another match.