Steve Austin On Wrestlers Taking His Stunner, His Match With Shawn Michaels, Transitioning From Wrestler To Brawler

(Photo Credit: A&E)

WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin recently appeared on UpUpDownDown’s live stream for an interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, Austin commetned on the wrestler’s taking his stunner:

“I love the reaction that The Rock would do. Razor took a good one, but it was all like an individual thing. Vince, I mean, he wasn’t even in the top 100. That last one at 38, when we botched that one, I just got up and started laughing because when you blow something that bad, everybody knows what’s up, so you might as well let them all in right off the get go.”

“There’s been a bunch of good ones. There’s been so many. It’s hard to remember, but I just remember Rock really putting the Hollywood in it. He put the oversell into it, but that oversell matched the moment and magnified the story that we were telling. We fed off each other. We were like Frick and Frack out there.”

His thoughts on the WrestleMania 14 match in which he defeated Shawn Michaels to win the WWF Championship:

“That was a big deal for me as it is for everybody. The match, on a one to five, is a two. I mean, Shawn, I consider from bell to bell, when the bell rings from the beginning to the end, I consider Shawn to have no peers. Now, Bret as far as realism, you can’t top him. Flair is my traveling World Champion. I mean, he’s the man. But from bell to bell talent wise, no one can lace Shawn Michaels boots. So to go out there and have a lackluster match with him and in the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, and that was a sold out show and it’s a small building compared to nowadays, that was a big deal. We had Mike Tyson there. I remember when Vince told me one time he said, ‘You know, I’m thinking about bringing Mike Tyson in.’ I said, ‘Why are you going to bring in Mike? He’s like, ‘Why am I going to bring in Mike? Because he’s really, really over.’”

“When Mike came in, me and Mike hit it off, and he was over. He brought a lot to it, so it was cool being out there with Mike. Me and Shawn could have had a way better match, but he was in a bad place. He was injured. I was just red hot. When I got the stunner on him, Mike quick-counted me. He didn’t give me that slow championship pace.”

“But to answer your question, I hated that match. I love Shawn. I have the utmost respect for him, but I don’t consider that to be a good match at all.”

On transitioning from a wrestler to a brawler when he first joined WWE:

“You gotta understand, man, when I first came into WWE, I was more of a scientific based wrestler. As an influence, I emulated the one and only Ric Flair because he’s the gold standard. But when I got dropped on my head, when I came back, I knew that I needed to change my style because I couldn’t do a lot of those things that I was doing. I wasn’t a high flyer, but I needed to change my style. When I turned into a brawler, that’s when everything came together.”

“We were working in Pittsburgh one night and I was traveling down the road with Goldust. I still had the buzz haircut. I didn’t have the goatee. I looked at myself in the mirror and I looked like a raggamuffin. I looked at myself and said, ‘Dude, what are you doing?’, so I just shaved my head. I went to the building that night and everybody said, ‘Dude, why did you shave your head?’ The hair would do me no good anyway. It was inspired by Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction. So anyway, that’s where I started growing out that goatee, and once I got all the pieces together, and you get all that knowledge, but it’s not always about technical wrestling. It’s great to be able to wrestle technically or wrestle pretty, but it’s about, what does this character mean? So I started learning to implement the character traits that transferred to the people and then they can identify with and either love, respect, or hate.”

You can check out the complete show below:

(h/t to for the transcription)