“Stone Cold” Steve Austin makes news in the wrestling world every week with some of his musings on the WWE product and its current slate of superstars. Usually he’s pretty supportive, but on Tuesday’s episode his belief in the company’s product showed some serious cracks in the foundation.
While fielding questions, Austin took one from a caller who wanted to see more authenticity in wrestling. He wanted the product to cease to be “sports entertainment” and go back to “professional wrestling.” He found a kindred spirit in “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
“I think you’re barking up the right tree because that’s the same type thing that I preach,” Austin said. “I’m all about, ‘Okay, we know it’s a work but we’re presenting it like this in a serious fashion.’ I did a thing for the NFL Network the other day — it’s right down the street from where I’m at right now — I walked in the NFL Network. It felt, smelt, and breathed — I knew I was in a football factory. That’s what they talked about. That’s what their passion was. That’s what it was about.”
Austin said that should he get a chance to visit the NXT training center in Florida, he hopes “it feels like professional wrestling.”
“You can put it under the umbrella of ‘sports entertainment’ but when two guys or two gals get in a 20-by-20 squared circle and start wrestling, it is professional wrestling and that is the end of the story. Yes, it would be great to see… I’m all about yeah, we know it’s a work, but we all want to believe. In a world that’s a work, all you can do when the storylines aren’t so great, make the people believe in you. But that being said, here’s the thing: WWE is its own world. They say ‘WWE Universe,’ so whatever they create and put out there is what they create and put out there. So create and put out something that people can buy in to on a serious note, and don’t make it the three-ring circus that it’s become, and let it be wrestling.”
Austin also believes the Attitude Era doesn’t have to make a comeback in order for it to work.
“I’m not saying that you’ve got to go back to the Attitude Era. I ain’t saying that. I’m not saying you have to say one cuss word. It’s about believability and telling the story in the ring. Intriguing storylines. And all you got to do is reeducate your fan base.”
The Texas Rattlesnake also thinks that the WWE fans want to go along for that ride now more than ever. He shared his own memories of starting out, where he knew “something was going on,” but “wanted to believe.”
“In my opinion, they’re [the fans] gonna want to go along for the ride. Okay, all the sudden we’re taking it serious. Here’s what it is. Here’s your top 10 rankings. Here’s who’s in line for the title shot, and why. And oh, by the way, your mother’s an ugly dog. Oh, you just made it personal!”
What do you think about what “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has to say — should WWE bring back kayfabe, and is it even possible?