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Steve Austin Says Stone Cold Gimmick Wouldn’t Have Worked in WWE Today, Talks Talent Walking on Eggshells

February 18, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
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– Steve Austin and Chris Jericho discussed their WWE gimmicks, backstage interviews and more in a recent episode of Steve Austin Show. Highlights are below, per Wrestling Inc:

Austin on his issues with backstage segments: “One of my big pet peeves is when the announcer backstage, whether it is male or female, talking to the talent, asks the talent a question, talent gives the answer, if there’s an interrupt, there’s an interrupt, but the talent gives their answer, and it’s an awkward feeling, and then, all-of-a-sudden, it’s back to Michael [Cole] and the guys at the [announce] desk. And the camera stays on the interviewer who got this awkward answer. You want there to be some heat there, and all-of-a-sudden, it’s an awkward reaction to the person that’s a part of the broadcast team. I think whether it’s a male or a female, they should throw it back to the announce team because I don’t think heat, the point, or anything goes anywhere because I’m so focused on that weird look that the interview has on her face!”

Jericho on backstage interviewers needing to show more personality: “I think the backstage interviewers now, could they be, and I say this respectfully because they’re just doing what they’re told, could they be more robotic?” Jericho observed, “there’s a lack of energy sometimes to the show when you don’t let people be themselves.”

Austin on WWE talent being afraid of losing their jobs: “Everybody’s walking on eggshells these days just because there’s nowhere else to go. Everyone’s just micromanaged to a degree and I’m not indicting the system.”

Austin on his run as the Ringmaster: “From when I came in as ‘The Ringmaster’ and I knew it was a suck ass gimmick, right? But I had a wife, and two kids, and a log cabin on 10 acres. s–t, I’ve got to pay my bills or they’re going to take all my s–t from me, so I’ll go up there! I’d already been up to visit Vince twice. I knew they didn’t have anything planned for me and they were just bringing me in as a mechanic. s–t, that’s why I never came!” Austin recalled, “I knew that wasn’t going to work after six months and so, whatever, I started to think about it, drinking beer, whiskey, watching television, and I came up with the ‘Stone Cold’ persona.”

Jericho on Vince McMahon helping tweak his Y2J character: “I came up with the Millennium Man with the countdown. Vince’s contributions to it were, it was my idea that the countdown would end at the beginning of RAW. I think it was August 9, 1999. Vince’s idea was that it would end right in the middle of The Rock’s promo, which, classic Vince, come in as high as you can possibly get. His other idea was, he was like, ‘what’s your finish called and what it is?’ I said, ‘well, it’s a Boston Crab and it’s called ‘Y2J Problem’. He goes, ‘no, no, no, that’s not the name of your finish. Your finish isn’t ‘Y2J’, you’re ‘Y2J’ and that was his monicker and for the first year or two, I’m sure [Austin] got this too, it was never ‘Chris’ or ‘Chris Jericho’. It was always ‘Y2J, how are you? Good to see you, Y2J.’ because that was his creation. Even though it was my idea, he took it and that’s what he called me. I’m sure it was the same with ‘Stone Cold’. I’m sure he called [Austin] ‘Stone Cold’ all the time.”

Jericho on main eventing Wrestle Kingdom 12: “It was really gratifying and there was this freedom after 17 years of having to have things approved by Vince or agents or whatever. I didn’t have to get anything approved. I could do anything I wanted! What a cool feeling that was!”

Jericho on talents being “held back” in WWE: “There’s kind of a misconception in WWE that you get held back. It’s not getting held back, but there [are] certain rules you have to abide by because it’s a corporate company now. There’s no juice allowed and no chair shots and thank goodness for that. There [are] just certain things you can’t do in WWE.”

Austin on how his ‘Stone Cold’ gimmick would have worked in the current day: “With the rule system that is in place there now, there were rules back when I was running wild there, right? But you just push the envelope due to whatever the rule structure is. People say, ‘could ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin get over in today’s WWE?’ Hell yeah, I could. Same rules, same guy.”