The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
April 27, 2023

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin On One More Match, Who Takes The Best Stunner, WHAT Chants & What Scares Him

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin On One More Match, Who Takes The Best Stunner, WHAT Chants & What Scares Him

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"Stone Cold" Steve Austin (@steveaustinbsr) is a WWE Hall of Famer, actor and television personality. He joins Chris Van Vliet to talk about his new A&E series called "Stone Cold Takes On America". He talks about what scares him, why it's important to takes chances, who he thinks takes the best Stone Cold Stunner, his reaction to the WHAT chant after 20 years, the possibility of seeing him wrestle again, why he hates rollercoasters and more!

Check out "Stone Cold Takes On America" here:

I’m watching this trailer and you’re doing all these things. You’re drift racing, you're flying a helicopter, bowling, all these things. I’m wondering, is there anything that scares you?

“Yeah, predicting the weather on live television scared the hell out of me. I made a living being on live TV, and you know, we went up there. First of all it was a 12:45 wakeup call, I didn’t sleep, 2:15 call time, I’m not a morning person. Then I go in and this wonderful lady Madison Macay is breaking down how she does the weather, and she is taking a [big] paragraph and taking the pertinent information and just condensing it down just on the fly. I am thinking hey I’ve got to do it just exactly how she is. And you’re never going to step into someone else’s shoes or someone else’s job and be that good automatically, but that’s what I expect out of myself. So moments like that crushed me, because I thought I did terrible. I love live television, because when that red light is on I am at my best, and I failed. But anyway, it was a ton of fun to make this show, I’m happy to have the opportunity.”

Were there any lessons that you have learned from diving all in and doing everything on this show?

“God dang. You know, I got the chance to do a lot of things that I didn’t [get the opportunity to] when I was focused on my wrestling career, and I’ve been gone for quite a while. But I kind of stayed in that mindset but ventured into a lot of things that I wanted to delve into on a personal level, to try these things and to be a fish out of water. But man, if you are on the fence about something and you are looking for something to try and do, don’t be afraid or don’t be hesitant, just go and do it. Just get the backbone up, go out there and try some things, that’s the best that I can say. I’m not a guy who is so philosophic about life who can articulate the meaning of life and say here’s some advice. But, you know, you’re not here for a long time, and life can be rough, so enjoy the moments that you can and chase your dreams and passions. If you’re on the fence about something, get off the fence and go and do it.”

You’ve given the Stone Cold Stunner to just about everybody. Can we settle this once and for all, who takes the best Stunner?

“Well you got those different athletic presentations from Scott Hall, Shane took a good one, but I always go to The Rock. The Rock would always take that extra effort to careen around the ring in a way over sell fashion. But it meant so much more when he did that, because in the big matches we had, whether it was [WrestleMania] 15, 17 and 19, those moments meant so much. But I would go with The Rock, and here is the thing people don’t understand. When you give The Rock a Stunner, that guy is so jacked and so hard, when he is bouncing around the ring, sometimes he would flop off the ropes and end up landing back on me. I was like Jesus, you’re killing me. So giving The Rock a Stunner can be painful when he flops back on you, but that’s the name that I am going to give you.”

It sounds like we were pretty close to you having another match at WrestleMania 39 and it didn’t end up happening. Do you have another match in you?

“I could. I’m not necessarily going to lobby for one, because that would be silly. That’s a year away, but a year away in this business is like that [clicks fingers]. They asked me to be a part of 39, they really did, but I couldn’t do it, just because there is no way. I knew what my life was going to look like due to the filming schedule of the show. We had some internal stopdowns where the show took about 5 months to film, that’s a long time. We finished filming about 5 to 7 days before WrestleMania 39. And the position that they were going to put me in, which was a big one, you can’t prepare for WrestleMania and do yourself justice or do that crowd justice. Dallas was set up for a Stone Cold return, and the way we framed that with KO, who I love, was perfect for the time and setting. For this match to play out, I needed to perform at a high level. I didn’t work out before 38, I haven’t thrown a working punch in 19 years. I was killing KO right there, I truly was, ask him. When we got to the back I said, Man I can’t believe you didn’t throw a receipt. And he just laughed because his job was to just take care of me. So anyway, in the future, I am not lobbying for it, but could anything happen? Yes. Because I say never say never.”

So the first time you said What was back in 2001. Here we are 20 plus years later, and this isn’t just a WWE thing, this is a wrestling thing. Every wrestling promotion across the world does the What chant now. Does it surprise you that this is still a thing 20 plus years later?

“It really does, but it’s a testament to how impacted people were to that. You know, that started off as me leaving a voice message on Christian’s phone. I was working heel at the time and I said hey man, this is a really good way to F with people and get on their nerves and under their skin. Because if you tell me something I just say What? And I throw it back at you, and it’s irritating, it’s what it was designed to be. Then I turned it into something that worked for me as a babyface as a way to mock a certain situation. With cadence and delivery, people can escape it as far as talent doing a promo. But it’s very, it’s flattering to still see it around, but I have had so many people cussing me out and hating it. We ended up putting it on the t-shirt for God’s sake, and it sold a ton. So I am thankful for the word, but if it disappeared tomorrow then I wouldn’t complain. I’m honored that it is still here.”

I saw this thing you did on A & E’s social media, it was hell yeah or hell no? You said Hell no to rollercoasters! What do you have against rollercoasters?

“Man, I’m not a big thrill seeker, you know. I’m not looking to go out there and just do a bunch of crazy stuff. When I used to travel down the road with Lord Steven Regal, one of my really good friends. At Blackpool where he’s from, they have those gimmick circuses. We talked about how people in England are really tough, and if the rollercoaster went off of the rails and squashed a load of people, they just pass out a bunch of free tickets. Oh, it’s ok, here’s a bunch of free tickets for the next one. That’s always in the back of my mind, as safe can these things can be, I am always wondering about the one that I get on is going to careen off the rails. Then it’s like what happened to Stone Cold? Well you know that rollercoaster that went off of the rails? He was on that rollercoaster. So it’s stuff like that where I look at the worst case scenario, and when they leave you at the top because they are trying to mess with you, and it works. You know, the clack clack clack on the way up, then you go way down, not fun.”