WWE News: Steve Austin on whether he would make it in WWE today
What's the story?
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin talked about a multitude of things in his podcast The Steve Austin Show. One of the more interesting things he spoke about was whether he would make it in WWE today.
In case you didn't know...
Stone Cold Steve Austin retired in 2003 after his neck injury from years before had finally taken its toll on him. He has said that if it were up to him when he had to retire, he would have lasted for another 5-6 years, meaning he would have stuck around until WrestleMania 24 or 25 at the most.
He is quite critical of WWE's current environment and their overly-scripted nature of promos. Recently he was full of praise for Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega for the work that they've been doing.
He's also a big advocate for the push of women's wrestling in WWE, being a huge "mark" for the Sasha-Bayley match at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn in 2015.
The heart of the matter
Regarding whether he would make it in WWE today, Steve Austin didn't seem so positive(quotes courtesy Wrestling Inc)
It’s the environment along with the writing [that influence whether a performer gets over nowadays]. Man, I’m glad I came around when I did. If I was to come into today’s system looking the way I looked back in the day with the buzz haircut, just walking into the doors of the then-WWF in today’s landscape, goddamn, I don’t know what would’ve happened.” Austin considered, “I think either way is tough and comparing eras is comparing eras, but they are unique in and of themselves. It’s the same business, but it has changed so much, but I liked that back in the day there was so much competition and the two biggest companies in a war. I mean, you could just go out there and try s–t. These days, not so much.
Clearly, Austin is not a fan of the controlling environment of WWE these days. Many have criticised WWE for this, stating it as the reason for why WWE has been unable to create larger than life stars like they did back in the days of Austin.
Austin is right in the fact that he came at the right time, as his character was meant for the more unscripted, non-PG era of working. At the time, WWE had no choice but to move to edgier programming to compete with WCW, who were in a neck-and-neck competition with WWE.
The chaotic nature of the Attitude Era was perfect for a character like Austin, and he had the right characters to work with in The Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H, Undertaker, Kane, Big Show, and the rest.
Steve Austin will sit on the side with his podcast and continue to observe WWE and how it goes. As for WWE, it's a different era.
They're a publicly traded company with investors to answer to, and their PG rating has also helped them immensely profit.
The entire matter is a double-edged sword. Austin is right in that he probably wouldn't have made it as well in this era than he would back then. However, as mentioned, things in WWE are very different today.
WWE is a corporate entity with several people to answer to, so that's probably the reason behind a lot of the restrictions. However, I personally am not a fan of the overly scripted promos and a lot of things about the workings of WWE today.
Creative freedom is always the best way to let stars shine. It's not that WWE has a "weaker" roster than they did then. You could argue that WWE has an even better roster than they've ever had. However, the working of things today just seems to prevent them from creating any larger than life stars.
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