Just when you thought that Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWE were having some issues...
A couple of months back, it was reported by several sources that the Rattlesnake and the WWE were having issues due to the fact that Austin didn't appear at WrestleMania 31 and because WWE removed some of his shirts on prowrestlingtees.com along with some other things. On his podcast The Steve Austin Show, Austin denied that there was any heat but some fans were unconvinced. After all, why was Chris Jericho's podcast suddenly showing up on the WWE Network rather than Austin's? What's that? Jericho is also hosting Tough Enough, the show which Austin was the host of the season prior? Surely something was amiss...
Thankfully for fans though, there truly was no beef between the two. Austin simply had other commitments with other projects so he was unable to host the show. That still left the question: was the Steve Austin Show ever going to have another episode on the WWE Network? OH HELL YEAH!
At WWE Payback, WWE announced that the Stone Cold Podcast would return to the WWE Network on June 1st at 11:00 P.M and his guest would be none other than Paul Heyman. Heyman of course is the "advocate" for Brock Lesnar and unquestionably the best promo cutter in all of wrestling. Known for his fearlessness and eloquent way with words, Heyman and Austin made for an absolutely incredible podcast where many lessons were learnt and plenty of stories were told. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the latest WWE Network Stone Cold Podcast.
10 The First Meeting Between Paul Heyman and Stone Cold
According to the powers of WCW, Stone Cold Steve Austin wasn't seen as a hot commodity or a potential superstar. Paul Heyman however, saw a superstar from the first time he met the Rattlesnake. Heyman told the story of how he met Austin. Back in WCW, Heyman noticed Austin running the ropes harder than anybody Heyman had seen in his life. When forming the Dangerous Alliance, Heyman knew that it absolutely critical to be Austin's manager because he knew Stone Cold was going to be the next big thing.
9 Heyman on a 2006 Plane Ride With Vince McMahon
One of the most sensitive topics to Paul Heyman in terms of wrestling would have to be the 2006 revival of ECW. While originally met with great joy from fans, it was quickly realized that the WWE's version of ECW wasn't exactly the cutting edge promotion that tore up the wrestling world in the 1990s. And that pissed Paul Heyman off to no end.
Things seemed to reach a boiling point though on a plane ride in 2006. On the podcast Heyman told a story where after a particularly bad ECW show (most likely December to Dismember 2006), McMahon and Heyman were looking each other on a plane ride staring at each other with contempt, as if blaming one and other for the failure of the show. At that moment there, it was decided that it was time for either Heyman or McMahon to go. Obviously, Heyman was the one go and Heyman was a happy to apply.
8 Heyman Talks Potential New Clients
Even without Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman has the skill to take any wrestler and raise their stock. Because of this, Austin asked Heyman on the podcast if there is a possibility of Heyman taking on any other clients. "It's a very interesting dynamic because me and Brock have such a defined relationship on television that works because it's a mirror of how we are in real life." Heyman said. As a result, Heyman said it's a difficult for any other performer to be seen with "Brock Lesnar's guy" (minus CM Punk). After failures like Ryback and Curtis Axel, I think that's for the best.
7 Austin and Heyman Discuss Selling in Pro Wrestling
Anybody who has been listening to the Steve Austin Show knows that Stone Cold has a big problem with the in-ring product in one particular aspect: selling. In the current day product of professional wrestling, it seems that the wrestlers can be ran over by three 18-wheelers and then still kick out at two. Heyman concurred with Austin's sentiments (ironic considering his role as owner of ECW) and said that if sold correctly, a headlock (used by say, a Mark Henry) could be an absolutely deadly finishing move. The fact that I agree with Heyman is proof that wrestlers should be selling so much more.
6 Mad Max: WCW Edition
In the society we live now, we know about something happening almost instantly thanks to technology. Back in the day though, the pro wrestling industry was shrouded in mystery and a result, a lot of stories from the old days are coming to light now. This one is a beauty.
Paul Heyman, riding with Rikishi and Samu (also known as the Headshrinkers), came into conflict with a car driven by Sting and his passengers the Steiner brothers on a North Carolina highway. The Sting car, which is in front of Heyman's car, threw a watermelon at Heyman's car (while still in motion mind you). The Steiner Brothers were never known for their smarts, but I didn't think they were dumb enough to antagonize Samoan wrestlers.
As revenge for the watermelon incident, the Samoans loaded up on food, baseballs and bottles to throw at Sting's car on the way to the next town. If that wasn't enough, the Samoans wrote in their own blood S.S.T on their car, standing for "Samoan Swat Team." Holy s***, I think we have a script for the Mad Max movie.
5 Paul Heyman on Cutting A Promo
There's very few men who can even touch Paul Heyman on the microphone, especially in regards to the current day roster. If there is anybody who a wrestler should study on promos to learn something it would have to be Paul Heyman. On the podcast, Stone Cold and Heyman discussed some of the finer points of promo-making. According to Heyman, a big problem with modern day promos is that wrestlers will preach too much without engaging the audience. Heyman points to his opening "Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman and I'm the advocate for Brock Lesnar" spiel as an example of how to immediately engage the audience, something which current promos fail to do.
4 Paul Heyman on CM Punk in the UFC
These Stone Cold podcasts have been the only WWE based product in which CM Punk is talked about. After his much discussed departure from the company, CM Punk signed with the UFC to pursue a dream of competing in Mixed Martial Arts. Heyman, a close friend of Punk, reinforced on what many people have already said about Punk's MMA career: he will either shock everybody by laying a beatdown on somebody, or he will get destroyed so everyone can laugh at him. Either way, Punk will have lived his dream.
3 Paul Heyman Reveals Lesnar's Readiness For MMA
Before WrestleMania 31, Brock Lesnar's WWE status was very much in doubt. Ever the shrewd businessman, Lesnar were pitting the UFC and the WWE against each other in a bidding war to get the best possible contract in either company. Nobody was quite sure though how ready Lesnar was to return to the sport of MMA if he had actually returned. According to Paul Heyman, Lesnar had a mini training camp in January in case he didn't get a deal with WWE. Lesnar signed with WWE ultimately because Heyman said that Lesnar is immensely enjoying his run in WWE (who wouldn't). Obviously, Lesnar ended up signing with WWE but Lesnar was seemingly ready to fight UFC heavyweights at a moment's notice.
2 Paul Heyman on his Relationship With Vince McMahon
While Heyman is now enjoying a very positive relationship with the WWE, this was hardly the case for the most part of his original WWE run in the early 2000s. Back in the day, Paul Heyman was known as one of the only men who had the balls to stand up to Vince McMahon. Armed with his own ideas, Paul Heyman would scratch, claw and scrap to get his ideas across and also to defy any ideas McMahon had. This led to a very strained and competitive relationship between Heyman and McMahon. But because he is now only working as an on-screen talent and not as a member of the creative team, the relationship between the two is better than ever.
"I think we get along better than we ever have before," Heyman said. "We don't interact with each other on a daily basis and I'm not driving him crazy on how to save the industry." Heyman attributes being a father to his mellowing out.
1 Stone Cold and Paul Heyman Discuss WrestleMania 32
In all honesty, there is nobody else who the WWE fans want to see return to the squared circle more so than Stone Cold Steve Austin. While year after year it's been rumoured that Austin might return for a match, it appears that WrestleMania 32, taking place in Dallas, Texas, is the last chance for the Rattlesnake to compete in one final matchup.
Ever the businessman, Paul Heyman asked Austin point blank if he was going to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. Immediately, Austin gave the same answer he always has: he doesn't know. After that though, the promo began. Once Heyman began to poke the Rattlesnake a little more and after a while, it seemed that Austin began to get riled up and told Heyman that he would kick Lesnar's ass. Is this a sign of things to come? As Heyman started to sweat in his chair, Austin proposed a possible Texas Death Match (essentially a last man standing match) against Lesnar. Do we want to see this? Oh hell yeah!!!
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