VINCE TALKS ON THE “STONE COLD” STEVE AUSTIN PODCAST — MY ROUGH NOTES

Posted December 2nd, 2014 by Bill Apter

I didn’t want this to sit too long — so pardon any typos — here are my rough notes from this incredible podcast:

This was one of the best one-on-one interviews I have ever witnessed.  Nothing was off limits — it was just great!

ON THE NETWORK:

Doing great 97% satisfaction rating … UK hopes sometime next year… Will meet his expectations but will take time and give audience exactly what they want like tonight … On pro wrestling it’s what his dad did – he does sports entertainment … telling stories.

How tough is it to do 3 hours live every week – they are all over the world, travelling every week – they do magic with a lot of help behind the scenes and when the performers go out in front of the audience they have to be at their best.

Austin would like to see more in ring wrestling – the first segment takes too long to get the hook…Austin says it’s a different feel in the locker room that WWE is all there is – no real other option – and the talent walks on eggshells.  Vince says “don’t piss anyone off.” Vince says they are not are not as ambitious who are there now but praises Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, and others.

Vince talks about how social media how it works so well as tools today but not in Austin’s heyday.  Austin issues a challenge that he needs more depth on the roster but you have to go out on a limb to get to the top. He asks what Vince looks for – charisma, skills, verbal and physical and the passion for the business – and in the right environment and with the right opponent can become a star. Vince says the audience makes the star.

Vince is asked about what Cesaro is lacking. He talks about the charisma and at the moment that he lacks. Austin talks about how Cesaro got lost in the shuffle.  Vince does not have the answer to why Cesaro is not “over” and there is something missing and Vince doesn’t know what that is as yet.

Austin talks about how it’s so complicated now – that it used to be a two man type of business but now it’s a different company – it is a publically traded company – and one man can’t do the job – it grew into a huge mammoth organization and they need more people to do things like the writing etc. now.

Vince says the business is supposed to be fun and they discuss the old days that Vince would push people into the pool. Austin asked about Shane McMahon and why he decided to get out of the WWE. Vince says family business is difficult to keep everyone happy and in the end did he want his kids in the business. He said he did not push Shane or Stephanie into the business – they wanted to be in it.

They discuss Vince’s beginnings in the business and his father. They talk about former announcer Ray Morgan who refused to go on TV one night and asked for a raise. Ray walked out and Vince’s father and his dad told him that he (Vince Jr.) will be the announcer and do a good job. He was paired with Arnold Skaaland who was a “yup and nope” guy on the air. When that didn’t work he was put in with Antonino Rocca and then Pat Patterson.

About CM Punk (Austin asked if Vince wants to talk about him). Vince wants to apologize for getting notice on his wedding day that it was a mistake made by other departments. He hopes that Punk will be back one day like Austin, Hogan, Ultimate Warrior. He says he has to put his ego aside and do what is best for business.  He there is two sides to every story.

Austin talks about his own situation Vince says Austin was so hard to deal with at times it was impossible. They talk about their feud and how Jim Ross helped bring them back together and bring Austin back to work. Austin asks if there is someone who can bridge the gap between he and Punk and Vince says there is not and there is a lack of communication.  Vince says when one walks out he walks out just not on the company but the audience as well. Vince says he is shy and introverted at times but you won’t see it in front of a ton of people – but in front of smaller crowds he is not good – like when his wife was running for office he would just hang out with the bartender and just be invisible.

They talk about Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar. Austin asks how, when, and why that decision was made. He said Undertaker was willing to “give back to the business” and who better than Lesnar who needed to get the rub so to say.  Vince said he made the final decision – you have to make difficult decisions – and that was one of them to end the streak. It was the right call.

Austin asks why Lesnar is not on TV regularly. Vince says because he is a special attraction and points to when Jake Roberts was there – too much – and overexposed.  Vince says it’s not just about the title – and if you see a lot of Brock who is left for Brock to beat up?

Hall of Fame – Macho Man Randy Savage – when? Vince says “soon.” It’s a yes he is going in.”

Sting—his role is WWE what is it going to be?  Vince says you don’t have to see a lot of him – and he would not be surprised to see him at Wrestlemania.

They discuss the Monday Night Wars was it Vince’s business to put Ted Turner out of business. Vince felt the WWE had a better product and would beat them as they have more passion than Turner’s people.

Vince says he competes with all of entertainment.  Vince said he always had something in the back pocket – they eventually gave up.

Territories – Vince says the promoters put themselves out of business. He talked about Verne Gagne and how insulted he was that Vince wanted to buy his business and it was an insult to him. He talked about Kansas City and Harley Race and how they never put the money they earned into the business. Vince talks about investing in the business and how he got help from Dick Ebersol and Bonnie Hammer.

They talk about Bill Watts was the only guy who didn’t want to just fold up like other promoters. He says that Jim Crockett didn’t really understand the business (he sold to Jim Crockett). Again he says WWE’s competition is Disney and all entertainment.

He asks about heat between Vince and Jim Ross and Vince says none on his part and he does not want to talk about it. He likes Jim as a human being. Vince said that JR wanted to go back to Oklahoma – it’s what he wanted – not to be 24/7.  Vince said he appreciates all that JR did in the past.

Austin praises Vince as being no one greater as Vince to have as an opponent. Vince says he understands the common man –  and he is still one – and understands how the common man audience thinks. He said he played the character of people he despised growing up – the rich people etc.

Vince says he enjoyed this and wants to do it again. Then he said he owns the network and they are going to stay on for another 15 minutes.  Austin says that Vince is UN-coordinated! Vince said their feud was pure magic. Austin said it was addicted.

They talk about Vince as a great announcer and he knew he always wanted to be a wrestling superstar. Vince talks about his dad who said you can’t be a businessman and a wrestler and did not want him to wrestle. Vince admitted that he always wanted to be in that ring. When it finally happened Vince said it was beyond a thrill to be in that ring – it was a dream come true.

They discuss Austin’s match vs. Bret Hart when blood was banned from the business and Austin bled – was Vince mad – he was.

Austin asks about the future. Vince says they are holding their own in TV ratings.  He says for 3 hours people tune in and tune out.  Vince says he is not out of touch.

Austin asks when Vince will ride off in the sunset. Vince says he enjoys it still, he is healthy, has not lost a step and he listens to his audience. He talks about how great NXT is – and there might be a might even be a new Steve Austin down the line.

Show ends.

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