Former WWF Champion, Stone Cold Steve Austin, has given the bottom line on the state of professional wrestling in the present.
Over the past few weeks and months, several legends have spoken out about the current professional wrestling scene and not always in glowing terms. Tully Blanchard has orated his belief that not every match needs 42 flips to be remembered as a classic, while The Undertaker called the product soft.
Even Goldberg, who we last saw falling to WWE Champion Drew McIntyre at the 2021 Royal Rumble, came out to label the current WWE roster as having too soft skin to be involved in the industry.
Now, ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ has had his say on the industry today in a sit-down chat with ESPN First Take in an interview designed to promote the new season of Straight Up Steve Austin.
Asked how the current era of the product was different to the epoch he grew up watching and competing in, Austin was very vocal about his period being more gritty and protected:
“It’s a more athletic product, the guys and girls are better athletes than we were. Growing up, I was a big fan of promotions such as NWA, Mid South, and WCCW as well, and during the Attitude Era, we really pushed the envelope creatively. I just think the business was a lot more protected back then, and it was a grittier product, which is what I thrive on.
That said, all due resect to all the men and women of WWE for working through the pandemic, and without crowds. When you watch the football games even with even 25 percent capacity of crowds, those fans really affect your performance. This is especially true in professional wrestling because that’s how you get your feedback in your decision-making process. I miss the crowds. But yes, it is a different product today.”
Though Stone Cold Steve Austin has long since retired from the squared circle, everybody’s favourite S.O.B can be seen regularly on the WWE Network hosting his immensely popular, Broken Skull Session talk show which former WWE Champion, Randy Orton, has recently pitched to be a part of.
Credit for the interview: ESPN First Take
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.