Former wrestlers discussing how much better things were in their day is nothing new. But when it comes from Stone Cold Steve Austin, the man who ruled the 'Attitude Era,' the talk might be more than just a nostalgic waxing. In a recent episode of his podcast: The Steve Austin Show, Steve was joined by Vince Russo and they spoke about the current WWE product. Per usual, Austin didn't hold back on how he felt about the WWE's current 'Reality Era.'
"They call it the reality era, but it's anything but reality. And on the other note, going into unknown territory or uncharted waters, back in the day, man, whether you're a fan or not of some of the storylines or angles we were shooting, they were edgy as hell and we weren't afraid to push into those uncharted waters or territories. And if you're afraid to do that, if you're afraid to try to grow, if you're afraid to take a chance as a company, whether you're publicly traded or not, then you're failing to live up to your potential as a company! I mean, because that's what the entertainment business is. If wrestling falls under the entertainment umbrella, people need to push the envelope" (The Steve Austin Show)
Austin continued, describing the changes he would make to the current WWE product:
"Everything's so slick now. I would just present it as more of a competitive endeavor. Make it seem like a shoot. I mean, we know the [professional wrestling] business is a work, but present it as a shoot. I mean, have Seth Rollins Curb Stomp somebody. Fine him $15,000. Hey, maybe the money's not going to change hands, but it's the fact that you have a set of rules, guidelines, presentation. You can have all the high production values that you want. Yeah, that's great, but just present it in a competitive atmosphere, so that your storylines reflect that reality."" (The Steve Austin Show).
How do you feel about the current state of the WWE? Would edgier content help wrestlers like Roman Reigns connect more with audiences or would it utlimately hurt the WWE's position as a publicly traded company?
The 'Attitude Era' wasn't as flawless as many recall, but the feeling that literally anything could happen on Monday nights is something the current product is sorely missing. And that's the bottom line, because ... ah, well, you know the rest.
You can listen to the full podcast here.