The following are highlights from a recent MMA Fighting interview with WWE Hall Of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin:
On if he gets excited more for a big pro wrestling show or a big MMA show: “Just from the world that I come from, I left pro wrestling behind a couple of years ago when I started doing my own thing. From my world, I can read between the lines of these angles (on a pro wrestling television show), I can guess or tell a lot of what is about to happen. I get a little more charged up in a UFC fight. In some of those championship matches, my heart’s already pounding sitting on the couch, when it’s about to start. These days I’d rather tip my hat to a badass UFC main event, but with all due respect, pro wrestling is my first love.”
On similarities and differences in pro wrestling and MMA: “They’re two different worlds. But there’s something of a parallel. Pro wrestling is basically what MMA is, just at a worked level with theatrical elements.”
On UFC fighters who do and don’t capitalize on their post-fight interviews: “A guy gets a chance on the horn and they crap the bed. That’s an outstanding opportunity for you, a great way to reach out and let the crowd know who you are and what you are. Some guys talk stupid trash that doesn’t make sense. Some of the guys who lose fights get a booboo face. Anytime Brian Stann fought, whether he lost or won, he commanded your respect when he was on the horn. I always liked to watch his promos. He’s a smart cat.”
On the recent Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson fight, which many are calling the best MMA fight in history: “I tell you, I’m down at the ranch, me and my buddy, watching the fights the other night, and I was blown away by Alexander Gustafsson. We’ve seen him come along, but this was his shining moment. He’s been a star in the making all this time, but against Jon Jones, a superstar was born. I think the champion (Jon Jones) has to get his ass beat a little more than that to lose the title. I don’t know how to score fights, but I had it 3-2 Gustafsson. When they said unanimous decision, it caught me off guard.”
On if he feels Jim Ross has anything to offer as a potential employee of the UFC: “I do, just because the guy has 34 years of experience of storylines, angles, knowledge and booking and just how things work in our world. There are parallels. MMA’s a shoot, yes, but I think he can help in some capacity, some way, somehow. He can give an idea here and there, a little creative, whether it’s a shoot or a work, he can lend some experienced opinions on that.”
On if he feels he’ll ever return to the ring for WWE: “Man, I tell you what, the longer and longer I wait, the more time I go down the road, when you really think about it, it may be fun to do, but what’s on the other side of that? It took me three years to get the business out of my system, a long withdrawal. It’s been 11 years since I’ve been in the ring. I know a lot of fans would love to see it. But what if it’s not what it should have been or could have been? I don’t want to be 90 percent. It would take a three or four months of a UFC style training camp to pull it off, get the timing and the right wind. It would take at least three months of training, period, and then, what next? I was there, did it at the very highest level. I had a great time. I took the business to the highest level it’s ever been before. Hopefully someone will take it to an even higher level. The chances are pretty damn slim to be quite frank about it.”
Check out the complete interview online at MMAFighting.com.