By Jeremy Peeples, WrestlingObserver.com
In late April, we got the Jericho and Stephanie McMahon podcast. Now, barely one month later, we get Steve Austin and Paul Heyman. While their on-air time has been fairly minimal given the length of each man's careers, they did have an impact on one another. Austin being part of the Dangerous Alliance in WCW gave him a main event rub when he otherwise would've been mired in the mid-card, while Heyman's hiring of Austin in ECW allowed him to unleash verbal tirades that would bear a striking resemblance to his Stone Cold promos.
Steve starts the show sending some love to the people affected by the floods. Steve plugs the future PodcastOne release and Paul says that he's humbled by being interviewed by Steve given all that he has accomplished and of the two, Heyman should probably be interviewing Steve. Steve puts him over for hustling his way into wrestling at 15 and he'll ask questions, but isn't sure if they're going to be "hard questions".
Heyman asks him what the capital of Nebraska is and Steve says he can't stand being asked questions like that, while Heyman asks who the 16th President was and Austin says it as Lincoln - giving Steve the answer to the earlier question. Steve asks when they first met and Heyman says it was at Center Stage and ad a giant knee brace on while sitting with Jeanie. Heyman asks if he shouldn't have mentioned that and Steve says they'll just edit that out.
Heyman was struck by this long-haired blonde, and he wasn't talking about Jeanie. Heyman does a hilarious Jim Ross impression as Ross put him over to Heyman instantly. We see some Dangerous Alliance shots in the background and Heyman talks about Steve hitting the ropes and him never seeing anyone hit them as hard as Steve did. Heyman said they knew they scored something special when they signed him to WCW and introduced himself to Steve as "Paul E. Dangerously".
Within five weeks, Steve was put in the Dangerous Alliance at Paul's request, and Paul talks about the Alliance's history. He was pulled back in a power move by Jim Crockett to just be Rude's manager, and Steve says he was hot off of a "WWF" run, while Heyman wanted to make a new Horsmen around Rude with Arn Anderson, Eaton, and Larry Zybisko as the members. Madusa was going to be in as well, but Heyman wanted Steve in there badly.
Heyman called Dusty and he'd already sued WCW at this point. Heyman knocks Jim Herd and he told Dusty that the Alliance would blow the Horsemen away and he wanted one member - Steve Austin. Dusty liked Steve, but was hesitant about putting "this kid" in the Alliance until Paul told him he was like Dusty - he was going to be a huge star, and he was from Texas. Of course, Dusty immediately agreed with Paul and knew that Steve was going to be the next big breakout star from Texas.
Dusty, of course, was overjoyed to have come up with this idea, and Heyman does a Rude impression while Steve asks if he had his stamp of approval. Heyman said Rude was on-board and Steve puts Rude over as a man's man and a hell of a worker who had a physique and didn't hold his opinions back. Steve respected Rude and Heyman says Steve already had a buzz out of Texas. He was intense and different than the guys just doing a smooth dance. Steve's stuff looked like a fight, and Steve says that "intensity" brings Brock to mind for him.
Steve asks when he'll back and Heyman says it's pretty much public knowledge that he'll be back soon. He's been on his farm and loves being a farmer and a hunter. Brock owns property in both America and Canada, and boy does Destination America ever need some Brock Lesnar shows. Brock Lesnar Conquers the Ghost Asylum. Brock Lesnar Hunts Bigfoot. Ring of Hunting Starring Brock Lesnar. Heyman loves that with Brock, what you see is what you get. He's the son of a dairy farmer, he grew up on a dairy farm, and with all of the money he's made in WWE, UFC, and WWE, he just goes and buys more farmland.
No matter how famous he is, how much money he has, or how many shows he main events - he's a farmer through and through. It's who he is at his core. He's also a hunter, and Steve wants to go on a hunting trip with him. Steve says that they need to do that on the Network, and Heyman says that he can make it happen, but won't accompany them since "my people aren't hunters."
Heyman says he can't kill it, but he can make a fine lapel out of it. They go on a what bit and Heyman says his people own the media and screwed up in the Middle East. They bought the only land in the Middle East without any oil - all they have is sand and a sea, and they wind up with folks just trying to shove them into the river anyway. Jewish History As Told By Paul Heyman should be on the Network.
Steve asks if Brock was really going to come back to the UFC, and Steve hoped that he would stay in WWE. Heyman says that he opened a mini training camp in January preparing to not strike the right deal with WWE. If the deal wasn't made, he would go right into UFC ASAP. Brock didn't care who he fought, he just wanted a fight. Heyman says Brock has had a lot of fun in WWE during this run. Ending the streak and destroying Cena over the past year gave Brock something he didn't have in a prior run.
Brock views himself as the baddest man on the planet and in the fourth fight, he took on Randy Couture and destroyed him in the second round. He did that with diverticulitis and actually had the disease his whole life. In looking at blood screenings, they apparently came to the conclusion that he's always had it, but never realized it. Now that Brock's healthy, the thought was he could do even more in UFC.
Heyman says that for the first time, Brock has really enjoyed being in WWE. Steve says that the limited date deal makes people question his passion, but he knows he loves the business. Heyman says he loves the business, but his kids need a father more than WWE needs Brock Lesnar. Heyman talks about every Brock appearance being special now and how his matches are now can't miss. Heyman says that the greatest night of the year is Christmas Eve, and it's only because how unique the day is - you couldn't do it 365 times a year. When you say Brock is appearing, "DON'T YA DARE MISS IT, BE THERE!"
Steve says that Heyman's wanted more as well, and asks if he'd take on more clients. Well, they've already done that several times. Heyman says it's interesting because they have such a defined relationship on TV that mirrors their real-life relationship. Putting him with anyone else makes it "Brock Lesnar's guy is with this guy". He says the Punk role works and he played a different character with Punk than he did with Brock. They were like Morris Day and Jerome.
Heyman says that he texts with Punk every day, and they have a friendship outside of the business. Austin asks how he thinks Punk will do in UFC and says that Punk was burned out here and just moved on down the road. Heyman says Punk isn't motivated by money, he wants the challenge. He might regret not doing it seven years ago, but he wants to see how he can do it and he'll either shock the world by kicking as or even having his ass kicked. He's man enough to take his chances on it.
Steve talks about selling and how Jake made the DDT and now it's just a transition spot. He wonders if it's just selling poorly and the guys today are better athletes than he ever was, but they need to work smart as well. "If nothing hurts, who gives a damn?" Harley's finish was a suplex - not off the top, not a brainbuster, but a basic suplex. Steve asks if guys are outworking themselves and Steve says that at least in ECW, guys sold the crazy things they did.
Steve says that back in the day, you'd drink in the car while booking in your head. Heyman says that with Henry, you look at him and give him a headlock because he's so massive. You give this move to Henry, make it his, and make sure no one else uses a headlock. If you do - you answer to Henry and then Vince. Henry comes out for 30 weeks and taps guys out with it, and you get the move over - it's about how you educate the fans to what move is, and not what the move is - so when someone powers out of it at WrestleMania, it will get a big pop. If you treat a move like it's devastating, then it becomes that. If everyone protects it, you'll be fine.
Steve praises Raw for the Cena-Owens exchange, and he puts over Harley and Jake for never raising their voices and just using their tone to scare people. Austin says that Heyman was cutting great promos even in Continental, and he's now mastered the art of promos. Steve wants promos to be more spontaneous, so he is theoretically not a fan of Everyone Talks for 20 Minutes. Heyman says that he was taught to know where the money was in a promo.
Heyman thought he was going to do a promo before Cornette, and he wind up closing the show on a taping. He didn't know how long the promo would be - it could be 30 seconds or four minutes. He did impressions, ran around, and did everything but speak in tongues so people couldn't turn away. He thought he was amazing, and Dusty says he was entertaining, but asked "where's the money?"
Steve says all the blah blah was entertaining, but it didn't draw money. Heyman says that you need to ask "where's the money?" in every promo and for him, that can just be "BROCK LESSSSSNNNARR!". It's not just "Brock Lesnar" - it's gutteral and terrifying. If he's selling Brock, he does that. If he's selling a Summerslam main event, what else is he selling?
Steve talks about the importance of cadence in promos and how many parts there are to a promo. Many didn't like the Ultimate Warrior's promo, but Steve did because it fit his character. The content isn't just what matters, but how you say it matters as well. Sometimes, you have to layer a promo and just because someone can talk for five minutes, doesn't mean you should. Heyman agrees and Steve asks how you can change promos. Steve tells Paul that he made Steve a laser beam with promos.
Paul says that he makes himself available to talent who asks, but he doesn't actively force his opinions on others. Paul feels that too many people start a promo pontificating and recapping everything in great detail that wouldn't be logical. He starts with "ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman" so people know who he is, and "I'm here to advocate for my client Brock Lesnar" lets you know his role. Everything after that is the money, and within three sentences, he can tell you who he is, his role, and what he's here to do. The art of engaging the audience is lost and now they're just talking at them.
Steve says if the message is just a bunch of words, then it doesn't connect. Maybe WWE will change up "This is _____ and My Guest at This Time is _____" in some new and radical way. They can have an app vote on changing word order with A being My Guest, B being I am With and C being The Superstar Speaking with me or somesuch. Steve says that logically, it looks weird to have people have a mic by their hip and reciting the script to know when to respond.
Steve says Heyman hustled Vince Sr. and we see a photo of him that Heyman himself took. It's a photo with Tony Atlas, so they cropped him out and he wasn't going to say a Tony Atlas story on-air. Heyman says that he found out where Vince would take the inner circle to dinner and we see a photo of Vince Sr. and Andre that he took and earned his first $50 in wrestling. We hear about Heyman lying to get his press pass and going to the worst part of NYC and seeing Gorilla and Skaaland playing pinochle and
snapping photos from below, making Andre looks huge.
The next month, he had an 8x10 printed of it and made a beeline to give it to Vince Sr. as soon as he could before Eamo got him. Paul says Vince Jr. probably has a tear going down his face now, and hopes he didn't misremember him or he'll never hear the end of it. They shoved him against the wall and he told them he had a press pass and he talked to Howard Finkel and gave Vince the rights to the photo and Finkel gives him $50. They offered to cover his trans and pay him for his photos, and he never got his $50 from Vince Sr.
Steve asks about the differences between Vince Sr. and Vince Jr. Paul says Sr. did what he did for his times and used his bicycled tapes as best he could and if anyone tried to come into his territory, he'd fight you for it. Heyman goes through the territory system a bit and when times changed, Joe Blanchard had USA - and I believe that's the first time that's been mentioned on WWE TV in any form. Ole Anderson expanded Georgia with TBS and while Vince gets the credit for the expansion, he really didn't do it first.
What Vince did was make "the territory" the entire country. Paul says that then, no one was willing to ask if Vince Sr. was five years younger, would he have honored his prior deals or just done it anyway? Everyone else had their finger on some kind of pulse and even Verne would've gotten a deal - and that was proven by getting ESPN later. Paul says that Vince Sr. would've done it, but may not have been ambitious enough, but he didn't know him well enough to say one way or another.
Heyman talks about Captain Lou Albano being fired more times than anyone in WWWF, WWF, and WWE history. I can't predict lotto winners, but I can predict that this is going to be great. If anyone hasn't heard his classic Wrestling Observer Radio appearance talking about Lou, do so as soon as possible. If you got to the Garden early, he'd be there with a huge bottle of Tropicana Grapefruit juice "with about a drop of grapefruit juice in it" and we see a photo of Lou, Freddie Blassie, The Grand Wizard, and a young Paul Heyman. This is a photo I don't recall seeing before - even on Heyman's documentary.
Lou was hammered and no matter what, he'd just call Vince Jr. "the kid" and would get fired and go to Charlie O's. Vince Sr. would send someone there, bring him back, load him up with coffee, and give him job back every week. Steve compares that to Paul's relationship with Vince Jr. and Paul says they get along great now that he isn't telling Vince how to save the industry.
He says that Letterman wanted to "fix TV" when he came to CBS, and that's what he wanted to do in 2001 and he was hired to give a contrarian opinion and that led to them fighting. He thought Vince would fight ideas through and Vince got tired of it. Heyman says that he has changed how he talks to a lot of people, and fatherhood has mellowed him out. He enjoyed five iced coffees before the show, while the host enjoys Stone Cold beers.
Paul says he's never done cocaine and if he snorted a line back in his prime, his heart couldn't have taken it. He always feared that his father would stand over his grave and his father standing over his grave and saying "I could understand you throwing you life away for this and this, but FOR THIS you make me stand over your grave?" Everyone thinks he was wired on drugs, but he was just high strung. Now, he's far more subdued. He used to fight Vince and Stephanie to his own death, and Austin talks about Heyman's run as SmackDown writer.
Austin says he got heat for succeeding and Heyman got heat for calling Raw the B show. Steve asks about an '06 plane ride from Hell between Heyman and Vince. Heyman says that in a nutshell, it was time for him to go. He lost his passion, his purpose in wrestling, and resurrected ECW's name. It was personal to him and he didn't like how it was being used. It became a personal issue between he and Vince - he wanted to just take over SD and maybe ECW wouldn't suffer because of Vince holding ECW against him. Heyman says in a showdown between anyone and Vince, Vince isn't leaving WWE.
Heyman says he lost his way, couldn't find it at the time, and Vince was angry at him while Heyman was angry at Vince. They had an ungodly bad show and were busy cursing each other out. Vince wanted him to go home and Paul was happy to go home - it took five 1/2 year for each man to see the benefits of that.
Steve talks about being in a car with Rude and Heyman and Rude blowing up at him. Steve loves saying "goshdarn" a lot, and Steve says he's just vents. Rude loves his "goshdarn" chicken, and Steve loves his "goshdarn" Sonic, and Rude demands that Heyman pull the car over and says "Steve, must you take the fudging Lord's name in vein!?" while Steve just sits there and Paul says Rude wasn't a saint and viewed the commandments as a suggestion. Steve apologized for offending him and promises he'll never say the Lord's name in vein, Rude thanks him, and Steve says "you're goshdarned welcome!" so Rude exploded again.
Steve said he couldn't have predicted that would send him over the edge. Heyman talks about traveling with the Samoans while Steve says his wife is going to kill him for this. Heyman says that it was before cameras being everywhere and drones. Sting drove the Steiners around, with Scott in the front and Rick in the back. They'd speed to 85 miles per hour and Scott would hold Rick so he could grab you by your legs and luckily, no one died. Heyman was riding with Fatu and Samu and while Sting and the Steiners are coming, they lock the doors. Rick comes to get him and knocks on Paul's window while Heyman cackles at him.
Sting switches places with Scot and then they throw food at them - including a watermelon. They stop at a convenience store so they can turn it into Mad Max Part Two. They cut into their hands and write SST on their car in blood where the Samoans throw bottles, food, and baseballs at them. Heyman says Dollar Rent a Car declared the car as totaled and they wouldn't rent to "Paul E. Dangerously" and he's still blacklisted from renting a car in Charlotte, NC.
Heyman asks Austin about Cena using the springboard stunner. Austin says it's wasted because everyone kicks out of it - so now the move isn't worth anything. Austin loves Cena and thinks he works his ass off, and the move is high risk given how slick the ropes are. Heyman asks if he wants to fight Brock at WrestleMania XXXII. Steve says he'd whoop his ass, while Heyman hypes up the baddest SOB in WWE history against the baddest man on the planet. In Texas, you could have the Rattlesnake against the Beast. Austin says he'll think about it, but Brock really has to think about going into 105,000 people and getting his ass kicked. Heyman says they should really negotiate this - and since Paul's phone dings, he has to buy everyone beers. Steve says if the stars aligned in Texas, where he'd watch the Von Erichs battle as Paul gets a text from a WWE writer about " fire all the writers" while Austin wants a Texas death match with Brock.
Austin doesn't want a scientific match, he wants a fight. He respects Brock, his accomplishments, his life, but if he stands across from Steve Austin, and you mess with him, you're not going to like what you get. Heyman says he's an advocate while Steve says he's about to advocate an ass-whooping. Paul says he can leave and Steve says that might be the right move. Well, this was fantastic. You got an hour of two old friends shooting the breeze and sharing stories and "the money" at the end of a promo that happened to be an hour long and compelled you to watch every second.