Keller’s detailed recap of Austin interviewing Brock on WWE Network

By Wade Keller, editor


Monday night after Raw concluded, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sat down with Brock Lesnar for the latest installment of Austin’s live WWE Network podcast interview.

OCTOBER 19, 2015

Steve Austin shook hands with Brock Lesnar and thanked him for being on the show. He said they’ve always gotten along. Lesnar asked what show number it is. Austin said number six, but if they don’t do well, they might get cancelled. Austin said if they get lost, he’ll grab a headlock and call for a highspot. Lesnar said he’ll suplex later. Austin laughed and said: “Don’t take me to Suplex City!”

Austin said when he first saw Lesnar, he said he’s got something going for him. He said he had a great look, and then he learned about his background and realized he was a badass. He asked him if he tries to intimidating. “Do you get along well with other people?” he asked.

Lesnar said he carries himself with an ambiance or manner that people may find cocky or arrogant, but he doesn’t do it on purpose. “I guess it’s just the way I am, the way I was built, the chemistry behind who I am.” He said he was the kid beating up kids on the playground and has always had a chip on his shoulder.

Austin asked if he got picked on when he was younger. Lesnar said, “No, I was doing the picking.” Lesnar said he had to work for what he’s achieved. He said if he wasn’t a professional wrestler, he has no idea what he’d have done. He said his passion for the sport of wrestling made him thrive in the weight room to become what he’s become today. He said it was many hours upon hours of pumping iron. “It’s been a long road,” he said.

Austin asked how growing up on a farm made him what he is today. Lesnar said life on the farm, especially where he grew up in rural South Dakota, their income was based on how well their cows and fields produced. He said some years are better than others, and you just get used to living like you’re broke. “It’s a way of life,” he said. Lesnar said you’re married to it because the cows have to get milked every morning and every night. He said he learned if you put in the hard work, it’ll pay off.

Austin brought up Brock doing selective dates and part time, but then seemed to want to shift right out of that. He then asked, “When the hell are you and me going to go hunting?” Lesnar said he has all the big deer up North. Austin said they have big deer in South Texas. Lesnar said he texted him a month ago and they are going to make it happen. Austin asked if he’s shooting. Lesnar said yes.

“Ford, Chevy, Dodge?” Austin asked. Lesnar said Dodge and always has been. He’s a Mopar guy. He says he drives a 2014 Dodge Ram. They showed the picture. They compared brands of hunting gear next.

Austin said he’s a big fan of Mexican food and food in general. He asked Lesnar about his eating habits. Lesnar said he likes steak and a cold beer or coke with rye whiskey. He said he doesn’t like to see his neighbors, he wants solitude. Austin said he uses a gas grill because he doesn’t have patience. Lesnar said he does it with coals. Austin asked again about the rye whiskey. Lesnar said up in Canada where he spends most of his time, he got introduced to rye whiskey. He then plugged Coors Light, too.

Austin paused and asked what his music of choice is. “I’m a hardcore country guy,” Lesnar said. David Allen Coe and Willie and Waylon and Cash. But also Metallica, AC/DC, and Motley Crew. He talked about his brothers influencing his taste in music. He said he likes following young guys coming up in country. He said Colter Wall grasped him from the first time he heard his record and he listens to it every day. Austin said Lesnar turned him on to it.

Austin shifted to wrestling questions. Are you a pro wrestler or a sports entertainer? “Is there a difference?” Lesnar asked. Lesnar said he’s in the entertainment industry and at the end of the day it’s about selling tickets. He said he took a whole different path than most. He said he thanks God every day doing what he’s done and making a pretty good damn living. He said growing up he never watched a lick of wrestling. Austin asked what he watched. Lesnar said, “Little House on the Prairie.” They both laughed. Austin admitted he watched it, too. “Give it up to Michael Landon.” Lesnar said, “I only had two channels in the house and they only worked part time.”

Lesnar talked about how he was asked to play all kinds of positions in football. He said he had more scholarship opportunities as a football player. He said he had zero as a wrestler, actually. He said after he left WWE and tried the NFL, he said after two days he realized he was a fish out of water. “This was not my path of what I should be doing, but I lasted eight weeks. I didn’t want to quit. I was the last guy cut by the Minnesota Vikings.”

He said he can’t be good at everything, and he gets humbled all he time. He said at the University of Minnesota, he used to make fun of the football players. He said Vikings training camp was one of the toughest things he endured.

Austin asked why he didn’t get recruited. He said he was an in-between guy and bumped up to heavyweight late to fill a spot on the team. He said he wasn’t a true heavyweight, though. He said he got beat twice his senior year and those guys went on to full scholarships. He said he fought his way up through the junior college ranks.

He talked about using his aunt’s address to get in-state tuition in California at his second junior college. He told stories about enrollment challenges. He said he never graduated from the University of Minnesota, though.

Austin asked how he fell into pro wrestling since he wasn’t a fan. Lesnar said he fell into a rut. He said he spent almost two months in the basement of the house he was living in. He said it might have been depression. He said WWE pursued him. He said some NFL teams showed interest, too, including Tony Dungee, who was coaching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but had U of M connections. He said his roommate, who was in the same boat as him, got him to leave the house. He said he pursued a careering avionics and now he’s a pilot for Delta. Lesnar said he started choosing between the NFL, Olympics, coaching, or pro wrestling.

Austin asked about dairy farming as an option. Lesnar said when he was 17 an army recruiter came to school and Lesnar was ready to go with him right there. He said he signed and he called his mom and off he went to boot camp.

They showed a picture of Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista at the OVW camp. Lesnar said he drove to Louisville, Ky. where Shelton Benjamin met him. He was roommates at the U of M with Shelton. Lesnar said he was blown away by the setting because it was barbaric, but in a good way. He said it was raw and he loved the facility.

Austin asked about getting called to the main roster. He said he was working with Jim Ross when he signed with WWE. He said he had to finish some prior commitments as a wrestling coach. He said it showed WWE that he was a man of his word when it came to commitments. “Maybe it showed something in me that they liked or didn’t like,” he said. “I don’t know.” He said while he was there and still living in Minnesota, he connected with Brad Rheingans and started working with him. He said Brad brought in Curt Hennig, Wayne Bloom, Dan Jesser, and a few others. He said Jesser took a million bumps for him. He said he was the hometown hero of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He said he got notoriety at the U of M and it worked in his favor.

Austin said Big Bossman and Curt Hennig took an immediately liking to him. Lesnar said he started traveling with them because he wanted to learn from them. “The best time to learn is in the car,” he said. Austin said, “Yes sir.” Lesnar said he asked Kane and Taker if he can ride with them and offered to pump their gas. He said he rode with them a few times.

He said what he can credit to Hennig and Bossman is teaching his psychology and how to put a match together. “As we all know, it’s pure entertainment,” he said. Austin took a deep breath and said a lot goes into that. He said having those guys in his ear and smartening him up to things was a great opportunity. “Those guys put on a lot of miles and bumps in the ring.”

Austin said it didn’t take long and he’s in the ring with The Rock. He said his first match was in Australia in a Triple Threat match with The Rock and Triple H. He said that Hunter told him at the last TV event that they intentionally left him out of the loop in the match so he could learn to sink or swim. Lesnar said Dwayne Johnson was leaving, but he taught him to be selfish, watch his back, and if you’re going to thrive in this business, you gotta be selfish. He said the night that he was not selfish to him, he won the WWE Title from him. He said there’s a time to give and a time to take.

Austin asked if he thought it’d be an easy ride when he became a champion so quickly. Lesnar said the business was so new and intriguing. He said he was drinking beers and staying in different hotels and different environments. “It was all very intriguing and stimulating at the beginning,” he said, chuckling at the memories. Austin laughed, slapped the table, and said, “Yeah, that got me a couple of divorces.” Lesnar said when you portray a person on TV, people start to see you that way. He said he hasn’t changed, even if he’s gotten rougher around the edges. “People around you change and they treat you differently,” he said. “I’m no different on TV than I really am. I really don’t like people. I’m sorry, I don’t. That’s who I am. I just don’t like being around a bunch of people.”

Lesnar said he can be in front of 20,000 people and feel protected, ironically, but around a group of people socially, he doesn’t do well. He said he doesn’t play well and that’s just who he is. He said he has an eight foot fence around his property and a gate closes behind him when he goes home. He said that’s just who he is.

Austin asked Lesnar about landing on his head at WrestleMania 19 against Kurt Angle. They played the clip from three angles. Austin said it hurt to watch that. Lesnar said that was a moment in his career where he realized he failed to take advice from other veterans. He said he wasn’t being selfish there. “I was talked into doing it. I wasn’t comfortable doing it. I’m not going to say who talked me into doing it. I had done it before and I was young and stupid at the time. Could I do it? Should I have done it? No. Was the person who was telling me to do it – said it would be a WrestleMania Moment. Boy, why not have a WrestleMania Moment. I sure did, I guess.” He chuckled. Austin said he was mad at him for doing it because he didn’t have to do it. He said he has a style that he can’t see through and a style that’s badass.

Austin brought up WrestleMania 20 against Bill Goldberg. Lesnar said he doesn’t know any numbers. “I look at this purely as a business,” he said “Guys can name certain matches they have. I can’t do that.” Austin said he forgets a lot, too, but he read up on him. Austin said it was a cluster. “Neither one of us wanted to be there,” he said. Austin leaned in and asked, “Why didn’t you want to be there. It was WrestleMania 20!” Lesnar: “Because I didn’t give a shit.” Austin said he was refereeing and it was a big deal.

They showed Lesnar shooting a middle finger. Lesnar said that was aimed at Vince McMahon. Austin asked why he felt that way. He said he had enough of the business. He said he was becoming a person he never thought he’d be. He said he felt he was a trapped animal. He said he felt there were times he was on an airplane he wanted to punch the door open and jump out. He said he tells Vince this to this day. He said with a wide smile that he was built to be in the ring, but he wasn’t built to get from ring to ring.

Austin asked what his thoughts were after he left. Lesnar said he had no plans. He said he was just pulling at strings. He said he’d have been content with being a dairy farmer for the rest of his life, but he decided there was something inside of him that felt this wasn’t it for him. Austin asked if he sued WWE or WWE sued him. Lesnar asked if it really matters and said it’s water under the bridge for him.

Austin asked if anyone in the locker room has grudges with him for coming and going. Austin asked if he goes out of his way to hang out with the boys. Lesnar said he didn’t know anybody when he came back other than a handful of guys. He said he clocks in and clocks out. “What’s wrong with that?” he said. “I know people who do it every day. I do my work. I don’t bother everybody. If I piss you off along the way, too f’n bad. It’s a job.”

Austin shifted to going to MMA. Lesnar said when his New Japan deal expired, he signed with K1 and fought at the L.A. Coliseum on a one fight contract. He said he reached out to Dana White, who wasn’t taking his calls. He told his manager at the time that he wanted to go see Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga. He said after the fight he jumped the security barrier and grabbed Dana White and said he wanted to fight. He said they had a meeting the night and Dana took him seriously. He said they talked about everything but money because at the time he wanted to prove himself. He asked him to sign up for a one fight deal. He said if you can’t sell PPVs with him, then don’t have him back.

Austin asked about his loss to Frank Mir. He asked what it was like to be in that knee bar submission. “I was disgusted with myself,” Lesnar said. “I had trained to get out of that exact hold the entire training camp. For some reason – I can’t explain it – I put my foot exactly there.” He said he couldn’t believe he did it. He stood up with his hands on his waist and he said, “I saw my entire life fall off a cliff.” He said the only way he expected to stay employed was to win. He said in the back, though, Dana was bouncing off the walls, excited, and said he wanted him back. Lesnar said they went back to the drawing board and he signed a “three-to-six fight contract.” He said his next fight was against Heath Herring.

Lesnar said as a competitor you’re trained not to compete or fight on aggression. He said everything was fine until his entrance music hit. Herring then said on they way past his locker room: “I’m gonna show this m-fer that this shit for real.” Almost every word there was bleeped, but that’s pretty close. “That lit a fire under my ass. I went out and said, all right, here we go.” He said between round one and two, he gave him a fist pump and winked at him. He said when he was riding his ass, he said, “This is real buddy.” Austin said, “Talk about a long day at the office.”

Austin asked about beating Couture. Lesnar said he was thankful for the opportunity. He said Dana saw an opportunity because Lesnar was selling PPVs. He said they were trying to get Randy back because he left with the belt. Lesnar said the heavyweight division was weak when he first came in.

Austin said diverticulitis was his fall. Lesnar said if he hadn’t gotten sick, he probably would still be in UFC. He said it got worse over time, though. He said he got half way through training camp and knew something was physically wrong with him. He said he was too stubborn to get a CT scan. He said instead he sat in his deer stand instead. He said he almost died. He said the doctor came into his room and explained that he was going to save his life before saving his career, so he was giving him eight hours on a big dose of antibiotics. He said his fever was still at 104.3 as they wheeled him in for surgery. He said when he woke up, he thought his career was over. The doctor then explained that as they were about to cut him open, the fever broke, so they stopped short of cutting him open. Lesnar said if he had the surgery, his career would have been done.

Austin asked about his mindset when he returned to WWE. He said there was a lot of bad blood between him and Vince. Lesnar asked, “Didn’t you walk out one time.” Austin got excited and said he’ll talk about it. Lesnar said, “I didn’t care. I wasn’t offended.” Austin said until now he never got his take on it. Lesnar laughed and said, “You didn’t want to do the job to me.” Austin said he wanted to main event against him when it was ready. Austin said, “An unadvertised match didn’t make a lick of sense to me. I handled it in the worst possible way. I’ve always admitted that.” Lesnar said he doesn’t have to explain it to him and added, “Maybe you handled it the wrong way, but maybe somebody on the other side could’ve handled it better, too.” Lesnar said it’s a two-way street and when he came back, it had to work for both sides.

Austin asked about the difference between Vince McMahon and Dana White. Lesnar said with their bank accounts, who wouldn’t have an ego. He said he has a big bank account, but nothing close to them. Austin said it was hard-earned. Lesnar agreed he fought for every penny of it. He said he enjoyed working with Dana and the Ferttita brothers. He said it wasn’t games, it was straight up business.

Austin asked if he really was serious about going back to UFC. Lesnar vowed it wasn’t a bluff. He said he it took him a couple years to feel better again physically. He said when his WWE contract was coming to an end, but something inside him was craving the competition again. He said he was totally honest and said he was thinking of getting back into the Octagon. He went to an MMA training camp and test himself not just physically, but more so mentally.

Austin said he loved his promos in UFC, but in WWE he doesn’t speak as much. “I gotta feed the Jew,” he said. “He’s gotta eat.” He smiled and looked a little nervously off camera. Austin put over Paul Heyman’s mic work. Austin asked his thoughts on promos. “I guess I’m not good at them. I don’t know.” He said without Heyman speaking for him, he wouldn’t be who he is today. He said he doesn’t need to talk because Heyman covers all that. He said his actions speak loud and it’s a great combination. He said when he first came back, he was without Heyman and he think they threw him out there to see where he was. He said cutting a promo with Joe Rogan asking you a question is different than a wrestling promo. Lesnar said there’s so much pent up emotion going into or out of a fight that he can draw from.

Austin talked about how it felt to be in front of a live crowd again. He asked if a fight crowd affects him when he’s fighting. “Sometimes you can, absolutely,” Lesnar said. Lesnar said he wouldn’t have known if there were ten people or ten thousand people in UFC. He said in pro wrestling, he can feel them. He’s not sure of why. He said when he puts on his competition hat, it’s a different place.

Austin asked about his relationship with other wrestlers. He asked if they are his friends or he sees them as competition. Lesnar said this time around, he’s hands on with Vince. He said he wants to know his role from the beginning and what his thoughts are and where he wants him to be. He said he doesn’t have to do the politicking or make friends to get ahead. “I just come and go. Tell me what I’m doing. If I don’t like it, can I dispute it. Can I put an honest effort to put a different spin on it. If he’s adamant about it, fine. I work for the man, that’s what I’ll do.”

Austin asked about Lesnar breaking The Streak. Austin said he was in the production truck when it happened with two beers on his hand. “As a businessman, I knew it was big for me. I knew this Streak had been protected for so long that it was special. It was almost bigger than me winning a WWE Championship, if you want to say that. I understood that. I get a lot of criticism for it. Quite honestly, people, who in the wrestling industry has enough credentials to actually break The Streak? Is there another man with enough believability and credibility? Really, honestly is there somebody else out there? No, I don’t think so.” Austin agreed with that.

Austin asked what the biggest misconception is about him. Lesnar: “I don’t really care. If there are misconceptions, I’ve never been a person that really got offended by what somebody thought of my actions or how I carry myself. At the end of the day, I try to be nice to people unless you cross over a line. At the end of the day, I like to do my own thing, Steve.”

Austin asked him how much gas he has left in the tank. He asked if he’s enjoying himself so much, he could do it forever. Lesnar said he has a pretty good idea where it’s going to go. There was a pregnant pause. Lesnar said he’s having a good time, but he’s not going to share it with anyone. He said people fight to get into the business, but he and Vince both realize that his leaving probably made them both more money ultimately. He said he went out and made a name for himself and became the UFC Champion. He said when he beat Herring, he transferred a lot of stuff back to WWE by beating him like he did when he vowed to show him how fake he was and how real UFC was.

Austin asked what advice the Brock Lesnar of today would give the Brock Lesnar when he first started. Lesnar said he’d tell him to be sure this is what he wants to do and understands the circumstances. He said people nowadays and kids expect things are just handed over to them. He said this generation, people don’t want to work for something. He said if you don’t work, you’ll end up with nothing. Austin said he respects that.

Austin then asked him about facing Undertaker this Sunday at Hell in a Cell. They went into kayfabe mode a bit as Austin talked about the physical toll in the Hell in a Cell. Lesnar said he’s prepared. He said the cage isn’t very forgiving. He said there’s going to be a lot of carnage. He said he’s coming to end The Undertaker. He said he’s kind of, quite frankly, irritated with him. He said when Vince brought him the opportunity, he wanted to avenge what happened with the last match. He said he has a chip on his shoulder and he’s coming to hurt him. He looked totally uncomfortable with this part of the interview.

Austin shook his hands and closed out the show quickly.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I had a lot to say about this interview on the Wade Keller Hotline on Monday night, so VIP members check out that 56 minute recap and analysis. Overall, I thought Lesnar came across admirably in many respects for how unapologetic he was about who he is and how he approaches the business. His approach, while not practical and realistic for most wrestlers aspiring to make a good living in pro wrestling, is a model for wrestlers to lean more toward at times.

1 Comment on Keller’s detailed recap of Austin interviewing Brock on WWE Network

  1. Ironically enough, Ultimate Warrior said some very similar things in his shoot interview when asked about events and timelines… he didn’t seem to remember exact Wrestlemanias and sort of laughed off the interviewer with the “you and your memories” line (it’s been a few years so this is a paraphrase rather than exact quote). Warrior was not to use a pun, but he was TORCHED online by viewers/reviewers over those comments. He basically laid out that he viewed the industry as a business and didn’t get too wrapped up in personal relationships. People freaked out when he said that. Interesting that we now know his approach is not really different than Lesnar’s approach in the locker room or to the business as a whole.

    Maybe people give Lesnar a pass because of his legit tough guy background or because he’s had some great matches (though Warrior did at times too – with Hogan and Savage in back to back Wrestlemanias which is more than a hell of a lot of the “great” workers have ever pulled off consecutively and no, that wasn’t all one guy in both instances since we clearly know Hogan’s never been all that great of a worker either).

    I just find it interesting. After the way Warrior’s backstage demeanor was mocked so openly by the office that another guy who does the exact same things so far as openly befriending the boys or really loving the business and he’s at the top of the industry in Vince’s company is pretty crazy when you think about it.

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