PODCAST RECAP – Steve Austin & Ted Fowler talk about pro wrestling, hunting, drinking including respecting the animals, dog companions, Al Snow, Jim Ross, WWF nicknames

By Rob Gladding, PWTorch contributor



Top Newsworthy Items

– Austin hosts a Twitter Q&A which covers a range of topics.

– Austin trained with Al Snow when he first went to WWE.

– The Smoking Skull Title belt was the Road Warriors idea.

Subjects covered (w/time stamps)

0:00 – Sponsors ad
1:40 – Introduction
19:54 – Sponsors ad
22:28 – Q&A – Tackling Alcoholism
29:00 – Q&A – Breaking into pro wrestling
32:15 – Q&A – Using excess deer meat
34:47 – Q&A – Come to Jesus moments at the ranch
39:00 – Q&A – Bullying
41:19 – Sponsors ad
43:05 – Q&A – Phone apps/Home improvement shows/Broken Skull IPA in UK
48:37 – Q&A – Bruno Sammartino
50:41 – Q&A – Bear hunting/Hunting pictures/Westerns
58:07 – Q&A – Worst drinking sessions/Seeing Austin perform/Ric Flair
1:02:26 – Sponsors ad
1:03:45 – Q&A – Dogs
1:12:30- Q&A – JR’s commentary/Smoking skull belt/Eating rattlesnake
1:20:22 – Q&A – Goldust character
1:30:00 – Conclusion/Plugs
1:37:57 – Show ends

Show Highlights

Introduction: Austin introduces Ted to the show. He says that they’ve not been able to go hunting this week because it’s been raining so heavily. They were going to do the show at Ted’s, but it was flooded they had to go back to Austin’s and interrupt Kristin doing housework to record the show. Ted says that he saw a bobcat on the ranch and they joke that due to his heavy alcohol intake the bobcat wouldn’t consider him a candidate to be eaten and if it took one bite of him it would be pickled.

Austin has taken a break from working out for a few weeks and due to having no TV appearances scheduled he’s been cutting loose and drinking a lot with Ted, but now he’s back in the gym and it feels good and he’s cleaning up his act and cutting down on the beer. Teddy says that he is too and they discuss who tapped out first. Austin jokes that as a leader he suggested that it might be time to step down and Teddy joked that as the follower he said ok, and that’s also how they started drinking so heavily in the first place.

Austin tells a story about a nightmare flight Kristin recently took to LA to visit her mother and take care of some business regarding a house remodel they are having done. The flight got redirected from San Antonio to Austin, so Steve rang the pickup service that he’d arranged for Kristin to pick her up from San Antonio instead. Then the pilot got on the tannoy and said that they were now going to Austin as originally planned so he had to ring again and send them back to Austin.

Steve gives a shout out to Ashley who competed in the Broken Skull Challenge. The temperature was around 100 degrees and Ashley is from Alaska so she isn’t used to such high temperatures and ran into some trouble on the nut cracker challenge. She was offered the option of going to hospital and getting treatment but she continued and refused to quit which Austin praised her for.

Q&A – Tackling Alcoholism: Austin invited fans to send in questions on Twitter for a Q&A. The first question is from Steve who has been struggling with Alcoholism but quit THREE days ago and is starting to attend AA meetings. He asked for Austin’s advice on tackling drinking issues.

Austin says he’s never been to an AA meeting because he doesn’t consider himself an alcoholic. Although he was a heavy drinker in his prime, he said then when he felt that he needed to stop he was just able to stop and didn’t feel like he was ever dependant on alcohol. He said that Steve is on the right track. Austin says he used smokeless tobacco for 20-25 years and his father getting cancer made him see the light and he quit cold turkey. The first few days were absolute misery but he never looks back.

Ted was a heavy smoker. He just stopped cold turkey because he started valuing his health and wanted to live for a long time so started taking care of himself. He says that Steve admitting he is an alcoholic and choosing to stop is a good start and there’s no better time to quit then when you have a support system around you. Being forced into sobriety would be a much tougher transition. Ted was smoking 60 cigarettes a day. He and Austin both have an all or nothing addictive personality so find going cold turkey the best way to go.

Q&A – Breaking into pro wrestling: An aspiring pro wrestler called Toby who is currently training with Al Snow and training with Lance Storm next year asks Austin for his advice on getting to the top of the industry.

Austin says that Toby is starting off really strong by training with Al Snow. When Austin first started with WWF he went to train with Al Snow in Ohio because Austin respected his in ring ability. He says that Snow is a great teacher and worker who knows every facet of the business.

He praises Lance Storm, saying that he is an outstanding mechanic and technician with great psychology and has a great mind for the business. He says that both are going to help Toby tremendously and having them on his resume will speak volumes.

Austin suggests studying the character development of successful stars and thinking about why you think they were successful with respect to their character, in ring work and charisma. He also suggests carrying a recording device to record promos over and over and have a log book for keeping a training journal, because as well as keeping some great memories, you’ll have a great book of training that shows your progress and will help you mature in the business.

Ted suggests going on YouTube and watching some of the older wrestlers and studying how they go through their promos. Austin says the mid-’80s was his favourite period in wrestling and suggests watching and studying people such as Rock n Roll Express, Midnight Express, The 4 Horsemen, Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes on YouTube and WWE network as well as keeping up with the current product. He says that to fully absorb the business and become a great pro wrestler you need to eat, sleep and live it.

Q&A – Using excess deer meat: Jason asks what Austin does with the excess deer meat he harvests from hunts. Austin says there’s a lot of excess deer meat because there’s too much for him to consume but no deer goes to waste; it feeds a lot of people and he gives it to friends, food banks, and locals. At the end of the year Austin, his brother in law, and Ted are going to take some dear meat to a processing plant to have some sausages and burgers made. He tells a story about how they lost a lot of deer meat last year when a power outage caused it to spoil.

Q&A – Come to Jesus moments at the ranch: The next question asks what the biggest come to Jesus moment Austin or Ted have ever had at the ranch is. Ted says that he’s got into a couple of pickles driving the tractor on the ranch where it has come close to tipping over. Austin recalls a time where Ted was driving the tractor with his headphones on and there was a rattlesnake right by him that he wasn’t aware of. He says when your mowing in the tractor you’re on a very steep incline by the pond and he often worries about it rolling the tractor into the pond and finding yourself upside down and drowning.
Austin talks about how when he was mowing with a tractor on his father’s ranch, sometimes he would run over a nest and get attacked by hornets and his instinct was to run but he had to slow the tractor down and bring it to a stop before he could. People often fall off and get run over by their own tractor and when you’re by yourself in the middle of nowhere you have to be careful and think about what could happen and not take unnecessary risks.

Q&A – Bullying: Jake asks if Austin got picked on at school for being a pro wrestling fan. Austin says he watched wrestling from when he was 7 or 8 but never really discussed wrestling with his friends so it wasn’t common knowledge. He says he never got picked on at school for anything because there weren’t very many bullies in the area where he grew up. Ted says that he never got bullied at school because he kept to himself. During all his time at school he was involved in two fist fights.

Steve says that if there’s any bullies listening to the show, they should stop picking on people and ask themselves why they do it. Ted thinks that some people get a kick out of it, particularly cyber bullying because you can’t be held accountable for your actions.

Austin says that picking on someone because you’ve got strength in numbers or they’re smaller than you is a cowardly thing to do and if there’s any bullies listening they should get a life and mind their own business

Q&A – Phone apps/Home improvement shows/Broken Skull IPA in UK: Clive asks asks what apps Austin has on his phone and which his favourite are. Austin says Twitter and Instagram are up there but his favourite is Pandora radio which he pays for to avoid commercials.

The next question asks what Ted’s take is on home improvement TV shows. Ted says he doesn’t like them because that’s the industry that he’s in and it leads people to believe that it’s easier than what it actually is. Some good comes out of it, though, because people think they can tear their kitchen apart and put it back together, but they tear it apart and when it’s time to put it back together, that’s when Ted gets a phone call and he gets work out of it.

The second part of the question asks if Ted has any trouble with other friends wanting to come out to the Broken Skull Ranch and get free Austin swag. He says that he doesn’t hang out with too many people and jokes that the only people he likes to hang out with is Austin and Kristen. He says he gets people who want to come out and hunt but he would never invite them because it’s not his place.

Adam asks if Broken Skull IPA will be coming to to the UK. Austin says it will probably never be available in the UK because El Segundo brewing company is an extremely high quality brewery but it’s a very modest sized brewery so they’ve got their hands full trying to fulfil demand domestically.

Q&A – Bruno Sammartino: Russ says that Bruno Sammartino is one of his favorite wrestlers and asks why his name doesn’t come up much during Austin’s podcasts and what the chances of Austin getting Bruno on the show are. Austin says he would love to have Bruno on his show; he’s an absolute legend and a huge draw. He thinks the reason that Bruno doesn’t get mentioned much is because he came up a few generations before Austin back in the territory systems before a lot of people had regional tv, so many people didn’t get much of a chance to see Bruno. He thinks that similarly in 30 years there’ll be less talk of Stone Cold because we’ll be 30 years down the system and someone else will be more relevant. He says that Bruno had a fantastic career he was one of the top draws in the business and he has nothing but respect for him. He can’t think of anybody who doesn’t respect Bruno and have high regard for him and everything he accomplished in wrestling and he’s one of the pillars of the industry.

Q&A – Bear hunting/Hunting pictures/Westerns: Joe asks Austin if he ever goes bear hunting. Austin says that he grew up deer hunting and when they hunt a dear none of it goes to waste. But with bear hunting, he didn’t grow up with it and he thinks of bears as big dogs. He doesn’t want to pet the bear, but he doesn’t want to kill it either. Half the joy he gets from hunting is just watching stuff and he’s happy looking at bears.

Ted says he went bear hunting once and shot a bear. It was fun, but it was something that he felt he only needed to do once. The bear meat was awful to eat. He said he was told it had to be turned into sausage to be palatable and it was the worst. He gave 99 percent of it away.

The next question asks why Austin doesn’t post hunting pictures. He says he doesn’t post pictures because a lot of people don’t like hunting and, much like talking about religion or politics, he doesn’t want to force it on anybody via social media. He also thinks that posting pictures of it is irresponsible and disrespectful to the animal.

John asks Steve and Ted what their favorite westerns and western actors are. Austin says that when he thinks of westerns he thinks of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and it’s 50/50. One of his favourite movies of all time is The Cowboys with John Wayne. He says that the film still makes Jim Ross mad because of the scene where Bruce Dern shot John Wayne in the back. He also likes the spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood such as The Outlaw Josey Wales. Ted says that one of his favourite TV shows was The Rifleman with Lucas McCain. He likes John Wayne, he was more of a Clint Eastwood but he really liked The Shootist.

Q&A – Worst drinking sessions/Seeing Austin perform/Ric Flair: Keith asks what the worst hangover Steve and Ted have ever had from drinking together is and have either of them had to call it a day during a drinking session. Austin says neither one of them have had to call it a day during a drinking session but he fell down a few times a couple of years ago. They looked at each other this morning and decided to have a dry out period but it’s not ever happened while they were actively drinking. They’ve both fallen asleep or passed out a few times. Ted says the worst night of drinking was when they stayed up all night and left the bbq grill burning but they’ve since seen the light.

The second part of the question asks has Ted ever been to a show that Austin has performed at, and if so what does he think of seeing Austin in complete Stone Cold mode. Ted says he went to Wrestlemania in Dallas last year. He says he’s been a wrestling fan for a long time and it was cool to hear the crowd’s reaction when Austin came out and did his stuff. He sees Austin as a friend who he hangs out with, and the people were rabid fans and it’s hard to describe what it’s like to see the people go crazy when Austin comes out.

The third part of the question asks if Ted could take on any WWE superstars past or present who would it be. Kristin jokes it would probably be a diva. Austin puts the women’s division over and says that they’re not divas anymore, the women’s wrestling scene has evolved, and it’s a family friendly show so they’re not going there. Ted says he would take on Ric Flair because his promos make him laugh just because of how full of himself he was. Austin says Flair is his favorite pro wrestler of all time. He was so good at making you hate him.

Dogs: Peter says he had to get his dog put down and asks how many dogs Austin has had and does it get easier over time when you lose them. He also asks how old Hershey is and if he has a favourite type of dog.

Austin says Hershey is nearly 12 and she’s starting to slow down quite a bit which causes some concern for him because he’s had her since she was a year and a half old and he hopes she lasts. He was partial to beagles growing up because his family had one. He rescued a couple of Pitbulls and he had one called Sam that went with him everywhere but he had to get him put down. He and Kristen are partial to Labradors. Hey had a lab called Shona who got put down a few months ago and another lab called Brio who got put down a couple of years ago and it broke their hearts. He tries not to think about it but he knows that one day he’ll have to get Hershey put down and that will break his heart too.

Ted had a German short haired pointer Guinness. When he had to have her put down he was devastated and he says it’s always rough having to get a dog put down. Austin says there’s a vet who has a service that will come to your house to put dogs down and that’s what they did with Brio and Shona and they were in their favourite spots when they were put down. Austin gets audibly upset talking about it. Austin and Kristen are considering getting a black lab next year so Hershey can mentor them.

Ted always gets the same colored dogs and thinks it might be a subliminal thing to keep your mind off it like it never happened. Austin tells a story about Kristen’s dad having a black lab, a chocolate lab, and a white lab and any time one of them died he would get a new dog the exact same colour again and call it the same name. He says that Hershey’s so special he wouldn’t call another dog Hershey. Austin jokes about nearly crying and says he’s one of the toughest SOBs in the history of the WWE but he’s got a heart.

J.R.’s commentary/Smoking skull belt/Eating rattlesnake: The next question asks when J.R. called Austin “The Rattlesnake” and all the other nicknames he had, did he say beforehand that he was going to do that or was it on the fly, and who’s idea was it to make the smoking skull belt. Austin said he didn’t like the WWF belt and the idea for the smoking skull belt was The Road Warriors. They called him over and said that as Stone Cold Steve Austin he should have his own belt.

He said that J.R. calling him all those nicknames was just him being the best commentator in pro wrestling and he made that stuff up on the fly. He would never ask J.R. to call him anything. He didn’t even name the Stone Cold Stunner; it was WWF who came up with it, but it worked and had a ring to it and he’s glad it turned out that way. He says that is eternally indebted to J.R. for his commentary and for getting the Stone Cold character over the way he did.

Chris asks Austin if he’s ever eaten rattlesnake, which he hasn’t. Austin says rattlesnake supposedly tastes like chicken, so he’d just rather eat chicken. They totally creep him out and he doesn’t want to skin one and eat one. Ted says he ate some at a fair one time and it tastes like chicken because it’s breaded and fried so it just tasted like fried white meat.

Goldust character: Shane asks whether Austin thinks that the Goldust character was a rib on Dustin Rhodes by the WWE or whether they legitimately thought it would get over. Austin says he would have to do some research on it but he thinks it might have been Dustin’s idea, and if it wasn’t his idea it was definitely not a rib. He thought it was one of the greatest gimmicks ever in pro wrestling. He used to travel with Dustin in late-95/early -’96 when Goldust was hot and he was jerking the curtain while Dustin was in the main events as Goldust and he was over with an insane amount of shoot heat. There’s no way the gimmick was ever designed as a rib and there’s nobody who could have played the character as well as Dustin did. He thinks that on a technical level Dustin was a better worker than his father. He doesn’t know whether the polka dots were a rib on Dusty, but if anyone could get polka dots over, it was dusty Rhodes, and he did.

Score and Final Thoughts

Score (7.0): This episode had some entertaining back and forth between Austin and Fowler. The Q&A format allowed them to cover a wide range of interesting subjects.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S PODCAST RECAP: Steve Austin interviews UFC’s Sam Alvey who talks about Bisping-Henderson, Jon Jones, MMA training process, more

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