Austin welcomes Ken Anderson to the show.
Anderson informs that he was trained by two men who never made it to WWE, but luckily they understood the psychology of the business and Anderson was able to pick up on that side of the business very early on. He and some of the other trainees were also able to work as enhancement talent for WWE from time to time and that was a huge break for him. He recalls Austin being very kind to him when he’d show up at a WWE show for an enhancement role.
December 6th will mark the first anniversary of the opening of his own wrestling school, which he co-owns with Shawn Daivari. He mentions that this school is a big deal for him and he’s taking great pride in helping usher the new wave of wrestling talent into the business.
His goal is not only to train wrestlers, but to give people a chance to break into the business in any variety of roles. He recalls training one person who put in a tremendous amount of effort but simply couldn’t figure out the art of in-ring wrestling. The person decided to try his hand at refereeing instead, and he ultimately became a terrific referee who’s now getting booked at indie shows every weekend.
Anderson informs that former WWE Superstar, Molly Holly shows up at their wrestling school from time to time to speak to the trainees. He says that she’s a terrific success story, having made it to WWE when nobody really thought she could, and she’s really good at getting her points across to the trainees.
He adds that he’s brutally honest to his trainees in informing them that it’s hard to make money in the wrestling business when you’re first starting out. Austin agrees with that point entirely, saying that when he started out he was driving 400 miles each day from one town to the next, making $10-$15 at each show. He says he was literally starving back in those days.
Anderson informs that he enjoyed wrestling as a child, but got away from it in his teenage years. When he was in his early 20’s his friends made him watch WWE because there was a new star called ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin who was really cool. Anderson fell in love with Austin and wrestling in general and eventually decided to join a wrestling school when he was 22. As soon as he stepped into a ring for the first time he knew he had found his calling in life.
He says that his biggest issue with the wrestling business and WWE today is that the product is too scripted. He admits that WWE does a great job with their big matches and the buildups to those main event bouts are always great. Contrarily, the undercard guys have trouble breaking through the clutter because they’re told specifically how to act and speak.
He thinks that every performer is different and they all should be able to embrace whatever method they feel most comfortable with in order to cut promos and work in the ring. One specific ‘WWE style’ isn’t going to work for everyone, and he thinks it’s silly to restrict performers like that.
Anderson informs that when he wrestled in WWE he wanted to wrestle as if the matches were real. He mentions that Undertaker actually pulled him aside one night and told him to keep doing that because it made him unique in the ring, but Undertaker also warned him that some people on RAW’s roster wouldn’t like that as they’d consider him hard to work with.
He thinks that these types of silly things may have played a part in his eventual departure from WWE. He also went on the record after the Chris Benoit murder/suicide, giving his opinions on the events to several news corporations and he doesn’t think WWE appreciated that.
When he left WWE and went to TNA he immediately noticed some significant differences between the two promotions. It was almost as if everyone was walking on egg shells in WWE at that time, but TNA was a much more relaxing environment. Eric Bischoff told him he’d also have some control over writing/delivering his promos and that was very important to him.
Anderson informs that he started to abuse painkillers when he was working in WWE. He was very good at keeping it on the down-low, and not many people knew how many painkillers he was taking at that time. He’d order 1000 Vicodin at a time and would go through all of them in a week or two. When his abuse was at its worst, he spent $35,000 on Vicodin in one year.
When he finally decided to quit he went through 12 days of withdrawals, where he lid on a couch with shakes and cold sweats. In the end, it was worth it in order to kick that addiction.
That sums up today’s episode of The Steve Austin Show. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!