Austin welcomes Al Snow back to the show for part two of his interview.
Austin recalls trying to prepare for his debut in WWE as well as his WrestleMania 13 match against Bret Hart by attending Snow’s training school for submissions. Austin was out of action for a while before that match, and he wanted Snow’s help to knock some of the rust off. Vince McMahon thought it was a great idea and flew Austin to Snow’s school.
Snow recalls rolling around the ring with Austin at that time, attempting to teach him some submissions. Unfortunately, every time Snow would roll Austin in a certain submissive position Austin would fart. Austin beings laughing, admitting that he remembers that very well. He points out that he was probably living solely on beans and alcohol during that time.
Speaking about his introduction to the wrestling business, Snow informs that he had been watching wrestling from the very early age of 4 or 5. He watched shows from the original Sheik’s territory, but ultimately that territory fell apart due to Sheiks inability to pay talents.
Snow points out that Sheiks infamous ‘point to the sky’ gesture (which was later used by Sabu) originated from the original King Kong movie because Sheik thought it made him look taller when he did it. Snow informs that he really enjoyed The Sheik’s work, and he always appreciated how Sheik was in character 24/7.
Snow points out that when he was working with The Head gimmick, he’d take Head out to a restaurant to eat supper and he’d order a meal for Head as well. He’d sit there, having a full conversation with Head as he ate and everyone in the restaurant would be looking and whispering. A waiter would often come over to him and tell him that he was making people uncomfortable, and Snow would reply, “Well they’re making us uncomfortable too!”
He admits that living the gimmick like this was tough, but he was determined to be the character that people saw on television whenever he was in public. This way, the people who saw him eating with Head in a restaurant would definitely believe the crazy things they saw him doing on RAW and Smackdown.
Austin speaks about his relationship with Brian Pillman. Austin says Pillman was ahead of his time as an entertainer, and he actually came up with the majority of their ring gear and in-ring moves when they worked as a tag team together. Austin admits that he had a very hard time when Pillman died. Snow speculates that Pillman was dissapointed because he knew he was so much better than the way he was being presented on television.
Snow informs that he initially trained to become a wrestler at Jim Lancaster’s training school. He remembers Lancaster working a match one time as a heel, and the audience was completely quiet throughout the bout as Lancaster took it to the babyface. Eventually the babyface hit a basic offensive move and the place erupted. Lancaster told Snow after the match that he had the audience in the palm of his hand the entire time because they were sitting on their hands waiting for the babyface to come back.
Snow admits that he was very bad when he first started wrestling. When he stepped in the ring to begin training he still thought the business was real, and Lancaster had to sit him down and tell him how the business worked. Lancaster told him to never say a thing about the way the business worked or he’d regret it, and Snow agreed. He never even told his mother about the business’ secrets for years.
Snow points out that back in those days, the veteran performer called the action in the ring and the younger performers just listened. There was no “getting your stuff in” like you see today. Snow feels that all the matches today tell the same story and feature the same psychology and that’s a problem. He points out that the goal of every match is to get the babyface over, and today’s performers have lost their way in that sense.
Snow points out that there used to be a simple 4-step approach to laying out a match. Now when he’s backstage at shows he sees 7 steps written out on whiteboards, with all the talents using the exact same formula. He says that wrestling should be like sex – taking the fans on an emotional ride before climaxing at the end.
He also points out that today’s performers seem to lack the ability to work on the fly in the ring. Instead, they all script out their matches in the backstage area and simply execute those spots one by one when they get in the ring. By doing that, the performer is never emotionally invested because they’re always thinking about the next spot.
That sums up today’s episode of The Steve Austin Show Unleashed. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!