The story between Vince McMahon and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is legendary in the wrestling business. Their boss vs. employee dynamic helped WWE surpass WCW in the ratings and ultimately put the latter out of business as McMahon purchased the company.
Austin revealed to Lilian Garcia on the Chasing Glory podcast that McMahon for some time was actually holding him back. His attitude and demeanor are a huge part of what ultimately got him over with fans, but that almost didn’t happen.
McMahon initially heavily edited Austin. Austin revealed to Garcia that it took him standing up to McMahon for anything to happen. Austin says he had to convince McMahon to just let him be himself and take a step back with the editing, to which McMahon agreed. That is when Austin’s character took off.
“At a very early stage, I wasn’t afraid to ask. Don’t get me wrong, me and Vince got to be very very good friends, but as you know, talking to Vince or developing a relationship with Vince is a very intimidating thing when you first walk in there.
“I knew after seven and a half years that I needed to take care of my ass. So I had the wherewithal to talk with Vince McMahon and establish a relationship with him and offer my thoughts and ask questions to the man himself.
“Like I told him, my response to him was, ‘Vince, you got guys here 6’10, 7 feet tall, 300 to 330 pounds,’ I said, ‘I’m 6’2, 250, black trunks, black boots. If you take my personality, from me, I can’t compete. If you give me my personality, I can compete with anyone you got.’ And he says, ‘Okay Steve.’
“And then he stopped editing me, and that’s when we starting flying. You got to control your destiny. You can’t just hang it up and say, ‘Hey, creative ain’t got nothing for me.’”
In the current product today, a lot of Superstars are reportedly worried about approaching McMahon with any suggestions due to the heavily scripted nature of what the performers do. Austin, however, encourages Superstars to talk with McMahon as it can be extremely beneficial for your career in the long run.
Did you grow up watching Austin during the Attitude Era? Are you a fan? Sound off in the comments below.