You all stuck around on the WWE Network after Monday Night Raw, right? Last night was the highly-anticipated live episode of the Stone Cold Steve Austin podcast, with special guest Vince McMahon. It was scheduled to last an hour, but Vince called an audible and added on 15 more minutes because HE’S VINCE MCMAHON, DAMMIT. Anyway, it was a very entertaining show, but some of Vince’s answers are a bit worrisome. And don’t worry, he ended up addressing the new CM Punk developments. As the Senior Flag Controversy And Podcast Correspondent here at WithSpandex, allow me to hit some of the important points.
- Vince on the WWE Network: “I do have high expectations… it just takes a little while to build up all the content.” He also said a deal for the UK is coming “soon” but didn’t commit to a date.
- On wrestling vs. “sports entertainment”: “Pro wrestling is what my dad did… Telling stories, that’s what we do.”
- On Raw’s opening segments: Stone Cold implied that opening promos tended to run a bit long, and Vince partially agreed, saying that story elements need to be established… no “wrestling for wrestling’s sake.”
- On performers being cautious backstage: Stone Cold observed that wrestlers are walking on eggshells backstage for fear that “if they piss somebody off here, there goes their career.” Vince answered, “Well, don’t piss anybody off.”
- On younger members of the roster, a.k.a. “millennials”: First of all, I want the person who taught Vince that word found, and I want them punished. Here’s Vince’s quote… “They’re not as ambitious, quite frankly… they don’t necessarily want to reach for that brass ring. The last one to really reach for that brass ring in all likelihood was John Cena.” He sees Bray Wyatt and the former members of The Shield as people who are really striving, though.
- On one of Stone Cold’s current favorite performers, Cesaro: “He doesn’t quite have the charisma, he doesn’t have quite the verbal skills. Maybe it’s because he’s Swiss, I don’t know in terms of European style… at the moment, he lacks it.”
- On his love of pushing people into swimming pools: “It happened to Nick Bockwinkel, it happened to Dusty Rhodes… I love pranks, as you know. And the look on someone’s face as you shove them and they’re in the air… it is one of the funniest things in the world.”
- On Shane McMahon’s whereabouts: “He’s busy working in Japan, he’s got his fingers in a lot of pots, and he’s a happy camper. He’s enjoying his family.”
- On CM Punk: “I would like to apologize… Punk got some severance papers on the day he got married. That was coincidence, so I want to personally apologize for that. Other than that, the only thing I want to say about Punk is that there have been a number of individuals in the past who’ve been disgruntled and said a lot of things about the organization. I’m not going to wash the dirty laundry in public, I don’t think there’s any reason for that. I think there are a lot of things he may say that he may regret one day in terms of looking back at it, but nonetheless, I hope that one day we’ll be able to get back together again.” He has not heard the Art of Wrestling interview with Colt Cabana. “I understand he used a lot of expletives and things of that nature.”
- On working with Stone Cold: “Sometimes, you were so hard-headed, it was not to be believed.” Austin reveals that Vince was going to fine him $650,000 for walking out on his contract, but he managed to talk it down to $250,000.
- On the end of The Undertaker’s streak: Vince owns up to being the one who made the call, saying Brock Lesnar was the right guy at the right time.
- On Brock Lesnar’s absence: “He’s a special attraction… to me, it’s not about the title that draws the people into the arena. It’s about the performer and about his opponent, and about his story… It’s not really about the title. Does it help sometimes? Sure it does. But it’s not just about the title.”
- On Sting: “I would be surprised if he doesn’t show up at WrestleMania.”
- On “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s Hall of Fame candidacy: We will “absolutely, definitely” see Savage in the Hall of Fame. Vince gave no concrete date, though.
- On WWE’s competition: “Our competition is anything on television. Our competition is anything at a live event, whether it’s Disney or a concert, or whatever it is. That is tough competition.”
- On his age, and if/when he’ll eventually step down: “Am I out of touch? No. Am I 69 years old? Yes.”
So, he’s comfortable with calling a large chunk of his roster unmotivated and devaluing the legacy of a championship he helped make legendary… but he’s not out of touch.
Triple H, if you’re reading this, WE NEED YOU BACK.