I hope you dipped into your stash of Steveweisers last night, because there was a brand new Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network immediately following Smackdown. For the first time ever, the Bionic Redneck brought the podcast not from the Broken Skull Ranch, but at WrestleMania Axxess in front of hundreds of fans. Joining Austin for the hour was WWE’s master of all things hardcore (and Dean Ambrose violence enabler) Mick Foley, but the two would eventually be joined by another guest. Here’s what we learned from the interview.
On the first time Foley saw Austin: “I was in World Class Championship Wrestling… Gentleman Chris Adams had his first ever wrestling class [at the Dallas Sportatorium] and I thought, ‘This should be fun to watch how bad everybody is.’ And there was some bad wrestling out there, but there was this one guy, long blonde hair, heck of a build… yeah, it was Stunning Steve Austin!”
On being notoriously frugal: “Talking to a lot of the NXT guys backstage, they might take a look at me and go, ‘He did pretty well, and he’s wearing Skechers slippers and sweatpants at 50.’ I like that lifestyle. And you and I would duel it out to see who could stretch a dollar the farthest. I think Owen [Hart] and I actually had a contest with a $20 bill to see how many days or weeks we could last on $20. Owen finally tapped out at about the two-week mark.”
On meeting a woman while still in character as Cactus Jack: “I met a young lady, and she liked me. It was kind of an instant thing, and we started dating. And I thought, ‘I’m at a crossroads. Do I tell her I’m not who I appear to be? That I don’t have the same name, that I don’t actually act that same way…’ She wasn’t attracted to Mick Foley, she was attracted to Cactus Jack. So, the answer I came up with was, ‘Oh hell no, I don’t tell her who I actually am.'”
On the evolution of his in-ring style: “Two of my biggest influences before I ran into Terry Funk and became familiar with his stuff were Bruiser Brody and the Dynamite Kid. I knew I could never be as wild as Brody, and I sure as hell knew I wasn’t the athlete that Dynamite Kid was. But I thought, what if I could combine the brawling style with using my own body as a weapon? If I could combine those two elements and come up with my own patterns, then I might have something original to offer this business.”
On his new “Holy Foley” project with WWE Network: At this point, Mick is joined by his daughter, Noelle. “I thought that the way I walk would be the greatest advertisement against following in my footsteps, right? But she loves it, she’s been drawn to it since she was a little child, it was never something she phased out of… If she’s dead-set on becoming a wrestler, then I’m going to have a hand in her training [to] make sure she gets trained the right way and that she has a shot at doing what it is that makes her happy.”
On the early difficulties of getting into character as Mankind: “To get into those matches, I would have to find a way to become that kind of dark person. I would spend hours in that boiler room. I spent four of my first seven nights underneath the ring… Mankind was definitely a stretch, and I had to work hard for it.”
On the Hell in a Cell match at King of the Ring 1998: “I was never a great cage match guy, it didn’t play to my physical strengths… And Terry [Funk] kind of jokingly says, ‘Cactus, I think you should start the match on top of that cell.’ And we both started laughing, and I said, ‘I think I can do that.’ Terry tried to talk me out of it, but I already had that image in my head.”