The following are highlights of a new Miami Herald interview with Steve Austin:
The concept for his new show: “I loved doing ‘Redneck Island,’ but there is a lot of drama on the show and how you get voted off the island is actually a vote. I wanted a competition show that involved challenges, and when you leave the ranch, it’s because you lose something. So that’s how the original concept was born. Through my body of work as the ‘Toughest S.O.B. in WWF’ and the Broken Skull Ranch, one of the toughest places in Texas, the ultimate thing was to have a competition show on my ranch with the baddest and toughest athletes in the United States. We came up with the concept of three rounds of competition with eight people and end up with one. Next day that one takes on my obstacle course called the “Skullbuster”. We drew from the world of CrossFit, Spartan racers, Tough Mudder, MMA (mixed martial arts) and pro wrestling. We’ve got some of the best athletes in the United States doing head-to-head competition at my place, and that’s what I like, a tough, no BS competition. No frills. Nothing fancy.”
Now being an exciting time for WWE fans: “For a period there was a pretty good gap of great new talent that was going to be able to sell tickets. With The Shield and the Wyatt’s, Cesaro and a couple of other guys, they’re going to move the needle. It’s refreshing. I remember back in the day when I was still around. John Cena is a very good friend of mind and has been a top guy for 10 years. I have so much respect for him, but their houses have kind of fallen off. I want the business to go back to the way it was when we were selling out every night. I think with this new depth of talent they have rising out of the ranks of NXT, developing these new stars. They continue to gain more momentum and get the business where it was back in the day.”
The Shield splitting up: “I wanted them to remain together for a little bit longer. So at some point they would have had to fly on their own, and they chose the time to do that. I don’t know if it’s a lack of depth. I know they have a lot of guys on the roster, but guys that are going to be these potential superstars are few and far between. They are the ones booking it, so we will see how it unfolds. Was it premature or not? I would have liked to see them stay together longer, maybe about three to six months.”
The WWE World Heavyweight Title situation: “Triple H has had it enough. Cena has had it enough. You need a fresh face, so you might as well take advantage of a bad situation, which is Daniel Bryan’s neck and make a new superstar. With Cesaro having [Paul] Heyman in his corner, he would be a great choice because of Heyman’s advice. His credibility, Cesaro’s in-ring ability speaks for itself. He is going to be a badass. Bray Wyatt I like as a heel even though the crowd is trying to switch him to babyface. Really, I don’t know. Maybe Roman Reigns is my favorite to take that belt. I think the crowd is ready to get behind him. He’s missing a little bit of his game, but he is going to be a mega star very quickly. So either way you go with that, I think it’s going to be fine. It’s put up or shut up, and you have to take the football and run with it. I think whichever guy gets that belt, he will do that….”
“I’m just wondering if Brock Lesnar is going to come in there and smoke whoever has the belt and then have a monster run until WrestleMania next year. Then drop the belt to somebody who is really good at carrying it. So will this guy be a sacrificial lamb or will they give them a run with the belt? I just want Daniel Bryan to get well because he was coming into some good money working on top and worked his ass to get there. He has been around a long time at the lower level. Now he is at the top of WWE. I just want his neck to get well, so he can continue making money and be the top guy because he earned it.”
Check out the complete interview at MiamiHerald.com.