“Vince McMahon called me aside one time because he was worried about the middle fingers,” explained Austin. “Vince was totally onboard with the beer idea. He didn’t give a sh-- about the beer. I’m thirty-something years old–there ain’t no problem with the drinking age, and it’s a guy just clacking a few beers together after doing a job. There were no headaches or hassles with that, but flipping someone off is flipping someone off, no matter what age you are."He continued: “So Vince goes, ‘Steve, when you’re flipping everybody off and using that finger, USA is complaining. Is there another sign that you can use that everybody can do?’ And I said, ‘No, there’s not.’ I told Vince I was not going to change s---,” said Austin. “Vince goes, ‘Well, OK.’ And, of course, the cash register was ringing, we kept flying the middle fingers, and it was what it was."
“When I got into the beer business, I wasn’t thinking, ‘I want to get into the beer business ‘cause I want to get rich selling beer,”’ explained the 51-year-old Austin. “The same reason I got into wrestling is the same reason with my beer. I got into wrestling because I wanted to be a wrestler, and I got into the beer business because I wanted to make my own beer. I’m not a brewer, but I was in on the formula and I mixed the first batch, and that’s how the beer was born. I didn’t go into this for a love of money, I got into the beer business out of a love for beer.”
"That’s the time they wanted me to do something I didn’t want to do with Brock, and I said, ‘Hey man, f--- you,’” said Austin. “That blew the beer deal up, so I would have been in the beer business over fifteen years ago had I not walked out of the company that one day. I f----- myself. It was bullsh--, but I could be right there with the bigs, but now I’m solo. I came up with this on my own as Steve Austin, so I’m probably more proud of it just for the sake of I created this as Steve Austin and not the character that I played in the WWE ring.”
“Savio Vega was instrumental when I first got to WWF,” recollected Austin. “I really hadn’t wrestled any because my right triceps was healing. I’d had my triceps reattached and worked a couple bulls--- matches in ECW, but those were nothing. To really work a badass match that has high spots and gets some heat is a different story. I started working with Savio. He was from Puerto Rico and could work his ass off. When I first started working with him, I’d blow up sky-high. I shined him up so good that I blew up, so in the heat I’d lay in a reverse chin lock. Then, of course, when it was time for the comeback–I’d flip, flop, and fly for him, ‘cause he was going to make his comeback, too, ‘cause he’s from Puerto Rico and that’s just how they operate. That’s taking care of yourself–it’s the correct way to operate."He continued: “So man, after about two months–we were probably second, third, or fourth match on the card–after I got in shape working with him, sh--, you couldn’t follow that match. The main event on the card couldn’t follow what Savio and I were doing, so I give credit to Savio Vega for getting my chops up and getting my wind back, and being a badass worker.”
“The reason I wanted to do a podcast was to stay in touch,” said Austin. “When you leave the WWE, as I did in 2003, and you’re seen around the world in 140 countries and 50 different languages, and all of a sudden you lose that, then dude, you’ve got nothing. It’s minuscule when compared to the power of the WWE. The podcast gives me a platform and a voice. It’s an outlet for me to talk to people, be creative, and engage my audience.”
“You cannot put Paul Heyman with Roman Reigns,” explained Austin. “People would know you’re putting Paul Heyman with him because there is a problem. And I love Paul. Nobody loves Paul more than I do or has more of an appreciation for how he helped me and was an instrumental part of my career.“Paul Heyman works with Brock. The magic works between Brock and Paul because of their dynamic and their chemistry. If you put him with Roman Reigns, people will know that Paul E.’s the band-aid.”
“There is something about Brock that draws your attention and your pocketbook. If you look at the peak of my drawing years, I wasn’t the best looking guy there, I wasn’t the most technical wrestler there, I wasn’t the best built, I wasn’t the most skilled, but I drew the most money. Brock just has that mystique and that charisma. Brock can talk, too. Some of his UFC promos were some of my favorite promos in the UFC. And who else has shoulders that are four feet wide and a waist that is thirty inches around? He looks like a walking action figure.”
“The Flair-Charlotte segment was really bad,” said Austin, who was critical of the segment on his podcast. “Flair spilled the beans right off, and you didn’t even need to have him talk. It was more of an indictment on the creative and the writing, not the talent. That being said, Charlotte is going to be incredible. She already is. The crowd stands up during her entrance, she carries herself like a winner, she’s money.“The fact that I pointed out it was a bad promo? It was. To try to say that was chicken salad when it was chicken sh-- would be a disservice. The thing is, it is OK that it happened. It was an important moment, but when you get out there and fall on your face and f--- something up, you learn. I can say it was a bad segment because it was. I’ve been a part of my fair share of bad segments from ‘90 until 2003. I f----- up a lot of promos, but I learned every time I f----- one up. I’m just pointing it out–it wouldn’t be right if I don’t critique it and you have the whole locker room saying how great it was. It wasn’t great, but Charlotte is a real talented woman–probably the most talented woman on the roster–so she can use this to make her stronger.”
“Joe should have been on the roster a year ago,” said Austin. “F---, I’m the biggest Samoa Joe fan in the world. I was bucking for that guy two or three years ago. What the f---, you’ve got a 15-plus year veteran hitting the ropes, going through drills, and putting on matches at NXT? Are you f------ ribbing me? The kid only has so many miles and bumps in his tank. I’m a huge Samoa Joe fan, give him a run.”
“I think they’ve got to give Kevin Owens a run with the belt,” said Austin. “He’s a veteran and he’s really clicking on the mic, and the kid is super talented. Give him a f------ run. I don’t know why you wouldn’t give the guy the opportunity, he’s just too good.”
“The comments I made about Cody Rhodes were taken completely out of context,” said Austin. All I asked [Pro Wrestling Torch’s] Wade Keller was, ‘With the brand split, do you think it was a good time for Cody to walk away?’ I know Cody didn’t know about the brand split, but had he known–and known that they were going to need a lot of hands on deck–they probably would have been willing to do anything at that point.”“I’ve got respect for Cody Rhodes and I consider him a friend,” said Austin. “I wasn’t bad-mouthing him or running him down because he quit. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you see talent in yourself and you pitch an idea, and they won’t listen to you. Ultimately, you decide, ‘F--- it, I’m going to do this someplace else.’ I’ve got respect for the guy. My point was only, had he known about a brand split, do you think he would have walked away? They would have been forced to use him, maybe in the capacity he would have wanted. To bring it up now, out of context, makes me look like I’m trying to disparage Cody Rhodes when I’ve got nothing but respect for him.”
“Christian and I had each other’s phone numbers, and we’d just call and f--- around with each other,” said Austin. “He’s real funny, especially when you get to know him. I just called him on the phone, and it organically came – it was the genesis of the ‘What?’ promo. After I hung up, I thought that a really good way to f--- with someone would be to say ‘What?’“If someone tried to give you a bottom line and you kept saying, ‘What?’, then you wouldn’t be taking that person too seriously. I had no idea it would blow up. Every time there’s a Monday Night Raw and there is a ‘What?’ chant, people say, ‘Steve, we love you, but we wish you never would have invented the ‘What?’ chant. It’s real simple–and Vince was on Raw a few weeks ago and just sped up his cadence and doesn’t give them an in"
Click Here to read the full SI.com interview with Steve Austin.