WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin welcomed Brock Lesnar to the Stone Cold Podcast yesterday for a rare one hour interview. Austin and Lesnar shook hands and Austin thanked him for stopping by knowing he has limited dates. Lesnar thanked Austin for having him on the show.
The two have known each other since 2002 and Austin says he knew he was a bad ass from the minute he walked in. He said he looks very intimidating but then asked him if he really tries to be imitating and how does he go along with people.
Lesnar said he’s cocky and arrogant but he doesn’t do it on purpose, it’s just the chemistry behind who he is and what he does. When he was a kid he was always beating up the other kids and always had a chip on his shoulder and still does. He never got picked on and he always did the picking.
Lesnar discusses life on a rural farm in South Dakota. He did not have a lot when he was a kid and the family’s income was based on how much milk their cows produced etc. He said some years were better than others but they always lived like they were broke, it was just their way of life. He said he was “married” to farm life, and no matter if it was raining or snowing he had to get his ass out of the bed and go work the farm.
Austin, an avid hunter, asked Lesnar when are the two going to go hunting together. Lesnar said his bigger gear is up north but he’ll check his schedule and promise they’re gonna make it happen.
Lesnar talked about some of the stuff he likes, like his Dodge truck that he calls his baby girl, guns, optics, his favorite food of grilled steak, beer and whiskey, and country music.
Austin asked him if he’s a pro wrestler or sports entertainer, a question which Lesnar took a while to answer. “Is there a difference?” Lesnar asked. He said he’s in the entertainment business as they put asses into seats and he’s very fortunate to do this and make a lot of money as well. He mentioned how he never watched pro wrestling before and Austin asked what did he watch, with Lesnar replying, “Little House on the Prairie,” which got a good laugh from Stone Cold.
Lesnar said he played high school football all over the place and got four scholarships for football and zero for wrestling. When he went to the Minnesota Vikings try out camp he felt a fish out of the water in the second day and knew 8 weeks were going to be hell but did not want to quit. He was the last guy cut and admitted that he’s not gonna be good at everything and he got humbled but reiterates that the most important thing is not to quit. He said he used to make fun of football players as a wrestler but he takes his hat off to them as the try out camp was one of the hardest things he’s done in his life.
Lesnar discussed the time he moved to school in California and living in the basement of his wrestling coach with just $400 to his name. He said after winning the NCAA title he quit school and didn’t know what to do and fell into a little bit of a depression.
He moved to Louisville, Kentucky, with his old room mate Shelton Benjamin to start Ohio Valley Wrestling. His class included John Cena, Batista, and Randy Orton as well. He said when Jim Ross signed him he had already some prior commitments and did not move until he made good on this commitments.
Austin mentioned how Curt Hennig and Big Boss Man loved Lesnar to death. Lesnar said he traveled with both of them to try and learn as much as possible and he occasionally rode with the Undertaker and Kane, offering to pay for gas as long as he gets to ask questions. He credits all of them for teaching him the psychology of the business, how to put a match together etc.
Lesnar then brought up the time when they went to Australia and was involved in a triple threat with The Rock and Triple H, both of whom he referred to as Dwayne and Paul. He said both of them kept him out of the loop on purpose to see if he could hang on with them. He said people can say whatever they want about The Rock but he gave him a lot of advice, to be selfish and to watch your back. “The night he was not selfish to me, I won the WWE title from him,” Lesnar said.
He said that when he started he drank a lot of beer, stayed in different hotels and frequented different “stimulating” environments, a discussion which was going to be a bit uncomfortable and embarrassing for Lesnar. He said he’s no different on TV that he is in real life and doesn’t like being around people. He’s okay in the ring surrounded by fans as he feels he’s “in a dome” but when he gets out in public he doesn’t do well. Austin asked if it’s a phobia but Lesnar said no. “I don’t play well, that’s why I live in the middle of nowhere!”
Austin brought up WrestleMania 19 and the shooting star press from hell. “I’m lucky,” Lesnar said as the video of the botched move played over the television behind him. “That was a moment in my career where I realized that I failed to take advice from other veterans,” Lesnar added, saying that he was talked into doing it to create his WrestleMania moment. He said he was not comfortable doing it but he was young and stupid. He did not throw under the bus the person who pushed him to do it and Austin said that he was mad at him afterward because he did not need to do it.
The mess of WrestleMania 20 was the next subject with Austin describing it as a “cluster.” Lesnar said he and Goldberg did not want to be there and Austin wondered why since it was WrestleMania 20. “I didn’t give a shit,” Lesnar replied. Then they showed a photo of Lesnar flipping the bird after the match and Brock said that it was directed to Vince McMahon and not the fans who just minutes before completely crapped on the match. He said he had enough of the road, the people and felt like a trapped animal and often wanted to punch the plane door and jump out when traveling city to city. He said he was “built to be in the ring, but not to go from ring to ring.” When he quit WWE in 2004 he didn’t have a plan and NFL was scapegoat as he didn’t have passion to be a football player.
Stone Cold tried to bring up the legal troubles and lawsuits WWE and Lesnar traded while he went to New Japan but Lesnar didn’t want to have any of it and he said it’s all water under the bridge now. He said he doesn’t go out of his way to hang out with the boys in the back. “I clock in, I clock out, what’s wrong with that? I don’t bother anybody, it’s a job,” Lesnar explained.
His time in MMA was next with Lesnar saying he signed a one fight deal with a K1 company, as Dana White was not taking his calls at the time. He told his manager that he wanted to go to the Randy Couture vs Gabriel Gonzaga UFC event in Vegas and he got his own ticket and after the fight he jumped the security railing and ran after Dana, grabbed him from the back and talked with him. Dana took him backstage and talked everything besides money as he pleaded to sign him for one fight and if he can’t sell the pay-per-view, he can cut him.
Recalling the fight with Frank Mir, he said he was disgusted with himself as he trained to get out of that knee bar that eventually led to his tap out. He said after the fight he saw entire life fall of a cliff and thought White was not going to re-sign him but backstage Dana was happy and “bouncing off the walls.”
He was thankful to Dana for giving him the Randy Couture fight, his third UFC fight that ended with him winning the UFC Heavyweight title. He said his weakness was diverticulitis and he knew something was wrong after the Couture fight.
He talked about almost dying and after checking himself in a hospital the doctor told him that if he had the option to either save his life or save his career career, he’s going to save his life. The doc gave him 8 hours for the fever to go down and a lot of antibiotics and after Lesnar passed out on the way to the operating table, he woke up in a bed and the doctor told him his fever went down just before they were going to open him up. Lesnar said that if that surgery occurred at that time, his career would have been over.
Lesnar told Austin that he wasn’t offended when Steve packed up and left after refusing to wrestle him on Raw in 2002. As Austin was explaining his version, Lesnar cut him off sand told him he doesn’t have to explain anything to him and it’s all business. Austin said he handled it the wrong way, but Lesnar said that maybe someone else (referring to the creative team) handled it the wrong way too as it’s a two way street.
Asked for the difference between Dana White and Vince McMahon, Lesnar thank them both for putting a lot of money in his bank account. He said Dana can sit down across the table and do a deal, straight up business. He seriously thought of going back to the UFC as he felt robbed by diverticulitis and told Vince he’s probably leaving after his contract ran out after WrestleMania. He started training camp months before but then his mind was not completely into it so he decided to hang up his gloves for good.
“Your promos in the UFC, I loved them,” Austin said, questioning why he doesn’t speak in WWE. “I gotta feed the Jew! He’s gotta eat,” joked Lesnar, referring to Paul Heyman. He said he guesses he’s not good at cutting promos and he would not be what he is today without Heyman speaking for him. “I don’t need to talk, my actions speak loud.”
He said after UFC fights he spoke from the heart because of emotions. Steve asked him if he hears the UFC fans like they do in WWE and Lesnar replied saying that yes sometimes you do but when you’re locked in a cage it wouldn’t make a difference if there are 10 or 10,000 people because he’s zoned in on his opponent whereas in pro wrestling, you have to feel the crowd. “When I put the competition hat on, I’m in a different place,” Lesnar said.
As far as backstage politics in wrestling goes, he said he doesn’t hang around and doesn’t do politicking. He’s more hands on with Vince and wants to know his role from the beginning. If there’s something he doesn’t like and can be tweaked, great, if not, it’s no big deal because at the end of the day he works for Vince.
The breaking the streak at WrestleMania XXX was brought up. He said as a businessman it means a lot and it was big for him as the streak was protected for so long that it was special and it means more to him than him winning the WWE title. He gets a lot of criticism but then asks who has enough credentials to break the streak, believability, and credibility? “Is there anyone else? No,” Lesnar said, a statement which Austin agreed with.
When asked what’s the biggest misconception about Brock Lesnar is, Lesnar said he doesn’t really care as he does not get offended. He tries to be nice to people unless they cross a certain line.
“How much gas you have left in the tank?” wondered Austin. Lesnar said he’s got a good idea where it’s gonna go but he’s not going to share it with him. He’s having a good time and he’s there for a few more years.
If Brock Lesnar of today had to give advice to the younger kids, he would say that make sure that this is what you want to do, understand all the circumstances and that it’s the path you want to live.
The podcast ended with a Hell In A Cell plug. Lesnar said that the cage isn’t very forgiving. “I guarantee you this, there’s gonna be a lot of carnage. I’m coming to end the Undertaker. I’m coming to hurt this man.”