The Steve Austin Show – “X-Pac” Sean Waltman Interview on State of Wrestling (Mar. 29, 2016)

“The Steve Austin Show” Podcast on
Guest: Sean Waltman (X-Pac)
Release Date: March 29, 2016


Recap by Corey Freedman

Top Newsworthy Items

– Austin and Waltman talked about the need for high spots to be more methodically produced as the talent needs to make a better effort to protect their health in the long run.

– The two agree that it is very difficult to sit through all three hours of Raw, no matter how much they want to.

– X-Pac talks about the poor locker room morale in the WWF before the Attitude Era got underway.

– Austin and Waltman are very much looking forward to the A.J. Styles vs. Chris Jericho match at WrestleMania.

– The two praise Curt Hennig for having a wealth of knowledge in pro wrestling and always making sure to share that knowledge with younger talent to help them improve.

Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)

0:00 – Sponsor Ads
1:50 – Introduction
8:30 – Sponsor Ad
9:45 – Intro w/X-Pac
22:30 – Sponsor Ad
23:55 – Road schedule
32:40 – WM32
40:10 – WWF pre-Austin
47:00 – Sponsor Ad
49:20 – More WM32 thoughts
1:00:15 – Sponsor Ad
1:01:22 – Scott Norton
1:04:45 – Jericho vs. A.J. Styles
1:10:25 – Conclusion
1:14:15 – Show ends

Show Highlights

Introduction: Austin will be talking to Mick Foley for his podcast on the WWE Network this week. Austin is very much looking forward to WM32 and he is excited for all the events that occur throughout the weekend. He talks about the performers needing to bring their A-Game on Sunday. Austin mentions his first WrestleMania match with Savio Vega at WM12. Austin congratulates Vince McMahon on creating an event that generates so much buzz (WrestleMania in general). He wishes all the performers this weekend good luck. Austin brings up the women who have competed on Broken Skull Challenge. Austin invites listeners to visit to find more information about all of his ventures (Broken Skull Challenge, Redneck Island, his shirts, Broken Skull IPA, etc).

Intro with X-Pac: X-Pac will be attending WM32 weekend, and he and Austin discuss meeting up. X-Pac says he can’t sit through all three hours of Raw. He wants to watch all of Raw, but it is hard to keep his attention throughout the whole show. The two discuss what would have to happen for the three hour show to change, but neither see it happening anytime soon. Austin says that he loves the Walking Dead, but if every episode was three hours long, he wouldn’t be able to pay attention the whole time. X-Pac brings up the Luke Harper injury.

X-Pac says he is pretty good shape, but he wishes he was feeling a little better these days. He says he feels 7.5/10 as far as physical and mental health. Austin asks if he has any advice for the kids in NXT. X-Pac suggests everyone try to be different. Austin talks about the compounded interest of taking bumps for so many years. X-Pac brings up the unprotected chair shots, specifically. He says he never covered his head with his hands, like Austin, because he had to prove his toughness because of his size. Austin thinks the current product includes too many high risk moves that are not worth the pay-off (e.g. certain bumps shouldn’t just be to create high spot buzz, they need to be used very specifically because of the risk involved).

Road Schedule: Austin asks if the road schedule is easier now or when Austin and X-Pac were at their height. They both think the road schedule was harder during their time. X-Pac talks about having to fight for things like softer rings, trainers, and other safety standards in his early days with the WWF. Austin remembers having to work with rings that felt like cement. They discuss some various ring make-ups. X-Pac mentions that he built a ring when he was 13. X-Pac tells a story of wrestling with Jeff Hardy for the first time and realizing Jeff didn’t really know how to wrestle yet.

WM32: Austin asks for X-Pac’s thoughts on the Shane McMahon-Undertaker feud. Austin wonders if the WWE will keep Shane on a leash from doing something too high-risk. X-Pac thinks Shane will do whatever he wants. X-Pac tells a story of going skydiving with Shane, who jumped out of the plane backwards. Austin brings up the training videos Shane has been posting on his Instagram page. Austin says he looks to be in great shape, so there shouldn’t be a worry of him blowing up in this match. They talk about the potential UFC-style influence we might see in this match given both participants interest in that type of training. Austin jokes that ladder matches are definitely not his style. Austin asks how much The Undertaker has much left in the tank. X-Pac jokes that he stopped asking that question a long time ago. X-Pac talks about Taker being the main event leader before guys like Austin got there. He also talks about Taker wearing the flak jacket to cover various injuries he had.

WWF pre-Austin: Austin asks what morale was like in the WWF in the time before Austin got there and business was “in the toilet.” X-Pac says morale was terrible and that explains why there was a lot of self-medicating going on. Austin wonders if that was around the same time as Vince starting the WBF and brings up that there were issues of talent getting paid on time during that period. He tells a story of Owen Hart being fined and kicking in a window in the arena. X-Pac says the tense culture led to the ribs getting more intense as it was how the talent dealt with the stress. X-Pac tells the story of having his eyebrows shaved on a flight. He mentions that there were action figures that included a picture of X-Pac without eyebrows on the box because they didn’t re-do the promotional photos. X-Pac didn’t believe it was Mr. Perfect that shaved him because they were close friends (he thought it was the Smokin’ Gunns), but it was in fact Mr. Perfect. Austin mentions that his eyebrows are blonde so he is often asked why he shaves his eyebrows (he does not, they are just blonde and very thin). X-Pac joke about his “brutal mullet” during the same time period.

More WM32 thoughts: Austin starts by mentioning that Triple H and Dean Ambrose put on a clinic at Roadblock. Austin cannot praise Dean’s efforts in that match enough. The two talk about being nervous/gassed no matter your training if you haven’t been in the ring in a while. They also talk about the adrenaline the crowd can provide in big matches. Austin brings up that some of the matches on the WM32 card do have not gotten proper TV time to build a good story. He talks about needing the crowd to be invested before the talent enters the ring, otherwise it makes things that much more difficult for the talent.

The two talk about Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect) would try to help young talent and impart wisdom, even though many other talent didn’t take the time to do that. They talk about how Curt didn’t have the attitude that he needed to protect trade secrets for his own benefit. The two praise Scott Hall also for being someone that has a crazy wealth of information when it comes to pro wrestling. X-Pac mentions Robbinsdale, Minnesota where many talents were from (Verne Gagne, the Hennig family, Rick Rude).

Scott Norton: Austin asks when the last time X-Pac saw Scott Norton and if he is doing well. They both praise Scott for his work. X-Pac tells some stories of how strong Norton was. Austin jokes about his tactics to avoid arm wrestling because he wasn’t the strongest guy in the world.

Jericho-Styles: X-Pac has been impressed with A.J. so far. His nitpick would be asking A.J. to fire up more when waiting for the opponent to get up. X-Pac says he is going to puke if he sees another distraction finish. He says Kevin Owens and AJ had an amazing match last week on Raw only to be ruined by a distraction finish. It bothers Austin that when there is a roll-up pin, the person winning doesn’t even grab the tights. X-Pac says he would refuse to engage in that finish if he were wrestling because it makes him look stupid. X-Pac thinks Jericho and Styles will tear the place down at WM32. He also doesn’t mind that Jericho turning heel was foreshadowed for weeks, as he points to plenty of feuds that have had predictable heel turns. Austin is looking forward to seeing A.J. on the big stage.

Conclusion: Austin thanks X-Pac, who you can find on Twitter @therealxpac. He has a match of the week in honor of Stan Hansen entering the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend. The match is on the WWE Network, and it is Stan Hansen vs Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF Championship in a cage (4/7/1976). He again mentions He talks about Redneck Island and Broken Skull Challenge. He encourages everyone to subscribe to the podcast and leave a five star review. He thanks the listeners and his sponsors.

Score and Review

Score (9.0): Another great interview with Steve Austin. He and X-Pac talk a wide range of topics including their early careers and some matches on the WM32 card. I would have liked to have heard more about WM32 (they started talking about Hunter-Reigns but got derailed), but that’s the only real nitpick here. This was an entertaining/insightful discussion between two veterans of the industry. You can tell the two are friends as well, as they have a really nice chemistry with one another. All in all a really fun listen that I would recommend as part of your WM32 preparations.

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