Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way To The Ring | ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin Interview
Release date: May 8th, 2017
Guest: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin
Recap by: Christo Hattingh
- General coverage of some of the latest WWE news
- Steve on what he’s currently doing
- Recalling life on the road
- Lilian recounts how she got back into pro-wrestling
- Steve on his family and their influence
- Steve with some advice for life in general
- Steve as a shy kid
- Steve on his passion for wrestling
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
0:00 – Show Intro
1:40 – Quick overview and Lilian’s time with Steve
7:53 – Wrestling news
25:34 – Interview begins
33:37 – Being on the road
37:18 – Lilian recounts story of kid she mentored
41:00 – Steve on his family and family history
1:05:00 – Advice for kids/younger wrestlers
1:15:55 – Steve was a shy kid growing up
1:27:00 – Passion for wrestling
1:55:15 – Thank you and outro
Lilian opens the show by introducing her co-host, Ryan Satin, and previewing the upcoming interview with Steve Austin. Lilian gives us a teaser of her time with Steve and then she and Ryan go over some of the latest news items in the world of WWE.
The interview takes place at Steve’s house in LA, which is currently being remodeled. Steve elaborates that he decided it was time to sell his ranch as there are more business opportunities in LA and his wife, Kristen, is more sociable than he is and it’s better for her – he’s more of a hermit. Steve mentions that he’s “filming” some stuff but doesn’t go into any real detail regarding anything WWE-related.
Lilian directs the conversation to the life of a pro-wrestler, and whether Steve misses it. He acknowledges that he misses working with his friends but that life on the road has its own unique challenges. He loved being on TV and loves the business, but he also knows that he has moved past that in his life.
One of my favorite parts of the interview is next, as Lilian gives some details as to how she got back into pro-wrestling when she was younger. She’d watched as a kid with her dad but then was too busy in school and stopped. While mentoring a child, he told her his favorite wrestler was ‘Stone Cold.’ She didn’t know who he was and she started watching again. Just a few months later she started with WWE. She later brought that kid to a show and had him meet Steve. He was “glowing to no end.” The passion she had for this connection and her connection with Steve and pro-wrestling is evident here. Steve also links her story to his appreciation for fans’ stories he’s heard over the years and he feels lucky to have had such an impact on such a wide-range of people.
We then get some family background from Steve, which I’m sure most fans know already. His mom was a telephone operator. Ken Williams is his stepfather, but he considers him his dad. They don’t use the word “half-brother” in his family. They always had enough money to get by. His dad was the one who got him into hunting. Steve says he may have pursued other paths in life but once he got into pro-wrestling it was pretty much decided. He said he’s like his mother as he’s stubborn as hell. He said this came into play when he walked out on WWE.
The Walk Out
Austin said walking out on Raw to avoid putting over Brock Lesnar was the biggest mistake of his life. Jim Ross called Austin to tell him the plan. He hated the creative. Vince McMahon later called Steve and gave him the same pitch. Austin said it was “stupid.” He said he knew he was going to fly back to San Antonio while on the phone. He said he should have gone to the building and told Vince why he hated the idea. He was hot at the time, and if they were going to do the match then they needed to promote it in advance. He thought Vince should have known better than to book it that way, but still says it was dumb of him not to show up. He thinks Vince wouldn’t have been adamant about him losing had he shown up because they’d gone through things like that before.
He told an anecdote about how he was supposed to put over Big Show in the UK, but told Vince that the fans came there to see him give Show a Stunner, not to get beat by him. He said his relationship with Vince now is outstanding, and almost always has been, except for the times he didn’t communicate well. He also recalled some advice that Vader gave him in WCW, “Always let a cooler head prevail, and think about things before you make a knee-jerk reaction.” He also said he’s open to giving advice to anyone in the business. He wants to go to NXT and talk to the kids there.
Lilian said Steve should be able to help younger talent with promos, and that he didn’t have to be handed a long script. He said near the end of his run the heavier scripts came into play. He thought he was short-changing himself and the fans by having to cut promos that way. He talked about a recent TV appearance where he was given four lines to say. Lilian wondered why wasn’t he just told to go out and do his thing instead? Austin didn’t want to get too much into it but thought he was being treated like a “jabroni” and was being micro-managed. He said he’s in a good place with them right now, though.
This is my second favorite part of the interview. Steve gives some advice to kids and younger wrestlers in general that the more you can bring to the table, the more successful you’ll be. Both participants agree that any degree is useful but that you can always keep on learning and it’s best if you are proficient in as many areas as possible. Steve mentioned that he had a football scholarship to junior college, and wouldn’t have been able to pay for it otherwise. He ended up quitting college right before he graduated, which upset his parents. Still, he says a degree will open up a lot of doors for them.
His advice is then applied to the pro-wrestling world as well, as Steve gives advice that wrestlers should study people and the way they act as much as possible to learn what they like/don’t like and what they can use to get over. The more tricks they have in their bag the better, and the more crowds they’ll be able to appeal to.
Steve and Lilian also dismiss participation trophies as a waste because you can learn more from failing than you can from being placated.
Steve the Shy Kid
Yes, you read that correctly. Prompted by an earlier conversation they had, Lilian asks Steve whether he was shy growing up. Surprisingly, given that he became arguably the biggest draw in professional wrestling, Steve answers in the affirmative that he was shy as a kid and flew under the radar during school. He felt that it was necessary to do what he needed and he didn’t go out of his way to attract too much attention. He greatly appreciates the lesson of hard work which his parents instilled in him.
Passion and Dusty
The final substantial part of the interview revolves around Steve’s passion for pro-wrestling and the origin thereof. Steve recounts watching Dusty Rhodes as a kid and seeing an armed security guard walking around the ring. Seeing Dusty bleeding and helpless caused great upset for Steve, especially as he didn’t see anyone rushing to help Dusty. He always kept that feeling and believability with him, even when learning that pro-wrestling is a work, and tried to bring it across in the way he wrestled and especially in the ‘Stone Cold’ character.
For those who don’t know much about ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin this is the perfect interview as it covers all the bases of Steve’s life and career. There aren’t technical discussions of wrestling, though, some basic concepts such as babyface/heel are touched upon but don’t assume an in-depth knowledge. Lilian and Steve’s relationship comes to the forefront as they’re very comfortable in the setup, and this helps the conversation to flow. There were some interesting tidbits here and there and interesting life lessons from Steve. The interview rambles in parts but serves as a good primer for Steve’s wrestling career.
About the writer
Christo Hattingh is from Johannesburg, South Africa. He started watching wrestling in 2000 and his favorite wrestler is Triple H. He has a Masters in Philosophy and is currently an intern, with a running interest in comics. Twitter: @christo_hatt