X-Pac, 1,2,360 – Episode 51
Release Date: August 31, 2017
Recap By: Chris Gaspare
Top Newsworthy Items
– X-Pac celebrates the one year anniversary of X-Pac 1-2-360
– Austin hopes Reigns uses this past week’s promo as a learning experience
– Austin said he talked to Ric Flair on the phone and he’s in good spirits but has “a way to go”
– Austin doesn’t think the proposed Steve Williams program in 1998 would have been good
Austin talks Mike Tyson, riding with Barry Windham, and Botchamania
X-Pac is joined by TK Trinidad, Denise, Jimbo, and their guest this week, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
After X-Pac calls Austin “Cold Stone,” a reference to Mike Tyson misspeaking Austin’s name, Austin said that he ran into Tyson recently and how friendly they were. He also praised Tyson with how much he knew about the business and its history, even more than some of “the boys.”
X-Pac said he thought “Superstar” Billy Graham was Tyson’s favorite wrestler, and the two discuss Billy Graham and his career briefly including a great trilogy of high-selling matches with Dusty Rhodes in Madison Square Garden. From there, they moved into talking about driving to shows.
Austin remembered making fun of X-Pac’s /78 Chevy Chevette when he first met him. He also talked about how Barry Windham made him his riding partner for a while down South. Austin had never driven a Cadillac before and was interested in the display panel so much while going 70 mph on the highway that he veered off the road. He said that Windham was so calm while reading that he simply said, “You okay, kid?” He said Windham was great to work with, but Windham being left-handed caused some difficulties occasionally, especially when bouncing off the ropes and taking a clothesline because everyone is so used to right-armed clotheslines.
Botchamania came up, which both Austin and X-Pac love. X-Pac even said that he had Maffew create a whole Botchamania video of just his own botches for his Get High Watch Wrestling events that he’s done with Ron Funches. Lastly, they turned to some discussion about Arn Anderson, who Austin said was always the locker room leader in WCW and would give everyone a nickname. Lex Luger was “Eggplant” although they didn’t know why, and Austin was “Hawk.” Austin was once dressed up coming to the arena, and Anderson told him dress clothes on him were like “Mag wheels on a dump truck.”
Austin on Booker T supermarket brawl, 2012 Tough Enough, and Broken Skull Challenge
Austin was asked about his memories of the supermarket brawl with Booker T. He said he remembered them going to the grocery store to look around and came up with the concept pretty quickly. He said that he allowed Booker T the final say on everything since he was the one taking a majority of the bumps. He said that overall he had really good memories of working with Booker T and loved that he would rib people without them knowing it.
For instance, Booker T used to constantly tell wrestlers backstage, in a serious voice, that he was “one of the top five workers in the world,” but they wouldn’t understand he knew he was making a joke at his own expense. The Sportatorium came up in conversation, and besides the legendary hard ring, Austin recounted remembering the smells the most: he said the venue smelled like beer, piss, hot dogs, and sweat.
He was asked as well about Willie Mack using the Stunner as a finish. Austin said that Mack is a “d**n good” worker. He puts some “stink on” his Stunner and makes it look good, so he doesn’t care at all if Mack uses it as a finish. Both he and X-Pac agreed that they wish all the current wrestlers well if they want to use or innovate from their generation.
Austin was then asked if he thought the wrong person won the fifth season of Tough Enough. Austin said that he is happy for the success that Marty the Moth, Son of Havoc, and Ivelisse have had since they were on the show, but he believes the best person won at that specific time. He is also happy to see companies like Lucha Underground exist because he “wishes WWE wasn’t the only company” around. He thinks competition is good. Austin also was asked whether anybody from his TV show, Broken Skull Challenge, would be good in the ring. He said that there is a kid named Hunter McIntyre that is an elite athlete and has “a big personality” that he could make a run in wrestling.
Apparently, McIntyre recently went to the Performance Center to talk about joining. Austin said he’s excited about the newest season of the show as they are getting more and more elite athletes now, more obstacle course runners and CrossFit practitioners.
Austin talks about independent and Japanese wrestling, Ron Simmons stories, and scripted promos
Austin said he might try to go to one night of PWG’s Battle of Los Angles this year because he’s interested in seeing the product. He knows the reputation among old-timers. He said that while he certainly believes “less is more,” he doesn’t condemn other styles because they’ve been wrestling long enough to earn respect for how they work. He said he felt a little uncomfortable about going to the G1 Special in Long Beach because he felt like he was “invading” another territory, but he was given a great reception from the wrestlers because they all still thought of him as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the icon. He also said the locker room was “very competitive.”
X-Pac asked Austin about his time wrestling in Japan when touring there with WCW because Mike Enos had put Austin over greatly as working hard over there. Austin said he was wrestling Arn Anderson in Japan and trying his best to get over; Anderson had an easier time as a vet of getting over. He said that he tore his tricep during one of their matches, but due to the times and culture, he continued wrestling on the tour. He was relegated to six-man tag matches due to the injury. He teamed with Anderson and Ron Simmons. He put over Simmons as one of the most explosive wrestlers and personalities he’s ever seen. He said that when Simmons first came in as Farooq, he looked ridiculous in the blue helmet, but nobody dared to say that to Simmons because they were scared of him.
Austin was asked about his hatred for memorizing lines and about doing a movie with The Rock. He said that he didn’t like having to memorize at all. He put over The Rock for his ambition and charisma. He said that he wasn’t really surprised by his movie success due to those traits, and he’s glad he’s blazing that trail. The conversation during to scripted wrestling promos. Austin said that they could “limit” wrestlers or, given the right writers with the right ideas and voice, it could “spark” something in the wrestler. Austin likes the idea of being made to sink or swim, then learning how to tread water over time. He was asked about the Cena-Reigns promo this week, to which X-Pac commented, “Cena ate his lunch.” Austin hadn’t seen it yet, but he hoped that Reigns learned from it as it’s an “education you can never forget.” He said that Reigns is over, but he still has a lot of room to improve.
Austin on the Wrestlemania 13 double turn, his retirement, different legends, and dream matches
Next, Austin was asked about the double turn match at Wrestlemania 13 with Bret Hart. He said that the turn was Vince McMahon’s idea and Austin himself was reluctant about it. He said that Bret was starting to “piss and moan” a lot, so Vince saw the opportunity to turn him. The blood was Bret’s idea, and McMahon was not told it was going to happen. Bret bladed Austin while they were outside the ring, and that’s when the crowd really got behind him. McMahon never mentioned the unauthorized blood to either of them, Austin said, because Vince knew “the blood was money.”
After that, TK asked Austin if he stopped watching wrestling after retirement. He said that he stopped for years because “it was too painful.” He spent a lot of time hunting, fishing, and drinking. He said he slowly got back in, but the women’s revolution in NXT was one of the things that really got him back in and made him take notice. He also said he was never close to coming back for one last match. WWE made plenty of offers, specifically one to wrestle Hulk Hogan. Austin thought that their styles would clash and worried about the finish: “He ain’t going under, and I ain’t going under.”
Austin talked to Ric Flair the other day on the telephone. He said Flair was laughing and talking fine, but that Flair still has a “way to go” in his recovery. He said Flair was never a tough guy fighter backstage, but he still considers Flair one of the toughest in the business for the constant, hard bumps he would take throughout his career. Similarly, he said that Madusa was probably the toughest woman and that all the boys respected her.
Austin was asked about a potential program with Steve “Dr. Death” Williams if Williams had won the Brawl for All in 1998. He said that was the plan, but he never felt it would have been very good. He said he believed the matches would have been clunky. He claimed that “Williams wasn’t on my level in the States, and I wasn’t on his level in Japan.” It was just two different styles. Austin also stated that he hates when fans call him “Mr. Williams” trying to show how smart they are. He said that he prefers “Steve” or “Mr. Austin” since he legally changed his name fifteen years ago.
Regarding names, he recounted a story about calling The Ultimate Warrior, real name Jim Hellwig, who had legally changed his name to Warrior, about some nutrition help. He said that he knew his name was Jim but called him Warrior out of respect. He waited and waited the whole conversation for Warrior to say “just call me Jim,” but it out never came and Austin was forced into always calling him Warrior. He said that he didn’t know Warrior well, but he was a big fan from the Dingo Warriors days in Texas and that Warrior was really nice to him at Wrestlemania XII when they met. X-Pac said Warrior was always cool to him as well, and he believes Warrior is undervalued when looking at his matches as he “worked hard” in all of them. Austin also praised his promos, which are often criticized now, because the promos “inspired belief” in the character.
Austin’s opponents that he’d wish he’d gotten to wrestle are Hulk Hogan, “Superstar” Billy Graham, Dusty Rhodes, and a real program with Bobby Eaton in his prime. Out of current superstars, he said there were too many to list, but some of them were Roman Reigns, John Cena, A.J. Styles, Kenny Omega, and Kazuchika Okada. Austin loves The Fashion Files segments and the first season of Southpaw Regional Wrestling but hasn’t seen the second season yet.
Score and Review (6/10)
This episode is a mixed bag. It is a fun and enjoyable listen overall, no doubt; it couldn’t not be solid hearing X-Pac and Austin talk wrestling past and present, and Austin is an entertaining storyteller, but the pacing meanders and felt off fairly consistently. The questions posed to Austin, some of which were great questions, seemed to halt conversation at times and had no consistency of sense of cohesiveness, which led to it feeling as if there was so much more to talk about with certain topics. That said, it’s worth the time regardless. Congratulations to the team on their one-year anniversary. The show has come a long way in that time.
00:00: Austin talks Mike Tyson, riding with Barry Windham, and Botchamania
16:27: Austin on Booker T supermarket brawl, 2012 Tough Enough, and Broken Skull Challenge
35:30: Austin talks about independent and Japanese wrestling, Ron Simmons stories, and scripted promos
1:06:10: Austin on the Wrestlemania 13 double turn, his retirement, different legends, and dream matches
Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.
For more, check out last week’s recap of X-Pac 1,2,360 w/ Kenny Omega.