The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed
Release Date: January 25, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro, RAW 25th Anniversary
We’re here at 317 Gimmick Street. As Steve records his podcast, there’s a bird in the front yard and a dog in the backyard making a ton of noise. Steve has all the doors closed so they don’t get picked up on the microphone. Steve talks about participating in the 25th Anniversary of Raw. He had a blast visiting with the roster and the road crew. He said it was a little strange, though, as some of the people he wanted to visit were at the Manhattan Center.
As he was getting ready to go out, when his music started and that glass broke, he got a shot of adrenaline through his whole body and the crowd blew the roof off the Barclay Center. He says whenever you go out, the crowd will give you an indication of where you are in their mind and Steve says thank you to the Brooklyn crowd for the reception he got. People sent videos to his Twitter of them jumping up and down in front of their TV sets when he came out to the ring. The ratings were through the roof for the show and he was happy to be part of it.
When Steve got on his Twitter account, he noticed a lot of people weren’t happy about the show. He wants to know what people think they could have done better. If anyone has any concise, clear comments on how you would have booked the 25th Anniversary Raw show, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and he’ll read them on the air and comment on them.
Coming up on another podcast, Steve will talk about his travel to the 25th Anniversary Raw but coming up on this podcast is part two of ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn. They’re going to be telling more story and will revisit the fight they had in New Orleans.
18:40 – ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn
Steve asks Billy about how he got into the wrestling business. Billy says he was in Florida working in a gym. Ron and Don Harris, who he had known since high school, walked in and at the time told Billy they were working the Memphis territory. When Billy heard they were wrestling, he started laughing at them because at the time he knew nothing about wrestling. Ron and Don took Billy and started training him. They didn’t smarten him up initially because back then you had to go through a process before they let you in the door so they basically beat Billy up. Despite that, Billy loved the physicality and realized he could have it all in one sport and that you were constantly learning so it never got boring.
Steve asks about meeting Bart Gunn (20:20 into the podcast). Billy says Ron and Don only came into town every so often and Billy was chomping at the bit to do more. He went to a school run by Eddie Mansfield but the only other person who went there was Bart so they started self teaching each other by watching stuff on TV then trying it in the ring. The problem was that they had no-one teaching them why they should be doing moves (i.e. psychology). Blackjack Mulligan came to the school one day and smartened them up a little to some basic ring psychology and why they should or shouldn’t do certain moves.
Steve asks about the Brawl For All (22:00 into the podcast). Initially, the WWF wanted Steve ‘Dr. Death’ Williams to win the whole thing. Billy told J.R not to put Bart in the event because he was going to crush everyone. Billy talks about Bart’s reputation in Florida and how people would part like the Red Sea. He says Bart is a really nice guy but if he gets going bad stuff is going to happen. Billy tells a story of Bart fighting 15 guys in a bar until someone stuck a bottle in his side. Coming back to the Brawl For All, Billy knew J.R wanted Steve Williams to win but felt J.R was too enamoured with Steve’s skill (who is a legit badass as well). Steve was an All American wrestler but the problem was that you were allowed to strike in the Brawl and Bart was great at knocking people out before you could even get to the wrestling.
The end result of the Brawl was Bart’s match with Butterbean, who was a professional boxer at Wrestlemania 15. Steve had heard he took boxing lessons to prep for that match. Billy confirmed this and said that was when things went awry. Bart was a fighter not a boxer so when he came to the ring with Butterbean, he tried to box which was not his strength and got knocked out. Billy says Bart knows this messed him up. Steve asks what Bart is doing now. Billy says Bart was a master electrician before he started wrestling. After he left the WWF he went to Japan for a few years then came back, redid all his licensing and is a master electrician again. Billy says they do a couple signings at shows but Bart is done with the wrestling business. Steve asks what Billy is doing in wrestling. Billy says he just works on weekends and loves what he does. He’s having fun and is giving the fans what they want to see.
Steve asks him how he’s doing, which brings up a discussion about Billy’s neck surgery in 1995 (26:50 into the podcast). During a match with Tom Prichard and Chris Candido, they did a spot where Billy knocked Sunny to the floor and he went to check on her. Tom Prichard came off the top rope and hit Billy in the back of the neck. Billy really felt it and thought something wasn’t right. He tried to work 2 or 3 days afterwards but his left side kept getting worse. He went to see a doctor and the doctor said he had to get it fixed ASAP. He had a piece of bone pushing on his spinal cord. Billy was out for 6 months and was not paid while he was out injured. Steve said he also didn’t get paid when he was out and injured after his neck surgery which was normal back then. Billy says people don’t realize the physicality that pro wrestlers go through. He says our bodies are not meant to bounce of the mat for 20 to 30 minutes every day.
Steve talks about his injury while wrestling with Owen and despite the injury, knew that he had to finish that match. After the match, he got checked out at a hospital but when he left, there was no one from the office there. Three girls had followed the ambulance and gave Steve a ride home. He was pretty messed up and traumatized. He goes on that the business has changed a lot with regards to trainers and the safety of the wrestlers. They both talk the past when the wrestlers would try to tape each others ankles or adjust their necks and backs.
Steve says he was running pretty hard and asks Billy if he got caught up with extracurricular activities (36:53 into the podcast). Billy says he’s a recovering addict and has been clean for 7 years. He says when you’re hurt, there are easier ways to handle the pain without going to a chiropractor or a massage such as pain pills. Billy says he was addicted to pills such as vicodins, pain killers and somas. At the time, he had left the company and things were going downhill. He was using pills to cover things up but when he would sober up, those things would still be there so he would keep covering and things would never go away but get worse so your consumption would get worse. Steve talks about being able to tell what kind of pills someone had by the sound of how they rattled in that person’s fanny pack. Steve and Billy talk about how growing up they were never into pills but the wrestling business showed them how available these substances were.
Steve asks about Billy getting colour (42:23 into the podcast). Billy said he never did this until he got to TNA. He had been busted hard way but otherwise it’s not something he did and didn’t want to do. In TNA, he was asked to do a first blood match with Kevin Nash but didn’t know how to make a blade so he asked Dustin Runnels (Rhodes) for help. Billy says he almost cut his head off using that blade. Steve tells a story about a match he had with Dustin where both got color at a small house show.
Steve tells another story about working a first blood match with Superstar Bill Dundee (45:48 into the podcast). During the match, Superstar bled first but wiped the blood on Austin’s face, which the ref saw and gave the match to Dundee. Austin brings up an earlier point that he was bothered when Billy touched his water (from the part one of the interview Tuesday) yet he would let someone wipe blood on his face so he could lose a first blood match. This was the mentality back then and the guys were more concerned about what would be good for the match than what was safe.
Steve asks Billy if he was there on the first Monday Night Raw (50:36 into the podcast). Billy doesn’t remember if it was the first one but definitely one of the first ones. He was at the Manhattan Center and was scared to death because it was live TV. Steve asks Billy if he thought it would be on TV for 25 years. Billy said he didn’t know what it was doing but that he had a job and was getting paid good money to travel around the world and entertain people and be on TV. He says when you look at it, it’s pretty good and this is a long time to keep a show on TV. He adds Raw is a major production but they have the set up times down to a science.
Steve talks about travelling up and down the road and wishes he was the one who came up with the tour bus idea. He talks about his involvement on the 25th Anniversary and is looking forward to seeing everyone. Billy says he is looking forward to the fans because the fans are looking forward to it especially for fans of the Attitude Era. He says it’s such a feel good moment and thinks it will be a ‘Minnesota Vikings’ pop (Road Warrior pop).
Steve asks Billy about the formation of the New Age Outlaws (56:49 into the podcast). Billy says it was Vince Russo and J.R.’s idea. Road Dogg and Billy were not going anywhere. The office was saying they were going to get rid of both of them so decided to put them together and when that happened, good things happened.
Steve asks Billy if he ever thought about what they were doing in the ring back when they were wrestling. Billy said he didn’t think about anything because it went by fast and furious. He says some people can recall what they’ve done in their careers but he’s not one of them.
This brings up a story about an 8 man match (58:23 into the podcast). Someone had tweeted a spot in the match where Steve threw a trash can at Billy and asked how they called that (the match was from No Way Out 1998). Billy says this is a lot of what’s wrong with wrestling today in that the current wrestlers can’t look at someone and know what’s coming. Back then everyone was in a groove that he could tell from a look what was coming. Steve said he had somehow gotten the trash can, looked at Billy who looked back at Steve and he threw it. It wasn’t a called spot, it was an ad-libbed spot, it just happened. Billy says stuff like this (spontaneity) is missing in today’s product and even brings up Al Snow’s 7 steps of a wrestling match. Billy says you need to go out there and listen to fans as they’ll tell you what direction they want to go because he’s there to entertain them.
Steve brings up a story about working with Bart Gunn at Raw with Billy at ringside (1:01:05 into the podcast). The finish was Bart taking the Stunner and Billy popped because at the time Bart was the one taking all the finishers. But then the producers said to Billy ‘you’re getting it too’.
Steve says Billy takes a great Stunner and they talk about how guys took stunners (1:02:31 into the podcast). Billy thought Road Dogg took the Stunner the best. He thinks Rock oversold it and Goldberg crushed Austin whenever he took the Stunner.
Steve brings up a story about a loop they did in Canada (1:04:10 into the podcast). While on the road, they ended up at a bar. Austin kicked the DJ out and started spinning tunes and made Billy and Bart dance with….bigger ladies. While hs doesn’t compare himself to DJ Jazzy Jeff, Austin says he was on fire that night.
Steve mentions Billy and his son rolled up in a Ford F150 (1:06:51 into the podcast). Billy says he’s always been a Ford guy and this leads into a discussion about pick up trucks. They also talk about Billy building trucks as well as sound systems.
Steve asks Billy if he has anything to promote. Billy says he trains at the Dudley Boys wrestling school in Orlando once a week. Billy usually teaches kids after they’ve gone through a beginning phase and teaches them how to relax in the ring and be more aware of their surrounding. Billy continues that he loves coaching and says he’s not the end all, be all but has a little piece that can help some people. Billy says they get different types of people coming into the school with different motivations for being there.
Steve asks about Austin (Billy’s son) who wants to get into the business (1:20:18 into the podcast). Billy’s sons never had a desire to get into the business but Austin (his youngest) decided he wanted to give it a shot as he was almost finished college. Billy says Austin is very athletic, more so than him. Steve asks Colton if he wants to get into the business and Colton says he doesn’t think so. He hasn’t closed the door but goes back and forth on it.
Before wrapping up, Billy mentions half-jokingly that Colton would be interested in being Steve’s assistant. Colton says he would offer to drive Steve around as he has his dad’s wheel man skills passed down to him. Steve says he does not plan anything and just does things on a whim.
Steve takes a parting shot at Billy about the scuffle they had in New Orleans and says he was working while Billy was shooting (1:26:26 into the podcast). Billy said Steve wasn’t that good of a worker and that he was getting stretched. Austin gave Billy 50% and says he was about to call a high spot but couldn’t because Billy was squeezing on his head. That was the way Austin saw it. Austin thanks Billy and Colton and the interview is done.
1:27:48 – Show Wrap
Steve once again thanks Billy and his son Colton for coming to the podcast. He recommends the match they discussed where Austin threw a trash can at Billy (which was from the 1998 No Way Out ppv. You can see the spot here). Steve plugs his merch, thanks his sponsors and that’s a wrap.
This podcast started off strong but I thought trailed off near the end. The wrestling stories were funny but I couldn’t get into the discussion about pickup trucks and tuned out for a large portion of that. That said, still a solid podcast.
0:00 – Intro, RAW 25th Anniversary
18:40 – ‘Bad Ass’ Billy Gunn
20:20 – Meeting Bart Gunn
22:00 – Brawl For All
26:50 – Billy’s Neck Surgery
36:53 – Extracurricular Activities
42:23 – Getting Color
45:48 – Steve works with Superstar Bill Dundee
50:36 – Working Early RAWs
56:49 – Formation of the New Age Outlaws
58:23 – No Way Out 1998
1:01:05 – Steve works with Bart Gunn
1:02:31 – Who Took The Best Stunner
1:04:10 – DJ Steve Austin
106:51 – Pick Up Trucks
1:20:18 – Billy’s Sons Getting Into The Business
1:26:26 – The Bottom Line On The New Orleans Scuffle
1:27:48 – Show wrap
Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and two boys. He’s been watching wrestling for about 40 years (give or take) but don’t consider himself any sort of expert. He just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.
For more, check out part one of the interview with Billy Gunn.