The Steve Austin Show
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
0:00 – Intro
We are at 317 Gimmick Street and on today’s podcast are Adam Copeland and Jay Reso, aka Edge and Christian. Edge is in Ireland filing Vikings and Christian is doing an appearance in Wisconsin. Steve will be talking about how they came up in the business as well as TLC matches, specifically the one from WrestleMania 17. Steve says he will be on their podcast in the future, potentially discussing the submission match from WrestleMania 13 and if possible, with Bret Hart (and if that happens, I’ll definitely be listening to that one).
6:31 – Edge and Christian
Steve asks Edge if he’s been persuing acting hardcore since he left the business (8:57 into the podcast). Edge says acting wasn’t something he wasn’t going after. When he got the news he was ‘medically disqualified’ from wrestling, he wasn’t sure what he was going to do. The people who filmed the TV show Haven saw his retirement speech and asked him if he wanted to do an episode which ended up being 42 episodes. Halfway through the second season on Haven, Edge realized he liked what he was doing. He has to be doing something creative and acting tapped into that part of his brain. He started studying acting and watching movies to figure out why actors would make certain choices much like studying a wrestling matches. Once Haven finished, he did an episode of The Flash then got the audition for Vikings.
Steve asks about the audition process for Vikings (10:23 into the podcast). Edge told his management team he had a short list of shows he wanted to work on with Vikings being on that list. As part of his prep, he learned the accent for the show then read for the part and got the part. He’s been doing Vikings for two years off and on.
Steve asks about the shooting schedule. Edge says Vikings is such a huge show with a number of storylines. They try to film one storyline in one or two weeks and two or three episodes in a month. Edge talks about travelling for acting compared to travelling in wrestling and how it’s easier for him now because the travel is not as hectic. Edge goes back to one location once shooting is done which makes it easier for him to call his family back home.
Steve asks Christian what he’s up to in Wisconsin (14:45 into the podcast). Christian is doing an appearance with an AHL (minor league) hockey team affiliated with the Nashville Predators. Christian talks about growing up in Canada and playing hockey as a kid. He wanted to be either a professional hockey player or professional wrestler but he realized early on he was going to do something that wasn’t ‘normal’.
Steve says he never got into hockey but his impression is that hockey players are tough guys who will fight at the drop of a hat. Steve asks if Christian if that mentality carried over from his hockey days to his pro wrestling days. Christian says he and Edge got into their share of bar fights and he would sometimes help out at the bar Edge bounced at. Christian doesn’t consider himself any sort of tough guy but feels he could defend himself when needed. As an aside, if you want to read about Edge being a bouncer, check out ‘When We Were Bouncers’ by Paul Lazenby. Great little read.
Christian makes the comparison between hockey and wrestling where both sports have the same mentality when it comes to fighting through injuries and being able to endure a lot of pain.
Steve asks Edge about his injury and retirement (18:20 into the podcast). Edge says it was a strange time for him. Mentally, he was firing on all cylinders and was transitioning into a period of his careers where he could help younger talent. Edge says he knew his career was coming to the end but didn’t know it would be that quick. He says it wasn’t as hard as he thought it would be. Physically, he felt ‘off’ because his body was a fraction behind what his mind was telling him to do.
Edge says he got his neck fusion surgery in 2002 and wrestled 9 more years. In those 9 years, he was working as a bumping heel against wrestler’s such as Cena, Taker, and Kane. He knew this would eventually catch up to him. He first started noticing problems when he would shake while sitting on a plane and couldn’t stop. He didn’t understand the extent of what was happening until he underwent surgery in 2012. He remembers waking up after surgery and not having a headache, which was the first time in over a decade. During that period, he just got used to having headaches all the time.
Steve asks Christian about his history with injuries (22:17 into the podcast). Christian says he was generally injury free until 2010-ish. He did have a minor back injury in 2004 that took him out of action for a few months but in 2010 he tore his pec during a match with C.M. Punk. He got an MRI and was sent to Pensacola to see James Andrew. That day, they scheduled him for surgery which freaked him out and he walked out. A few minutes later, John Laurinaitis called Christian telling him to go back to the hospital for surgery. Christian was a little freaked out as this was his first surgery but also wanted to go back to TV in order to do some business before surgery.
At the time, he had just started a program with Alberto Del Rio and wanted to build some heat for Del Rio before leaving TV. The doctors said he was OK to finish up on TV as long as he came back within 10 days to get the surgery. Steve gives Christian props for wanting to do business before getting surgery and says that’s the sign of a true pro. Christian even got a text from Vince thanking Christian for his professionalism.
After the surgery, Christian went through a bunch of freak injuries and talks about a high ankle sprain he suffered doing a baseball slide move in a match against Sheamus.
Christian started getting dinged and got a few concussions within a few months of each other. The first one Christian suffered was during a match with Rey Mysterio. Rey landed on Christian’s head which knocked him out. He got a few more concussions soon after and his neurologist said even though he had been fine for years, once he got the first big one, it wouldn’t take much for him to get subsequent concussions. In Christian’s case, it was a matter of when he was going to get another one, not if. Christian just had a baby girl, he was getting into his 40s and had accomplished everything except main event WrestleMania which put things into perspective.
Steve talks about Edge and Christian going to the same wrestling school (30:16 into the podcast). Their initial training was with Ron Hutchison and Sweet Daddy Siki in Toronto. They wrestled for five years before making headway doing house shows with the WWF. Edge was invited to the initial Funkin’ Dojo in Stanford where they sent guys to get some seasoning or grooming. Christian went to a later (third or forth) Funkin’ Dojo and tells the story about Edge being asked to go to a PPV because they wanted him to do TV. Edge was on a developmental contract but Christian was not.
However, what Edge did not have was a car so Christian borrowed his mom’s car and drove Edge to the PPV which ended up being the Survivor Series 1997. It should be noted, in true ‘old school style’, Christian brought his gear with him even though he was not on contract. During one of the tapings, someone asked Christian if he had brought his gear (which he had) and was able to work with Edge in a dark match.
Jim Cornette saw this match and thought it was a great. Christian got Jim’s number and kept in touch every month to stay on Jim’s radar. One day, he got home from the gym late and there was a message to call Jim back. Jim told Christian about the training camps the WWF was doing (Funkin’ Dojo) and was going to put a word in to get him in one of those camps. A few months later, he got invited to one of the camps however, Christian had a scheduling issue. He was on a show that started the same day the camp started and did not want to cancel at such a late date as this promoter had treated him well. He told the WWF about this show however, the WWF flew him down, drove him to the show and drove him back to the camp. Bruce Prichard, Dory Funk and J.R offered him a developmental contract near the end of the training camp. Steve gives props to Christian for developing a relationship with Jim Cornette and for keeping his commitment to that promoter.
Steve asks what Edge and Christian took away from Dory Funk Jr. Edge says before he got to WWE, he never considered himself a high flyer or do a lot of athletic moves. Learning initially from Ron Hutchison and Sweet Daddy Siki, to working with Bret Hart, to the Funkin’ Dojo alongside wrestling with veterans such as Rick Martel and Bad News Brown helped Edge and Christian add layers to their working style.
Steve talks about how much he respects Bret Hart and asks what Edge and Christian’s thoughts were on the Montreal Screwjob as they were there that night (43:01 into the podcast). Christian said they watched the match in the crowd as opposed to backstage. When the screwjob happened, it didn’t register and they thought it was a weird finish. When they got backstage, they were told to leave as it was chaotic backstage. The next day at TV they found out what happened and Edge thought this may be a game changer because Bret had helped Edge get to the WWF. Edge was considered a Bret guy and he was wondering if that meant he would be let go. Steve talks about how he felt about the Screwjob and thought the territory may go down. Edge thought the same thing at the time especially because Bret was the flagship guy.
Steve comes back from break and talks about ladder matches in the past. He says the Shawn vs. Razor ladder match at WrestleMania 10 put ladder matches on the map. Steve asks what Edge and Christian thought when they were asked to do the TLC match (50:35 into the podcast). Christian and Edge originally pitched the concept. At the time they were floating between RAW and Sunday Night Heat and were looking for ways to stand out because the card was stacked with Austin and Rock in their primes, Taker, Triple H and Mankind (to name a few). They knew they weren’t getting near the top as a singles and needed a way to stay in the mix.
Christian says a best of 7 concept was suggested where every match had a different stipulation with the last match being the first ever tag team ladder match. When they pitched it, they wanted to have something hanging above the ring. They hoped this was going to be their springboard to the next level. Matt Hardy said it elevated them from WWE wrestlers into WWE Superstars.
Steve talks about re-watching the TLC match from Wrestlemania 17 and said it was an amazing match. He also talks Motorhead playing for Triple H’s ring entrance along with the Triple H/Undertaker match and had forgotten how hard it was to follow those matches. Edge thinks WrestleMania 17 is the best card and best PPV ever because everything from the first match to the last match delivered. Steve agrees and says everyone that night clicked.
Edge says their mentality on the first ladder match along with the Hardy’s was that they did not want anyone to be able to follow them. They knew they didn’t have the promo ability of the guys on top and didn’t get those types reactions yet. But what they could do was take these risks in order to stand out. With the first ladder match against the Hardys, it was a blank slate and they had carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. When the Dudleys came into the picture, they added a different dynamic where Edge and Christian would be booed as the heels, the Hardy’s would get the face reaction and the Dudley’s would get the guttural ‘guy from Philly’ reaction. The mixture of those three reactions made those matches work.
Christian jumps in and talks about the first ladder match against the Hardys (57:51 into the podcast). Originally, they came up with three endings, one with the Hardy’s winning, one with Edge and Christian winning and one with Christian turning on Edge and costing them the match. There were some early rumblings of splitting up Edge and Christian which made Christian nervous because he was still trying to find his footing as a character. Christian brings up a conversation he had with Steve during an European tour. Steve was asking Christian about the rumblings he had heard about breaking Edge and Christian up and told Christian he needed to stop that from happening. Edge and Christian were the main team and had a good spot on the card. Steve also told Christian they were not going to get near the top of the card anytime soon as singles wrestlers given the talent at that time.
Edge and Christian were already thinking about about turning heel to get away from the double babyface dynamic with the Hardys. They started working with writers like Brian Gerwitz to turn heel and allowing them to talk showing their personality. They did some commentary for a match with a heel edge and did a sit down interview with the Hardys. They were told they could say anything they wanted as long as it was real. During the interview, they swore a lot then stormed off. Steve says Edge and Christian needed to separate themselves from everyone (which they did).
Steve goes back to the TLC match on Wrestlemania 17. He brings up Lita, Spike and Rhyno who added to that match. It was Rhyno who lifted Christian up the ladder to win the belts. Christian brings up a story of them putting the finishing touches on the match and realizing Christian actually had no offence in the match. They were going to rethink a few things but Christian said no. Rhyno was going to carry him up the ladder and that would be all the heat he would need.
Steve asks about how they planned the match, especially when you have three teams plus three other people involved in this match (1:03:31 into the podcast). Christian says in order for people to be engaged in this type of a match, it couldn’t be a ‘car crash’. They were trying to use good psychology in the match where they would do things that made logical sense. He continues saying there were six creative guys with strong opinions which would lead to arguments at time but these were never from a place of anger. It showed how passionate these guys were about the match and wanted what was best for the match.
Edge says that Matt would be the speaker and ideas guy for the Hardys, Bubba would be the ideas guy for the Dudleys but Edge and Christian would both come with a lot of ideas. Michael Hayes was the agent and was a huge part of the process. They would sit down, throw ideas out and see what resonated with the majority of them. While they were trying to employ psychology and have things make sense, Edge still wanted the aftermath to look like a tornado went through a trailer park. He says the best visual from the match was the carnage after the match. Edge goes on to say he thinks they went too far with that match. Once they went that far, they would have to one-up themselves and try to top the last match.
Christian says the real challenge isn’t necessarily the match itself but being able to walk the line of being a good worker versus someone who is labelled as someone who does gimmick matches. You have to be able to wrestle when gimmicks aren’t involved. Steve agrees with Christian that you can book yourself into a corner and says they became more character based and developed a heel attitude. Edge says their character work helped make them different. The matches proved they could do the physical aspect. It meant you could throw them in any situation whether it was a straight tag match or a TLC match that could work with anyone in any situation.
Christian brings up his time at the Funkin’ Dojo again. He says he and Dory had a thread where Dory would more often than not use Christian to demonstrate holds to the class. Additionally, Dory would ask Christian to do short matches with anyone in the class and what he learned from Dory was how to adapt to any style and size. He wasn’t great at one thing but had to be good in a lot of things.
Steve asks about a a ladder match where Bubba Dudley started spinning a ladder overhead and whether Christian got hit on that spot. Christian says he didn’t get hit. He was able to get his hands up last second plus the long hair helped with giving the illusion that something happened. Additionally the sound of a ladder or chair can resonate throughout an arena which also adds to the effect.
Steve asks Edge if the gimmick type matches contributed to his neck issues. Edge says he initially thought he came away unscathed but being honest with himself, he thinks those matches are where his troubles started. When he watches these matches back now, he wonders how someone didn’t die or sustain a major injury. Christian talks about a spot in the Wrestlemania 17 match where he gets tipped off the ladder and goes over the ropes. When they practised prior to the match, he would land on his feet then roll on the floor however, during the actual TLC match, the ladder he ended up falling off the ladder back first and basically did a flat back on the arena floor off a ladder. He was winded but thankfully was all right and was able to finish the match. After the match, Kane saw Christian and who asked him if he was OK. Christian said he was and Kane pushed him up against the wall and said don’t ever scare him like that again and walked off.
Edge talks about a spot where he was lying on a table and Bubba powerbombed Jeff on Edge through a table. This spot knocked Jeff out for a bit because his head hit the edge of the table. Edge says they all had trust, knew stuff was gonna happen but that they’d get through it. Christian says WrestleMania is about making moments and the spear spot is one of those moments that has lasted the test of time.
Steve asks about the spear off the ladder to Jeff Hardy (1:16:48 into the podcast). Edge says he was trying to figure out which ladder rung he should jump on for the trajectory to work. He says he almost committed to the move too soon and had he gone on that first initial instinct, it would have gone horribly. Steve also says they had to nail this perfectly or they could have caused serious injury from under or over rotation of the landing. Edge says the move worked because Hardy trusted Edge and was very giving. Edge knew if he landed the move correctly, Hardy would make it look like ‘a trillion dollars’.
Steve asks Edge and Christian what they’re favorite gimmick matches are (1:19:52 into the podcast). Edge says Wrestlemania 17 was his favorite because of the stage it was on. Edge says in TLC 1, they were doing too much in too little time. Christian says the first ladder match with the Hardys has a special place for him because it was their launching pad. As far as an overall match, Christian agrees with Edge on the Wrestlemania 17 match. He also says Kevin Dunn came up to him after that match and said normally you should not be able to tell a story in those type of matches but Dunn said they did which was a testament to the skill of all the participants.
Steve says in watching the ladder matches leading up to Wrestlemania 17, he noticed at Wrestlemania that everyone in the match had more confidence and seasoning. Edge agrees and says from the time of the first ladder match with the Hardys to Wrestlemania 17, they felt they had proved something and had some moxy. Christian adds that the goal for everyone in that match was to perform a match that would stand the test of time and steal the show. It didn’t matter who won. Steve says it doesn’t matter who won the match. As long as the whole match was great and all the participants were involved, everyone gets over. Edge says the mentality everyone had was to walk out of the match better than when they came in.
Steve asks what was the reaction backstage after the match. Edge says it was a weird during the match because the sound in the Astrodome was delayed so initially they weren’t sure if the crowd was into the match until they saw the match at the afterparty and found the crowd was with them. When they came to the back, everyone asked if they were OK and gave a great reaction to the match. Christian says it’s awesome to get recognition from your peers but they also tried to find a private corner to give each other a group hug, make sure everyone was OK and chill a little. Edge adds when you’re involved in creating a moment like that match, it creates a bond with everyone involved.
Christian plugs their podcast, The E&C Pod Of Awesomeness. They do one show a week that drops Friday. They talk about the one show they did called Anatomy Of A Match where they talk about one match for the podcast and get into the details. Edge says he would love to do the Anatomy of A Match with Austin and maybe Bret Hart for their Wrestlemania 13 match.
For that podcast, they had Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley as their guests talking about their match at In Your House 10: Mind Games. If you get a chance I highly recommend this podcast.
Steve thanks Edge and Christian for being on the show and they sign off
1:32:37 – Show Wrap
Steve thanks Edge and Christian for being on the show and that is a wrap
I really enjoyed this show. Both Edge and Christian are well spoken and very knowledgeable about the business. You can also tell the three of them have a good relationship which adds to the dynamic of the podcast. I am not a huge fan of gimmick matches like TLC but getting the inside scoop on the Wrestlemania 17 TLC and what went into the match before, during and after was really interesting.
0:00 – Intro
6:13 – Edge and Christian
8:57 – Edge and Acting
10:23 – The Audition Process for Vikings
14:45 – Christian in Wisconsin
18:20 – Edge’s Injury and Retirement
22:17 – Christian and Injuries
30:16 – Wrestling School And Coming Up In The Business
43:01 – Edge And Christian’s Thoughts on the Montreal Screwjob
50:35 – Edge and Christian’s Thoughts on doing TLC Matches
57:51 – The First Ladder Match Against The Hardys
1:03:31 – How the TLC Match Was Planned
1:16:48 – The Spear Off The Ladder
1:19:52 – Favorite Gimmick Matches
1:32:37 – 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.