Steve Austin’s Concern About Finn Balor On Main Roster, Scripted Promos, More

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WWE Hall Of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin recently spoke with former WWE announcer Taz on The Taz Show: Bodyslams and Beyond about the current state of the industry, his thoughts on Finn Balor and more. The following highlights are below:

On his feeling that promos in WWE are too scripted:

“It’s a different PC world that those guys are operating in, so I feel for those guys. And I love WWE, I’m still part of the company, but it’s just tough these days on these kids,” Austin said. “I don’t like to be the bitter veteran that complains about the system, but, I don’t believe that promos should be ‘scripted’. A couple of bullet points, yes, to point a cat in the right direction, but you’ve got to be out there and be able to feel at home and believe with conviction and your heart and your soul with everything that you’re saying and if you’re just trying to be an orator or someone who delivers a speech, that’s not effective in my opinion. And to me, to draw money, you’ve got to be able to reach people’s heartstrings and reach some kind of guttural response or just anything that resonates with them.”

On better athletes these days producing ring work with less psychology:

“These guys are a step above our generation and the generations before us, athletically. What they can do in the ring is amazing and they’re great athletes, but I can give you [Ric] Flair/[Barry] Windham from ’87 or ’86 and those guys are working at today’s pace, but they’re selling everything, they’re not telegraphing anything, they’re not foreshadowing the next sequence of moves. It’s about 50-50 or 70-30 called in the ring and so it feels spontaneous and it feels different. It feels like a shoot. So there’s a real fine line between taking all that athleticism and you’re going to set up a little bit of stuff, but when it looks like you’re just going through the motions, you’re just going through the motions and people can see that. And you’ve got to be able to feel and really get behind a character and a personality and the human that’s doing that. I mean, that’s the money level.”

On Finn Balor’s gimmick possibly not translating to the main roster well:

“I’m wondering if he’s going to get lost in the shuffle a little bit [on the main roster]. He does that crawl to the ring and sometimes it takes so long. It’s a little disconcerting because I’ve seen the kid. Good looking kid, worked for many years in Japan, and he’s very technical from Ireland or wherever he’s from. Great kid! Great kid! Hell of a worker. Ten times the worker I ever was, but he [has] got to connect with those people. And so hopefully that gimmick allows him to do that. And it’s a great look. You can make a lot of action figures off of it, but put all the pieces together. People [have] got to care about him to become emotionally invested in him, but a great human being and a hellacious worker.”

On Balor’s elaborate ring entrance:

“Sometimes, I worry, Taz, about those long entrances. I mean, how long can you crawl? And then put yourself in the boots of your opponent.” Austin continued, “here comes this kid and he’s low to the ground. If ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was still in the ring, [waiting] there [in the ring for] 15 years, dude, I’d have to go stomp a mud hole in him and walk it dry when I’d have the opportunity because that’s what ‘Stone Cold’ would do.”

Credit: Transcription by Matt Boone