WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was the featured guest on this week's "Talk is Jericho" with Chris Jericho on PodCastOne.com. The two talked about the creation of "Austin 3:16", working with Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, the death of tag team wrestling, if Austin will ever wrestle another match, and more.
Chris Jericho: "I was working with the Hall of Famers. It was a handicap match – me versus Piper, Snuka and Steamboat. I actually lobbied to get Steamboat in the match; Vince wanted Greg Valentine. Steamboat hadn't worked in 7, 8 years or so. But Steamboat in his 50s, after not working in 7 or 8 years, was still 80-percent better than 80-percent better. That's just how naturally good he is … We worked four singles matches: one of them in Tokyo, one in Honolulu, one in Greensboro, South Carolina and all those matches got successively better. The last one we had was actually one of my favorite matches; a 'five star' match if you can call it that."
Jericho and Austin talked at length about the importance of tag team wrestler, and how it has died in the past few years, who is responsible, and why it's so important.
Chris Jericho: "They had Eddie Guerrero and I tag for awhile in WCW, but then they cut it off for no apparent reason, when I thought we could have been one of the biggest things in the company.
Steve Austin: "It doesn't make sense. There wasn't any lack of depth in the singles division, and we got over. A lot of people call the Hollywood Blondes one of the greatest tag teams of all time – I don't consider us that, but there are some people that consider us on that list. Had we stayed together two or three more years, we could definitely be on that list, but we didn't have enough matches underneath us. Tag team wrestling no longer exists. There are certain guys that are just designed to be tag team wrestlers, and that's when they're at their bests. Take for instance, the Midnight Express, the Rock'n'Roll Express, the Road Warriors and Killer Bees … It's O.K. for a team to last 10 or 15 years; that's awesome, because that's when you really get good tag team wrestling."
Chris Jericho: "I think Vince's attitude was that he could just take two guys and put them together, and it's the same thing. But it's not. There's certain psychology. A lot of times, even though one stands out more than the other – Bret Hart, out of the Hart Foundation, or Shawn from the Rockers – but Marty and Jim were never bigger than when he was a part of that tag team."
On the creation of "Austin 3:16" and who would have gotten the big push if it hadn't been "Stunning" Steve Austin:
Steve Austin: "We were in Madison Square Garden, and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were fixin' to go down South to WCW. That's when the infamous Curtain Call happened, when all those guys from the Kliq went down there and hugged. Shawn Michaels and Triple H had been a part of that hug. In MSG that's hallowed ground; you don't break kayfabe back in the day in Madison Square Garden. Shawn Michaels was very temperamental back in the day. You could rub Shawn the wrong way and he'd have a real bad attitude. Vince couldn't put the screws to him, because he was his #1 guy and world champion. Triple H was going to win the King of the Ring in 1996, but because of that 'curtain call', Vince had to put the heels on somebody, and he put it on Triple H.' … I was Plan B. So we go to Milwaukee, and my first match is with Marc Mero, and he does a little movement and kicks me in the mouth. They take me to the hospital during the middle of the show, I get 14 stitches and come back … Before that [Jake Roberts] match happened, I come rolling back in the ambulance. If Michael Hayes hadn't come up to me and told me, 'hey man, while you were gone Jake Roberts cut a religious promo on ya.' Back in the day, any time somebody kicked a field goal or extra point, there would always be a John 3:16 sign in the football stadium. So I said, 'that's it. Austin 3:16.'"