Steve Austin recently appeared on Chris Jericho's podcast, "Talk is Jericho," and he had the following to say regarding whose idea it was for him to turn heel at WrestleMania and the situation with Brock Lesnar which resulted in Austin walking out on WWE. You can check out the entire interview at Podcastone.com.
"Worst call I've ever made other than refusing to job to Brock Lesnar at Atlanta. But, you know, that was my idea. Vince always likes to do something big at Wrestlemania. He didn't have anything big planned. So, me being the rocket scientist that I am, I figured okay. You're a hot babyface, and if you turn heel, you're a hot ass heel to draw money like that. Or vice versa. By and large that is true for the most part if the time is right to turn. Well clearly the time wasn't right for me to turn. It was like everybody loved John Wayne for what he stood for and so he did not ever have to be a bad guy in his movies. He never was. People didn't want to hate me. Me, because I always loved working heel more than a babyface. Thought it was going to be a chance for me to have fun, go back to working heel, doing what I loved to do and with that being said, I love working babyface too. Obviously it's where I made my money, but I like working heel. I like being a piece of trash. I like talking trash. I like cheating. That was my style of wrestling. Man, I did a lot of that as a Stone Cold babyface. So it was a bad idea, but Vince bought into it with me."
"Well I handled the [Brock Lesnar] situation like a total ass. What had happened, I was working Columbus the night before Monday Night RAW, I was working Flair in a cage. Jim Ross calls me. I'm laying in a hotel, just kind of resting up for the match because I got into town early and made the drive. He told me creative and he told me that they wanted Brock to beat me. And I'm thinking, okay hold it. I'm drawing stupid money right now. Obviously WWF had spent a lot of money getting me into this position. I busted my ass getting myself in this position. Guys that draw stupid money don't just happen overnight. So now all of a sudden you want me to do a job for a guy, now I love Brock Lesnar and he's a monster, and as soon as he walked in the door everybody saw massive potential in the guy, but for me to do a job for him without any kind of buildup? A match but no two or three weeks talking about it? A pay per view match is what it was.
So anyway, he told me creative. I said, 'well, if that's going to be the case I won't be there.' He said, 'okay. I'm just telling you what the old man told me. 'So he calls the old man and tells him. Jim calls me back. Hey, call the old man when you get through working. Vince gives me the scenario when I call and I say that's what we're doing, huh? He goes, 'that's what we're doing,' and I said, 'okay.' Well, when I said okay, you can't see my eyes, I mean okay. I'm not going to be there. That's why I don't like phone calls when we're talking business.
So anyway, me being in the place I was in my head at the time, hell, I was drinking a lot of damn whiskey and beer. I showed up every night. I was the first guy in the dressing room and the last guy to leave and I worked my ass off. But hey, man. We were running hard back then, Chris. I just said, 'piss on these guys. Why would they try and do this to me?' I got back on an airplane and flew to San Antonio.
It was stupid, Chris, because you have to own up to some responsibility and accountability and show up. Honor your deal. You're packed with the boys and your job. So I should have showed up like a man, come up with a solution. Could have been a different solution, could have been just don't even do the match, but show up and talk to Vince face to face, solve the problem in some way or fashion, and get through it like a grown man."