Steve Austin has long been vocal about his issues with the over-scripted nature of promos and interviews in today’s WWE. So it’s not surprising that the subject came up in conversation with another gifted talker from The Attitude Era when Chris Jericho was Austin’s podcast guest recently.
During a discussion about how Gene Okerlund would guide newer talent through interviews back in WCW, and Jericho’s initial vision for his “Highlight Reel” doing the same thing (Vince McMahon nixed that in favor of putting established main event-level stars on the talk show segments), Y2J shared another idea for helping wrestlers find their voice and connect with the audience using the microphone:
“I still think they should do that this day at every show. In between Main Event and Raw, there’s a ten minute period - send somebody out there and you’ve got three minutes, don’t tell anybody who it is during the day, you’d just be like, ‘Xavier Woods, go out there for three minutes.’
‘What am I supposed to talk about?’
‘I don’t know.’ And see what they got. And Woods would kill it, but give somebody else - a Heath Slater, Curt Hawkins, whoever. You would see then who can do a promo and who can connect with the audience. You would get it right like that.”
Austin, who responds by again telling the story of figuring out the Stone Cold gimmick during stints at the commentary table, would obviously support anything from today’s WWE which would give guys and gals a chance to work without a net. Really, it’s one of those ideas it’s hard to believe they don’t do - it doesn’t cost anything, and even if you want the performers to stay on script 99% of the time, there’ll come a point when having some experience being able to improv and react will serve them well.
Let us know what you think of the inter-taping promo idea, or why WWE wouldn’t want to do it, below.
And head over to 317 Gimmick Street and give the entire episode of The Steve Austin Show with Chris Jericho a listen - unless you don’t want to hear two of the best minds in the business talk wrestling. Then avoid it like the plague.