Steve Austin Discusses Walking Out On WWE In 2002, His WCW Firing, Advice From Vader

Steve Austin was recently interviewed by Lilian Garcia on a Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way to the Ring. You can see more submitted highlights below, and the full podcast above.

Getting fired by Eric Bischoff:

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"Eric Bischoff firing me was the best thing that ever happened to me as far as pro-wrestling goes because I would've never become Stone Cold Steve Austin down at WCW."

Being fired from WCW:

"Every now and then when Eric comes to LA he'll give me a call and we'll go drink a couple of beers that's a hatchet thats been buried a long time ago I like Eric a lot but it was a deal where you know he didn't see any money in me, and quite frankly if you lined up everybody in that locker room and said hey man pick all your stars and then throw out the scripts you know I was kind of starting to lose my hair, I didn't really have a great gimmick, didn't have the whole you know package put together yet so you know based on the amount of days that I had been injured, coming off a knee injury and then a tricep injury, you know he did what he thought he needed to do, but here's the thing going back to what I said about my mother, you know you tell me I cant do something well I'll prove you wrong every single time, and I wanted to be a successful professional wrestler, and I came up with the Stone Cold gimmick, and I started cranking out merchandise and we started putting asses in the seats, but it wasn't like hey this is a vendetta or this is revenge you're one of the guys who let me go."

Leaving WWE in 2002:

"It was a real stupid decision to fast forward there and go back to my family but ya when I heard about doing the favors you know from Jim Ross and I was in a hotel and I heard that information and I worked with Flair in Columbus, Georgia that night in a cage and that was Monday Night Raw in Atlanta and then I called Vince that night people heard the story a million times and I didn't like the creative, I was burnt out and there had been a couple of real weird things that I thought were road blocks thrown at me that didn't make sense from a booking standpoint, when you have an extremely hot talent who's selling tickets and merchandise like crazy you just kinda keep throwing gasoline on him and I thought this was road block unadvertised, all about trying to help the next guy up but right now we're running strong with me so anyway that's when I went home and if it hadn't been for Jim Ross who knows what would've happened.

"Because it was stupid, I mean here I am talking to Jim, he gives me creative, I don't like it, so then you know he calls the old man and the old man tells Jim 'Tell Steve to call me no matter what time it is, give me a call' because we got TV — this is live Monday Night Raw, so I call Vince at two am that morning his time and he tells me the same creative and I'm thinking as you and me are sitting here eye to eye face to face and I'm thinking 'all right so that's what we're gonna do, all right', well you can't read my mind but you can look at me, I don't like what I'm hearing, so I was just thinking okay at the tone of my voice, it was stupid, I already knew right then, I already knew right then I was going to get on an airplane, book my flight and fly back to San Antonio'. "What I should've done was gone to the building man to man, face Vince McMahon and said 'Hey you know I don't really like Ed and here's why I don't like Ed I'm extremely hot right now and I want Brock to do well and you got a real blue chipper right there, he's an absolute phenomenal freak, and he's very charismatic, he's gonna draw a lot of money but not right now it's my time and we need to do something else, and if you do want to do that match well lets promote it, let's build it, and lets make something of it then make some money on a Pay Per View, and so I should've went there and talked to Vince man to man, face to face and sell it rather than going home—it was the dumbest thing I could ever do."

Advice Vader gave him:

"I'll never forget the advice that Leon White gave me a long time in WCW as Big Man Vader, he goes 'Steve, always let a cooler head prevail' you know, he goes think about things before you make a knee jerk reaction, because I'm real bad about making a knee jerk reaction. These days I'll think about the knee jerk reaction but I won't do it, I'll think it through before I do anything and that just comes with being around, being in more situations where you can say okay man you really screwed up the last time, lets think about this, lets be a little big smart about it."

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