Steve Austin gives his thoughts on scripted promos.
A big complaint in today's WWE is the micromanaging of wrestlers and writers scripting verbiage for the performers. Jon Moxley has spent the last week and a half venting his frustrations over being scripted while he was in WWE. One man who rarely had to deal with a script was Steve Austin, who is widely considered to be one of the best of all-time on the microphone.
In an interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr, Austin weighed in on scripted promos and when the business changed.
"WCW made us work our ass off to get to number one and then we were in a dogfight to stay there until they shut down. That was the last days of the wild wild west. [After WCW went out of business], guys started to get micromanaged, and things had a more friendly tone. A lot more corporate sponsors were coming in. I had to leave in 2000 for my neck injuries. When I came back, they start handing you [a script], and this is what you were going to say. I don't work from memory. I work from what I feel in my heart and gut, and I put it together in my brain."
Austin continued, "I don't think you can encapsulate what I would say. You might know who I was by looking at me but if you haven't been in the grind with me, it's hard for anyone to write for me and it's hard for me to feel what you may write for me."
When asked if Austin followed the rules and stuck to the script, Stone Cold revealed that he did the best he could within the structure but was still going to be himself.
"I worked with the system. One time, I was working a program with Vince and he wanted to go over the promo with me. I'm sitting there, I'd come back from my neck injury, and I was like [in a monotone voice], 'Okay Vince, I'm going to rip you to shreds.' He got mad and goes, 'DAMNIT STEVE! Give me your A promo!' I said, 'I'm going to give you my A promo out there.' I'm not a rehearsal guy. I'll read the bullet points, I'll get a couple of them in there, but then we're gonna fly."
A point recently brought up by Moxley was that the guys from the Attitude Era don't understand how the business has changed and that it's not as easy to go off-script as it was for them. You can read more about Moxley's frustrations with WWE scripting him by clicking here.