Widely considered one of the best to ever touch a microphone, Steve Austin knows the art of cutting a good promo.
And when it comes to today's superstars, it's a lost art thanks to the scripted nature of promos. On a recent episode of the Steve Austin Show Unleashed podcast, Austin discussed how he learned to cut a promo and how the promo business changed following his neck surgery.
"I think there's micromanaging in the WWE on the main roster. Back before I got my neck injury, a promo was; you go out there with bullet points. If I'm working with Vince or if I'm working with Rock, Taker, Triple H, it didn't matter. If I was going out there to talk some shit, I might let them know and give them a heads up, but you go out there and cut this promo," said Austin. "I started learning that stuff back in Dallas. I couldn't talk to save my life. Through falling on my face and having to get back up or when I got in with Brian Pillman. That guy was a silver tongued devil with a hell of a vocabulary. I was forced to keep up with him or get left behind. Then through ECW, you had to talk there. Everybody in the dressing room could cut a promo. It was sink or swim. We did that through the Attitude Era, but when I came back from neck surgery, that's when they started doing the scripted type thing."
Austin continued, noting what he sees when watching WWE superstars try and cut a promo today.
"Now, when I watch, I know when they're trying to take a talent that doesn't have the ability to...or their character doesn't need to say as many words or sentences to get their point across. It just turns into a bunch of convoluted, watered down paragraphs. Sometimes less is more," he stated. "I can see someone's eye when they're trying to remember something or when they have a spark in their eyes and it's just flowing out of them and they mean every word they say. One promo sells tickets, the other is like, 'Eh, not so fast my friends.'"
Austin continued by saying that having a group of writers trying to script a character that may not understand, boxes in the talent.