In a recent edition of Neal Pruitt's Secrets of WCW Nitro, former WCW feature producer and 'voice of the nWo' Neal Pruitt revealed a surprising fact about 'Stunning' Steve Austin's tenure in WCW.
According to Pruitt, Austin was initially uncomfortable with looking at the camera during promos, a quirk that would influence the presentation of his character:
"I don't think anybody ever wants to really expose their weaknesses, but when you do expose your weaknesses to someone that's willing to help you, you can really excel. Not that I had anything to do with it...but [Austin] did tell us he had an issue with speaking [upon his arrival to WCW]. [He said] it was something he really needed to work on.
Having been in the interview room for so long, [I know] that what really freaks people out is...it's just not natural to look in the camera lens instead of somebody's face. So it's already a weird thing to do, and the intimidation factor creeps in for whatever reason. [Often] when the light goes on the camera, the personality goes off.
I knew Stone Cold was uncomfortable with that - looking right in the camera. So I told him, 'if you're nervous about looking in the camera, don't even look in the camera. These people don't deserve your gaze'. So if you watch some of his earlier stuff when he had hair and he was on WCW Saturday Night, you'll see that he's not looking at the camera at all.
He worked at his talent at talking, [and] so did Cactus Jack. When they would ride down the road together, they would never turn the radio on. They would just [practice their promos]. That's how dedicated these people were at becoming professionals at what they did. And I really admire that, because I know that's what it takes. It doesn't come naturally to most people, but if you work at it, you can get it."
To hear the full episode, including various other unheard tidbits including a little-known fact about the nWo, subscribe to Neal Pruitt's Secrets of WCW Nitro.
You can also hear Fightful's full interview with Pruitt at this link.