By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On today’s wrestling: “If I was 35 years old right now, they wouldn’t be able to afford me, and boy they need help with the ratings right now, both of them [laughs].”
Does wrestling lack larger than life stars: “I think Roman (Reigns), my daughter, Randy (Orton), AJ (Styles) are larger than life, but they don’t let them get larger than they want them to get. There has never been a better worker, period, in the company than my daughter, but they’re going to keep her in check. They (WWE) keep everybody in check. They don’t let the situation get out of control to where someone walks off and ‘wow, how do we replace them?’ Talent is limited. They just signed seventy different guys, college athletes, out of that seventy, I bet two of them make it. It’s a different business. Being a good athlete in college has nothing to do with being a wrestler. Time away from home, sacrifice, three days a week from noon until midnight. It’s a lot.”
On today’s stars reading scripts: “You can tell a mile away whether the kids feel it or not. It’s a lot of pressure to read something that you don’t naturally feel in your heart. That’s a big difference. I mean, you could tell the guys that they really take off because they’re taking what they’ve been handed to memorize and then they put some emotion into it, But that’s just talking generically today. That doesn’t sell tickets. When The Rock comes back and wrestles Roman, that’ll sell tickets. When Steve Austin came back, that sold tickets. It’s just a different timeframe.”
“The talent is great, make no mistake, there’s some great wrestlers, Orton, my daughter, Sasha Banks, Styles, like there’s a list of great, probably ten between the two companies. But the events sell themselves now as much as the wrestlers do. I don’t think they turn them loose enough. I know that they want to make sure they get the right advertisers. Everybody has to be happy. It’s a whole different world, but I still love it. I just feel like the guys that are really great like Randy and my daughter are held back because they (WWE) don’t want them to go that far. They don’t want anybody to become The Rock again that’s going to walk off. They don’t want somebody like Steve (Austin) that could say, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ Back in the day, Hulk (Hogan) could say yes or no. He had that kind of power. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but Vince (McMahon) won’t let that happen again.”
Who is the greatest wrestler of all time: “I think Shawn Michaels is the best in-ring performer (of all time),” I think Hulk and Steve Austin are the two biggest stars of all time. I’m basing that on who drew the most money in their time frame.”
Other topics include his legacy, His last match, Starrcast, the roast, Roman Reigns, his daughter Charlotte, his top opponents of all time, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, Sting, Ron Garvin, and more.