I don’t think you will find two better talkers than Stone Cold Steve Austin and Chael Sonnen. The worlds of WWE and UFC recently crossed when Austin had Chael on his podcast. According to Sonnen, their paths may have crossed sooner.
Before I go on let me say this. This interview Austin conducted with Sonnen is absolutely phenomenal. Austin asks every question I’d ever want to ask if I was interviewing Austin. The sad fact here is that Austin who is not a journalist conducted a better interview than the paid MMA reporters who have interviewed him.
From a pro wrestling fan’s perspective I thought the most interesting piece was when Chael told Austin about his attempt to get into professional wrestling. According to Sonnen, he may have been talking trash and throwing elbows on Monday Nitro as opposed to the UFC if World Championship Wrestling remained in business.
“I went down to the WCW Power Plant in 1998, Sarge was running it. “We had a tryout.” (Austin laughs and asks Chael if he knows Sarge) Yeah I knew him for three days, he tortured us, I mean he absolutely abused us absolutely abused us. It was a tryout, it was real simple, it was a lot like the Navy SEALs. Here’s what we’re going to do and as soon as you’ve had enough say “I quit.” That was it. Once you quit you get your stuff and go home. It was two and a half days, I showed up in very good shape, I just came out of a wrestling season, I was an All-American, it took every bit of grit that I had. They turned a bucket upside down and you had to do a squat. You had to throw your hands up, come up on your tip toes, your squat was down when your butt hit the bucket. That was it. Squat, squat, squat. But we just kept squatting. We squatted so much that there’s a little lining on the bottom of the bucket and that thing dug in to the back of my legs. I went down so many times. Once I was done you drop down, you do your pushups, you jump up, you squat, down, you do. All day long! I cant remember how many guys we had but we had some monsters in there, we had some big dudes in there. On the second day there was only two guys left, me and a guy from Jamaica. On the third day it was still just the two of us, and that was it. Both of us made it, both of us got invited back, I went and finished college and by the time I had, the WCW was gone.”
Wow! There are a lot of takeaways from that quote. One, this goes back to all of the stories I have heard about those Power Plant tryouts. Maybe WCW would have done a better job of creating more stars if they weren’t more concerned with bullying guys and breaking them down physically in training. I understand the mental game but what if Dusty Rhodes, Hulk Hogan, or The Undertaker walked into the Power Plant. It’s doubtful any of those guys would have survived those kinds of workouts. It’s just ridiculous and talk about the money wasted on the Power Plant on top of all of the other wasted WCW money.
Austin then asked Chael if he had any desire to ever dabble in pro wrestling once his UFC career is over. Chael was non-committal but it didn’t sound like he was going anywhere.
“I appreciate that and I’ve talked with those guys and they do have big offers and it’s enticing but I’m a loyalty guy, I’m a Dana White guy, and the only way it would happen is if Dana said “this is what I want you to go do.”
The other part of the interview that people are talking about is the things that Sonnen said about his contract with the UFC. Chael told Austin that he didn’t have a contract to fight Anderson Silva and he still doesn’t have one going into the Jon Jones fight.
“I never, to this day I don’t have a contract to fight Anderson Silva,” Sonnen stated in the interview. “I never signed an agreement that said I would fight him, we never picked a dollar amount, we never picked a weight class. Nothing. I told those guys I would show up and I did.”
“They never had a contract with me, they said what they would do and they did. My UFC contract expired about four months ago, I don’t know if they just haven’t realized it because they’re so busy, or if they just know they don’t need one with me. But, I got a world title fight coming up, we’ve got a sold out venue — I don’t have a piece of paper with my name on it or Jon Jones’ or anything else, but I don’t need one either.”
Why Steve Austin is doing this podcast on Podcastone.com and not WWE.com is probably the biggest mystery of all. Check out the entire podcast here.