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WWE legend Steve Austin: If MMA existed a generation ago, a lot of guys in pro-wrestling would have done MMA instead.

By Zach Arnold | May 19, 2010

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Bruce Buffer had a great interview with Steve Austin on Tuesday, talking about Hollywood and pro-wrestling and MMA. During the course of the interview, Bruce mentioned the stories about Steve Austin ‘breaking’ Sylvester Stallone’s neck during filming of the movie The Expendables. While filming scenes for a movie in Brazil, Austin mentioned that he and Stallone hung out with several MMA fighters:

“He’s a big pro-wrestling fan, he’s a huge MMA fan and you know we filmed part of the movie in Brazil and we got to meet the Nogueira Brothers, I met Vitor Belfort, of course you know between takes a lot of times we were filming into the wee hours of the night and I sit there one time and asked Randy Couture questions about fighting and everything else that went on in his career for three hours straight. Finally I looked at Randy and said, ‘all right, Randy, one more question,’ and he looked at me and goes, ‘I know you’re going to ask me more than one more question.'”

While discussing professional wrestling on the Sherdog interview, the topic of The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott Steiner) came up, which led to Austin pontificating that a lot of the big stars over the last generation in professional wrestling would have considered doing MMA had MMA existed on such a high-level like it is now:

“There’s a lot of guys in the business that could go. You know back in the day you know as MMA has evolved and has turned into what it is now, so many of the guys I think would have been tremendous in that sport if they had started sooner. I remember growing up in South Texas that if it had been around a long time ago you know it’d be something that I would have been really interested in because I always liked individual competition. I’m not sitting here talking to you saying I would have been a UFC World Champion, I’m just saying that I have the mentality and the mindset that I would have liked to go down that road had I been exposed to it sooner in my life and that’s why I’m such a huge fan of the UFC and MMA in general. But going back to those Steiner Brothers, they were double-tough but don’t mistake them for being mean, they were just cantankerous and funny guys and probably some of the best guys you’d ever want to meet on the road and if you did ever want to get in a fight you damn sure want The Steiner Brothers on your side.”

It’s also not just pro-wrestlers but also pro-wrestling announcers who are very big into MMA. Steve Austin discussed the prospects of Jim Ross as a future MMA announcer:

“Yeah, I really do because I know Jim is an MMA fan, I know he watches as much as he can and you know he’s one of my best friends and you know that’s what he does and I think he knows a lot of transitions of psychology and at the end of the day you know you’re telling a story about what’s happening to you right there in front of your eyes and you know the story’s true is because it’s happening, it doesn’t matter whether it’s professional wrestling or MMA, the story’s the same, you have this guy and that guy and they’re fighting each other and so you call it as see it, so in that regard as far as maybe a few terminology pickups and stuff like that he would maybe learn, I think the guy would be outstanding.”

The Austin interview was a big score in what has turned out to be a very good month for Bruce Buffer. This weekend, he will be celebrating his birthday (it’s on 5/21) in Las Vegas when The Luxor Hotel & Casino will open The Bruce Buffer Poker Room.

On the weekend of UFC 114 on 5/29 in Las Vegas with Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans, there will be a UFC Fan Expo in Vegas and part of the festivities will be a “Buffer 180” contest hosted by Silver Star. When Silver Star got their first shipment in of Buffer shirts, they sold them out. As for the “Buffer 180” contest, there will be tryouts on the Friday of the UFC 114 weekend and then the finalists will compete on Saturday for Silver Star prize packages.

Here’s how Buffermania describes the contest:

“There’s going to be some foolishness. I hope they have them sign disclaimers before they go up on stage. I guarantee you that there’s going to be one or two people in the bunch that are going to try to pull off a 360. God bless you. Be careful, that’s all I can tell you.”

And here is Bruce describing what goes through his mind before he goes the “Buffer 180” and the “Buffer 360” moves:

“I’m getting my head into the game, I’m getting my blood flowing, I’m getting in there to announce the greatest warriors in the world but at the same time I’m limbering up my body because I just don’t stand stiff and announce like most every other announcer does with all respect, so I recommend that if you’re going to enter the 180 contest which starts on Friday the PR’s at and you can go there and you can see what’s involved, you’ll be signing up at the Silver Star Booth you’ll have to try a 180, show how you announce in the Silver Star Booth, and I think the way it works is the the Top 30 people, they’re expecting a lot of people, the Top 30 people will come back on Saturday and compete for prize packages put together by Silver Star which will not be cheap prize packages, trust me, there’ll be a lot of gear in there.”

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro-Wrestling, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 7 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

7 Responses to “WWE legend Steve Austin: If MMA existed a generation ago, a lot of guys in pro-wrestling would have done MMA instead.”

  1. edub says:

    Got to Googling the Steiner brothers right after I read the article. I literally screamed yes out loud in my office when I found an old video of the match between Sting and Lex Luger vs. The Steiner Bros at the first Superbrawl.

    I cannot wait to get home.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    This is exactly the point I made about Pro Wrestling dying a slow death in America. One of the points I brought up was that the pool of talent that McMahon has to pull from is now competing in MMA. It has completely killed the WWE. They are only left with aging legends and a really small pool of athletes to go from. Heck, look at all the young guys they have in there. They are horrible.

    I liked Austin. He was great in ECW. I was so pissed when they turned him into the Million Dollar Champion when he came into the WWF. But when they finally let him be himself. And really go back to what he created in ECW…. It was a glorious few years.

    There are a few interviews he did in ECW that to this day I can still watch and it gets my heart pumping. You can see the real anger in his face about how his career went in WCW. Nothing like taking real life and putting it into your character.

    • Mark says:

      I think his debut promo ranting about WCW management is second only behind Mick Foley’s amazing promo likening the nuking of Japan to why he has to destroy Tommy Dreamer as the best ECW promo ever.

  3. kjh says:

    Well, if there was more money to be made in being a MMA fighter, then yes, yes they would. If not, no, not they wouldn’t.

  4. cutch says:

    I think the likes of Jack Swagger & Shelton Benjamin would have been a force in MMA if they started earlier and obviously Kurt Angle would too if his body was’nt broken down.

  5. Tradition Rules says:

    Oh this doesn’t suprise me at all.

    I’m no visionary, but I already thought this.

    Even though pro wrestling is a “work”, the idea is that ir was suposed to be a worked fight or worked “pancration”, so to speak.

    I’ve always lean towards liking the guys in wrestling who had legit grappling skill, guys like Danny Hodge, Bill Robinson, Jack Brisco, Dean Malenko, The Steiners…even Rick Steamboat had a very strong background in amature wrestlign and after being trained by Verne Gagne, learned more “catch’ holds.

    Also, Guys like TAZZ, who had a background in wrestling and Judo and Perry Saturn, who had a background in wrestling and Karate-do & kickboxing, seems to understand how to make things look “more real”.

    This is why I also only have really enjoyed wating wrestling from Japan since 1996. Its still “fake” but it is a hell of a great deal more enjoyable, athletic and able to want to suspend disbelief for the sake of entertainement.

    And with the birth of Shooto in 1985, and Daido Juku in 1981 in Japan,it can really be said that Japan in the birthplace of modern MMA. New Japan’s focus was “pro wrestling is the strongest martial art” , especially with all of Inoki’s “MMA/ crossover fights”. So amny of those young guys that went into, and to a lesser extent, young guys today, have backgrounds in wrestling, judo, ju-jyutsu, kick-boxing, karate, Muay Thai, etc., so they already know what a rugged training routine is like.

    Some MMA fans may hate to hear this, but “Mixed Martia Arts” was a term created by New Japan during the era of Inoki.

    All that said, I hate the WWE and TNA and am a full flegged MMA fan.

  6. Mark says:

    I don’t think every big wrestling star would have done MMA. I think Undertaker, Lesnar, Taz, the Steiners, RVD, Danielson, Angle, Swagger, CM Punk, Bad News Allen, Iron Sheik (MAKE YOU HUMBLE IN ZE OCTAGON~!) and most of the All Japan guys, would have definitely bypassed wrestling since they all have amateur wrestling or martial arts backgrounds.

    But, the idea that every pro wrestler wouldn’t go into the business is not the case. There are tons of guys who would never survive in real fights. I cannot see Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Jeff Hardy, Edge, ect. being able to fight at an MMA level ever. And lots of guys, believe it or not, love the pro wrestling business because they enjoy the performance of it than being a great shoot fighter. Wrestling would have survived.


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