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Stone Cold Steve Austin Talks Samoa Joe, Nakamura vs. Zayn, AJ Styles & More!

WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin recently talked to Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard website. The Extra Mustard branch of Sports Illustrated is described as the place “where culture meets sports.” The former six-time WWF Champion spoke about various topics including his most recent venture into the beer business, AJ Styles carrying Roman Reigns, and his problem with this year’s Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn match.

Austin was promoting his new beer line, The Broken Skull IPA, which launched just recently. He talked about how much he loves beer and how he wanted to get into the beer industry for a long time. He’s happy he’s getting to do it on his own now, but he explains how it almost happened a decade-and-a-half ago with WWE. “Stone Cold Beer” was a done deal according to Austin and was in the very last stages of production before it was called off due to issues he had with WWE. He was told to randomly lose to Brock Lesnar on an episode of Raw in 2002 with no build up or anything.

“That’s the time they wanted me to do something I didn’t want to do with Brock, and I said, ‘Hey man, f— you. That blew the beer deal up, so I would have been in the beer business over fifteen years ago had I not walked out of the company that one day. I f—– myself. It was bullsh–, but I could be right there with the bigs, but now I’m solo. I came up with this on my own as Steve Austin, so I’m probably more proud of it just for the sake of I created this as Steve Austin and not the character that I played in the WWE ring.”

Austin also went on to talk in great depth about his wrestling career and how he became the character of “The Rattlesnake” that dominated WWE’s Attitude Era. When discussing his career, he brought up the time Owen Hart dropped him on his head with a piledriver at SummerSlam 1997 and how in the moment he genuinely thought he was paralyzed.

“I would never say I was lucky to get dropped on my head, but I guess I could say I was lucky I got dropped on my head,” said Austin, who laughed slightly at his prior statement. “That sounds f—– up, but it changed my work style. If I hadn’t got dropped on my head, I think I would have kept wrestling the style that I was wrestling. But I remember everything, I never lost consciousness. I was razor sharp, like a big gong went off. I remember laying there for a sixty seconds, and very calmly thinking, ‘I’m Christopher Reeves, I’m never going to walk again.’”

Austin also talked about WWE’s current product and how he feels Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura should be on the main roster rather than NXT. The following are his comments on Joe and how he feels a good run for him in WWE is long overdue.

“Joe should have been on the roster a year ago. F—, I’m the biggest Samoa Joe fan in the world. I was bucking for that guy two or three years ago. What the f—, you’ve got a 15-plus year veteran hitting the ropes, going through drills, and putting on matches at NXT? Are you f—— ribbing me? The kid only has so many miles and bumps in his tank. I’m a huge Samoa Joe fan, give him a run.”

Continuing along the NXT train, Austin mentioned how Shinsuke Nakamura’s WWE future will be interesting to follow as he believes he’s a huge star. Nakamura’s match against Sami Zayn this past April from NXT TakeOver: Dallas is considered by many to be the match of the year so far. However, Austin had one major critique about the match that made it just “alright” in his opinion. This critique also lends to how highly he thinks of Nakamura as a star.

“I was in Dallas when he wrestled Sami Zayn at NXT, and it was alright, a fifty-fifty match. I thought Shinsuke should have taken sixty percent of that match instead of going fifty-fifty. It was even offense. You’ve got that sensational, charismatic cat–the ‘King of Strong Style’–coming from Japan, and he’s special, and all of a sudden you want him to go fifty-fifty? How is he going to get over on the main roster if he’s going fifty-fifty with, all due respects, Sami Zayn?

“Sami–who I love–is he working the main event right now? Is he in the IC picture? He ain’t. So all of a sudden Sami’s going with this guy who, I’m hoping, is going to light up American crowds and be the modern-day f—— [Great] Muta. Well, that’s a tall order when you’re working fifty-fifty with a guy on the mid-card. And that’s with respect for Sami Zayn, because the dude is a badass hand.”

Austin’s going to have “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles on his Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network next Monday, June 20 immediately following Raw. In talking about Styles, Austin gave his thoughts on him as well as how he felt Styles carried Roman Reigns through their WWE Title feud.

“AJ Styles just carried Roman Reigns to two world class matches back-to-back. The second one wasn’t as good as the first, but it’s hard to top an all-time classic. Reigns carried his end, but that was all AJ. They keep beating that f—— kid, and they’ve got a potential superstar on their hands. He’s only been working 16, 18 years, f—, he’s got it figured out. Put a rocket on his ass and send him to the moon. I would love to see them run with Styles. I called him over the last time I saw him, which was before he got into that string of really good matches, and we’d never met. I said, ‘Hey man, good luck.’

“When you see guys like that–who have been around the world and are veterans, you want them to finally get paid. He’s paid a million dues and he ain’t made no money. I want to see the kid go out and have a seven-figure year finally.”

Austin also goes on to talk about how he thinks Kevin Owens should get a run with the WWE Title, Brock Lesnar being the total package, Cody Rhodes and if he would have left if he’d known the brands were splitting, and plenty more. You can click here to read this interview in its entirety.

Picture used above is courtesy of Steve Austin, Broken Skull Ranch.