Big Show was recently a guest on Stone Cold’s The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed podcast. The two former WWE Champions talked about John Cena and whether or not he holds back wrestlers. They also discussed the number of big injuries on the roster, it being a perfect time for new wrestlers to step up, three hour Monday Night Raw’s and why you always see so many short matches on the show.
Steve Austin on the criticism that Cena holds people down and never puts anyone over.
“If you get on the internet, there [are] so many people that say, ‘oh, when is Cena going to finally put somebody over? When is Cena going to stop holding everybody down?’ Cena’s gone! Seth Rollins is gone. Cesaro kept trying and he was almost there, he almost makes it, and he gets back down. I love that guy. Neville got hurt. He’s a dynamic guy. He’s going to be good. He’s a veteran in the [professional wrestling] business. Luke Harper I love. But anyways, all those guys were all gone. Randy Orton, a tried and true veteran, second or third generation. He’d never hold anybody back. But my point is, nobody is holding [anybody] down here because if there was ever an opportunity to shine, it’s right now with five spots on the roster open.”
Big Show talks Cena being good for business.
“That’s such bulls–t anyway, Steve. When people say that, it’s a smart mark on a couch trying to be a wrestling coach. That’s not the way this business works. This business is about opportunity. You’re given opportunity. Everybody has an opportunity. John Cena’s on top for as long as he [has] been on top because, the cat, you can’t catch him. He outworks everybody around. He’s in shape. He has a look. He cuts the best promos. He represents the company well whenever he does it. He’s a tried and true guy who puts asses in seats. I’m sorry, I want John Cena on the show, just like when you were working, I wanted ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin on the show. I wanted [The] Rock on the show because I knew there were going to be asses in the seats and I was going to make a good payday. John Cena doesn’t hold anybody down. John Cena has made more stars since he has gotten in the ring, made more stars. That’s the thing people don’t understand. Being champion isn’t about winning. When you get that strap, nine times out of 10, everything is on your head. You’ve got to fill asses in seats, keep ratings up, and you’re there to get other guys over. You know, when you’re the champ, that’s the whole deal. You’re trying to get other talent up to your level and get them over.”
Big Show on 3 hour Raw’s being detrimental & why there are short matches so frequently.
“We’ve got that extra hour on TV on RAW. I don’t think that helps us sometimes because it’s too much talk and there’s too much bulls–t and the matches that should have more time don’t get enough time. It’s like a lot of matches that I’ve had lately [have] been six minutes. Okay, well, I’ve got a minute of entrance, the other guy has a minute of entrance, [so] you’ve got four minutes [left]. You can’t tell a story in under four minutes. You can’t. It’s impossible. And the matches that people think are so great are the matches that usually have two segments [or] three segments because we give you time to get emotionally invested. I think that’s one thing we make a mistake of because we’re too concerned about people channel flipping because there’s so much going on, so they keep RAW so fast paced. I think we hurt our product a little bit sometimes by not giving people matches they can get emotionally invested in.”
Mark’s reaction: Big Show’s definitely on point in talking about three hour Raw’s and short matches. I understand why WWE does it from Big Show’s explanation, but I don’t agree with it. All the short matches on Raw do more harm than good. If I can make a suggestion (even though I know it would never happen), the opening to Raw is usually about 15 – 20 minutes of uninterrupted television. Instead of the typical promo to kickoff Raw, you can easily go with a 15 – 20 minutes uninterrupted match. I’d like to see more of an effort from WWE to provide matches without interruption, like Lucha Underground. Like Show explains, being able to tell a good story in a match is important.
In regards to Cena – I think Cena’s latest run as United States Champion helped a lot in terms of changing peoples opinions about whether or not he puts wrestlers over. Although only Owens and Del Rio actually beat Cena, he made newcomers to the main roster like Neville and Sami Zayn look like stars since they almost went over him.
In regards to having a history of holding people down, many of us have heard or read stories over the years about Cena destroying certain peoples push (e.g. Alex Riley). I’m interested to hear what you have to say. Do you think criticism of Cena holding people down (recently or in the past) are valid? Also, how do you feel about three hour Raw’s and short matches? Do commercial interruptions of a match make you more likely to tune out? Let us know in the comment section below.