WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin recently spoke with Alfred Konuwa of Forbes for an in-depth interview covering all things pro wrestling. During the discussion, Austin remembered Superstar Billy Graham:
“Man, I saw that last night and I had called Superstar once or twice many years ago and talked to him about his run. I was a huge fan of his, and he didn’t really influence me, it wasn’t my style, but I just liked that he was all about the showbiz. He was a good worker in his own right. Not the greatest athlete, but so influential with the body, the promos.”
“I love the fact that he was a light worker. He wasn’t trying to go out there and shoot on people, and he was all about the showbiz part of it. He was larger than life, and had they had the wherewithal to turn him babyface at the peak of his career when he was a heel, before they put that belt on Backlund, he would’ve been Hulkamania before Hulkamania was ever invented. I think even Hogan will say that he was influenced by Superstar, but sad that he is gone. He left a hell of a mark on an industry and he was awesome. I was a huge fan.”
On Celebrity Wrestlers:
Well, if you go back, what, 20 some-odd years—maybe 25 and earlier—when they had Liberace and all the people from the showbiz world come in because they wanted to make WrestleMania just bigger than life. And it was. So they had incorporated that back then. But now we’re seeing those participants actually participating in storylines in the ring. Logan Paul’s been fantastic doing that.
It’s gone from not just getting the rub from them, but now WWE is giving people the rub by allow allowing them in and allowing them to participate, but they’ve gotta be good enough to participate. You can’t just throw somebody out there, like ‘hey, yeah, this person’s really hot in the showbiz world’ and come out there and stink out the building with a poor performance. Logan Paul has thrived in that scene and it’s a good thing. He has a great podcast, but the kid’s done a hell of a job and they’ve given him the opportunity to get in that ring.
His Mount Rushmore of His Favorite Career Moments:
“Man, I would’ve to go to the match part of it, like working with Bret the Hitman Hart, who put me on the map with Survivor Series and [WrestleMania] 13. Working with the Rock. Anytime we laced them up, he brought out the best in me and I brought the best in him. Those three WrestleManias we had were some of the greatest moments that I really enjoyed. All those Vince moments, driving all those vehicles. But if I really dig back into the stuff that I really loved, it was some of those matches. Like at the Los Angeles Forum working 30-minute Broadways with Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat with no cameras there, and a house that was only a quarter-full. But it was the work, and it was some of those old buildings in the USWA when I was learning and I was still green as grass.”
“Those are the things that I really remember; the learning periods and spending life on the road and getting into an industry where you truly had to take care of yourself and no one was gonna help you. And if you were lucky, one of those veterans—and a lot of them did—took me under their wing, under their learning tree and told me ‘hey man, this is what you need to do and you only have so many bumps in your body, so choose them wisely.’ The advice that I was given, those types of things that are the things that really matter to me.”
You can check out the complete interview below: