Home » WWE News » Steve Austin Explains What “Attitude” Means, Responds To Brock Lesnar

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Speaking to WWE Magazine, Steve Austin responds to Brock Lesnar telling ESPN.com during a recent interview promoting WWE ’12 that he was “downright scared” to face him on the June 10, 2002 Raw (Austin balked facing Lesnar, feeling the marquee bout lacked proper buildup. Ultimately, he declined to attend Raw, briefly leaving WWE).

Austin responds, “It wasn’t a Brock issue at all. It was a stupid business decision, and I flew off the handle. I was wound up pretty tight at the time. I thought they [WWE] were poking me with a stick, and I admittedly handled that in the worst possible way. It never had anything to do with Brock Lesnar—it was just a stupid business decision, and although I handled it wrong, there wasn’t anyone in that company who can tell me it was a smart move to me in that match with no build and blow a total marquee pay-per-view or rivalry that could have lasted God knows how long!

“I don’t have any problems with anything Brock said. He’s got his take on things. And anytime you can flap your gums and stir things up—well, I’m always about that.”

CM Punk’s rant on the June 27, 2011 edition of Raw emboldened a vocal audience looking to return to the edgier tone of “The Attitude Era.” That, coupled with The Rock’s return to the ring, has created a division between people longing for the days of yesteryear and supporters of the current product. Austin comments on what “attitude” means to him.

“It’s funny to me that “The Attitude Era” was named that way. Guys and gals in this business have always had attitude. But for some reason, I started cutting off-the-hook promos, and someone wanted to label it ‘The Attitude Era.’ It’s an interesting way to reference that time, but WWE has always had over-the-top, extreme attitudes. I don’t think the answer is creating something different, or bringing back the The Attitude Era. I think you need to let these cats fly. Kick them out of the nest to see if they can survive. The cream will rise to the top and the weak is going to fall by the wayside because this is a competitive environment. That’s the only way to bring any edge back into the product. It’s about letting guys fly, talking from their hearts, and their guts, and their brains. That’s what makes for exciting TV. It ain’t about ‘attitude.’ End of story.”

  • erik

    wwe needs compettion it is that simple. tna is not compettion at all. that is why wwe has terrible storylines. writers are lazy because there is no wcw anymore. just like ddp said it is like taking away coke.

  • Teran

    Attitude Era had really furiously paced matches which is something I miss. I never really notice until I go back and watch the old shows and PPVs and watch the the complete chaos and carnage that would go on week after week.

    Now everything feels so clean cut and well controlled and I dunno I just feel that takes away some of the excitement, personally.

    Also the “eras” can be defined by the music. Think about it the 80s had the typical cheesy rock music, which pretty much defined that era of wrestling, cheesy (but hey it was great). The late 90s it switched to hard rock and metal, which mirrored the edgier and more aggressive product, not the clean cut vitamins and prayers. Then now we’ve got the whole chart music typical RnB or pop or whatever silly mainstream which really doesn’t fit wrestling and basically shows the product’s mainstream pandering.

    Let’s face it, the mainstream masses look down on wrestling as entertainment, and the irony is WWE got the most mainstream attention and acceptance during the Attitude era when the characters had so much life and personality that it transcended the traditional wrestling fanbase.

    Oh well ramble ramble crowd was better, wrestlers were better, promos were better, blah blah you know what I’m saying

  • Devil_Rising


    For the record, son, I never once said “bring back the Attitude Era”. There were things to like about it, sure. But there was also a lot of stupid, needless sex humor (thanks Russo), crappy storylines (thanks Russo), and WAY too much Austin/Rock/Mankind. I like all three of those guys mind you, and I loved Takers’ stuff during that period (for the most part). But there was also a lot I could have done without, and it was one of those eras where it became more talking and promos than actual matches. Honestly, I was a bigger fan of the era BEFORE the “Attitude Era”, back when guys like Bret, Taker, Owen, British Bulldog, the LOD, Vader, Yokozuna, Mr. Perfect, Razor Ramon, Diesel, etc. were the top guys. It was goofier, but had a LOT more actual wrestling.

    As a matter of fact, at least on SD, the era after “Attitude” was over, was pretty good in that way too. Brock, Benoit, Eddie, Rey, Taker, RVD, the cruiserweights, some great tag teams, etc. A lot more actual wrestling. THAT’S what I want them to get back to. Sure, I think the PG stuff is nonsense. But then again, I could also do without Val Venis or Katie Vick as well. I think moderation is what’s best.

  • kolton

    you read his post wrong.

  • mattnichollsFEAR

    Ok, before Austin said all this… You guys were like “Bring back the Attitude Era!” Now you’ve all read this, your like “its not about Attitude, its about Freedom!” You guys are all sheep that follow the herd (in this case Austin).
    Oh and @Sean WCW folded in 2001, so I fail to see how there best time ending in 05. Unless I read your post wrong, you need to brush up on your WCW history.

  • JIR

    quick question who among the current roster would have gotten to be a champion in the Attitude Era? my gut says Punk and Orton

  • Devil_Rising


    Get real kid. CM Punk never said “bring back the Attitude Era”. Austin was saying that people started saying they should go back to that because of how fresh and off the cuff everything Punk said was. Punk had permission to say what he wanted to get heat, and he did it.

    Punk is hardly an Austin wannabe. But what he IS becoming, if WWE would fully let him be, is “this generation’s Austin”.

  • Soulshroude

    Sounds like Brock is blowing the usual “hot air from a buffalo” act.

  • http://www.watchwwe.net Bluemontoya

    I wish Steve Austin would come back.

  • Sean

    @CC There NEEDS to be a controller? That’s ridiculous. Vince does need to keep people in line, but he does NOT need to keep them on a damn leash like he does now. Cena for example, is force-fed half of his schtick and its killing his character, CM Punk creates the illusion that “WWE doesn’t want him to say this stuff” and he becomes THE MOST OVER wrestler as of right now.

    So you could not be more wrong. You’re saying there’s guys that would be lost without the leash. Are you serious? So what? WHY would you want those guys in WWE??? The show is not as good as it used to be, that means there needs to be change. I agree with Austin, it’s not about “attitude”, its about giving them freedom…let’s see who can shine, and the rest get left behind.

    IT WOULD NOT BE WCW ALL OVER AGAIN! Did you grow up watching WCW? WWE did exactly what I’m talking about for DECADES, including their most successful time (late 97-2005).

    Like it or not, you’re wrong.

  • CC

    @Bill. With the current storyline Miz seems to be moving in a more serious direction. As for giving the entire roster creative freedom, that just would not work. Some of the guys on the roster would be totally lost without direction, and the rest would let egos run wild to the point that the whole thing would break down.
    Like it or not, there needs to be a controller otherwise you end up with WCW’s final days all over again.

  • CC

    @Ramses 2, what the fuck are you talking about? Austin is one of the biggest supporters of what Punk is doing, so your comment makes no sense whatsoever.

  • ohhh u didnt no

    Austin is still the man. To many scripts and Hollywood writers

  • Bill

    Austin is dead on with what he said. Most of the WWE roster IS talented, but they need to do their own thing. Freaking Dolph Ziggler should cut his OWN promos, not Vickie just to get cheap heat. How about Cody Rhodes? Let him cut promos about how he along with his generation have been screwed by Randy Orton, Triple H, etc. Have Miz be a serious heel, rather than a loser who makes fun of the fans. Bottom line is, WWE(more specifically, Vince) is a control freak & needs to give the ENTIRE roster creative freedom.

  • ##

    Damn I wish he was still wrestling. Austin was a natural. I remember his fued with the late Chris Adams in USWA/World Class wrestling thinking this guy is gonna be something big. I miss seeing him wrestle and listening to his promos very much.

  • RAMSES 2


  • venom

    I’m glad Austin is healthy and is up for another match.

  • KGM Da Master

    Mr. Austin is a wise man of business. Im glad he refused the storyline if it werent going to last or had proper buildup. WWE does that enough today, short storylines destroy careers. People cant keep up with multiple rivals in a persons career nor do they want too. Peace

  • Tombstonepiledriver

    And “Thats the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so”!

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