WWE Superstars nowadays have to memorize scripted lines when they cut promos and this has largely been criticized by fans. This was not what Steve Austin was used to when he first came to the WWE. However, by the time he left, scripts became very common.
Steve Austin spoke to Eli Drake on the Steve Austin Show, where he talked about his reaction when he was first handed a script in WWE. He used to be given lines to read and would improvise in the ring. After he returned from injury, it all changed.
“I’ll never forget when I came back from getting my neck fused, C3 and C4, in ’99 or whenever it was,” Austin remembered. “And when I left, we were cutting promos just like I told [Drake], man, you kind of go out there and it was what it was. You might have a bullet point or two, or someone might say, ‘hey man, remember this’ or whatever, but you go out there and you cut a promo.”
“When I came back, that’s when the papers started coming around. And all-of-a-sudden, man, I’ll never forget – I’ve told this story many times, but I was in a room with Vince, and, well, somebody had to track me down. I was watching matches. ‘Hey man, Vince wants to go through this promo with you’ and so, just like this piece of paper here, and I said, ‘Vince… when I get my hands on you… I… am… going… to… tear… you… limb… from… limb…’ He goes, ‘goddamn it, Steve! Give me your A-promo!’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not going to give you my A-promo here because I can’t give you my A-promo here because I’m not ‘Stone Cold’ in here!’ I’m ‘Stone Cold’ when I get out there and that’s when I turn that sh*t on and that’s when I’m in a whole different universe. And that’s when, dude, when the red light’s going, if it’s a TV taping, or especially if it’s live, that’s when I’m really on.”
Steve Austin had to get used to the changes, as did many other superstars from his time. WWE is an ever-changing company and Austin realized that firsthand.
h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.