Steve Austin: “Here’s the thing about John Cena…that guy’s walking on the edge of a razor blade. Some people love to hate him, some people love to love him. But let me tell you something about John Cena; they all respect him. That guy has done a tremendous job for that company. He’s a guy that always shows up, he’ll work in pain, he always has a smile on his face. He goes to the nth degree to promote that brand. I’ve got nothing but respect for that guy. Really the way the fans take him. Some people say, ‘Would you please stop pushing this guy down our throat?’ But they’re not. He’s the face of the company. What do you do? Make number one the Blistering Heel? I tried that back in the day and I was Stone Cold. I was that grey area between black and white. Cena’s the face of the company, you don’t do that. When you turn down the cameras, the lights…he’s the face of the company. John Cena is a young veteran. He’s been in the ring, he’s told some great stories, he’s had a lot of high profile matches. He’s a young man, but he’s a veteran. You gotta work smarter, not harder. John, take care of your body.”
ABTV: Talk about the birth of Redneck Island…
Steve Austin: “That is a highly guarded secret…when the show was first pitched to CMT, it was basically about any group of individuals that would go to an island and then when CMT heard about it…It was just basically a general pitch, but when CMT heard of it they said, ‘Dial it down and make it fit our demo and call it Redneck Island.’ [CMT] cast some people that we have, good living, fun loving, people from the south and let them compete.”
ABTV: Does the entire production team go to film in Mexico or do they hire locals?
Steve Austin: “Pretty much everyone goes. There have been a couple people that have lived over there, but it’s a pretty vast effort. It’s not no rinky dink production. There’s a lot of blood sweat and tears going on behind the scenes and I’ve met some of the most passionate people that I have ever worked with…When they broke down [the show concept] to me, I fell in love with it immediately and now that we’ve done it for three seasons and the work behind the scenes is so intensive and such a labor of love, I’m so proud of it and I hope it continues for many more seasons.”
ABTV: What do you do in your spare time? Swim? Fish?
Steve Austin: “I like to hunt deer. You’re not gonna find me out in the water where I have a real good chance of getting my leg bit off by a shark. There’s going to be a lot of things that happen to me in life, but getting my leg bit off by a shark is not gonna be one of them.”
ABTV: Do you get to try challenges?
Steve Austin: “No, I’ve taken enough bumps in my life that I’m not a thrill seeker. All I want to do is go run the rednecks through all the phases, go to the gym, make money, take my ass home, that’s it! I don’t need to do these things, I wanna watch and laugh.”
ABTV: Do you come up with challenges?
Steve Austin: “No, but they pitch [the challenges] to me. Run them all by me and then I put in my creative two cents and that’s all it’s worth is two cents. But then it kinda goes back to the wrestling business, when it came time to my storyline I was good at putting the salt and pepper on the main points that would make it that much better. It’s better to season a part of a steak rather than grab a whole steak, so I do have my input, but by in large you have some really talented people putting these [challenges] together for these rednecks.”
ABTV: Will ‘Redneck Island: All Stars’ ever happen?
Steve Austin: “I’ve been hearing that on my twitter. I get asked that a lot. Do I know if that will happen, right now talking to you? No. We need a couple more seasons in order for that to happen, but is there a possibility for something like that to happen down the road.”
ABTV: How has it been getting back to the gym after your surgery?
Steve Austin:“Right now I haven’t been workin’ out too much. I had a few set backs, but to answer your question [I work out] usually 5-6 days a week. Normally, I’m in there for about an hour and if things are going well I will add in 30 mins of cardio. I live about 2 miles from Gold’s [Gym]. I’ve been training there for many years, but I started training at a little hole in the wall place when I was healing up my shoulder a couple year’s ago.”
ABTV: What is the most surprising thing from doing Redneck Island?
Steve Austin: “One of the things that was interesting …man these people, [the contestants], are so nice. You’re used to other reality shows where people are practically stabbing knives at each other, ready to just do anything to win and it’s been different with these people. They have been friendly with each other and that’s just kinda the way people from the country are.”