Q&A with Scott Steiner: The sequel
My interview with Scott Steiner a few weeks ago elicited more response than any of the Q&A's I’ve posted since starting the blog a little more than a year ago. In particular, Steiner’s unflattering comments about Ric Flair, Triple H and Shawn Michaels touched a nerve with readers. Some applauded the controversial Steiner for speaking his mind, while others accused him of being bitter and jealous.
In this follow-up interview, Steiner clarifies some of his statements and responds to his critics.
A number of people who saw your comments about Ric Flair, Triple H and Shawn Michaels said that you were bitter and jealous of their careers. What is your response?
I have nothing to be bitter about. I’ve made a lot of money, and more importantly, I’ve saved a lot of money. I’m not bitter. I love this business and that’s why I’m still in it. I’m just telling you the way it is, man. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
There’s no way I’m jealous, because there’s no way I would want their careers. For one thing, I couldn’t be Triple H because there’s no way I could [have sex] with Chyna. And he was doing that before she even got face reconstruction. There has only been two people in the history of the Howard Stern Show where they had them go to the bathroom to make sure [they were women] – Chyna and Nicole Bass. And she was on the show after the face reconstruction.
Look at Triple H’s career before he started (having sex with) the boss’ daughter: He lost to Ultimate Warrior in 30 seconds; he was losing to guys like Alex Wright in WCW; he lost to one of the Godwins in a pig slop match. And then all of a sudden he’s [having sex with] the boss’ daughter and he’s the toughest guy in the world. I’m not the only guy who thinks that. It’s no secret what Kurt Angle thought of Triple H and Shawn Michaels. Here’s one story I got from Kurt: Triple H was trying to block Kurt Angle from winning the [WWE] world title. He said in a meeting, “I think Kurt Angle’s too small.” And Jerry Brisco stood up and said, “Well, what do you think would happen if you guys fought for real?” And he sat down, shut his mouth and they ran with it.
Shawn Michaels is one of those wise-cracking guys who would say a smart comment to you, but then if you face him, he would run and cry somewhere. That’s exactly what happened one time when he was cutting down the Harris Brothers – I think it was Don Harris. Finally, he had enough. He waited until Shawn Michaels got in the room, kicked everybody out of the room, shut the door, grabbed him by the neck and was going to pound the [heck] out of him. A tear came down his eye. He turned around, started laughing and walked out. That is Shawn Michaels in a nutshell.
As for Ric Flair, I could go on and on. I was there one time when we were doing TV tapings at Center Stage [in Atlanta], and Rick Rude followed Flair around for about an hour and just totally blistered him. He told him he looked like hell and he was friends with the booker, totally blistering him. Finally, Flair had enough, left and did not come back to Center Stage until after the TV taping started. People think I’m making this stuff up.
Wahoo McDaniel could not stand him. He told me one time Blackjack Mulligan knocked Flair out with one punch. Jim Crockett at one time owned the NWA. I always liked David and Jackie Crockett, but I only met Jim Crockett once or twice, and everyone thought he was a [jerk]. But Flair had him as the best man in his wedding. Who has the promoter as his best man? Wahoo said back in the day when there were territories all around the country, one of the ways the boys made sure they wouldn’t get fired and wouldn’t have to worry about a job from week to week, is they would borrow money from the promoter. That way the promoter couldn’t fire them because he wanted to get his money out of them. Wahoo said that Flair had tax problems and Jim Crockett bailed him out, so there’s no way he was going to get rid of Ric Flair. Wahoo did not like him, did not like his wife – he called her the rat from Raleigh. The stories he would tell me – he just blistered him. And Flair had no idea.
When I was in WWE, it was right after Andre The Giant had died. We were doing a Raw in New Jersey. I was talking to Rene Goulet, who was an agent then. Everybody was pretty bummed out because everybody loved Andre – I only met him once, so I didn’t know him that well. Flair came by and did his usual, “Wooo!” I swear to God, Rene was so [angry], he wanted to punch him out. He said Flair lived like two hours from where Andre was buried in North Carolina. He said, “That piece of garbage. He wouldn’t drive two hours to pay his respects to Andre.” He wanted to kill him. I could go on and on.
I remember a world title match back in 1991 between you and Flair at a Clash of the Champions. What was it like working a match with him? Did you have a different opinion of him back then?
No. I always knew he was a piece of garbage. Flair never drew when I was in the NWA and WCW. Flair had all of his friends booking him on top and we were not drawing. People can say what they want, but I was there and we did not draw nothing. They may have papered the crowd to make it look good for a Clash or a pay-per-view, but we did not draw. I can say for a fact that Flair at that time did not draw a dime. And they say he was the greatest? If you want an honest opinion, you ask somebody who they would rather be on the card with – Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair. If they don’t say Hulk Hogan, they’re out of their minds. At least you knew when you were on a Hulk Hogan card you were going to get paid. Thank God in WCW we had guaranteed contracts. If we had been paid by the houses that we were drawing, we would have starved.
Here’s the deal with that Clash of the Champions. Things had gotten so bad, and they wanted to put the belt on somebody else. They actually wanted to make me the world champion. I had just beaten Ric Flair in a gauntlet match to set up for the Clash of the Champions. So we’re going over the match backstage, and he was like, “Yeah, I got this, I got that,” and then he went out there and sandbagged. It was one of the worst matches I ever had. And I was wondering, “What was that?” The match I had with him in the gauntlet was 10 times better. So I went in the back and I was disappointed. Then I heard a couple weeks later, he was telling people in the office that I got tired, I wasn’t ready for the spot. And to tell you the truth, I really didn’t want to be the world champion. At the time, I still wanted to team with my brother. About a month later, I was wrestling him in Philadelphia, and I gave him nothing. He tried to hit me with a chair, and I grabbed the chair and hit him with it. I just beat the crap out of him. I came back after our match and waited for him right at the door, waiting for him to say something. If he would have said something I would have clocked him one, but he didn’t say nothing. He put his head down and walked back to his dressing room. He’s a punk, man.
Flair was messed up on so many different levels. One time in Baltimore, Sting was going to beat Flair for the belt. So Flair pulled Sting aside, and Sting thinks he’s going to tell him something about the match or give him some big knowledge, and this is what he said to him, and Sting could not believe it. Flair said, “When you get married, it’s a big deal. When you have kids, it’s a big deal. But there’s nothing like winning the world title.” Sting came back and grabbed my brother and I and Lex [Luger], and said, “You’re not going to believe what Flair just told me.” That’s how messed up he was.
Here’s a story that Gary Hart told me. He was managing Muta at the time, and they were going to go in a different direction with Muta. Basically, they were thinking about getting rid of Gary Hart, and he was hurt by it. Back in the day, if you were NWA champion, different territories had to give you their vote to keep you as champion. Gary at one point was in Texas. So Flair at that time came by, whined and dined him and kissed his [butt]. So, later when they were thinking about firing Gary, he said to me, “I went up to him now to see if he could help me out, and that piece of [garbage] said he couldn’t do nothing for me.” Two or three weeks later, he was fired. That’s the way Flair was. He used you, and then he cut your throat.
Another thing that people took issue with was when you said that Triple H and Shawn Michaels were the only guys in WWE who respected Flair. What about guys like Batista, Chris Jericho and Big Show – who was crying during Flair’s Hall of Fame speech and during his farewell on Raw – and others?
Trust me, if it was a different time, Flair would cut their throats in a second, but he’s not in that position anymore. When Flair was in Evolution, he knew he needed those guys to keep his spot, so he helped them out. So I believe Batista has respect for him, because he helped him out. As far as Big Show, I think he’s a crier. He cried when Hulk Hogan retired, too. Can’t take him to a sad movie, either (laughs).
I think some people believe that you don’t respect anybody. Are there any guys in the business that you do have respect for?
The main guy you have to have respect for is Hogan. Hogan was the man. I remember when I was [in WWE], Chief Jay Strongbow used to call him the golden goose. He always said he could lay a golden egg. That was the respect that Hogan had – because he drew. The greatest is the one who draws the money. Would you rather be a 16-time world champion like Flair or would you rather be like Bruno, who had a 10-year run like he had and always sold out Madison Square Garden? That’s respect, man.
You have to respect the guys that have set attendance records and drew a lot of money – like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. And, of course, The Rock, not only for what he’s done in wrestling, but what he’s doing right now in the movies, which is unprecedented, where a wrestler has been so successful in Hollywood. One of the guys that I most respect is Kurt Angle. When he left WWE, I think a lot of people thought he was the best wrestler there. Not only that, but he was an Olympic champion. I think a lot of people don’t realize how hard it is to be an Olympic champion. Wrestlers in general I respect, because it’s a hard life.
One of your biggest gripes with Flair is that he was cutthroat in his backstage politics. A lot of people say that Hogan was far worse when it came to playing politics.
Oh, God. No. Flair was 10 times worse, and Hogan was a man about it. Hogan, if he didn’t like you, he wouldn’t [BS] you; he just wouldn’t talk to you. He wasn’t like these guys that come up to you and be all “ha-ha” and tell you you’re the greatest and then go behind closed doors and stab you in the back. Hogan had the best contract because he had creative control, and everybody knew that. But he had that respect man, and you got to give it to him. Hogan was the master. He went up there and actually convinced Vince, and he beat Triple H for the belt. I loved it. You know it had to [tick] off Triple H. And it was the worst match ever. It happened right after Hogan had that great match with The Rock at WrestleMania. And then Triple H wrestled him [a month] later and it was horrible. And they say Triple H is such a great worker. Yeah, right.