Source: The Steve Austin Show
On episode 400 of The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on WWE's recent Royal Rumble special event. Among other things, Austin discussed the WWE Championship match between John Cena and AJ Styles, Cena's unparalleled WWE run, the Royal Rumble match itself, and Roman Reigns' improvement.
"Man, Cena and AJ went out there and had about a 24-minute match and it was just a bust-ass performance by both guys. And what I appreciated about it, and really the whole pay-per-view, was the pacing of the match, completely satisfying everything that I needed to happen, just to believe and buy in because they sold everything to the degree it needed to be sold."
Austin went on to say Cena has had one of the best runs in the history of professional wrestling and he has had even more big matches than Austin himself.
"When you look at the run that Cena [has] had, it's one of the best in the history of the [professional wrestling] business. And when you look at the body of work, I've said it, he has had more high profile, big, big pressure matches than I have. He has been around a lot longer and he [has] delivered in about 99% of those matches."
In Austin's view, Cena is a great worker in the squared circle and while he is not the smoothest, he does not have to be.
"Cena can flat out work. Bottom line." Austin said, "the guy can flat out work. He's not the smoothest guy in the ring, he's not Brad Armstrong, [but] he ain't got to be. He's John Cena. He's built like a brick s--thouse. He's strong as an ox. That finishing sequence… the dude is one of the hardest working guys in the business. He [has] always got a smile on his face."
Also, Austin mentioned that Cena has been political backstage to protect himself.
"Hey man, it's a pressure cooker and you get a lot of s--t on you. And you've got to protect yourself, which Cena does, he does it in a very political fashion. He's a super-smart, savvy guy."
Austin professed that Braun Strowman looked good all night at the Royal Rumble and that he really enjoyed the event.
"Braun came out there, this guy's a work in progress, looked like a superstar the entire night from interfering in the Roman Reigns/KO match, doing the damage there [and] not overstaying his welcome like a jabroni. Get the f--k back. Going into the Royal Rumble [match], he looked very polished. He looked very confident."
On the subject of the Royal Rumble match itself, Austin stated that he enjoyed it immensely. Moreover, Austin indicated that he "loved Reigns at the 30 spot".
"Everything made sense for me, so I enjoyed the s--t out of it." Austin continued, "a lot of people s--t on Roman Reigns in the 30 spot. I popped because I'm thinking, 'dude, here's the setup, guys. Something's up.' And then, [Chris] Jericho gets out, so there's the three [remaining entrants, Reigns, Randy Orton, and Bray Wyatt], so you got two heels and a baby. You know it's going to be a double-team. You know Roman Reigns is somehow going to defeat two heels again and he's going to win the f--king Rumble. Setup. I smelled a rat from the beginning and I just couldn't believe what I was going to end up seeing. He goes to charge Randy Orton, spear, and, of course, Randy Orton connects with an RKO. Boom. Over the top rope. Randy wins. I thought Roman Reigns in the 30 spot was a fantastic idea and great booking."
As for Reigns, Austin acknowledged that 'The Big Dog' is improving and that it took Austin himself over seven years to become a complete performer.
"I think he's coming into his own though. And I don't think he's where he needs to be right now. I just still maintain, man, he's just a good looking guy, great body, he [has] got presence. Needs to work on the promos, but I think his words are coming a little bit more [naturally]. I think he's starting to finally get a sense… and finally, lets not get lost on the fact that the kid [has] only been in the [professional wrestling] business five years. So it took me five years trying to get it, and by seven-and-a-half, I really started talking when Paul E. [Heyman] gave me a shot down there in ECW. So then, seven-and-a-half when they really started pushing 'Stone Cold'. Then, I was a well-rounded mechanic. I could work heel or baby. Then, I started putting the promo together."
Austin explained that the members of The Shield were protected, but now each of 'The Hounds Of Justice' have to do everything for themselves individually. Austin predicted that Reigns will have a monster babyface run after a heel run.
"In The Shield, those guys were all protected because whether it was Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, or Roman Reigns, in their totality, all they had to do was 33.3% of the work and the other guys could fill in. So now, they're all having to do everything. And I really think Roman has progressed. And he still needs to improve, but I see a really good run [for] that kid [as] a heel first - I keep saying this and it's just me - and once he has that heel run, I think he has the potential to have a monster baby run. But I still believe in him." Austin continued, "I'm a fan. Sometimes, early on, I picked on him because I had to pick on him because I had to call out the obvious! I can't sit here and lie!"
Click here to listen to the show. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit The Steve Austin Show with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
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