Recap of Steve Austin’s Podcast Dean Ambrose

Steve Austin's Podcast Dean Ambrose

The following are the highlights of Steve Austin’s interview with Dean Ambrose that was broadcast live on the WWE Network on Monday, August 8.

-Steve Austin and Dean Ambrose shook hands. Austin said they were talking pickup trucks and country music before they went on the air. Austin said he didn’t expect that from Ambrose, who said there is good and bad country and rock music. He said he prefers old music.

-Ambrose spoke about his formative years. He said he’s from Cincinnati. He said the city has given everyone him, Brian Pillman, Jerry Springer, and Carmen Electra. He said you have to check on the Electra part.

-Ambrose said his mom worked overnights and his father lived out of state. He said he and his sister figured out how to do things for themselves. He said they just wandered the streets, learned things, and did things. “We became very independent,” Ambrose said. “I really love that kind of upcoming, turning me into the person that I am.”

-Austin asked about Ambrose’s relationship with his father. He said his parents divorced when he was young. Ambrose said his mom recently quit her factory job after 13 years. He said he finally convinced her to quit her job and he paid off her home. Austin asked if he had a happy childhood. Ambrose said yes.

-Austin asked Ambrose what type of student he was. Ambrose said he did well initially, but once he got to the point where he thought as an individual, then he didn’t care. He said he didn’t care by the time he got to high school. He said it wasn’t a work ethic thing. He said he has a very strong work ethic and he’s proud of it. He said he was young and stupid. He said he dropped out of school. He said he questioned why he needed to learn certain things. “I thought I was smarter than everybody here,” he said. Ambrose said he was exploring the world of wrestling by the time he was 16 or 17.

-Ambrose said he wrestled and played football in school. He said the problem was that you had to stay eligible. Ambrose said he was a nose tackle and played both ways. He said he doesn’t think his school ever won a game because they were a tiny school.

-Austin asked what Ambrose’s parents said about dropping out. Ambrose said nothing. He compared it to the movie “Office Space” where the main character just stopped going to work. Ambrose said he was into some things in school that he should not have been. Austin pushed, but Ambrose said he probably shouldn’t be talking about it. “I was a wreck in high school,” he said. Ambrose said school came easy to him and he could have gotten straight A’s, but he was doing his own thing.

-Austin asked if Ambrose’s childhood was discombobulated compared to the norm. Ambrose said it was in some ways, but he just developed a way to look at the world he does and he doesn’t know any different. Ambrose said he feels that people who grow up in a traditional family and go get a regular job end up miserable by the time they are 30.

-Ambrose said he doesn’t have a first memory of wrestling, but he also doesn’t remember a time that wrestling wasn’t his favorite thing. He said it was a fantasy world that you wanted to be in as a kid. Austin asked who Ambrose’s favorite wrestler was. Ambrose said he missed Hulkamania, but he liked Bret Hart. He said Bret was “a cagey son of a bitch.”

-Austin asked how Ambrose got into the business. Ambrose said he always had a feeling in the back of his mind. He said he always had an intuition that he could do it and be good at it. He also said he became obsessed with wrestling as he got older. He said he used to shoplift stacks of tapes. He said he would apologize to Blockbuster Video, but they are not around anymore and can’t come after him. He said he recorded wrestling, then purchased Japanese tapes, and learned from the magazines.

-Ambrose said he loves ECW and it hit him at just the right time when he was 12-13 years-old. Ambrose said he loved Terry Funk. He said Funk wasn’t his favorite guys, but he loves all the old NWA Champions such as Harley Race, Ric Flair, Jack Brisco, etc.

-Austin asked who mentored Ambrose. He said he doesn’t really have just one. He said he went to Les Thatcher’s school and was trained by Cody Hawk. He said he couldn’t be happier that he went to their school. He said he saw a flier on a telephone pole for the Heartland Wrestling Association, and he saw the ad for Thatcher’s camp on the back of the program. He said it was like a light went off and that’s where he wanted to go. He said he hung out and sold popcorn and swept the floor because he was 16 and needed to be 18 to train. He said Thatcher runs an old school camp.

-Ambrose said some things came easy to him in school, but he’s also clumsy and other things did not. He said it was two years of getting his ass kicked. He said he loved the school. Austin said there’s no amateur style wrestling in Ambrose. Dean said that’s not his style. He said he learned to call it in the ring and that’s how he prefers it.

-Austin asked when he realized that wrestling was what he wanted to do with his life. Ambrose said he always knew. Austin asked if there was a time when he left the business. Ambrose said no. He asked Austin if he was reading the internet. Austin said no, he was watching and questioned if he worked at a health club. Ambrose said he did, but he worked weekends. He said there were times when he came close to quitting. He said that after you put in enough time and don’t get rewarded, you start to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. He said those type of failures helped him get himself to the next level. Austin asked if he had a Plan B. Ambrose said no.

-Ambrose said he decided that he might not ever become a millionaire, but he wanted to put together a good body of work. He said things started improving for him once he decided to take that approach. Ambrose said he started to develop that attitude in 2008. He said he decided he didn’t care if WWE wanted him at that point. Austin asked if WWE was the ultimate goal. Ambrose said it was.

-Ambrose said he would get frustrated watching Raw and felt that he could be right there working against John Cena. He said he decided to do his thing and be just as good as WWE wrestlers even if he was wrestling elsewhere.

-Ambrose said WWE never rolled out the red carpet for him. He said he was living on his buddy’s floor in Philadelphia when he got a call from a 203 number. He said it was a guy named Ty Bailey, who worked for WWE at the time. Ambrose thought it was a friend of his ribbing him. Ambrose said he’s lucky he didn’t screw it up because he didn’t think the call was real. He said Joey Mercury called him an hour later. Ambrose said he knew Mercury well enough to know his voice. Mercury congratulated him. Ambrose said he had to process it and called Mercury back.

-Ambrose said he was freaking out about his call. He said if they would have knocked on the door and saw him or had watched the work he was doing on the independent scene, then they probably wouldn’t have wanted him. He said he got lucky. He said he decided to go and be himself.

-Austin asked what they taught him in FCW that he didn’t know after seven years. Ambrose said he had a great time there in part because Dusty Rhodes was the booker. He said it felt like they were the bastard stepchild of WWE because there would be so little contact from the company. He said he had a program with Seth Rollins and William Regal in FCW that he’s extremely proud of and he will put them up there with anything he has ever done.

-Austin asked what Ambrose learned from Dusty Rhodes and when the light turned on for him as far as promos are concerned. Austin said that’s when he seemed to form an identity. Ambrose said it’s when he said “this is who I am, I don’t give a damn.” Ambrose recalled promo classes and thought they were stupid at the time. He said it was very odd to him and he had a bad attitude about it. Ambrose said they just did their thing on promos and thought they didn’t have scripted promos in WWE. He made it seem like it was jarring the first time he was handed a script.

-Austin said Ambrose worked as Jon Moxley and was cutting some badass promos. Ambrose said he can talk forever if you give him a mic. He said he can’t memorize three lines if he’s given a script. Ambrose said it was tough for him to get into a groove when he was trying to memorize lines. He said it wasn’t fun anymore. He said he’s gotten to the point now where he can call his own shots a bit. He said there are times when Vince tells him he can do whatever he wants, and that excites him.

-Ambrose spoke about how he used to come up with promos in his head. He cut an improvised promo about how Austin had 12 surgeries on a bum knee, and what he was going to do to that knee in their match.

-Austin asked if Ambrose likes people creating words for him. “Absolutely not,” Ambrose said. He is open to suggestions, but not having words put in his mouth.

-Austin asked if Ambrose has a chip on his shoulder and feels like he has something to prove. Ambrose said he has at times. He said he and Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns did when they started in WWE. He said they felt they were just as good as everybody else and were wrestling for peanuts in Florida. Ambrose said he doesn’t consider himself a chip on the shoulder guy these days, but it comes and goes. Ambrose said he has a confidence. He said he thinks back on the journey when he walks to the ring with the championship and it’s serious that he’s the WWE Champion and no one is going to take it away.

-Austin said the business is real to him. Ambrose said there’s nothing fake about what he went through to be at this point talking to Austin.

-Austin brought up the formation of The Shield. Ambrose said it never came up in a meeting. He said they made it up as they went along and that’s what made it so special. Ambrose said they were friends and became super tight in bonding in that experience. Ambrose said they were originally going to be goons for CM Punk when he was champion, but it never came to pass. Ambrose said they were originally given giant shields that he liked at first, but he thinks they would have looked horrible if they had wore them when they debuted.

-Austin asked about the chemistry between the three and what the pecking order was. Ambrose said it was three alpha males, but they were different enough that they weren’t stepping on each other’s toes. Ambrose said the locker room is different today with more younger guys who know each other from NXT. He said there was a divide between WWE and developmental back then. He said people got in their heads that the people wouldn’t like things. Reigns said he had a baby girl at home and didn’t care. Ambrose said they decided to beat the crap out of everybody. He said they decided they would bust their asses and be the best thing on the show.

-Austin said The Shield became cool and they had to break them up. Austin asked if it happened too fast. Ambrose said it was perfect. “You want to hit that high note and walk off stage,” he said. He said they got as high as they possibly could. He said they were crushing everyone and there wasn’t anyone left for them to go after. He said it’s also because they were so hot that nobody expected it. He said the Seth Rollins heel turn was one of the best ever because no one expected it.

-Austin asked if Ambrose was jealous when Rollins and Reigns had runs with the belt before he did. Ambrose said yes and no. He said originally he was going to be the jerk of the bunch and he intentionally acted like the sleazy one because of that. He said he told someone that in one year they would have a babyface that they don’t want in him. Ambrose said he busted his ass in the babyface role and people got behind it.

-Austin asked if it felt like Ambrose wasn’t designed to get over. Ambrose said yes. He said he wasn’t sabotaged, but he was left to his own devices and it was great.

-Ambrose said he couldn’t tell you what his character is. He said one of the coolest parts of the job is that when you get to a certain position, you can help and inspire people. Ambrose confirmed that Bret Hart did the same for him as a kid. He said the line about putting smiles on people’s faces sounds corny at first, but then you’re put into a position and you get responsibility and then you understand that’s what it is about.

-Austin asked about Ambrose facing Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Ambrose said he went to the ring pretty pissed off. He said he went out there without much of a plan. He said he felt like he was pulling teeth to turn the match into something epic. Austin asked if it was a disconnect in talent artistically. “Yeah, artistically, Brock didn’t want to do anything,” Ambrose said. Ambrose said he had a lot of ideas to make it the craziest match ever, but he was met with laziness. Ambrose said he kept thinking everything would be okay once they got in the ring. Ambrose said it’s an invigorating feeling to enter the ring with a man who could kill you with his bare hands. “It was a helluva day,” Ambrose said.

-Austin asked what the WWE Championship means to him on a personal level. Ambrose said it symbolizes that if you believe in yourself, nobody can screw with you. He said don’t let people tell you no or to put negative vibes on you. Ambrose said do your own thing, do what you want to do. He said it also helps inspire others. Ambrose said it’s weird that he’s a role model to children. He said he never would have thought it would happen in a million years, but he takes it very seriously.

-Austin asked Ambrose about his relationship with Vince. “Oh, it’s great,” Ambrose said. “Me and Vince are boys. I’m his favorite wrestler.” Ambrose said a lot of people are intimidated by Vince or get the wrong idea about him, but he finds him easy to talk to. Ambrose said Vince doesn’t want to be glad-handed. He said he had a 45-minute conversation with Vince in the lobby of the hotel when Vince was about to go work out at 2:30 in the morning. He said Vince is a trailer park street fighter at heart. Austin asked if Vince understands who and what Ambrose is. Ambrose said he thinks he does. “I’m Vince McMahon’s favorite wrestler,” Ambrose said. “Quote me. He won’t admit it, but he knows.”

-Ambrose said he loves the brand split because it creates more opportunities for wrestlers and less overexposure. He said there can be too much build to a match and you have to fill time on a three-hour show. He said he can’t even tell you how many 20 or 30-minute matches he’s had with Bray Wyatt and Kevin Owens. He said the extra day at home will also help everyone recharge their batteries. He also said he likes to be in the captain’s position on Smackdown. Ambrose said he’s not a leader like John Cena is, but he prefers to do it by example.

-Austin asks if Ambrose is comfortable. He’s comfortable in that he feels good where he’s at but now it’s really time to get to work. He says it took a lot of work to get to this point but now he can really start to build a legacy or a real championship run, building a body of work and stuff he’s always wanted to do. Austin challenges Ambrose to raise the bar, push the envelope, go out on a limb, be edgier, take more chances and be more Dean Ambrose. Austin challenges Ambrose to amp up and amplify what he’s got because the WWE Universe deserves it. Austin feels Ambrose is a bit comfortable and needs to find his edge again. Ambrose says he likes it but he tries to push the envelope every day and sometimes it doesn’t matter what you suggest. Ambrose feels like Austin put him on blast a bit but he likes that. Austin signs off for the night and shakes hands with the WWE Champion to wrap things up.


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