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Jim Ross Comments On Steve Austin Venting To Vince McMahon About His Character In 1996

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During the latest edition of his “Grilling JR” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer and AEW commentator Jim Ross commented on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin going to Vince McMahon to vent about his frustrations regarding his character in 1996, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On whether anyone other than Steve Austin was considered to win the 1996 King of the Ring after switching from Triple H: “I’d say 90 percent it was ‘it’s gotta be Steve.’ There was a discussion about Ahmed [Johnson], but I think the general consensus was he wasn’t quite ready emotionally, socially, and how he was gonna fit in. Austin, the decision to go with Steve, was immensely more popular than going with Ahmed [from the talent]. So, there weren’t any strong challenges. After Triple H got on the shit list, Austin was the logical choice. He may have been the logical choice all along, quite frankly.”

On Austin expressing his frustrations to Vince McMahon about issues with his character: “I don’t think talents do what Steve did frequently and have the balls to approach Vince and say, ‘Can we talk for a second?’ When the truth be known, he loves those discussions. He loves that aspect of his life as the owner of the company. He’s always thinking. But I think Steve was just thinking of ways to make the company better. I think a lot of talents don’t do it because they’re intimidated or don’t know how to communicate. You’ve just gotta be able to communicate. Communication is the essence of living to a large degree. You’ve gotta be able to communicate with others and listen and present yourself. A lot of guys didn’t have the confidence that Steve had in himself or what he perceived to be the autonomy to approach Vince in a very serious manner to talk about these issues.

“Those were huge issues. You’ve got a guy cutting promos that are getting pops all over the place because they’re over and funny and entertaining and timely, but damn, we want him to be a heel. If it had not been proven already by the audience and the merchandise and tickets selling, and the pops in the arena – all this great market research you have access to – Steve wasn’t gonna be a heel. People lived vicariously through him. He was perfect for that role – the ‘take this job and shove it’ mentality. Little did we know that Mr. McMahon would become the top heel in the territory and Steve would become the top babyface.”

On the creation of the Stone Cold character: “[Austin] was creating a mold for a character babyface that no one has yet to follow. When someone understands how to do that with their personality and their presentation, they’re gonna go to the bank very often because there’s where your money lies.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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