Sitting down with Bill Apter of SportsKeeda, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin discussed Mark Calaway’s success with The Undertaker character, and whether or not another performer could have made it work.
The Texas Rattlesnake also spoke about seeing potential Hollywood stardom in a young Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
You can check out out some highlights from the interview below:
On another performer making The Undertaker character work: “If they had given that gimmick to anybody else, and I’ve told Mark this to his face, it might have lasted two years, maybe three, and then it would have just fell off and nobody would have been able to do it like he did. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing where they caught lightning in a bottle, and I knew Mark was going to be a star when we stunk out the Sportatorium. He was working as the Punisher and I was Stunning Steve, or whatever he was called. Mark is an amazing talent, and for him to be able to make that run and make those micro-adjustments to that character and stay in touch with that fanbase, and always at the top, and if not at the top, very near the top, to keep himself in that position for Vince to use as he did, a friggin’ master.”
On seeing potential Hollywood stardom in Dwayne Johnson: “Who would have figured, but I think that’s what he had his sights set on. He’s a third-generation pro wrestler so he got into the business because of a passion for the business, and then also saw the light on the other side, or the light at the end of the tunnel and that first tunnel was maybe that first Scorpion King movie. I think it only took just one screenshot of him looking like a movie star, this larger-than-life character that he was in that movie, whether it was The Mummy or whatever it was, and then almost he tried to fit into Hollywood standards and says, ‘no, no, no just let me do this my way.’ The thing I like about the Rock is he goes ‘hey man, I’m not going to try to mold myself down, I’m just gonna be me,’ and that’s what he’s done and he has taken over Hollywood by himself. And everybody else is doing their things, but yeah, I could definitely see it back then, that a guy like him would have the capability and the want to to succeed like he has.”