“It Was Just a Grittier Product” – After The Undertaker’s Controversial Statement, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin Gives His Verdict on Today’s WWE Product

Published 02/06/2021, 6:30 AM EST
HOUSTON – APRIL 05: Stone Cold Steve Austin salutes the crowd one last time at “WrestleMania 25” at the Reliant Stadium on April 5, 2009 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)


There is a never-ending debate about the current WWE product and its difference from the early days of wrestling. The Undertaker caused a huge stir when he called the current WWE product ‘soft’ and said that he did not like it. Now we have the opinion of fellow WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin as well.

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While speaking to ESPN First Take, host Stephen A. Smith asked Austin about his opinion on the ‘new’ WWE and its difference from the old product. He said apart from the brute strength of the old times, wrestlers today are much more athletic.
“Today is a different era. It’s a more athletic product. The guys and girls are better athletes than we were.” Austin said, “from where I broke in, World Class Championship Wrestling, and into the Attitude Era, my peak, I just think the business was a lot more protected back then.”

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Back then, storylines and kayfabe were strictly protected, and the style was much more gruesome. However, as he grew up watching the likes of NWA, Mid-South, Power Pro from Bill Watts, Austin is habituated with the “grittier” product.
We really pushed the envelope creatively as far as the Attitude Era goes. It was just a grittier product, which is a kind of what I thrive on.”
However, Steve Austin and The Undertaker are different on one matter in the argument. Although Austin is somewhat of a hardcore legend, his opinion on the matter is astounding.

Stone Cold Steve Austin respects the craft of Wrestling

Austin may not prefer the current WWE product, but he has immense respect for the current generation of superstars. He particularly appreciated their work ethic in the pandemic.
All respect to all the men and women of WWE for working through this pandemic and working without crowds because when you watch the football games being played with no crowd or at 25 percent capacity of crowds, those crowds affect your performance.

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Especially in the ring, in professional wrestling, because that’s how you get your feedback, as far as your decision-making process. So, I miss the crowds, and it is a different product today, Stephen [A. Smith].”
Apart from Undertaker, Goldberg agreed on the ‘soft’ status of WWE. It is refreshing to see a legend like Austin siding with the new generation.

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Angana Roy

860 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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