Scott Steiner: “When I’m Wrestling, That’s Really the Only Time that I am Free” (Interview)

You have a problem and you need a man to help you and beat someone? No problem, Scott Steiner is here for you. As politically incorrect as he may be, The Genetic Freak is back in the Impact Zone again because Eli Drake asked him to come back and help him defeat LAX for the IMPACT World Tag Team Championship. Last year, Josh Mathews did the same when he wanted to get rid of Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park at Slammiversary XV. Being in a conference call with Scott Steiner is a unique experience because the man is meant to go off rails. On Wednesday, in the middle of a flurry of curse words, Scott Steiner shared on his upcoming match at Redemption, his experience on Impact Wrestling and on a 35-year career that seems not to find an end.

From Slammiversary XV to Redemption

Last time we had the chance to see Scott Steiner on Impact was last July at Slammiversary XV when he teamed up with Josh Mathews. When I asked him about, Steiner confessed he wasn’t at his best at that time. “When I came back against Joseph Park and Jeremy Borash, I wasn’t in the best shape as I could be at that time. I had surgery in February and wrestled in July. That match had been thrown out because I’m not wrestling Joseph Park but Abyss. I like Josh Mathews and I could have come in a better shape than I was then because I had no time to work out and rehab my shoulder. So it’ll be interesting to see the progress of me as I’m ready to be dominant again.”

This time Steiner will team up with The Namer of Dummies himself, Eli Drake. For a man who’s not used to praising wrestlers, Big Poppa Pump has nothing but great things to say about him. “I never really knew him right before he called me up, paying me to help him come beat some people up. But he’s actually very talented. He definitely has the mic skills to back everything else up. I think he’s going to be on top for a while as he’s definitely one of the top guys in professional wrestling today. His potential is unlimited.” Scott Steiner is impressed by the “pretty cool dude” Eli Drake can be.  “You’re going to watch me again become a World Tag Team Champion with one of the best guys they are in Impact right now, Eli Drake.” Not only Scott Steiner is decided to beat up LAX, Santana, Ortiz and his old friend Konnan but he also wants the Gold with his partner.

Steiner had already been TNA World Tag Team Champion with Booker T in the Main Event Mafia era in 2009. But the story between Big Poppa Pump and TNA/Impact Wrestling is a long and complicated one. He teamed up with Petey Williams, a man he truly loves and respects, and make him his protégé circa 2008. Since 2006, he has witnessed all the different regimes that have run the company. “The first part when I wrestled for Jeff was the reason why it actually came in the first place was to help him out and have a viable alternative to just one wrestling organization in the United States. Then of course we formed one of one of the greatest factions in professional wrestling, the Main Event Mafia, with all the collections of former World Champions and that was great. The beginning was the most profitable time at TNA, as far as viewership, making money, merchandise and all that stuff combined. Unfortunately, that led to the next incarnation, which was working for Dixie Carter that brought in Hulk Hogan and all those other guys. That’s what killed it. My third incarnation is that remains to be seen. This is my second match in, so I just see how this goes, what happens, how far we can take this company and how much it can grow.”

So when he was asked to come wrestle at Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground event during WrestleMania week, in order to beat up oVe with the help of Teddy Hart, Steiner rose to the challenge. “It was good. I was happy. The crowd was electric. Everybody was having fun. When it’s like that, that’s when it’s great to be in the ring. When people like you and are excited for you to be out there. That’s what makes wrestling great. So I had a good time.” If he’s not keen to befriend with guys in the locker room, he’s aware of Brian Cage using the Steiner Screwdriver as his finisher. Something he has no problem with. “Imitation is the best form of flattery and Brian Cage is actually a good guy. He looks great and I put him as one of the guys in Impact Wrestling to make a big impact. Hopefully, he keeps on training and working on wrestling. He has become one of the best in the business because he has that potential and a really good look.”

During his “Slammiversary XV” match with Josh Matthews last July

The legacy of a Troublemaker

Scott Steiner has been in the business for more than 30 years, first as an amateur wrestler in university, then as a professional for some of the best companies in the world. When I asked him what motivates him to continue, his answer was pretty simple. “Punching people has always been my motivation. I don’t know why for some reason a lot of people piss me off so it’s great pleasure of punching people. I also love wrestling for the fans, in front of the crowd. There’s nothing like getting in the ring and wrestling. That’s really my motivation, the love of wrestling and the love of knocking somebody’s teeth down the throat.”

Steiner may have wrestled in front of a crowd of 193,000 people in North Korea, breaking every attendance record for a wrestling show, won every possible title in WWF, WCW, TNA, NJPW, among others, The Genetic Freak is not done yet. Like he stated, he never took a day off training. He was trained by an Olympic Champion in university who taught him the sky was the only limit. But he’s the first to be surprised by his longevity. “When WCW closed in 2001, I actually retired. But wrestling in front of people and meeting the fans is really addicting. Then the love of wrestling keeps me going on. When I was a young man, I thought I was going to retire early. But then what do you do to replace that excitement? How do you replace the adrenaline rushes? I never thought I’d be still be wrestling but I’m doing it out of for the love of the sport. I’m surprised as much as everybody else.  People want to pay to see me and come see me wrestling, people want to see what I do next and the thing is I can’t predict what I’m going to do next. It all happens when it happens so it’s much a surprise to me it is to everybody else. But when I’m wrestling, that’s really the only time that I am free, free to beat anybody up. So it’s great.”

Against Joseph Park last July

His moves, his character, his physique have become a part of the history of pro wrestling. If he wished he could have wrestled The Rock and Steve Austin during The Stone Cold era, Steiner has no regrets. When he was asked who could be the next Scott Steiner, he explained how his choices were risky. “Do you really want to be Scott Steiner? I’ve got in so much trouble inside and outside the ring. Let me put it this way. It takes a lot of mental strength and mental fortitude to get into trouble and stick to it and stay the course. So, is there anyone who can be the next Scott Steiner? I’m not sure anybody can handle it.”

In a way, there could only be one Scott Steiner. One Genetic Freak able to ask you in the middle of a media call if you’re married or not, just to ensure you could beat up your man. One Champion whose only motivation is to beat up people. And for sure, this Sunday at Redemption, LAX should definitely be aware of that.

All pics courtesy of Impact Wrestling. Redemption PPV will air at 1 AM BST this Sunday night, live on PPV and on GWN Network.