I just bought ECW Hardcore History on DVD the other day, and one of the special features on the disc is a Steve Austin promo. This is post WCW pre WWF Austin. No gotee, blond crew cut, hunting jacket younger looking Austin. He cuts a 5 to 10 minute 'shoot' style interview that was just awsome. It was intense. It was straight forward, from a character standpoint. It was entertaining.
Now I'm not trying to say that Steve Austin current mic work sucks, because it doesn't. He's one of the best storytellers on the mic and still puts out great interviews. I guess what I'm saying is that he's gotten a stuck in a formula, even before the "what" craze. It made me miss the old Austin and the early WWF Austin. This Austin started to come back again when he was a heel, but is gone probably forever.
Hey, 'The Formula' Steve Austin is what the masses seem to want. It's what sells tickets, so you gotta do what you gotta do, but I for one will miss the cutting edge Steve Austin that many have forgotten or may have never known.
I have a tape of those ECW Austin interviews and matches. They're great, but it's because they're real for the most part. I don't think it's that Austin is slipping so much as he's no longer in the desperate position that he was back then, that inspired that kind of mic work. I don't think we'll see anything like that from Austin again until he retires.
"No one has a beer party at Scott Hall's expense!"
I think Maven will be a star in the future, provided he improves a lot. It seems to me that the WWF is running with him trying because of the exposure of TE, while using him as an advertisement for TE2.