The announcement that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would host WWE Tough Enough – premiering on USA Network April 4, the night after WrestleMania XXVII – elicited roars of excitement throughout the WWE Universe. It’s that kind of reaction which has the iconic six-time WWE Champion and WWE Hall of Famer relishing the idea of stepping into a new ring of WWE competition and picking up a WWE microphone once again. And the bottom line? As he told WWE.com’s Joey Styles, Austin’s young Tough Enough charges will listen to every word he says. If they don’t, The Texas Rattlesnake has no problem going “Austin 3:16” on anyone who doesn’t pull their weight on WWE’s new reality series.
WWE.com: Why did you decide to host Tough Enough?
AUSTIN: I was just excited about being a part of WWE again. I still watch WWE, and I’m excited to have input in making future stars in the business that I’ve loved since I was 7 years old.
WWE.com: What are you looking for from the Tough Enough contestants?
AUSTIN: The name of the show is Tough Enough, but along with being “tough enough” to take the bumps, bruises and travel, you’ve got to know how to wrestle, how to talk and how to be charismatic. That being said, this show will be “tough enough,” as the name implies, and it will be physical. I am looking extremely forward to putting these young men and women through their paces. I will make sure they’re busting their asses in the ring with the trainers, and with me.
WWE.com: Who trained you, and what part of your training do you want to pass along to the Tough Enough contestants?
AUSTIN: I broke in back in 1989. I was trained by “Gentleman” Chris Adams, and it was decent training. I learned the basics. I paid my dues. I want to see the contestants pay their dues.
WWE.com: How is becoming a WWE Superstar today different than becoming a WWE Superstar when you did it?
Austin:There are only a couple of guys left in WWE who were around from the days of the regional territories. I came up through those territories. Back then, you had to scratch, fight and claw your way into the business. Some of these contestants have paid their dues and just not gotten a break. Some are just green. Regardless, we’ve got some fun and cool competitions. This is going to be a true competition to make one of these kids earn a WWE contract.
WWE.com: What if one of the Tough Enough contestants disrespects you?
AUSTIN: I wouldn’t stand for that B.S. I paid my dues. I know more about WWE than anything else in my life. It’s just not gonna happen.