WWE star Steve Austin says TV show is about finding ‘common ground’ with guests

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“Stone Cold” Steve Austin is ready for his second act.

When the former WWE star, 56, retired from professional wrestling because of an injury in 2003 he wasn’t sure where life would take him.  

After taking a crack at acting, which Austin told Fox News didn’t really “suit” him, he “fell” into podcasting and hosting after emceeing WWE’s “Tough Enough.” 

“I love to talk to people but if you had told me many years ago that, ‘Hey, you’re going to have an action interview show on TV,’ I would have said, man, you must be crazy,” he said. 


That show is “Straight Up Steve Austin,” which premiered its second season on Monday night. Every episode features a new guest that Austin swaps stories with and learns more about their “lives and careers during one-of-a-kind, custom-tailored adventures in different cities across America.”

Austin hopes his show proves that people from different careers, backgrounds, and walks of life can find “common ground.”

“I’m fascinated by success stories or stories of hardship and how people overcame things to become successful or get to the top,” he explained. “I’m just curious by nature [about their backgrounds]. I had a career of my own and I had my own obstacles. And now to be able to share common ground and do activities with my guests and learn more about them is really interesting for me.”

Austin admitted that interviewing and hosting is “completely new to me” because when he started his wrestling career “I had only one plan.”


“I didn’t have a Plan B, I must succeed [at wrestling]. And through a lot of struggle, I ended up succeeding. Then I retired because of an injury. I had no exit strategy either,” he said. 

It was his parents’ life lessons that kept him focused. 

“My dad always told me, ‘Steve if you’re going to do something, do it right the first time so you don’t have to come back and do it again.’ And, you know, growing up, I had three brothers and one sister, and we all had our chores. And if you didn’t get your chores done, well, you had consequences. So my parents taught us that you must work hard in life. You have to have a work ethic,” Austin recalled. 

Ice T (L) and Steve Austin (R) filming 'Straight Up with Steve Austin.'

Ice T (L) and Steve Austin (R) filming ‘Straight Up with Steve Austin.’
(USA Network)

The host’s new season features guests such as singer Luke Combs, actor Ice T, and comedian Tiffany Haddish. 


“Like many productions during COVID, we got shut down, and then finally we got a chance, a window of opportunity to shoot the show. And we shot it between August and November. I had been waiting for over a year to shoot Season 2. And even in a pandemic, we were so fortunate to line up a fantastic list of guests. And I’m proud of the show and the crew who work their tails off on this show.”

“Straight Up Steve Austin” airs Mondays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on USA.

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