Getting praise from Scott Steiner is a rare thing. So heading into Impact Wrestling’s Redemption pay-per-view on Sunday, Eli Drake should be very pleased that “Big Poppa Pump” is on his side as they challenge for the promotion’s tag team titles.
Their opponents are LAX (Santana & Ortiz), managed by Konnan.
“You’re going to watch me again become a World tag team champion, with one of the best guys that are in Impact right now in Eli Drake. He’s good on the mic too, so it could be pretty interesting,” promised Steiner during an Impact Wrestling conference call on Wednesday.
Honest to a fault, Steiner is never one to mince words. So when he says he says Drake, who is 20 years younger than the 55-year-old Steiner, is good, he means it.
“To be honest, I never really knew Drake before he called me up and made me an offer, paying me to help come beat some people up. But he’s actually very talented,” said Steiner. “He’s going to be on top for a while. He definitely one of the top guys in professional wrestling today.”
Steiner has plenty of history with Konnan, going back to their time together in WCW.
“Konnan’s going to be doing what he always did when we were NWO, he’ll be carrying my bags,” began Steiner, musing about having him shining his belt and his shoes too. “Actually, he might come and cut my grass. I might have all three of them, really. I haven’t decided yet.”
Maybe he can get them to work in his kitchen at the Shoney’s restaurant he owns in Acworth, Georgia.
During the call, it was interesting Steiner drop from character, however slightly, to talk about the business he opened in June 2016. He praised his cooks and servers, and raved about being a rare Shoney’s with a bar, and there’s a new drink coming, Big Poppa Punch — “You drink one of those and you’ll be lucky to walk out the door.”
“It’s not your Shoney’s that has been around since 1947, it’s a new prototype,” he said. “One of the reasons that I really got into the food business, restaurant business, is because we used to travel so much and we always had a hard time finding good places to eat late at night. I always make sure that my restaurant has great food, a great drink, and you can have a great time.”
The Steiner that wrestling fans know, though, primarily has a good time through violence.
“Punching people has always been my motivation,” he admitted. “For some reason, a lot of people piss me off, so there’s great pleasure in punching people. Other than that, I also love wrestling in front of the fans, in front of the crowd. There’s nothing like wrestling, getting in the ring and wrestling. That’s really my motivation, it’s the love of wrestling and the love of knocking somebody’s teeth down their throat.”
Scott Rechsteiner started pro wrestling in 1986, after four years at the University of Michigan, where he was an NCAA Division I All American in amateur wrestling, competing at 190 pounds.
He definitely did not see himself still wrestling more than 30 years later.
“When WCW closed, I actually retired then, and you’d be surprised how bored you get. I’ve taken periods of time off, but there’s something about wrestling and wrestling in front of people, meeting the fans, it’s addicting, really,” he said. “What do you do to replace that excitement? That’s the whole deal. How do you replace that rush? How do you replace the adrenaline rush? It’s hard to do.”
Plus, he still gets a kick out of whatever he comes up with when talking, whether in the ring, cutting a promo backstage, or on a media call. He said that he doesn’t plan out much at all, that once he walks into the arena, the rest of his life melts away and ideas come to him.
“When I get into wrestling, that is really the only time that I am free, free from assault charges, assault and battery,” he said. “You can beat anybody up. In the real world, you can’t just go out and punch somebody, but in wrestling you can. You can’t hit anybody with a pipe, you can’t steal the girlfriend, make love to her, and he can’t do s— about it. So, when you’re wrestling, that’s really the only time I’m free. It’s great.”
And “The Genetic Freak” promises to be better than his last Impact Wrestling match, at Slammiversary in June 2017, when he was only a few months out from February shoulder surgery. At that show, Steiner teamed with announcer Josh Mathews, losing to Joseph Park/Abyss and announcer Jeremy Borash.
“People still want to pay to see me, come see me wrestle. It seems like crazy never goes out of style. People want to see what I do next. The thing is, I can’t predict what I’m going to do next.”
– Austin Aries defends the IMPACT World Championship against Pentagon Jr. and Fenix in a triple threat match
– Matt Sydal defends the IMPACT X-Division Championship against Petey Williams
– Allie defends the IMPACT Knockouts Championship against Su Yung
– LAX (Santana & Ortiz) defends the IMPACT Tag Team Championship against Eli Drake and Scott Steiner
– Eddie Edwards, Moose & Tommy Dreamer face Sami Callihan & oVe (Dave Crist and Jake Crist) in the first-ever “House of Hardcore” match
– Brian Cage vs. Taiji Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. DJZ vs. Trevor Lee in a six-way match
– Aerostar takes on Drago in an exclusive match presented by IMPACT Wrestling partner promotion Lucha Underground