Raw Magazine (5/03)
Triple H Responds to Stone Cold's Comments in RAW Magazine

Stone Cold Steve Austin's tirade in the February issue of RAW has been well publicized in recent months. Some of his choicest comments were reserved for Triple H. We were as curious as anyone else to hear what "the Game" had to say, and that's why we gave him a chance to speak his peace.

Raw Magazine: Stone Cold made some scathing comments about you. How do you respond to them?

Triple H: I couldn't care less.

RAW: Were you surprised by it?

Triple H: No.

RAW: Why do you think he said what he did?

Triple H: When somebody does something wrong, they make all the excuses in the world that what they did wasn't wrong. They blame everybody else. But I could care less about what Stone Cold Steve Austin thinks about me, about my career, about anything I do. I do what I do whether anybody likes that or not. I could care less.

RAW: He complained particularly about the times you've referred to him "taking his ball and going home."

Triple H: If Austin has a problem with that, then he can tell me to my face. Don't write about it in a magazine.

RAW: Has he done that?

Triple H: He hasn't talked to me yet.

RAW: Have you had any words at all since he's been back?

Triple H: We've spoken. But just pleasantries, and that's it.

RAW: Is there any tension between the two of you?

Triple H: No more than usual.

RAW: And why would there usually be tension between you?

Triple H: It's a competitive business.

RAW: So it's safe to say you don't consider Austin a friend?

Triple H: I consider him somebody I work with. Sometimes we've been friends, sometimes we've been - I don't want to say enemies - but competitive. The best rivalries in the world and fueled by competitiveness.

RAW: Do you think he doesn't like you?

Triple H: It doesn't matter to me if he does or doesn't.

RAW: But do you think he does?

Triple H: I could care less either way.

RAW: How do you feel about him?

Triple H: I think Austin is one of the biggest draws ever. If he wrestles, it's good for business.

RAW: Would you work with him?

Triple H: Sure. From a professional standpoint, Austin is one of the greatest performers ever. People make too much out of all these other things. The bottom line is that Austin is a great wrestler and a great entertainer. I think we're all about giving the fans the best entertainment they can get, and certainly Stone Cold gives them that.

RAW: But do you think he's making this to much of a personal issue?

Triple H: I don't know 'til I talk to him. You've got to understand something: Just 'cause you guys write it on a piece of paper, doesn't mean it's true.

RAW: But what's in Raw Magazine are his actual words.

Triple H: Who knows what his inflection was? Who knows what he was feeling that day? Who knows what he's feeling today? Until I speak to Austin the man, look in his eyes and talk to him face to face, I have no idea what his feelings toward me or toward anything else are, just as he has no idea what my feelings are. And honestly, that's between nobody but me and Steve.

RAW: You've said that you don't care what he thinks about you. Yet in Raw magazine, he said that you need to stop worrying about him and start worrying about your own career.

Triple H: See, that's where he's mistaken. I don't worry about Steve

RAW: If he's never spoken to you about these things, where do you think he would get these impressions from?

Triple H: Obviously, he's watched the show, and he's heard comments that Triple H has made to him. Were those comments written for me? Did I say them on my own? Steve doesn't know.

RAW: Could he be confusing your in-ring comments with your feelings away from the ring?

Triple H: Maybe. We've always had respect for each other, from before we were big stars. When Steve would have matches, or I would have matches, there were certain guys who's opinions we'd ask for - certain guys you know you're gonna get the truth from because you share their sensibilities. Steve and I always had that relationship. We know how each ither thinks. But we were never best friends. I've never stayed at Stone Cold's house or gone hunting with him. We're different people. But that's cool.

RAW: Do you still have that respect?

Triple H: Oh, definitely. But again, I can't tell you what Steve thinks. Here's something you've got to understand: If you're Stone Cold and you go home, you have people calling you up and winding you up, saying, "This guy said thi..." or "I read on the internet..." Way too many people put way too much stock in what's said on the internet. What some six-year-old in Podunk thinks about the show that night, or the match I had...It's a bunch of crap. But if you've got those people in your ear, or you're reading these things, it might seem like someone's attacking you, especially when he's not here to defend himself. What I've said about him in the media or backstage is nothing I wouldn't say to his face. And I'm sure we will have that conversation. The things I've said in character are in character; the things I've said out of character are how I feel. And I would say those to his face. If he has an issue with that, fine. We'll hash it out. We don't have to see eye to eye on everything. But even if I don't see eye to eye with him, I still respect the hell out of Austin the performer and Austin the athlete. The thing people don't understand is I've travelled all over the world with Austin. We've drawn some of the biggest houses in history. It wasn't just him doing it; it wasn't just me doing it. No different than it was when Rock and I worked, or [Mick] Foley and I. It was both of us. We've done all that together, and there's a bond between us for having done that together. There's never been a guy more popular than Steve, and I respect him for that. But we will have that conversation between him and I, not in a magazine.

RAW: Austin stated you're not where you should be with the amount of TV time invested in you. How do you respond to that?

Triple H: That's an easy thing for him to say.But there's a problem with him criticizing what's happening, or anyone who's not in our business. Before Steve left, he wasn't where he should have been with the amount of TV time invested in him.

RAW: But this is from somebody who is in the business.

Triple H: No, he wasn't. See, that's the issue. He wasn't at the time he made those comments, and hadn't been for a long time. So he had no idea [what was] going on. He contradicts himself by saying, "I left because I didn't feel like I was being used right, and I wasn't where I was supposed to be." and then looking at me and saying, "He's not being used right, and isn't where he should be." Why is my situation any different? [He was] sitting at home every day, with no contact with the business, watching the show as a regular guy, thinking he had a bead on what's going on 'cause he knew how things were done in the past, and was bitter about the business in general, anyway. Trust me, you have to be very bitter to walk out. I'm not saying what he did was right or wrong; in his mind, he had reasons. Whatever they are, I'm not the judge. But when you leave and you're bitter, and then you look at the business that you're bitter at, what are you gonna say? "These guys are doing a tremendous job, they haven't missed a beat since I've been gone?" No, that's not what you're gonna say.

RAW: If you share a respect for each other, how could it not bother you that he said what he said? You wouldn't think someone who shares that respect would say those things.

Triple H: If you sat at home for six months, stewing, and finally got an opportunity to say your peace, you're probably gonna over-extend what you want to say. Things could be said a certain way. And I'm not saying anybody printed it to wind people up, I'm not making that accusation at all. What I am saying is if things are written a certain way, they sound a certain way. It's not necessarily how they were said. I read the article. Did it bother me? No. Did it upset me? No. 'Cause I know it's just an article. When I speak to him will be when we decide whether we have a problem with each other, and whether we're still the same we ever were. Either way, I'm cool with it. I don't have to be best friends with Stone Cold Steve Austin. I've wrestled guys that are just someone I work with, and if that's the way it is now between us, that's fine. If we stay tight, that's fine, too.

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