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GAME CHANGER: “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner Discusses His Legendary Career

Every major PPV is significant for IMPACT Wrestling, but this year is special. Not only has the promotion recently entered into an agreement to acquire Global Force Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Global Force Wrestling but will see the return of the legendary Scott Steiner. “Big Poppa Pump,” has been a staple in the professional wrestling scene for years. Steiner has successfully accomplished multiple goals outside of IMPACT Wrestling, but his work with IMPACT is more than reputable. Since his debut in 2006, Steiner has wrestled against some of IMPACT’s biggest, most iconic stars like Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle and has wrestled in some of IMPACT’s greatest history making matches. Steiner formerly wrestled alongside his brother Rick Steiner in the IMPACT Zone. Together the two defeated tag teams such as Team 3D and Immortal. On July 2nd, Scott Steiner returns to IMPACT Wrestling and will join forces with Josh Mathews to battle Jeremy Borash and Joseph Park in a tag team match that no one saw coming! 

Icon Vs. Icon recently had the opportunity to get some insight into the complicated world of Scott Steiner with a quick interview. In the days leading up to Slammiversary XV, Steiner took a few moments out of his day to discuss his legendary career, what it takes to make it in professional wrestling and the challenges of navigating today’s overly politically correct world.

You have carved out an amazing career for yourself in professional wrestling. What does it take to make it in the business today?

It takes a combination of a lot of things; timing being one of them. You have to have a good presence, the “It” factor, you have to look good and have in-ring ability. Luck also has a lot to do with it also! Not everybody starts off great. It’s a process that takes years to perfect and it’s a profession you can always get better at. I’ve been fortunate. … When I first went to the University of Michigan, I trained with Steve Fraser who became the first Olympic champion in Greco Roman Wrestling in 1984. A lot of the wrestling throws and step-around suplexes I learned from him. I tried to incorporate what I learned in college into my professional career and it brings a certain amount of realism to it. … I started out with Dick The Bruiser up in the Detroit area, right after I graduated from The University of Michigan. From there, I went down with Jeff [Jarrett], his father and Jerry Lawler and then went from to NWA with Ted Turner. … You learn a lot from wrestling the other guys over and over. It’s up to you to choose what you want to incorporate into what you want to do. You can learn a lot from the people you work alongside, if you’re open to it. … I’ve always focused on one punch at a time, one match at a time.

You’ve been a part of some great moments in TNA Wrestling. What are some of your favorite moments from that part of your career?

My favorite memories are from The Main Event Mafia. All the champions were together. That was a lot of fun because you had a lot of history in the ring every time we stepped into ring! A lot of us had been around for a long time. The stuff that we did backstage versus what was actually seen on TV was also entertaining and funny as hell! To date, that’s been the highest rated portion of TNA’s existence and a lot of people bought into it because of the reality of everything! It was a lot of fun!

It’s no secret that you have freaks around the globe. What is the bets lesson those fans can take from your journey in this business?

Persistence. Nobody starts at the top. It took a lot of hard work, stubbornness and patience. It was a journey and something I had to work for with the way politics are and all the backstabbing. It took a lot of persistence and sticktoitiveness. It took a certain amount of toughness to keep going because wrestling is a tough sport, man. It’s not like it was back when we first started and were traveling 315 to 330 days a year but, even today, you are still beating your body up. You just have to stick to it, man!

You’ve built quite a career for yourself. Which of your many accolades mean the most?

I’m in the Dan Gable National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Michigan. Dan Gable was the head coach of Iowa when I was wrestling at Michigan. He had a string of 17 or 18 national championships. I actually beat one of his guys when Iowa State were in the finals that year. To be recognized by a guy I idolized when I was growing up as a kid and as an amateur wrestling. It was nice to be remembered by him and it doesn’t get any better than that. Ya know, when I go out to these independent shows, that’s good enough for me, man. It all comes down to how the fans remember you.

You’ve never been one to mince words or be politically correct. Has there been any pressure in recent years to tone down your brash style?

That’s the problem with society now, it’s too politically correct. If you can’t speak your mind, what good is freedom of speech? What’s it all mean? No, no one has told me to tone it down. I’m gonna be me. I hope I don’t change and if I do change, that’ll be the day I die! Why be politically correct?