Former WWE and IMPACT Wrestling star Ken Anderson was recently a guest on WWE Hall Of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin‘s podcast, The Steve Austin Show, to talk about several professional wrestling topics. Anderson discussed if politics were involved in his WWE release, what The Undertaker warned him about before he switched brands in WWE, and opened up about his Vicodin dependency in the past. You can check out the highlights here:
If politics was behind his WWE release:
“There was [a little bit of politics going on with his WWE departure], but anytime I sit and try to figure out… I want the students [at The Academy: School of Professional Wrestling] to learn from my mistakes as well as my successes and anytime I get a chance to open up and share stuff that I look [at] as missteps in the [pro wrestling] business, I try to share it with them,” Anderson said. “The big thing is that I was getting a really good push and I always tried to maintain that humility, try to be as humble as I possibly could, I know it all could be taken away from me tomorrow, but at the same time, you start to believe your own bulls–t a little bit.
“Chris Benoit, when Chris Benoit did what he did, for some reason, I felt like the entire world needed to know what Ken Anderson felt about that and I went on some news talkshows and things like that. And then, the whole steroids thing, which I felt was a huge misconception. People knew part of the story, but not the entire story and if you tell your side of the story, then you’re being defensive. But if you say nothing at all, you allow those people to fill in the spots.
“That’s what happens. It was that kind of stuff. When I went over to RAW, I sort of for some reason felt like, ‘oh, I’ve already earned that respect. That respect will just carry over with me [from SmackDown]’ and I didn’t take the time to humble myself again and start off as the new guy.”
The Undertaker‘s warning to him backstage before flipping brands:
“And my style, I always tried to play it as a real fight as much as possible. If you watch UFC, nobody ever takes a crisp flatback bump. Guys fall into the ropes sometimes. You get punched [and] you land on your ass. You pop back up. I would also cover up a lot. Some of the guys striking me, I wouldn’t just give them the old school, clean punch. And they punch you and you put your head right back in the same spot or if someone chops you, I wouldn’t do that.
“And I remember Taker pulling me aside one day and he was like, ‘keep doing that stuff because it’s unique and it sets you apart,’ but he said, ‘I’m telling you now that you’re going to get over to RAW and there are people that you’re going to come into contact with that aren’t going to appreciate that. They’re going to think that you’re being difficult to work with,’ and instead of taking his advice, I just kept doing what Ken Kennedy was doing over on SmackDown and tried to open myself up. And I think that people, certain people, thought that I was difficult to work with, covering up and things like that.”
His Vicodin dependency issues in the past:
“Yeah, I would say when I was in WWE, I got into the pills a little too much. Yeah. I was really good at keeping it on the DL. Only a certain handful of people knew about it and I was able to keep that really quiet. It wasn’t public knowledge that Ken Anderson was a partier. But, yeah, I did. I regret it. Pain pills. All of it. Mostly the pain pill, Vicodin, was my vice just because I was able to function. You take a couple of ‘vikes’, especially when you’re running that hard that long, on the road five days a week. When it started becoming a problem, my ex-wife came to me with a piece of paper and she said, ‘you’ve spent $35,000 this year on Vicodin.’ No, I’m not kidding you. I’m not kidding you.
“I would order 1,000 ‘vikes’ at a time and I’d go through them in a couple of weeks. I was also giving them out to my friends. I was good at sharing. $35,000. How stupid is that? Do you know what? Interestingly enough, the WWE at one point, I remember I had surgery on my shoulder, I believe, and I was actually, when I came out of that surgery, I was in a lot of people. I could have done with some pain pills and Doc Andrews, he was very conservative.
“He gave me 20 or 30 10s and I went through those in a couple of days. And then, I called him back for a refill. Then he gave me like 10 more. I went through those right away. I went back. I was like, ‘I’ll get one more refill out of him’ and that ‘one more refill’ turned into Johnny Ace calling me. He said, ‘Kenny, they think you’ve got a pain pill problem and they’re sending you to rehab.'”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions