EIGHT LONG F’N
The Stone Cold Steve Austin story
In 1989, Steve Austin was living in Texas
and earning a living by unloading trucks on
the loading dock. His football scholarship at
North Texas State University had run out,
and working at the docks was his only way
of making some cash.
During that time, he would go to the Sportatorium in Dallas to watch the Von Erichs wrestle.
He was always a fan of the sport, watching Paul Boesch’s Houston Wrestling on television
while growing up. One day after work, Steve saw an ad for a wrestling school run by Chris
Adams. He decided to take a shot and five months later, in 1990, he had his first professional
match for World Class Championship Wrestling. During his tenure in WCCW, Austin and
Adams engaged in a bitter feud—with the student eventually toppling his teacher.
In 1991, "Stunning" Steve Austin was introduced to World Championship Wrestling and
spent the next five years in the promotion. As a singles competitor, the Texan captured the
organization’s TV Title in 1992 with a win over Barry Windham. One year later, he captured
their U.S. Title on two occasions from Dustin Runnels and then Ricky Steamboat. But it was
his pairing with the late Brian Pillman that earned Austin his greatest notoriety.
As the "Hollywood Blonds," Austin and Pillman became the most recognizable tandem in the
promotion, eventually beating Steamboat and Shane Douglas for the tag team gold. After the
Blonds broke up, the "powers that be" at WCW decided that Austin wouldn’t "get over"
without a "gimmick." According to the front office, a wrestler in black boots and black
trunks wasn’t marketable. During a tour of Japan, the Texan tore his tricep and subsequently
underwent surgery to repair it. While in rehab, the WCW hierarchy decided to fire him. But,
instead of bringing Steve in to the office and doing it face to face, they took the chicken
@#$% way and fired him over the phone. According to Austin, WCW treated him like a
"complete jackass," and he was hell-bent on making them pay!
After a brief run in ECW, Steve Austin
signed a deal with the World Wrestling
Federation in 1995. Instead of letting the
superstar tear ass through the ranks, he was
given the moniker of the "Ring Master" and
issued a mouthpiece in the form of Ted
DiBiase. However, that didn't last long and
the Texan proudly walked on his own.
Steve Austin’s breakthrough came at the 1996 King of the Ring, where he suffered more than a dozen
stitches from Marc Mero and still went on to beat Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the final!
During his coronation ceremony, the superstar took the
opportunity to speak his mind—and the legacy of "Austin
3:16" was born! Within a year, Stone Cold became the
biggest phenomenon in the history of the Federation,
stomping the @#$% out of the "take your vitamins and say
your prayers" theory of the past era.
After a bitter feud with Bret Hart, which saw the two engage
in a bloody war at WrestleMania 13, Austin went on to
capture the Federation Tag Team Championship with
Shawn Michaels in May of 1997. After the Heartbreak Kid
was forced out of action due to injuries, Dude Love stepped
in as Stone Cold’s partner, and together they reclaimed the
title. That August at the ‘97 SummerSlam, Stone Cold
nearly had his career ended by Owen Hart.
The Texan’s neck was severely damaged
by his foe’s piledriver, and he was
paralyzed on the mat before
miraculously rolling up Owen for the
title! However, the superstar was put out
of action with the injury and forced to
vacate the gold.
Stone Cold’s return to the ring came at the 1997 Survivor Series, where he dismantled Owen to reclaim
the Intercontinental Championship. After Federation owner Mr. McMahon stripped him of the title and
awarded it to The Rock, Austin set his sights on the grandest prize in the sport—the Federation Title. His
road to the championship began at the 1998 Royal Rumble, where he eliminated The Rock to earn his
shot at the title at WrestleMania XIV.
That night in Boston’s
FleetCenter with Mike Tyson
serving as the special
"Enforcer", the Rattlesnake
beat Shawn Michaels—ushering
in a new era of "Attitude" in
the Federation! It took eight
long f’in years for Stone Cold
Steve Austin to make it to the
top—and according to him
"there ain’t no way in hell
anyone--not even Vince
McMahon, is going to keep me
from getting it back!"