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EIGHT LONG F’N YEARS!

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!"