Stone Cold Steve Austin
Austin cast in Stallone's The Expendables
wrestling legend and icon
to feature in Sly
Austin Inducted In WWE Hall of Fame
Legends of WrestleMania
James Williams (born Steven James Anderson on
December 18, 1964), better known by his ring name
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin or simply
Steve Austin, is an American actor and former
debuting in 1989, Austin wrestled for promotions
such as World Championship Wrestling, Extreme
Championship Wrestling and World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment.
Austin was forced to retire from the ring in 2003
due to excessive neck and knee injuries sustained
throughout his career.
life and career
Steve Williams played football at North Texas State
University. After holding down various odd jobs, he
began his wrestling career in the late 1980s in Texas,
competing in World Class Championship Wrestling, which
at the time was called the USWA. Austin was trained
by "Gentleman" Chris Adams among others
(including Skandor Akbar).
the start of his early career, he used his real name
Steve Williams for wrestling. However, another wrestler
of that name - "Dr. Death" Steve Williams
- was already nationally known so he was then assigned
the name Steve Austin, in accordance with his hometown
of Austin, Texas. At first he was reluctant because
he didn't want the fans to associate him with the
hero from TV's The Six Million Dollar Man.
wrestled in the USWA for the first year of his
career, most of the time either teaming or feuding
with his former trainer Adams, with the teacher/student
aspect of their relationship being added into
the angle. Also added was the fact that Austin
in real life was dating Adams' ex-wife Jeannie,
whom they also incorporated into the feud along
with Adams' then-wife Toni Adams in a series of
mixed-tag matches, an angle Adams himself created
in an attempt to recreate the mixed tag team angle
he had utilised with Jimmy Garvin, Sunshine and
Precious six years earlier.
World Championship Wrestling
Austin debuted in World Championship Wrestling
in 1991 as "Stunning" Steve Austin.
Managed by Lady Blossom, Austin defeated Bobby
Eaton for the WCW World Television Championship
on June 3, 1991 in Birmingham, Alabama. In late
1991, Austin joined Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous
Alliance. Austin lost the WCW Television Championship
to Windham in a two out of three falls match on
April 27, 1992. He regained the title from Windham
on May 23, 1992. He enjoyed a second lengthy reign
before losing to Ricky
Steamboat on September 2, 1992. The Dangerous
Alliance disbanded shortly thereafter.
went on to form a tag team with Brian Pillman known
as the Hollywood Blondes. The Blondes won the WCW
World Tag Team Championship on March 3, 1993, defeating
Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. The Hollywood Blondes
held the titles for six months. The Blondes went on
to face Ric Flair and Arn Anderson in a two out of
three falls tag team title match at Clash of the Champions
XXIII. Flair and Anderson defeated the Blondes, but
were not awarded the titles as one fall had been determined
by a disqualification.
Clash of the Champions XXIV, Austin and Pillman
were scheduled to defend the titles against Arn
Anderson and his new partner, Paul
Roma. However, Pillman was injured, and was
replaced by Steven Regal. Austin and Regal went
on to lose to Anderson and Roma. With Pillman
still injured, Austin went on to join Colonel
Robert Parker's Stud Stable. After Pillman returned,
Austin betrayed him, and went on to defeat him
in a singles bout at Clash of the Champions XXV.
Starrcade 1993, in a two out of three falls match,
Austin defeated Dustin Rhodes in two straight falls
to win the WCW United States Championship. He lost
the title to Ricky Steamboat on August 24, 1994. Austin
was scheduled to face Steamboat in a rematch for the
title at Fall Brawl 1994, but Steamboat was unable
to wrestle due to a back injury, and Austin was awarded
the title by forfeit. His second reign ended just
minutes later when he lost to Steamboat's replacement,
Jim Duggan in a match that went just 29 seconds. Austin
went on to challenge Duggan for the United States
Championship at Halloween Havoc 1994 on and at Clash
of the Champions XXIX. On both occasions, Austin lost
to Duggan by disqualification.
on a wrestling tour of Japan, Austin tore his
triceps brachii muscle. While he was injured,
Austin received a phone call from WCW informing
him that he had been released for no-showing scheduled
Extreme Championship Wrestling
In 1995, Steve Austin was fired by World Championship
Wrestling Vice President Eric Bischoff. Bischoff
and WCW didn't see Austin as a 'marketable' wrestler.
Eventually, Austin was contacted by Paul
Heyman, who had managed him in WCW. Heyman
told Austin that since he had a TV show and Austin
had a grievance, it would be a great opportunity
to go on ECW
television to air it. While in ECW, Steve Austin
used the platform to develop his future "Stone
Cold" persona as well as a series of viginettes
running down WCW in general and Bischoff in particular,
referring to WCW's flagship program as "Monday
with ECW, "Superstar" Steve Austin feuded
with The Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck. Whipwreck, who
was the ECW World Heavyweight Champion at the time,
scored a win over Austin at November To Remember 1995.
Years later, Paul Heyman stated that he originally
wanted to book Austin to win the World Championship,
but Austin disagreed, feeling it would be better for
business if Austin was the "hunter" instead
of the "hunted."
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
On January 8, 1996, Austin joined the World Wrestling
Federation. Initially, Austin used the moniker
"The Ringmaster," and managed by Ted
DiBiase, who awarded him with his "Million
Dollar Championship Belt". The Ringmaster
defeated Savio Vega at WrestleMania XII. Austin
grew to greatly dislike The Ringmaster character,
so he asked WWF writers to come up with a new
name for his character that would suggest a ruthless,
cold-hearted persona after being inspired by an
HBO documentary about mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski.
The writers offered him a list of many temperature-based
names, such as 'Ice Dagger' and 'Chilly McFreeze',
none of which impressed Austin. Austin's then-wife
Jeannie Clark (the same woman who managed Austin
in the USWA and WCW) then was the inspiration
for the name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin,
after she advised him to drink his tea before
it became "stone cold." To continue
the cold-hearted image, Austin shaved his head
bald, inspired by Woody Harrelson in Natural Born
Killers, a look he has maintained since. At In
Your House 8: Beware of Dog, Austin lost a "Caribbean
Strap Match" to Savio Vega. In accordance
to the pre-match stipulations, DiBiase
was forced to leave the WWF, giving Austin the
opportunity to forge his own path. He would later
tell announcer Dok Hendrix he purposely lost the
match in order to rid himself of his manager.
genuine rise to superstardom began on June 23,
1996, when he won the King of the Ring tournament,
receiving the push originally intended for Hunter
Hearst Helmsley. After toppling Marc Mero
in the semi-finals, Austin defeated Jake
"The Snake" Roberts in the final.
After the match, Austin cut a promo during his
coronation which viciously mocked Jake's reformed
lifestyle, telling Roberts:
You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say
your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk
about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin
3:16 says I just whipped your ass!
3:16 ultimately became one of the most popular catchphrases
in wrestling history and is often regarded as marking
the beginning of the Attitude Era. Austin would later
turn face, as spontaneous fan support for him grew
larger by the week. His attitude and his modus operandi-
using heel tactics in a face role - would come to
define the tweener role in professional wrestling.
still a heel, was somewhat underused by the WWF for
the next few months, and was mired in midcard feuds
with the likes of Yokozuna and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
The one thing that drove Austin on, however, was Bret
Hart, who was taking a sabbatical from the WWF. Austin
spoke about Hart constantly and taunted him relentlessly
on TV (one quote had Austin saying "If you put
the letter 'S' in front of 'Hitman', you have my exact
opinion of Bret Hart"). Hart finally accepted
Austin's challenge and returned to the WWF in October
1996. At Survivor Series 1996, Hart pinned Austin
in a match which helped create the foundations for
the eventual intense year-long feud between the two.
In spite of his loss, Austin's ever-growing popularity
multiplied after his strong showing. The match came
hot on the heels of a highly controversial incident
broadcast live on RAW, which saw Austin "break
into" Brian Pillman's house, with Pillman holding
a gun. The night after Survivor Series, Austin faced
Mankind in what many consider to be one of the best
matches in Monday Night RAW history.
January, Austin won the 1997 Royal Rumble match. He
was originally eliminated by Bret Hart, but the officials
did not see it, and he sneaked back into the ring
and eliminated Hart. This would lead to the first-ever
PPV main event of Austin's WWF career at In Your House
13: Final Four, which due to real-life events largely
revolving around Shawn Michaels, the match would be
for the suddenly vacant WWF Championship. Austin would
be eliminated from the 4-way match early after injuring
his knee, but was involved in the finish which saw
Bret Hart win his 4th WWF Title, which Hart lost the
next night on RAW to Sycho Sid due to Austin's interference,
leading to the continuation of their feud.
WrestleMania 13 in March 1997, Hart defeated Austin
in a Submission match. The iconic image of the night
was Austin's grimacing, bloody face being massively
cheered on by the live Chicago crowd, as the relentless
Hart refused to release his patented Sharpshooter,
ending in Austin passing out. Despite his wounds he
refused any assistance back to the locker room, which
made Austin the new fan favorite. This match put the
exclamation point on a double-turn that had been building
since Survivor Series.
would then replace Bret
Hart as the new hero of the WWF. One of the
main distinguishing features about Austin's character
was that he was one who broke the rules and defied
authority, and thus was considered to be an "anti-hero",
or as a fan put it, "He was a hero that didn't
try to be one."
would eventually get his revenge on Hart when he injured
Hart's leg in a no disqualification match on RAW,
which featured Austin refusing to let go of his own
Sharpshooter and beating Hart while on a stretcher
in the back of an ambulance. After his feud with Bret
Hart, he had a WWF Championship shot against The Undertaker,
at In Your House 15: A Cold Day In Hell. Austin had
the Undertaker down with the stunner, but due to distraction
from Brian Pillman, Undertaker nailed Austin with
a Tombstone Piledriver and got the victory.
also had a brief tag team runs with both Shawn Michaels
and Mick Foley where he would get his first taste
at WWF gold when he won the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Then Austin challenged Bret Hart's younger brother,
Owen Hart. The sight of a handcuffed Austin being
led out of the arena by "policemen" while
giving the finger - the "Stone Cold Salute"
- to the fans is one of the resounding images of his
career. After Owen defeated Austin in a 10-man tag
match at In Your House: Canadian Stampede, Austin
wanted to gain revenge on Owen and challenged him
for his Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam
1997 and vowed that if he couldn't beat him he would
kiss his rear end in the middle of the ring.
that match Austin suffered a near-career ending neck
injury as a result of a botched Hart Driver by Owen
Hart. Austin's head was seen to be six to eight inches
lower than the safe level for a piledriver, and as
a result Austin was actually driven into the ground
head first, taking the full force of his body weight
into his neck. After being briefly paralyzed, Austin
recovered and was able to win the match and the Intercontinental
title as planned, but the incident would force him
to take time off for surgery in 1997. During that
match, after realising that Austin was hurt, Owen
bought some time for Austin, prancing around the ring
claiming Austin was going to "Kiss his ass".
In reality though, he was shocked and scared of the
possibility that he may have ended Austin's career.
This injury was played up on WWF TV afterwards, to
explain why Austin did not wrestle for several months
forcing him to forfeit the Intercontinental championship.
During this time, though, Austin was kept on television
by way of vignettes and being an anti-authority nuisance
to WWF officials during in-ring interviews, with all
segments ending with the offending party receiving
a stunner. It was during this time that Austin had
forfeited the Intercontinental title, which was then
won in a tournament by none other than the man who
injured Austin to cause him to relinquish the title,
Survivor Series 1997, Austin got another shot at Owen
Hart when he once again challenged him for the Intercontinental
title. Owen Hart would walk into Montreal's Molson
Centre wearing a T-Shirt mocking Austin's "3:16"
moniker: "Owen 3:16" and the back said "I
Just Broke Your Neck". Owen would lose the WWF
Intercontinental Championship that night again to
Stone Cold. Austin never harbored a grudge against
Hart for injuring him. After winning the Intercontinental
Title back from Owen Austin briefly feuded with The
Rock over the belt. This would be the first time the
two men would cross paths in the WWF and marked the
beginning of their bitter feud. This portion of their
feud would end with The Rock winning the Intercontinental
Title in December 1997 due to the fact that Austin
forfeited the title while immediately declaring his
intent to go after the WWF Title. He stunned Rock
and McMahon before taking the IC belt back before
it could be presented to Rock and proceeded to throw
the belt off a bridge.
With Bret Hart's departure, Austin was clearly the
top superstar in the company, and after managing to
ruffle the feathers of every other WWF superstar,
he entered and won the 1998 Royal Rumble, last eliminating
The Rock. The next night on RAW, Austin interrupted
Vince McMahon in his presentation of a special appearance
by Mike Tyson over the objection of McMahon referring
to Tyson as "the baddest man on the planet",
with Austin attacking Tyson and the two needing to
be separated, much to McMahon's embarrassment, who
began to publicly disapprove of the prospect of Austin
as his champion. Tyson would later be announced to
be "the special enforcer" for the main event
at WrestleMania XIV, although he also appeared to
be aligning himself with WWF Champion Shawn Michaels'
stable Degeneration X. This led to his WWF Championship
match against Michaels at WrestleMania XIV where he
won his first WWF Championship with help from Mike
Tyson, who ended up double-crossing DX by making the
deciding three-count against Michaels. This victory
ushered in the Austin Era, and with it, the Attitude
the RAW after Austin won the WWF title, Vince McMahon
presented him with a new title belt and warned Austin
that he didn't approve of his rebellious nature and
warned Austin that things could be done "the
easy way or the hard way". Austin gave his answer
in the form of another stunner. This led to a segment
a week later where Austin had pledged a few days prior
in a meeting to "play ball" with McMahon,
appearing in a suit, tie and loafers, with a beaming
McMahon taking a picture of himself and his new corporate
champion. The entire thing was a ruse by Austin who
in the course of the segment proceeded to tear off
the suit, tell McMahon it was the last time he'd see
Austin dressed like this, punched his boss in the
"corporate grapefruits" and took another
picture of the two of them while McMahon was doubled
over in pain.
April 1998, it appeared the WWF fans would finally
get to see Stone Cold and Vince McMahon battle out
their differences in an actual match, but the match
was declared a no contest when Dude Love made an appearance.
This led to a match between Dude Love and Austin at
Over The Edge: In Your House for the WWF Championship.
Austin managed to retain the title despite McMahon
acting as the referee and his "Corporate Stooges"
Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson as timekeeper and
ring announcer respectively.
continued to do everything he could to ruin Austin,
and he finally scored a big victory for his side at
the 1998 King of the Ring tournament. There, Stone
Cold lost the WWF Championship to Kane in a First
Blood Match (in which no one could tell if Kane was
bleeding or not because of the mask.). McMahon could
not savor the victory for long. Stone Cold further
infuriated his nemesis by winning back the championship
the next night on RAW. Stone Cold emerged victorious
against The Undertaker at SummerSlam 1998. Mr. McMahon
set up a triple threat match at Breakdown: In Your
House, where The Undertaker and Kane pinned Austin
at the same time.
McMahon decided to vacate the WWF Championship and
award it based on a match between Undertaker and Kane,
in which Austin was the guest referee. Austin refused
to count for either man and attacked both towards
the end of the match. Mr. McMahon later fired The
Rattlesnake, although Austin got a measure of revenge
by kidnapping McMahon and dragging him to the middle
of the ring at "gunpoint", which ended up
being a toy gun with a scroll that read "Bang!
3:16". Stone Cold was later re-signed by Shane
McMahon. With Austin back, there was a Survivor Series
tournament to award the vacant WWF Championship. In
the semifinals against Mankind, Austin lost to him,
thanks to a double-cross by Shane. The next night
on Raw, Judge Mills Lane ruled that the Rock had to
defend his just won WWF Championship against Austin
that night. The Undertaker interfered and hit Austin
with a shovel, earning Austin a disqualification victory.
At Rock Bottom: In Your House, Steve Austin defeated
The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match.
Rattlesnakes next definitive chance to exact
revenge from Mr. McMahon came during the 1999 Royal
Rumble match. Stone Cold drew entry No. 1, while McMahon
drew No. 2. Despite a vicious attack from McMahons
Corporation, both lasted until the end. With the assistance
of the Corporation and a last minute interference
from The Rock, Stone Cold was eliminated. At St. Valentines
Day Massacre, Stone Cold got a one-on-one match against
Mr. McMahon in a steel cage, with a WWF championship
opportunity at WrestleMania XV at stake. During the
match, The Big Show made his shocking debut, breaking
through from under the ring and attacking Stone Cold.
But Shows attack propelled Stone Cold into the
side of the cage forcing the cage to give way and
dropping Austin to the floor first, technically making
him the victor. Stone Cold made the most of his chance,
defeating "The Corporate Champion" The Rock
at WrestleMania XV for his third WWF Championship.
would face The Rock in a rematch at the following
Pay Per View, Backlash, in which Shane McMahon was
the referee. During the match, Mr. McMahon approached
the ring, only to hand Austin back his Smoking Skull
belt, and then take his son out of the proceedings.
Austin would win the match when another referee made
the count. Undertaker won the WWF Championship from
Austin at Over The Edge thanks to Shane McMahon. Due
to events revolving around Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon
made Stone Cold the Chief Executive Officer of the
company. Vince and Shane McMahon challenged Austin
to a Handicap Ladder Match at King Of The Ring with
the CEO title on the line, which the duo of father
and son would win. However, the next night on RAW,
Austin would defeat The Undertaker to win his 4th
would hold on to the Championship belt until SummerSlam
1999 when he lost it to Mankind in a Triple Threat
Match also featuring Triple H. By Survivor Series
in 1999, Triple H was champion, and Austin was supposed
to get his chance to reclaim gold in a Triple Threat
Match which featured Austin, Triple H and The Rock.
Instead, he was run down by a car in the parking lot.
What followed was neck surgery and a nine-month rehabilitation
with the car angle his reason for leaving: in reality,
Austin's neck surgery was a long time coming dating
back to the Owen Hart incident in 1997.
In April of 2000 at Backlash 2000, Austin appeared
during the main event, attacking Triple H and Vince
McMahon, helping The Rock reclaim the WWF Championship.
At Unforgiven 2000, Austin made his official return
from surgery and tried to find out who ran him down
at Survivor Series the previous year. Rikishi finally
admitted to being the driver.
No Mercy 2000, Austin was back to annihilate Rikishi,
but in the process of beating him down, Stone Cold
learned that it was actually Triple H behind the whole
scheme, devised to shield the WWF Championship from
Austin and end his career. At Survivor Series 2000,
Triple H had plotted to run Austin down again (thus
repeating the events of the previous year's Survivor
Series) but his plot failed when Austin lifted Triple
H's automobile with a construction crane, then let
it drop 30 feet.
won his third Royal Rumble in January 2001, last eliminating
Kane. His rivalry against Triple H ended at No Way
Out 2001 in a 3 Stages of Hell match (a regular match,
a streetfight, then a cage match), with Triple H beating
Austin 2 falls to 1. Then, at WrestleMania X-Seven,
Austin made a heel turn, by hitting The Rock with
a steel chair to win the WWF Championship. After the
match Austin shook hands and shared a beer with Vince
McMahon. With the victory, Austin became a five-time
WWF Champion. The next night on RAW, after teasing
a quick face turn, the heel turn continued. During
a cage match with The Rock in a rematch for the title,
Triple H came down to the ring with a sledgehammer.
Many thought he was coming to aid The Rock, due to
the hatred between Austin and Triple H (and an argument
with Vince earlier in the night), but it transpired
that he had joined the Austin/McMahon partnership
by hitting The Rock instead. Austin and Triple H became
a Tag Team and called themselves The Two-Man Power
WWF positioned Austin and Triple H as the top heels
in the company and had them feud with Undertaker and
Kane for April and May 2001. After defeating Kane
and Undertaker for the WWF Tag Team Titles at Backlash
2001, they held the Tag Team Titles, the WWF Championship
(Austin), and the WWF Intercontinental Championship
(Triple H) all at once.
glory would be short lived, however. At the very next
pay-per-view, Judgment Day, Triple H lost his Intercontinental
title against Kane. Then on May 21, 2001, Austin and
Triple H faced off against Chris Jericho and Chris
Benoit with the tag team titles on the line. The match
was going along without a hitch until a spot midway
through where Triple H tore his quadriceps muscle.
The team would lose the tag team titles at the end
of the match, as was planned, but the injury to Triple
H (which would keep him out for the remainder of the
year) forced WWF to go in another direction.
Austin was paired with Kurt Angle and feuded against
Jericho and Benoit. This culminated with a triple
threat match at King of the Ring, in which Austin
faced the former tag team champions (who had just
been dethroned by The Dudley Boyz three days earlier).
In a match which saw all three men beat each other
severely and eventual outside interference from WCW's
Booker T, Austin scored the victory and retained his
championship. The feud ended at that point, as Benoit
had neck surgery after the match, sidelining him for
the following year.
soon as July 2001 began, with Benoit out for surgery,
the Austin/Jericho feud was dropped without a mention.
With Triple H out and Rock still away making movies,
the WWF desperately rushed out the plans for The Invasion.
the Invasion storyline began and progressed, Vince
McMahon had been begging for Stone Cold to return
to his old "Texas Rattlesnake" persona.
Austin refused though, as he was developing into a
more comedic character. But the week before the InVasion
pay-per-view, the old Stone Cold Steve Austin "returned",
delivering stunners to the Alliance members. This
was all part of a swerve at the event, where Austin
betrayed the WWF team and partner Kurt Angle to help
the Alliance win, as Austin assumed leadership of
lost and regained his title in a feud with Kurt Angle
that many fans enjoyed, partially due to Angle being
put over by Austin as a legitimate threat. Austin
lost the title to Kurt Angle at Unforgiven 2001 before
regaining it on the October 8, 2001 episode of RAW.
As the Invasion angle dragged on, it was ultimately
decided to bring the plot line to an end with Austin
and a group of ECW and WCW wrestlers facing the Rock
and a group of WWF wrestlers at that year's Survivor
Series. Austin and his team lost and that was the
end of the Invasion angle. Austin would hold the WWF
Championship for another month before losing it to
Chris Jericho at Vengeance 2001. Jericho beat both
The Rock and Austin consecutively in that night winning
the World Title and later the WWF Title and combining
them to create the WWF Undisputed Championship.
By 2002, Austin's spot as top face in the WWF was
not as secure as it had been in previous years, as
Triple H was set to return from injury. At the time,
Vince McMahon had re-signed Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall
and Kevin Nash for a storyline that would bring the
nWo back. They feuded with Austin and The Rock. At
WrestleMania X8 Austin defeated Scott Hall, but was
angered by the fact that he was becoming an increasingly
returned on the April 1, 2002 episode of RAW, the
first of the new "brand extension" era.
The show was centered on which show he would sign
with. Ultimately, he chose RAW. Austin's last appearance
was on June 3, 2002, when he defeated Ric Flair in
a match where Flair would become Austin's servant.
The angle wasn't furthered because Austin had decided
to walk out again on bad storylines that were presented
to him by the creative team. This time though, he
wouldn't return for almost 9 months.
and run down, Austin began to create problems backstage
as the WWF rehired Eddie Guerrero for Austin to feud
with, while prepping Austin for a feud with Brock
Lesnar. However, Austin was vetoing any matches that
would result in him losing and ultimately walked out
of the company when the writing staff wanted Austin
to lose to Brock Lesnar. This act was at first viewed
as unprofessional and in a negative light by fans.
But viewpoints changed when Austin later explained
that he thought hot-shotting a victory did no favors
to either side, as it made Austin look weak losing
to a rookie, and didn't give Lesnar a proper stage
for such a big win over a star of the magnitude that
later publicly stated that at the time, his anti-social
attitude behind the scenes were the result of him
dealing with chronic knee and neck injuries that had
never properly healed. Further fanning the flames
amongst Austin's growing number of detractors was
a well-publicized domestic dispute incident between
Austin and his wife Debra, which led to his evasion
of the police. Austin served probation time for the
offense, and has not discussed it publicly since.
February 2003, he returned to WWE at No Way Out in
a short match against Eric Bischoff. Austin was finally
defeated by The Rock at WrestleMania XIX, which would
ultimately become his last official match in WWE to
date. The night after on RAW, Bischoff "fired"
Austin on medical grounds, however he was brought
back by Linda McMahon as the "Co-General Manager"
for RAW. The move to the role of "Co-General
Manager" was a way to keep Austin on-camera while
limiting Austin's in-ring performance. On the November
16, 2003 edition of RAW, Austin was "fired"
from RAW as the result of a stipulation in a match
at Survivor Series 2003 where Austin's hand-picked
team of wrestlers failed to beat Eric Bischoff's team
of wrestlers. Austin quickly returned to WWE television
before the end of 2003, when he was part of a WWE
Christmas special taped live in front of U.S. troops
in Iraq, posing as Santa Claus and stunning Mr. McMahon.
He finally came back on RAW on December 29, 2003 as
Austin appeared on and off as 2004 began, culminating
in him being the special guest referee for the match
between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg at WrestleMania
XX. Then, on April 17, 2004, WWE put out a press release
on their website claiming that Steve Austin and WWE
were unable to settle long-running contract disputes
and had again parted ways. This was reportedly over
a contract dispute about WWE's control of Austin's
non-WWE projects, such as movies. Austin could thus
no longer use "Stone Cold" to promote himself,
as that name is trademarked by WWE. Austin had to
correct many people in interviews to ensure they did
not refer to him by that moniker. Another issue that
may have influenced WWE in its decision is Austin's
recent history of domestic violence incidents, which
WWE saw as tarnishing their popular image.
Austin made his first appearance on WWE TV in a year
on April 3, 2005 at WrestleMania 21. Austin was interviewed
by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in a "Piper's
Pit" segment and then Stone Cold Stunned both
Piper and Carlito. Austin appeared at the WWE-promoted
One Night Stand 2005.
WWE Homecoming in October, Austin again returned to
RAW, delivering Stunners to all four members of the
McMahon family. An angle including Jim Ross being
fired led to a match in which Austin agreed to face
Ross's replacement, Jonathan Coachman, at Taboo Tuesday',
with the stipulation of Ross regaining his announcing
job if Austin were to win, and Austin losing his own
job if he lost the match. Austin balked at the decision
for Coachman to win, however, and once again walking
out on the company after storyline disagreements.
To explain away his failure to appear at Taboo Tuesday
Vince McMahon said on RAW that Austin had been involved
in an accident, thus preventing him from competing.
A substitution for Austin was made in the form of
Batista, who faced the Coach along with Vader and
Goldust, brought in to generate some last minute interest
in the match. The stipulation was dropped due to Austin
Austin returned to the WWE briefly to face JBL in
a beer drinking contest at WWE Saturday Night's Main
Event in March 2006. The feat was declared a no contest
when Austin saw JBL cheating by pouring the beer down
his clothes. Austin gave a stunner to JBL and then
celebrated with the Stone Cold "beer salute".
Austin then inducted Bret "The Hitman" Hart
into the WWE Hall Of Fame on April 1, 2006.
returned to WWE programming (appearing on RAW, ECW,
and SmackDown!) in March 2007, partially to promote
his starring role in the release of WWE Films' production,
The Condemned. On March 31st, 2007, Stone Cold inducted
his friend Jim Ross into The WWE Hall of Fame. At
WrestleMania 23, Austin mediated the match between
Bobby Lashley and Umaga, with their representatives,
Donald Trump and Vince McMahon, respectively, putting
their hair on the line. Throughout the match, a stunner
was delivered to Umaga, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon
and Donald Trump.
Following the end of his in-ring wrestling career,
Austin began pursuing a career in acting. In January
2005, Austin signed a three picture deal with WWE
Films, with his first film named as The Condemned.
Austin has also appeared on several television series,
and, along with fellow wrestlers Goldberg, Kevin Nash,
Bob Sapp and The Great Khali, appeared in the 2005
remake of The Longest Yard.
The Longest Yard (2005) as "Guard Dunham"
Tales of the Rat Fink (2006) as "Heavy Chevy"
The Condemned (2007) as "Jack Conrad"
V.I.P. (October 24, 1998) in episode "Scents
Dilbert (June 13, 2000) in episode "The Delivery"
Nash Bridges (1999-2000) in six episodes as "Detective
Celebrity Deathmatch (1998-2002)
Punk'd (April 25, 2005)
'Cause Stone Cold Said So (1997)
Austin 3:16 Uncensored (1998)
Austin vs. McMahon: The Whole True Story (1999)
Hell Yeah: The Stone Saga Continues (2000)
Stone Cold Steve Austin: Lord Of The Ring (2001)
Stone Cold Steve Austin: What? (2002)
The Stone Cold Truth (2004)
Stone Cold Steve Austin's Life & Legacy (2007)
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Austin - Australian Sports Entertainment
Man Australia does not represent Stone Cold Steve