Steve Austin

Stone Cold Steve Austin

Broken Skull Ranch (Steve Austin official website) Stone Cold Steve Austin WWE

CMT: Redneck Island


"Stone Cold" Steve Austin to confront Kevin Owens on "The KO Show" at WrestleMania

Steve Austin cast in Stallone's The Expendables


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Professional wrestling legend and icon


Austin sets timetable for in-ring return, who would he pick for WWE's Hall of Fame? - 17th November 2012

WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin says he is "not going to rule out a return" to wrestling in a WWE ring again, but he is "not saying a return is in the near future."

Austin made the comments to a Florida TV station promoting the return of "Redneck Island" on CMT on Saturday nights. Austin commented further about a potential WWE return when asked whether there is a chance he will join join Brock Lesnar and The Rock in returning to the ring.

"Ah, that's a good question. Who knows?," Austin said. "I'm really happy doing the acting things that I do. I'm really happy doing 'Redneck Island.' I love this show. I love the element of reality television. I'm having a good time. No one's chasing me around with a steel chair. I'm not traveling all over the world. I've been there, and I did it at a high level."

Austin also commented on who deserves to be in WWE's Hall of Fame. "Well, if you're going to go down that road, I think 'Macho Man' Randy Savage needs to be in there. I think the Rock 'n' Roll Express need to be in there. I think the Midnight Express need to be in there. I think a guy like 'Superstar' Bill Dundee, who a lot of people haven't heard of, needs to be in there. I could go on and on, but those are a couple of people who'd be on the top of my list."

- Austin also commented on a potential in-ring return this week in an interview with Arda Ocal of in Canada. Austin's interview with Ocal can be found here .

[ LINK: Full story on Austin's TV interview here at and ] (Pro Wrestling Torch)

Film and Television

Steve Austin filmed as guest roles on Celebrity Deathmatch and Nash Bridges, where he played Detective Jake Cage. He appeared in The 1998 Billboard Music Awards. He has appeared on shows like V.I.P, Dilbert, The Teen Choice Awards, CMT Music Awards. His motion picture debut was in a supporting role as Guard Dunham in the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard. Austin had his first starring film role, as Jack Conrad, a dangerous convict awaiting execution in a Salvadoran prison, who takes part in an illegal deathmatch game that is being broadcast to the public in the 2007 thriller The Condemned.

In 2010, Austin appeared in the film The Expendables as Dan Paine, the bodyguard and right hand man for the primary antagonist of the film. This role featured Austin working alongside other action stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture. He Appeared as Hugo Panzer on TV series Chuck. He has starred in Dtv Movies like Damage, Hunt to Kill, The Stranger, Tactical Force, Knockout and Recoil with Danny Trejo. His upcoming movies include The Package with Dolph Lundgren and Maximum Conviction with Steven Seagal.

In May 2012, Jim Ross reported that Austin would be appearing in Adam Sandler film Grown Ups 2.




2009 News

Austin to feature in Sly Stallone's The Expendables

Steve Austin Inducted In WWE Hall of Fame

WWE Legends of WrestleMania

Steven 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 professional wrestler.

After 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.

Early 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).

At 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.

He 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.

Austin 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.

At 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.

At 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.

While 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 TV tapings.

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 NyQuil."

While 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.

Austin's 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! ”

Austin 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.

Austin, 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.

In 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.

At 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.

He 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."

Austin 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.

Austin 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.

In 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, Owen Hart.

At 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 Era.

On 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.

In 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.

McMahon 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.

Mr. 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.

The Rattlesnake’s 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 McMahon’s 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. Valentine’s 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 Show’s 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.

Austin 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 WWF Championship.

Austin 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.

At 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.

Austin 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 Trip.

The 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.

The 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.

Steve 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.

As 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.

As 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 the group.

Austin 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 mid-card wrestler.

Austin 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.

Bored 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 Austin holds.

Austin 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.

In 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 its "Sheriff".

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.

Steve 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.

At 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 not competing.

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.

Austin 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.

Acting career
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"

Television appearances
V.I.P. (October 24, 1998) in episode "Scents and Sensibility"
Dilbert (June 13, 2000) in episode "The Delivery"
Nash Bridges (1999-2000) in six episodes as "Detective Jake Cage"
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)
(Credit: Wikipedia).


World Wrestling Entertainment

WWE Stone Cold Steve Austin


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