"Stone Cold” was one of the top athletes in professional wrestling. Any fan watching his
growth in the business from the early 1990s until now can be revel in the fact that his
skills took him to the top. Politics did not play a part. Austin took his abilities to the top
tier of wrestling and today, he often reigns as the World Champion. When he doesn’t, he
is the number one contender. Before his breakthrough, Austin made his rounds and did
his time from Texas to WCW and ECW.
Steve Williams was the man who adopted the name “Austin” before a show in Memphis
while wrestling in the United States Wrestling Association. An adaptation of just how he
acquired the name Austin from Dutch Mantel was told during an edition of The Tonight
Show with Jay Leno in early 2001. Austin had been the first graduate of Chris Adams’
wrestling school and debuted professionally in December 1989 with a victory in Dallas
over Frogman LeBlanc at the Sportatorium. He competed in the USWA regions of Texas
and Tennessee for several months and gained fame during his feud with his teacher,
Many heads were already turning in the direction of Steve Austin and several of them
worked out of Atlanta, Georgia. Sensing his abilities, and after only a year and a half in
the business, Austin was drafted by World Championship Wrestling in 1991. From day
one in the new organization, Austin was pushed towards championship gold. The jump to
WCW was a huge stepping stone for any young professional wrestler and Austin’s
appearances were not only seen locally, but by a national audience. Lady Blossom
acted as his manager during his early months and Austin was guided towards the World
TV Title. He won the title from Bobby Eaton, a pure mat veteran, on June 3, 1991 in
Birmingham, Alabama. Austin did not hide behind the belt and gave all of the top
challengers shots, among them Tom Zenk, Dustin Rhodes, Johnny B. Badd and P.N.
On October 10, 1991 in Kansas City, Missouri, a tag team affair would see the pairing
of two of the top champions of the 1990s. Austin teamed with Oz, a mystical character,
against Dustin Rhodes and Big Josh. Oz was portrayed by Kevin Nash, who would later
gain fame in both the WWF and then a second tour in WCW. Both men achieved World
Championship status, but never faced each other in a wrestling main event. Surprisingly,
Austin and Nash were on the losing side of the coin.
Paul E. Dangerously formed the Dangerous Alliance and the TV Champ was recruited
into the fold. Austin teamed with the U.S. Champion, Rick Rude on January 21, 1992 in
Topeka, Kansas and lost to Sting and Rick Steamboat at the Clash. At the second
annual SuperBrawl, he teamed with former AWA World Champion, Larry Zbyszko against
Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham. Austin’s tag woes continued and the two heels were
beaten. Windham beat him for the TV Title on April 27th in Atlanta.
War Games was held on May 17th and Austin was the first to enter and battle
Windham. A hard fought brawl ensued and many quickly learned just how tough the
blond warrior from Texas was. Austin was no joke. The feud with Windham did not end
there, but continued forth. Less than a week later, Austin regained the TV Title in
Atlanta. With Rude, Austin competed in the vacant NWA World Tag Title Tournament in
June and July but were ousted by Windham and Rhodes. A contingent of wrestlers from
WCW ventured to Japan in August. Austin participated in a tournament to determine a
new NWA World Champion. He beat Arn Anderson on night one, but lost to Keiji Mutoh in
the quarterfinals on August 10th in Tokyo.
Upon returning to the states, it was apparent that the Austin-Windham war was going to
continue on for several additional months. But it wasn’t Windham who took the TV Title
from Austin on September 2nd in Atlanta, but former NWA Champion, Rick Steamboat.
He missed some time in late 1992 due to an injury.
Austin’s tag team ability rose from the depths when he formed the Hollywood Blonds
with Brian Pillman in early 1993. The two were immediately placed in a category which
few other tag teams stood. They had a mix of mat wrestling, quickness and high-flying
which amazed audiences. On March 2, 1993 in Atlanta, the Blonds took Steamboat and
Shane Douglas to the mat and walked away with the NWA and WCW World Tag Title
Belts. They met the former champs in a classic rematch on May 23rd at the initial
Slamboree event. Austin pinned Douglas to retain. Horsemen members, Paul Roma and
Arn Anderson challenged them for the title on July 18th in Biloxi, Mississippi at Beach
Blast. After 26-minutes of competition, Austin pinned Roma to retain.
During the summer, Pillman suffered an injury and was forced out of action. The
Blonds’ run at the top was over even before they could really prove how good they were.
Their several month run at the top still drew comparisons to tag teams who reigned as
champions for twice and three times as long as they held the belts. On August 18th in
Daytona Beach, Austin teamed with Lord Steven Regal in defense of the tag belts and
lost. Roma and Anderson finally won the gold. Regal was the man pinned, as well.
Austin refocused and began hunting for the WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title, which was
being held by Dustin Rhodes. He soon took Colonel Robert Parker as his manager. At
the same time, Pillman’s return was in the works and instead of bonding together to
quickly reunite and recreate what they once had, Austin and Pillman were set on a crash
course in the ring. Austin received a shot at the U.S. Title on October 24, 1993 in New
Orleans at Halloween Havoc. He was defeated.
In November at Clash XXV, Austin wrestled Pillman in a bout in which the winner would
have to wear a chicken suit. If Austin lost, Col. Parker would have to don the uniform.
With the manager’s help, Austin beat his former partner by pinfall. Pillman wore the gear
during a television taping the following week. In a pairing of two great athletes, Austin
teamed with the legendary Ric Flair on November 20, 1993 in Pensacola, Florida during
the Lethal Lottery Tag Team event at BattleBowl ’93. Flair forced Maxx Payne, who was
teaming with 2 Cold Scorpio, to submit. Both men advanced, but neither won overall.
On December 27th, Starrcade was held in Charlotte. Austin received another shot at
Dustin Rhodes’ U.S. Heavyweight Title. In two-of-three-falls, Austin won the match and
his first major singles championship. Rhodes was disqualified in the first, but Austin
pinned him for the second. He had won two straight for the gold. After only several
years in wrestling, Austin was the top contender to the World Title and was fast
developing into a man who could easily capture that top strap. On that same card, Flair
captured the WCW World Title from Vader. A face-heel, Austin vs. Flair match could
have been established for the next pay-per-view, but it never did happen. Austin was
again a proven champ when it came to defenses. He took on all comers. On April 17th,
Austin battled of The Great Muta from Japan at Spring Stampede. The champ won by
disqualification when he was tossed over the top rope. Austin took on Johnny B. Badd on
May 22nd and than Rick Steamboat on July 17th in Orlando. He beat them both.
After eight months as titleholder, Austin lost the crown in a special no-disqualification
match to Steamboat on August 24, 1994 in Cedar Rapids. The match went 16:08 and
ended in a pinfall. A rematch between Austin and Steamboat was scheduled for Fall
Brawl on September 18th, but the latter was forced to pull out due to a back injury.
Austin was, in-turn, awarded his second U.S. Title by forfeit. Officials decided that Austin
would just not walk off with the title, but rather defend it immediate against newcomer, Jim
Duggan made his way to the ring with crowd momentum and pinned Austin in 27-
seconds. The title was gone before he really even had it. He challenged Duggan in a
rematch on October 23, 1994, but lost by disqualification. Austin suffered a serious
tricep injury which kept him off the mat for several months.
In 1995, he left WCW and began appearing for Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Some of his early interviews in ECW mocked several of his former co-workers and
brought out his comedic sense. Many questioned the sincerity and whether it was a
shoot or not, but either way, they were effective. Austin’s initial debut came in
Middletown, New York on September 23rd. Prior to his debut under the ECW Banner, he
had received offers from promoters in Japan for a tour, but by the end of September,
Austin was in Philadelphia and in the heart of ECW. Whether the stint was going to be
long or short, Austin’s appearances would make an impact on the promotion no matter
what. He wrestled for the ECW World Title on November 18th in Philadelphia and was
defeated by Mikey Whipwreck. Austin had attacked the champion’s original opponent,
The Sandman, prior to the bout. The three competed in a three-way dance on
December 9th in Philly for the ECW Title. The Sandman beat Austin and Whipwreck to
win the crown. Austin was pinned in the finale, but had scored a victory over Whipwreck,
the reigning champ, earlier in the match and eliminated him.
In early 1996, Austin left ECW for the World Wrestling Federation. He was initially billed
as the “Ring Master” and was managed by Ted DiBiase. Austin had a shaved head and
a new look. He made his debut on January 8, 1996 during Monday Night Raw during an
interview segment with Brother Love. DiBiase was by his side. Austin adopted the
“Million Dollar Dream” sleeperhold as his finisher and DiBiase supplied him with the
Million Dollar Belt. He beat Matt Hardy during the January 15th edition of Raw and went
undefeated for several weeks before being upended by Shawn Michaels in February. A
feud with Savio Vega quickly evolved. At WrestleMania XII on March 31, 1996, Austin
beat Vega after DiBiase interfered.
During the summer, he dropped the “Ring Master” gimmick and became known as
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The war with Vega continued. In a match not televised at In
Your House VII on April 28, 1996, Vega defeated Austin by pinfall. A little under a month
later on May 26th, he was again defeated by Vega, but with more on the line. It was a
special Caribbean Strap Match and if Austin lost, DiBiase was to leave the organization.
DiBiase followed through with the stipulation and left the WWF.
He entered the King of the Ring Tournament. On pay-per-view, Austin pinned Marc
Mero in 16:53 during the semi-finals to advance. The event was held in Milwaukee on
June 23, 1996. He suffered a cut lip in the match, but the blood was not enough to stop
his run at the crown. Jake “The Snake” Roberts also made it to the finals on the other
side of the bracketing. In the last match of the tourney, Austin pinned Roberts in under
five-minutes to win the event and become the 1996 King of the Ring. The achievement
opened many eyes to Austin and his attitude change. “Stone Cold” was becoming
something no one could have ever seen coming. He beat Marc Mero on July 21st and
then grappled with the Undertaker on July 29th during Raw. Austin won by countout
when his opponent got involved in a wild brawl with Mankind. Austin was caught in a
He gained a big win over a former WWF World Champion on August 18, 1996. Austin
pinned Yokozuna in 1:51. He continued his rise to the top of the food chain and win after
win documented his rise. His personality exploded and Austin’s popularity was increasing
by the day. Steve’s former Hollywood Blond parnter Brian Pillman joined the WWF. For
a short period of time, Austin and Pillman were in cahoots. That would all end and on
November 4, 1996…wrestling changed forever. That edition of WWF Raw might be the
one fans remember most over the last few years among many historic episodes. Pillman
was at his house when Austin attempted to break in. Pillman pulled a gun on him. The
feud was not in the ring, nor was it staged in an empty area. The weapons were not
metal suitcases or steel chairs, but this time…on national television, the weapon was a
gun. No one was hurt that evening, although the hatred between Steve Austin and Brian
Pillman was obviously clear.
On November 17th in New York City, Austin wrestled the “Hitman”Bret Hart and lost at
Madison Square Garden. Austin attacked Hart during the latter’s match with Vader on
January 6, 1997. During the fiasco, he landed a Stone Cold “Stunner,” a move he had
perfected and was one of the most dangerous in the business. The stunner could be
landed from almost any position…but was most effective when Austin first landed a kick
to the stomach. Several wrestlers would learn to combat the stunner. No one was safe
Austin and Hart entered one of the most heated feuds in WWF history. On January
19th at the Royal Rumble, Austin eliminated Hart in the finals to win the event in San
Antonio. In less than a year, he was both the King of the Ring and Royal Rumble
Champion. He also earned a World Title shot at WrestleMania. Austin had been tossed
over the top rope earlier in the match by Hart, but the referee’s failed to visualize the
elimination and Stone Cold returned to the match. The next night on Raw, Austin heard
Hart announce that he was quitting the organization. He quickly walked out and had
words with the man he had ousted the night before. Austin’s speech made more fans
jump on the bandwagon. A match with the Undertaker was signed for later that night. He
was originally scheduled to meet Sid Vicious. Later in the night, Gorilla Monsoon
announced that Austin was not going to get the shot at WrestleMania due to the way in
which he won the night before.
A special four-way contest on February 16th would decide who would meet the
champion. The other competitors in the bout were going to be Vader, Hart and the
Undertaker, three men Austin eliminated during the Rumble. He returned to the ring as
did Hart. A brawl erupted and the match was set in stone. The four participants
scheduled for the pay-per-view headliner ended up in the ring fighting. His match with
the Undertaker was declared a no-contest.
In the weeks that followed, the four-way bout’s importance grew. The WWF World
Champion, Shawn Michaels suffered a knee injury which would prevent him from
participating in any future title match. Promoters decided that it would be best to declare
the winner of the four-way match the new World Champion because they were the top
four competitors. 6,000 fans packed the UTC Arena on February 16th in Chattanooga.
Hart beat the Undertaker in the finals and won the vacant title. Before an Austin-Hart
World Title Match could be signed for WrestleMania, Hart dropped the belt to Sid Vicious
in Nashville. The heated war with Hart did go on as scheduled, though. Austin lost a 22:
04 special submission match to Hart on March 23, 1997 in Chicago. The WrestleMania
bout was a classic. Ken Shamrock was the guest referee. It was a blood bath and many
weapons were utilized by both men. Austin was placed in a ring post figure-four leglock
by Hart during the match. He didn’t submit there but later eventually did pass out from
the pain from a sharpshooter. Hart failed to immediately release his hold upon victory
and Shamrock had to intervene.
Austin wrestled Hart in a rematch on April 20th at In Your House. Prior to their match,
Austin was attacked by Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith wielding baseball bats. Hart and
his crew were obviously establishing themselves as the clear heels and Austin was left to
be cheered. The fans responded. He won his match with Hart by disqualification when
Smith interfered. The two fought hard, concentrating on the other’s weak spots, primarily
the knees. After the match, Austin and Hart continued to fight. It was there that Austin
applied a second sharpshooter and nearly crippled his enemy. Hart had to be helped
from the ring.
Fans of the WWF knew to be watching Raw is War the next night. Austin met Vince
McMahon on Raw for an interview in the ring. McMahon reminded him that he still had a
World Title shot against the Undertaker on May 11th. Austin didn’t want to focus on that.
He wanted to fight Hart again and challenged him to a street fight. Hart appeared on the
arena television screen and verbally accepted. Yet another Austin-Hart bloodfest was
planned. Both men entered the contest in street clothes, prepared to go all out. The two
began to argue when Owen Hart and Smith jumped Austin from behind. Bret jumped into
the mix and it was three-on-one. Shawn Michaels ran out and saved Austin with a steel
chair, chasing off Hart and Smith. Then, the match began. Bret Hart used a chair of his
own to damage Austin’s knee. Stone Cold was able to battle back and return the favor.
He caught Hart in the sharpshooter and refused to release. Hart never gave up, but
Austin’s relentless pressure was going to break the man’s leg. Officials from backstage
appeared to assist, but the hold was held for several minutes. He finally let go. Hart was
carried from the ring.
Gorilla Monsoon read Austin the Riot Act and told him that the WWF had rules. Austin
was verbally evicted from the building. Around the same time, Hart was being loaded into
an ambulance. After the back doors closed, it was noted that Austin had removed the
regular driver. He was in the front and it wasn’t going to be long before he was in the
back with an injured Bret Hart. Austin jumped the tied down athlete, pummeling him
endlessly. It was some time before the beating was halted by his brother Owen and
Davey Boy Smith. The night was far from over. Austin had words with Shawn Michaels
about him running out with a chair to save him earlier. To close the evening out, he
again met McMahon in the ring for an interview. As expected, he was attacked by Owen
and Smith and again, Michaels ran out with a chair to save him. Brian Pillman ran out
through the crowd and further beat on Austin, but for a third time, Michaels was there.
In one night, Austin had fought either physically or verbally with Vince McMahon, Bret
Hart, Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Shawn Michaels, Gorilla Monsoon, Brian Pillman and
then, finally, had words for the fans. Quite a busy night for Stone Cold. He received a
World Title shot against the Undertaker on May 11th and was pinned. There was no
doubting it, Austin could main event any and all of the WWF’s pay-per-views. He was
wrestling the top stars in the WWF and although the World Title remained out of his
reach, there was no question in any mind that he was ready to strap it around his waist.
Austin teamed with Michaels on May 26th in Evansville on Raw. The two challenged
Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith for the WWF World Tag Title. He argued with his
partner about who was the captain of the team. Before the two teams locked up in the
ring, a match was signed between the Legion of Doom and Austin and Michaels, if they
captured the belt that night. Austin pinned Smith after Michaels landed a superkick and
gained the WWF Tag Title. Pillman, Hart, Smith and Jim Neidhart attacked Michaels after
the match on the arena floor as Austin went after Bret Hart on the aisleway. He had
words for Michaels also.
The two soon split up and the belts were declared vacant. The wrestlers battled to a
no-contest on June 8th. Austin went to the ring without a partner on July 14th in San
Antonio against the former champs. Dude Love arrived on the scene and the two
proceeded to win the title. Love pinned Smith after Austin landed a stunner. Steve took
another WWF Championship on August 3rd when he won the Intercontinental Belt from
Owen Hart. In the matter of weeks, he had captured two major wrestling championships.
The party was over before it even began. He had suffered a serious neck injury in the
contest with Hart and was taken from the arena in an ambulance. WWF Officials stripped
Austin of both titles in September.
He returned to interfere in the October 5th match between Owen Hart and Faarooq
which was to determine a new I-C Titleholder. Hart was victorious because of it. Austin
returned to the ring and beat Hart on November 9th. His second reign as Intercontinental
Champion began. Around this same time, Rocky Maivia Jr. was lighting up the ring and
fast becoming one of the sport’s most watched young stars. On December 7th, Austin
pinned Maivia to retain his gold. 1998 began as 1997 had with a second Royal Rumble
victory. The two previous wrestlers to have accomplished such a feat were Hulk Hogan
and Shawn Michaels, both former World Champions. The day after the Rumble, Austin
confronted former World Boxing Champion, Mike Tyson during Vince McMahon’s
interview with the suspended fighter. Austin challenged Tyson verbally and received a
push in the chest. A week later on Raw, another challenge towards Tyson was made. He
said he would fight him anywhere. Don King, Tyson’s promoter, announced that he and
McMahon were working the arrangements out for a match.
Tyson was soon announced as the special enforcer for the Austin-Michaels World Title
Match at WrestleMania XIV in Boston. It was soon found that Tyson had joined
DeGeneration X, a group led by Michaels. It kind of swayed things in the champ’s favor.
The talk quick turned to if the special enforcer could remain unbiased. An obvious
question. WrestleMania was held on March 29, 1998 at the FleetCenter. Austin pinned
Michaels in a four-star match to capture his first WWF World Heavyweight Title.
The finish came with a stunner after blocking a superkick. Surprisingly, Tyson made
the three-count in the middle of the ring after the assigned referee was knocked out. On
April 6th, a corporate Austin was expected by many and he did not fail to appear in a suit
and tie, playing right into the hands of the Vince McMahon. The WWF Owner met the
new champ in the ring. The two exchanged words and when it was all said and done,
Austin walked from the ring in his wrestling gear and a 3:16 shirt on. The suit was tossed
into the crowd. There was not going to be a “corporate” Steve Austin. Behind him,
McMahon was reeling from a low blow.
On April 13th, McMahon stepped into the ring to fight Austin one-on-one. His actions
helped Raw beat WCW’s Nitro in the ratings for the first time since June 10, 1996. It was
later learned that McMahon was going to be the special referee for Austin’s May 31st
bout with Dude Love. Also that Jerry Brisco and Pat Patterson, two of McMahon’s
longtime allies, would be the guest ring announcer and time-keeper for the match. The
WWF Owner also announced that Austin would have to team with an unknown partner
and face an unknown tag team later that night, which was May 11th in Baltimore. That
partner turned out to be none other than McMahon himself. Their opponents were D-Lo
Brown and Rocky Maivia Jr. The fans were going to be shocked if nothing happened
between Austin and McMahon and if they acted as if they had been teaming together all
of their lives, but something did happen. McMahon clotheslined Austin and the brawl that
was suspected, occurred.
The WWF Champion appeared in Norwood, Ohio for the Brian Pillman Memorial Show
on April 29th. His former partner died of heart disease in October of 1997.
Between January 1998 and October 1998, Austin participated in ten straight pay-per-
view main events from special referee to defending World Champion. He lost the WWF
Title to Kane on June 28th but regained it a day later in Cleveland. Several months later,
he dropped a match to both Kane and the Undertaker on September 27th. The World
Title was in lingo because both men claimed the belt. Officials declared the title vacant.
Kane and Undertaker would compete for the title and Austin would be the special
referee. Austin decided that he was going to pin both men and claim the title himself.
The WWF said otherwise. The title remained vacant and a tournament was scheduled.
Austin entered the bracketing and successfully made it to the semifinals before being
eliminated by Mankind.
On December 13th in Vancouver, Austin beat the Undertaker. The next pay-per-view
marked Austin’s attempt to win his third straight Royal Rumble. Receiving the number
one pick out of the thirty was not totally indicative of accomplishing the record feat.
Despite the odds possibly leaning against him, Austin made his way to the finals against
the number two man, Vince McMahon. Amazing all who witnessed it, McMahon eliminated
him and won the Rumble and although the achievements were astonishing for both, it
was the WWF Owner who was going to receive the World Title shot at WrestleMania.
In February, a steel cage match was held between Austin and McMahon to determine
the “once and for all” challenger at the March PPV. Austin beat McMahon in a bloody
bout after the Big Show interfered. On February 19th, Bill Goldberg, a WCW wrestler,
appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and offered to put up $100,000 to wrestle
Austin. Stone Cold returned comments while appearing on the Howard Stern show a few
days later. Giving in a little bit to Hollywood, Austin appeared on Nash Bridges, a CBS
In the main event of WrestleMania on March 28th, Austin pinned Rocky Maivia to
capture his third WWF World Title. A lot of work was put it in his return to the top and in
the end, he was successful in accomplishing his goal. Shane McMahon was the special
referee for Austin’s title defense against Maivia in Providence on April 25th. McMahon
helped the Rock several times during the match, causing Vince McMahon to get involved
and attack his son. Austin was able to pin his challenger and retain the belt. Two nights
later, Austin teamed with Maivia against Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the Undertaker in
New Haven. The match was a wild no contest. Neither team could remain conscious long
enough to get a victory.
Austin finally did lose the title to the Undertaker on May 23rd in Kansas City but the
odds were considerably against him. The father-son duo of Vince and Shane McMahon
were the two special officials directing the match. There wasn’t really a question of why
he lost the strap. The next night on Raw, Austin paid his respects to Owen Hart, a man
who had given his life to the profession during the Sunday pay-per-view.
“Stone Cold” regained the WWF World Title for the fourth time on June 28, 1999 in
Charlotte with a win over the Undertaker. At the July PPV, Austin beat the ‘Taker once
again in a first-blood match in Buffalo. With the win, Vince McMahon was preventing from
appearing on WWF Television. Many fans thanked Austin and yet others were upset.
Jesse Ventura, former wrestling champion and the Governor of Minnesota, was brought
in to referee Austin’s defense of the World Title against Hunter Hearst Helmsley and
Mankind on August 22nd in Minneapolis. The bout went more than 16-minutes before
Ventura counted Mankind’s pin on the champ before the estimated 17,000 fans. The title
In Atlanta on October 11, 1999, Austin teamed with Jim Ross in a tag match with
Helmsley and Chyna. The match was wild and ended in the back of the arena where
Helmsley was met face-to-face with a rattlesnake. A real, slithering rattlesnake. Austin
appeared off and on for the remainder of the year and headlined the No Mercy pay-per-
view with a World Title shot at Triple H on October 17th. He was defeated after the Rock
ran out and accidentally nailed him with a sledgehammer.
The next night on Raw, Helmsley cost the Rock and Sock Connection the WWF World
Tag Team Title in a match with the Hollys. After the match, Austin prevented Helmsley’s
easy getaway and tossed him back into the ring. The Rock was about to land his
patented “People’s Elbow” when Stone Cold decided to put an end to the festivities. He
flipped the Rock for his actions the night before and then landed a stunner.
A feature article was written about Austin by John Leland in Newsweek and more
national publicity in the mainstream media. Injuries plagued him. On Sunday, November
14th in Detroit, Austin was forced to pull out of the main event World Title Match against
Triple H and The Rock. He had previously been involved in a brawl with Helmsley and
was run down by a moving black automobile and a mysterious driver. Austin was
stretchered out and loaded onto a gurney as Vince, Shane and Stephanie McMahon, Jim
Ross and Test looked on. He was taken to a local hospital. The Big Show filled in for him
and won the WWF World Title.
Austin had major surgery on his neck and doctors said that he would not be able to
return to wrestling until late 2000, if he would return at all. The injury could have easily
been career ending. Audiences continuously beckoned for Stone Cold’s return. The
organization needed it. On April 30, 2000, Austin returned in Washington DC during the
Backlash show. He assisted The Rock in his war with the McMahons and Triple H. The
Rock beat Helmsley and won the WWF World Title. Austin and Rock celebrated
afterwards. It was good seeing him, but it wasn’t enough. It would have been enough if
Austin kicked someone in the stomach and then turned to land his stunner.
His full-time return came in September. On Sunday, September 24th, he tore
throughout the First Union Center in Philadelphia searching for the driver of the black car
who mysteriously drove him down in November of ’99. Kevin Kelly and Kurt Angle were
two men who got in Austin’s way. Angle attempted to give him an honorary gold medal,
but it was refused. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley gave Austin the same baseball hat he
wore the night of the incident. Stone Cold began looking for Triple H. Austin ended up in
the ring with the man Shane McMahon believed to have run him down, Steve Blackman.
Footage was shown of Blackman attempting to run Ken Shamrock over and it was said if
anyone had as much experience in rundowns, it was Blackman. Austin gave him the
stunner and then followed up with three for McMahon. He said he was still going to
It was soon revealed that Rikishi was the man who was driving the car. Officials quickly
scheduled a match between Austin and Rikishi for No Mercy on October 22nd in Albany.
The no-contest ended with Austin being arrested for attempting to run his opponent over
in an automobile. The revenge he wanted so bad cost him his freedom. Some stated
that it was “attempted vehicular homicide.” There was no question that it was one of the
craziest endings to a wrestling match. It could have been worse.
Austin appeared the next night on Raw and his stay in the slammer was not too long.
He was Rock Bottomed by The Rock during the November 2nd edition of Smackdown.
Austin went to the ring to confront Vince McMahon after the leader of the WWF had given
a speech about the importance of voting. He accused McMahon of being behind the hit
and run and behind Rikishi’s actions. Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle went to the
ring and had words with the former four-time WWF Champ. She got in his face,
distracting him as Angle attacked him. Austin quickly recovered to land a stunner. The
questions were still not answered. Austin was angry and the fans were on his side.
Everyone was a suspect. During the November 6th Raw in Houston, Austin was
attacked by Hunter Hearst Helmsley as most of the wrestling world stood in awe. Triple H
beat Austin unmercifully, using a sledgehammer and drawing blood. Helmsley was the
man who was behind it all. He was the man Austin had been searching for. The
deliberation was over. Triple H had gone to him with a vengeance. At the Survivor
Series in Tampa, Austin battled Helmsley in a wild grudge match. There was no
decision. While brawling backstage of the Ice Palace, Triple H entered a car and
disappeared from sight. Austin got in a forklift and proceeded to pick up the car and then
drop it onto it’s hood. Miraculously, Helmsley was not seriously injured.
Austin received a spot in a four-way WWF World Title match against champion Kurt
Angle, Rock and Rikishi in Sheffield, England on December 2, 2000. Angle pinned
Rikishi to retain his championship. Armageddon was scheduled for December 10th in
Birmingham and a six-way “Hell in a Cell” bout was scheduled. Angle was the defending
champ against Austin, Rock Rikishi, Triple H and the Undertaker. The Rock was pinned
by Angle in 32:10. After the match, Austin gave the WWF Champion a stunner to remind
him who belonged where in the pecking order no matter where the belt was. He lost a
controversial match to William Regal by disqualification on December 18th after the
referee, Tim White found Austin holding the title belt over a downed Regal. The fact was
that Austin did not use the belt on the European Champion, but the referee didn’t know
what had actually happened. Austin landed a stunner on White and then spilled beer on
his downed body. He could have faced a serious suspension for his actions.
In January 2001, Austin joined the list of wrestlers ready to compete in the 30-man,
over-the-top rope Royal Rumble. The event was held in New Orleans. Austin drew
number 27. As he walked to the ring, he was attacked from behind by Triple H. It was
revenge for Stone Cold’s earlier interference in Helmsley’s WWF World Title match with
Angle. Austin was busted open, but finally managed to get into the ring and compete. In
the finals, he did battle with Kane and The Rock. The latter was eliminated by the former
and Austin tossed out Kane to win his third Rumble. He battled Helmsley in a two-of-
three-falls match on February 25th in Las Vegas. The culmination of everything that had
happened over the last several months was going to come out violently in a match
between two of the toughest athletes in the sport. Austin pinned Triple H in the first, but
lost the second and third. The bloody final fall was held inside of a cage and the time of
the bout was 39:28.
In March, promotions for WrestleMania in Houston began. Austin entered a war with
the Rock, but both wrestlers maintained their heightened popularity. Over 67,000 fans
packed the Astrodome in Houston to witness the Austin-Rock WWF World Title Match. In
a shocking turn of events, Austin received some outside support from his longtime arch
enemy, Vince McMahon and captured his fifth WWF World Title. Fans were definitely
confused. As much as they wanted to continue cheering the new champion and applaud
his win, they were baffled by his acceptance of McMahon’s help.
Answers were going to shed new light on the situation the following night on Raw from
Fort Worth. Another large Texas Crowd was stoked as the show began. McMahon went
to the ring and began speaking about the different issues on the table. The Rock
appeared and quickly challenged Austin to a rematch later in the show. Rather than
continue discussing, the former champ attacked McMahon and put him in a
sharpshooter. The WWF leader finally agreed to a rematch between Austin and the
Rock later in the show, but this time inside of a steel cage. Later, McMahon returned to
the ring to present Austin with the WWF World Title Belt. The music played and Austin
made his way out to the ring. He grabbed the title belt and did his usual corner to corner
introduction. He asked the crowd if they wanted to see him beat McMahon. The fans
cheered wildly, hoping they had their man in the right frame of mind. Austin then
announced that it wasn’t going to happen. He wasn’t there to fulfill the needs of the fans
and from there it was all downhill.
Stone Cold made his abundantly known that he was no longer weary of those who
purchase his t-shirts and posters. In the end, he said that he didn’t have to given an
explanation for his actions the night before. The partnership between Austin and
McMahon was even more complex than originally thought. Especially when the name
Triple H came into the picture. Hunter Hearst Helmsley was the man behind Austin’s hit
and run accident in 1999. Time dwindled down and the main event of Raw began inside
of the steel enclosure. Austin and Rock battled each other until Helmsley made an
appearance with a sledgehammer. He used it on the challenger and then shook hands
with Austin. Triple H was the newest member of McMahon’s team. The trio celebrated
with beer afterwards.
Things went from bad to worse. Longtime ally, Jim Ross beckoned for Austin to go to
the ring during the April 5th Smackdown. The two conversed for several minutes before
Austin began to decimate Ross with his words. When the commentator decided he had
enough of the abuse, he turned his back and was attacked. Austin beat Ross bloody
and the fans were amazed at the champ’s crazed actions. McMahon walked out,
cheering for more. Ross needed medical attention immediately. That same night, Triple
H won the Intercontinental Championship. Austin battled the Hardy’s and Lita in several
big matches before entering a heated feud with the Undertaker and Kane. He teamed
with Triple H to beat the brothers in Chicago at the Backlash pay-per-view and won the
WWF World Tag Team Title. The two men held the World, I-C and World Tag Titles
between them. It was safe to say that McMahon’s stable was successful in their
On May 7, 2001, Austin beat Rikishi in a wild match. He also brawled with Mick Foley.
The feud with Undertaker set the stage for their title match at Judgment Day on May 20th
in Sacramento. Austin defended his title successfully in a no holds barred contest, a
bout in which both McMahon and Triple H played a part in. The next night in San Jose,
the Tag Champs were upset by Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho on Raw. A miscue with a
sledgehammer seemingly did them in. The Raw that closed out the month nearly saw
Austin upset again by Benoit in a title bout. The wild match was also, depending on who
you ask, a mock job of Montreal in 1997. Austin had Benoit in a crossface when
McMahon yelled for the bell to be rung. Clearly, Benoit hadn’t given up. The challenger
and his partner, Jericho got the final word with submission holds on Austin and
McMahon. They did clearly submit.
At the June pay-per-view, Austin wrestled both Benoit and Jericho in a three-way dance
for the belt. During the melee, World Championship Wrestling World Champion, Booker
T ran out and put Austin through the commentary table. The landing was rough and
Austin hit his head on a chair. Despite the attack, Austin finished the match with a pin on
Benoit. Booker T’s “invasion” of the King of the Ring was just another move by Shane
McMahon and his organization to infiltrate the WWF. The attack of the WWF World
Champ was their boldest move to date. It was obvious that the WWF-WCW war was
heating up. Austin’s KOTR injury was more than initially known. The next night on Raw
in New York City, Austin sought after Booker, who was at the WWF NY in Times Square.
In a rush, Austin and Kurt Angle went to that restaurant. After arrival, they were told that
both Shane McMahon and Booker had left for Madison Square Garden. They had
missed their chance for revenge that night. In the end, Booker attacked Vince McMahon
in the ring before being chased off.
A series of Austin-Angle skits began on WWF TV and kept fans rolling. On June 28th,
the taped Smackdown ran. Taz spoke to Austin about the champion’s recent attack on
his commentary partner, Michael Cole. One thing led to another and Austin jumped Taz.
Booker ran out and smashed Austin with the WCW Title Belt. The WWF Lockerroom
emptied immediately and a chase ensued. The Austin-Booker feud continued to boil.
Was the long awaited WWF World Title vs. WCW World Title Match on the horizon? On
July 2nd in Tacoma, Linda McMahon scheduled time for WCW in the main event of Raw.
Booker T was going to defend his title against Buff Bagwell. It seemed clear that Austin
was going to arrive and seek to even things up. When the time was right, Stone Cold
and Kurt Angle ran out and attacked Booker. Bagwell joined in and it became a three-
piece attack. The battle went back into the heart of the arena and than outside. Booker
was tossed to the ground. Before Bagwell could join in the WWF celebration, Austin and
Angle jumped him.
Suddenly, when it looked like the WWF was finally getting the edge, World
Championship Wrestling and Shane McMahon came to a deal with Paul Heyman and his
sister, Stephanie McMahon to relaunch Extreme Championship Wrestling. WCW and
ECW would combine forces to bring the WWF to it’s knees. The balance of force began
to waiver. Vince McMahon asked Austin to return to his old self…the Rattlesnake…the
man who didn’t care about anyone…the man who guzzled beer in the ring. While
confronted with McMahon’s plea in the ring, Austin turned his back and walked off.
Despite him asking for a stunner, McMahon’s wishes were not answered.
Finally, after some apparent thought, Austin returned to the “Old Stone Cold” in the
days immediately prior to the Invasion pay-per-view on Sunday, July 22, 2001 in
Cleveland, Ohio. A proud Vince McMahon led his WWF team to the ring. Shane
McMahon, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Paul Heyman were already ringside for the
contest. Austin was the last to arrive and the match had already broken out into a pier-
six brawl. The fans were delighted to see him back to his old ways. They wouldn’t be
delighted for long. The match lasted nearly a half-hour. Austin teamed with Kurt Angle,
The Undertaker, Kane and Chris Jericho against Booker T, The Dudley Boys, Dallas
Page and Rhyno. The former Olympic hero seemed to have Booker tapping out when
Austin turned on the WWF and helped WCW/ ECW get the victory. In the post-match
celebration, beers were passed out and the crowd witnessed him gloat with Shane,
Stephanie and Heyman. A new era of Austin was beginning. A new era of the invasion
WCW/ ECW had both World Champions under their banner. It seemed obvious that
the WWF needed a primary source to look upon. A savior of sorts. Was the Rock on his
way home? Was Austin vs. Rock going to be the main event of SummerSlam in August?
The night after Raw at the Smackdown taping, Kurt Angle forced Booker T to submit and
captured the WCW World Title. The WWF had a World Champion. Maybe the Rock
wasn’t going to be Austin’s next challenger. July 30th in Philly was a historic night for the
WWF and every wrestler in the organization felt the impact. The Rock made his return.
Angle also lost the WCW Championship. Earlier in the night, Angle did make a verbal
challenge for a title match with Austin at SummerSlam.
The Rock announced his loyalty to the WWF despite the Alliance’s confidence that he
would join them. SummerSlam in San Jose would only produce a bloody bath and a
disqualification victory for Angle. The event was held on August 19, 2001 at the Compaq
Center, and was every bit as wild as could be expected. In the end, three referees were
knocked out with Austin’s help. WCW Official Nick Patrick ran out and called for the bell.
He proceeded to disqualify Austin and awarded Angle the match. In such a situation,
Austin would retain the belt. The bloody Angle would get nothing.
The next night in Sacramento was declared “Austin Appreciation Night.” During the
Raw, several members of the Alliance spoke out about what Austin meant to them. After
much of the show, a scene was shot of Debra and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley leading
the Alliance through a corridor. The large gathering finally surrounded the ring as
Stephanie and Debra stood with Austin. Paul Heyman left the commentary both and
entered the ring wearing his Steve Austin Hat. He spoke for several minutes, clarifying
the fact that Austin had led by example and that he was a great man for the beating he
gave Angle the night before. Hurricane Helms joined those in the ring and gave Austin
his Green Lantern T-Shirt. Kanyon followed, giving Austin a “Who is Better than Steve
Austin” T-Shirt. Heyman continued his speech.
Debra and than Stephanie were introduced. McMahon-Helmsley called Lillian Garcia to
the ring to sing a song for Austin, but her reluctance got her fired. Finally, Stephanie and
the rest of the Alliance began to sing the song “Wind Beneath Our Ring” as the words
popped up on the TitanTron. When the tune was done, Austin said it was one of the
proudest moments of his life. He said that those in the ring were his family and that he
had beaten Angle down for them…for the Alliance. Austin looked around at everyone
wearing Austin or ECW/ WCW shirts on. He then focused on Taz, the only one not
wearing one of those shirts. The entire Alliance focused on Taz. Austin spoke,
proceeding to rip the shirt from Taz’s chest.
In the seconds that followed, Kurt Angle’s music played. The crowd erupted madly. A
huge truck rushed the ring…a milk truck. Angle was driving. He proceeded to throw milk
cartons at the Alliance and then busted out a hose, spraying those in the ring. Shawn
Stasiak made a mad dive at him, but missed badly. Angle showered the entire crew and
followed by getting onto the hood of the truck and mimicking Austin with beer. He
smashed two cartons together over his head. The audience was delighted. Needless to
say, the WWF World Champion was not. Austin was scheduled to team in a handicap
match against Chris Jericho and Angle on August 27th in Grand Rapids. Due to an arm
injury he suffered at the hands of Jericho on Smackdown, “Stone Cold” replaced himself
with Raven and Rob Van Dam. Angle got his hands on Raven, and took him out of the
contest, but Austin brought out Taz as Van Dam’s new partner. Angle pinned Taz for the
victory, but Austin jumped into the ring and attacked the Olympic Star. He took the gold
medals and put them around his neck and then left with them.
The next day in the Detroit Area, Austin was filmed throwing Angle’s medals into a
river. On September 3rd in Toronto during a live edition of Raw, Debra and Stephanie
McMahon-Helmsley prepared to give Austin a gift for his actions the week earlier. The
prize turned out to be a brand new truck. Austin went into the heart of the Air Canada
Center to celebrate with his new vehicle, but was attacked by Angle from behind. Austin
was knocked out in the bed as Kurt drove away. He was tied up and blindfolded. Angle
took him to a first bridge and threatened to throw him over. In the end, he stated that it
was too small. A second bridge was found and again, Angle threatened to toss him
overboard. Before driving off in the new truck, Austin was thrown into a filled kiddy pool.
The horn was honked as the vehicle drove off. An Austin-Angle rematch was scheduled
for the main event of Unforgiven later in September. The pay-per-view was going to be
held in Angle’s hometown of Pittsburgh.
On September 9th in Austin, Austin wrestled The Rock in a WWF World Title vs. WCW
World Title Match. It was a historic night between two wrestling champions, but would end
with a disqualification victory for the Rock after Shawn Stasiak and the Dudley Boys
interfered. During Smackdown on Thursday, September 20, 2001, Austin terrorized
Torrie Wilson in the ring before Angle ran out. The two engaged in a heated battle
before Taz interjected, giving Austin the edge. “Stone Cold” pulled up a mat which
surrounded the ring. He locked Angle in the piledriver and nailed the move. His
challenger for Unforgiven was carried out on a stretcher and his neck seemed to be in
grave danger. Later in the evening, Austin was confronted by a patriotic Angle. Words
were sent from the aisleway to the ring, and the fans firmly backed Kurt. The match was
On Sunday Night Heat, prior to the pay-per-view, WWF Commissioner William Regal
announced that Angle had not received medical clearance to wrestle. Invoking is powers,
Angle stated that he was going to allow him to wrestle Austin anyway. The show was held
on September 23rd in Pittsburgh. The anti-Austin crowd watched the champ defend his
title for more than twenty-minutes. The match was a classic, and ended when Angle
forced him to submit to an anklelock. Austin had reigned as WWF World Champion for
During the October 8, 2001 edition of Raw, Austin won his sixth WWF World Title in
Indianapolis. William Regal hit Angle with the WWF Title Belt, help “Stone Cold” get the
final pinfall. Later in the month at No Mercy, Austin retained his championship over Angle
and Rob Van Dam. He pinned Van Dam to end the controversial bout which saw both
Vince and Shane McMahon play a part. On November 3rd, Austin gave the Rock a shot
at the belt during the main event of Rebellion ’01 in Manchester, England. Angle
participated in the match, but Austin pinned Rocky to retain.
Leading up to the Survivor Series, everything the WWF and the Alliance had built up
were now on the table. The wrestlers were preparing for the fight of their lives. Steve
Austin was going to lead the Alliance into the ten-man tag team elimination match with the
winner going on to live another day. The legacies of the WWF, WCW and ECW were all
hanging in the balance. Kurt Angle ended up turning on the WWF and joining Austin’s
side, much to the surprise of many. Finally, on November 18, 2001, the Alliance five-man
team stood as Austin, Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Shane McMahon. The WWF
was represented by the Big Show, The Rock, Chris Jericho, Kane and The Undertaker.
Late in the contest, Austin found himself by himself against both the Rock and Jericho.
Against the odds, he pinned Jericho to even things up. Angle returned, only to smash
Austin with the WWF Title Belt. The Rock hit “Stone Cold” with a Rock Bottom and
scored a pin.
The WWF won the interpromotional war and Kurt Angle had played a double-agent.
The Alliance were all gone from television except those who retained championship
belts. Austin was not going anywhere. The following night in Charlotte, Vince McMahon
attempted to strip Austin of the World Title and award it to Angle for his actions. “Nature
Boy” Ric Flair returned to the WWF, announcing that he was the new co-owner of the
organization. Flair decided that no one was taking Austin’s title away from him. At the
end of the segment, Flair and Austin had a memorable staredown and then celebrated
On November 26th in Oklahoma, Vince McMahon called Austin out to the ring. There
was a reason for it. McMahon wanted the WWF Champion to get on his knees and kiss
his butt. The crowd stood in awe as Austin put some chap stick on and chewed a piece
of gum, as per McMahon instructions. An ass kissing seemed like the next step. Instead,
Austin employed a powerful low-blow. He proceeded to whip McMahon with his leather
belt until reenforcements arrived. If anyone thought Steve Austin was going to kiss Vince
McMahon’s ass, they better get an evaluation.
McMahon and Flair arranged a four-man tournament to determine an undisputed World
Heavyweight Champion. After the destruction of WCW, the former WCW Title became
known just as the “World Title.” There were two World Championships in the WWF…one
on Austin and one on the Rock. In addition to the two champions, McMahon and Flair
decided on Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho as the other two opponents. The tournament
would be held during the Vengeance pay-per-view on December 9th in San Diego,
Six-days before the event, Austin wrestled Jericho during a live telecast of Raw in
Milwaukee. The non-title match ended with Steve’s victory. Afterwards, Booker T
appeared on the TitanTron hotwiring Austin’s truck. Austin chased Booker away from the
Going in to Vengeance, obviously, Austin and the Rock were the favorites. In the
opening tourney match, Austin successfully defended his WWF Title against Kurt Angle.
The Rock lost the second match to Jericho, dropping the World Title after Vince
McMahon interfered. Jericho and Austin were matched up in the finals with the winner
becoming the initial undisputed World Champion. Prior to the initial bell, Angle hit Austin
with a steel chair and the Rock leveled Jericho with a Rock Bottom. Both men were
handicapped. Ric Flair, McMahon and Booker T played a part in the contest. It was the
latter’s part which cost Austin the match. Chris Jericho pinned the “Rattlesnake” and won
two World Titles in a single night, becoming the undisputed champion.
The next night in Anaheim, Austin and his famed “What” received a return match with
Jericho. Inside of a cage, he battled Jericho full force, busting the new champion open.
At one point, Austin was about to leave the ring when Jericho gave him the finger.
Incensed, Austin gave him two fingers and a stunner. Finally, Jericho was out and Austin
was ready to leave the cage. Booker T slammed the cage door onto Austin’s head and
Jericho escaped. In two straight nights, Booker cost Austin championship matches.
In recent history, only a few feuds have caused fans to actually both laugh and pound
the floor with their feet. Austin vs. Booker would be one of those. On Tuesday,
December 11th in Bakersfield, the madness began. Booker opened the show with Vince
McMahon, way up in the skyboxes. After Austin’s food was mistakenly sent to the room
and a fire was accidently started, three firemen appeared to put it out. Under the cover
of the uniform, Austin appeared and attacked both McMahon and Booker. A chase
ensued and then away from the arena. Booker was in a limo and Austin was in his pick-
The fight ended up at the Green Frog Market on Bernard Street in Bakersfield. Austin
and Booker fought all over the store from up and down the aisles to back in a cooler. At
one point, Austin was pushing his opponent around in a cart and also sang a few bars
from an Italian pizza commercial. On Monday in Lafayette, Austin and Booker found
themselves in another humerous segment at a local church. One more time…he said he
had nine beers and a Bloody Mary and shared a few great moments with the crowd,
[Biography Needs to be Updated]
From Memphis to Atlanta to Tokyo to Philadelphia to Connecticut, Austin has seen
much of the world and reached a pinnacle in the sport which few have. A level which
could only be dreamed about.
-A two-time WCW World Television Champion
-Defeated Bobby Eaton (1991)
-Defeated Barry Windham (1992)
-Co-holder of the WCW World Tag Team Title (1993) w/ Brian Pillman
-A two-time WCW United States Heavyweight Champion
-Defeated Dustin Rhodes (1993)
-Awarded title when Rick Steamboat was unable to wrestle (1994)
-WWF Million Dollar Belt (1996) awarded
-WWF King of the Ring Crown (1996) defeated Jake Roberts, tournament final
-A three-time WWF Royal Rumble Champion
-Won Event (1997)
-Won Event (1998)
-Won Event (2001)
-A two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion
-Defeated Owen Hart (1997)
-Defeated Owen Hart (1997)
-A four-time co-holder of the WWF World Tag Team Title
w/ Shawn Michaels (1997) defeated Owen Hart ad Davey Boy Smith
w/ Dude Love (1997) defeated Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith
w/ The Undertaker (1998) defeated Kane and Mankind
w/ Hunter Hearst Helmsley (2001) defeated Kane and The Undertaker
-A six-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion
-Defeated Shawn Michaels (1998)
-Defeated Kane (1998)
-Defeated Rocky Maivia Jr. (1999)
-Defeated The Undertaker (1999)
-Defeated The Rock (2001)
-Defeated Kurt Angle (2001)
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Steve Austin Wrestling History
|PPV Ring Record TV Ring Record Career Record
Legends of Pro Wrestling