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Stone Cold Steve Austin

Steven Williams (born Steven Anderson on December 18, 1964), better known by his ring name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is an American film and television actor and professional wrestler, currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment where he is scheduled to return to active competition on its Raw brand. Austin wrestled for several well-known wrestling promotions such as World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and most famously, World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which became World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002. In the late 1990s, Austin gained significant mainstream popularity in the WWF, comparable to that of Hulk Hogan in the 1980s, as Stone Cold, a disrespectful, beer-drinking anti-hero who routinely defied his boss, Mr. McMahon. This defiance was often shown by Austin flipping McMahon off and incapacitating him with the Stone Cold Stunner, Austin's finisher.

He retired as a regular in-ring performer in 2003 due to neck, ankle and knee injuries sustained throughout his career. However, he still makes occasional in-ring appearances, often to only perform his finishing move, the Stone Cold Stunner, normally followed by an extended beer drinking session punctuated by his slamming two beer cans together in a distinctive style then pouring the beer over his face. Austin had his first starring film role as Jack Conrad in the 2007 thriller The Condemned.

Austin is a six-time WWF/E Champion, the 1996 King of the Ring, and winner of the 1997, 1998 and 2001 Royal Rumbles, and is the only man in WWE history to win the Royal Rumble three times.

Early life and career

Steve Williams was born Steve Anderson on December 18, 1964. He was the second oldest of four brothers and one sister. After his parents' divorce, the family moved to Victoria, Texas His mother Beverly eventually married a man named Ken Williams, who became a stepfather to Steve and his siblings, who adopted his last name. In a 2004 interview on T-nation.com he revealed that he was an avid reader in his youth and had in fact taken the name Austin from his literary hero Jane Austen, mearly changing the 'E' to an 'I' in tribute to his adopted home.In middle school, Steve Williams was a member of the school band, where he played both the tuba and bass horn. In high school, Williams played football, baseball, and ran track. In baseball, he played in the catcher position and was a part of the all-star team. Williams earned good grades and was a part of the National Honor Society.(p.43) He received an American football scholarship to Wharton Junior College and then a full football scholarship to Schaumburg High School. He dropped out of college seventeen credit hours shy of graduating.

After dropping out, Williams joined "Gentleman" Chris Adams' professional wrestling school. He had his first match in World Class Championship Wrestling on May 11, 1989 defeating Frogman LeBlanc. At the start of his early career, he used his real name 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 did not want the fans to associate him with the hero from TV's The Six Million Dollar Man.

Later, he adopted the name "Stunning" Steve Austin and wrestled in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) for the first year of his career. Most of the time, he either teamed up or feuded with his former trainer Adams, with the teacher/student aspect of their relationship being added into the angle. During this time, Austin began dating Adams' ex-wife Jeannie, who, along with Adams' then-wife Toni Adams, were brought in to their storylines. Percival Pringle III was also added to the angle as Williams and Clark's manager.

Professional wrestling

World Championship Wrestling

Austin debuted in World Championship Wrestling in 1991 as "Stunning" Steve Austin, initially managed by Vivacious Veronica. Almost immediately after Austin's debut, Lady Blossom became his valet. Austin defeated Bobby Eaton for the WCW World Television Championship on June 3, 1991, just weeks after his debut. In late 1991, Austin joined Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance. Austin lost the WCW Television Championship to Barry 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. At Halloween Havoc, he replaced Terry Gordy, teaming with "Dr. Death" Steve Williams to wrestle Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham for the unified WCW and NWA World Tag Team titles. The pair wrestled to a thirty minute time limit draw.

In January 1993, Austin formed a tag team with Brian Pillman known as the Hollywood Blonds. The Blonds won the WCW World Tag Team Championship on March 3, 1993, defeating Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. The Hollywood Blonds held the titles for five months. At Clash of the Champions XXIII the Blonds faced Ric Flair and Arn Anderson in a two out of three falls tag team title match. Flair and Anderson defeated the Blonds, 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. An injured Pillman, however, was replaced by Steven Regal. Austin and Regal lost to Anderson and Roma. With Pillman still injured, Austin then joined Colonel Robert Parker's Stud Stable. After Pillman returned, Austin betrayed and defeated 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 Heavyweight 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, 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 lasted thirty-five seconds. Austin then challenged Duggan for the United States Championship at Halloween Havoc 1994 and Clash of the Champions XXIX. On both occasions, Austin lost to Duggan by disqualification.. After returning from his knee injury in early 1995, he took part in a tournament for the vacant WCW United States Heavyweight title, where he defeated Duggan in the first round, but lost to Randy Savage in the quarterfinals.

Extreme Championship Wrestling

In 1995, Steve Austin was fired by WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff, after suffering a triceps injury, while wrestling on a Japanese tour. 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 good 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 vignettes running down WCW in general and Bischoff in particular, referring to WCW's flagship program as "Monday NyQuil, where the big boys play with each other."

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. The Sandman defeated Steve Austin and Mikey Whipwreck in a Triple Threat match at December to Dismember 1995 for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment

The Ringmaster (1995)

In late 1995, Austin joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Initially, Austin used the moniker "The Ringmaster" and was managed by Ted DiBiase, who awarded him with The Million Dollar Championship. The Ringmaster defeated Savio Vega at WrestleMania XII. Also during this time, Austin shaved his head bald, 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 later told announcer Dok Hendrix that he had purposely lost the match in order to rid himself of his manager.

Austin 3:16 and rise to superstardom (1996−1997)

Austin's genuine rise to superstardom began on June 23, 1996 in Milwaukee, where the 1996 King of the Ring pay-per-view took place. Austin began using his trademark finishing maneuver, the Stone Cold Stunner, which had been taught to him by Hayes, and with this new technique 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, 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 16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!

"Austin 3:16" ultimately became one of the most popular catch phrases in wrestling history.

Austin spoke about Bret 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. 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.

During the 1997 Royal Rumble match, Austin was originally eliminated by Bret Hart, but the officials did not see it, and he sneaked back into the ring and eliminated Hart. This led to the first-ever pay-per-view 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 was for the suddenly vacant WWF Championship. Austin was eliminated from the four-way match early after injuring his knee, but was involved in the finish which saw Hart win his fourth WWF Championship, which he 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 involving Ken Shamrock as a special referee that has since come to be regarded as one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history. During the match Austin was cut so that he bled. In one of the most iconic moments in wrestling history, Hart refused to release his patented Sharpshooter since Austin had refused to give up. The match ended in Austin passing out due to blood loss. Despite his wounds he refused any assistance back to the locker room, thus turning Hart heel and Austin babyface in a rare double-turn. Austin eventually got 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. At King of The Ring in 1997, Austin fought Shawn Michaels in a match that involved a real bad problem coming from the stands. A man referred to as a "special olympian" jumped over the guardrail and tried to run into the ring. Security caught the man before he could enter the ring, and tried to subdue him. The match was stopped for a lengthy period of time, during which Austin and Michaels were both involved in the removal of this man. During the broadcast, Austin can be heard yelling "get him outta here!" while Michaels tries to assist in helping him out. On his way out, the man stopped and started to point at the referee, wagging his finger at him. As the man was being removed from ringside, he first fell on his face, then got up and tried to punch a cameraman. The match resumed after the issue had been dealt with, and ended in both competitors being disqualified by referee Earl Hebner.

Intercontinental Champion (1997)

Austin also had a brief tag team runs with both Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley where he had 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 pinned 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.

In that match, Austin suffered a near-career ending neck injury as a result of a botched piledriver 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 forced him to take time off for surgery in 1997. During that match, after realizing that Austin was hurt, Owen bought some time for Austin, prancing around the ring claiming Austin was going to "kiss his ass". 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 Owen Hart. Hart became champion thanks to interference from Austin, who whacked Faarooq, the other finalist, with the belt. For the month that followed, Austin began interfering in Hart's title matches, usually Stunning Hart's opponents, all in a crusade to ensure that Hart would not lose the Intercontinental Championship before Austin could take it from him.

At Survivor Series 1997, Austin got his shot. Owen Hart walked 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 lost the WWF Intercontinental Championship that night again to Stone Cold.After winning the Intercontinental Title back from Owen, Austin briefly feuded with The Rock over the belt. This was the first time the two men would cross paths in the WWF and marked the beginning of a long rivalry. This portion of their feud ended 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 The Rock and McMahon before taking the Intercontinental belt back before it could be presented to The Rock and proceeded to throw the belt off a bridge in Dover, New Hampshire during a live RAW telecast.

Later on May 23 1999, Owen Hart died of a harness and rappel line malfunction in Kansas City, Missouri during the Over the Edge Pay-Per-View event. On the following night the episode of WWF Raw Is War was a tribute to Owen Hart named Raw Is Owen and even though they fueded and Austin received a legitimate near-career ending neck-injury which required surgery in 1997, the broadcasting tribute ended with Stone Cold Steve Austin coming out to a special salute by climbing the turnbuckle and performing his famous beer guzzling routine, and leaving one beer in the ring "for Owen".

Feud with Mr. McMahon (1998–1999)

With Bret Hart's departure, Austin and Shawn Michaels was 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, lastly eliminating The Rock. The next night on Raw, Austin interrupted Vince McMahon in his presentation of Mike Tyson, who was making a special appearance, over the objection of McMahon referring to Tyson as "the baddest man on the planet." Austin gave Tyson the double-bird (two middle fingers), which led to Tyson shoving Austin much to McMahon's embarrassment, who began to publicly disapprove of the prospect of Austin as his champion. Tyson was later announced as "the special enforcer" for the main event at WrestleMania XIV, although he appeared to be aligning himself with WWF Champion Shawn Michaels' stable D-Generation X. This led to Austin's WWF Championship match against Michaels at WrestleMania XIV, which he won with help from Mike Tyson, who turned on 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 did not approve of his rebellious nature and 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 and tie, 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, punch his boss in the "corporate grapefruits," and take another picture of the two of them while McMahon was doubled over in pain.

In April 1998, it appeared Stone Cold and Vince McMahon were going to 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. Stone Cold further infuriated his nemesis by winning back the championship the next night on Raw. Stone Cold also emerged victorious against The Undertaker at SummerSlam 1998. In response, 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 the 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." Also the segment was very "embarrasing" to Mr. McMahon as it showed he was so scared that he kayfabe peed his pants. Stone Cold was later re-signed by Shane McMahon. In the semifinals of a tournament to award the vacant championship, Austin lost to Mankind, thanks to a double-cross by Shane. The next night on Raw, Judge Mills Lane ruled that The Rock had to defend his newly 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 after Kane tombstoned Undertaker into the grave. With this victory, Stone Cold had qualified for the 1999 Royal Rumble.

The Rattlesnake’s next definitive chance to exact revenge on Mr. McMahon came during the 1999 Royal Rumble match. On Raw, McMahon drew Austin's entry number with the obvious intention of screwing him over. Stone Cold drew entry No. 1, while McMahon drew No. 2 thanks to WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels. During the Rumble match, McMahon slipped out of the ring and into the crowd as Austin chased him down. It turned out to be a trap as McMahon led Austin into the lobby restroom where he was ambushed by members of The Corporation. Austin was injured and taken away in an ambulance. With Stone Cold gone and not in the Rumble match, Vince joined the announce table in calling the match. Later on, however, Austin returned in an ambulance and re-entered the Royal Rumble. After Austin delivered a Stunner to the Big Boss Man and eliminated him, it was back to just him and Mr. McMahon. With the assistance of the Corporation and a last minute interference from The Rock, Stone Cold was eliminated by McMahon himself, and Vince won the 1999 Royal Rumble. With McMahon turning down his number-one contender spot against The Rock, WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels awarded Austin the title shot during Raw the next night.

At St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Stone Cold got a one-on-one match against Mr. McMahon in a Steel Cage, with the WWF Championship opportunity at WrestleMania XV at stake. During the match, The Big Show made his debut, breaking through from under the ring and attacking Stone Cold. 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, 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 faced 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 take his son out of the proceedings. Austin won the match when another referee made the count. The Undertaker, however, won the WWF Championship from Austin at Over the Edge. Due to events revolving around Vince McMahon, Stephanie and 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 won. The next night on Raw, however, Austin made it clear that while he was the CEO of the company, he could have a title shot at any time and place to be determined by himself. Austin made the WWF Championship match that night on Raw and defeated The Undertaker to win his fourth WWF Championship.

Austin held 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, Triple H was champion. Instead of getting a rematch, Austin was run down by a car in the parking lot. What followed was neck surgery by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood and a nine-month rehabilitation with the car angle as his reason for leaving. In reality, Austin had needed neck surgery since the Owen Hart incident in 1997.

The Two-Man Power Trip (2001)

In April 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 forklift, then let it drop 20 feet.

Austin also competed in his second Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000. This was a six man Hell in a Cell involving WWF Champion Kurt Angle, The Rock, Rikishi, Triple H, and The Undertaker. Kurt Angle retained his championship.

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 Street Fight, 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 was short lived, however. At the next pay-per-view, Judgment Day, Triple H lost his Intercontinental Title against Kane. Then, the following night on Raw, 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. As planned, the team lost the Tag Team Title at the end of the match when Triple H accidentally hit Austin in the stomach with a sledgehammer, but the injury to Triple H, which kept him out for the remainder of the year, forced the WWF to go in another direction.

The Invasion (2001)

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 The 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. The reason why Austin did this was because he felt that the WWF didn't care about him anymore, especially Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle.

Austin lost and regained his title in a feud with Kurt Angle, who was 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. Angle then joined the Alliance. 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 after Angle betrayed him and that was the end of the Invasion angle. The next night on Raw, Mr. McMahon was about to award Kurt Angle with the WWF Championship for actions at Survivor Series when Ric Flair came out and announced that he owned half of the WWF and Austin came out and attacked Angle and McMahon, regained the WWF Championship and had a beer bash with Flair, turning Austin face once again. Austin would hold the WWF Championship for another month before losing it to Chris Jericho at Vengeance 2001 due to interfearence from Booker T. Jericho beat both The Rock and Austin consecutively in that night winning the WCW World Title and later the WWF Title and combining them to create the WWF Undisputed Championship. After that Austin coninued another feud with Booker T. In one storyline it shows Austin and Booker T fighting in a grocery store in which Austin won.

Backstage issues (2002−2004)

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. Austin was originally intended to be the one to challenge Hogan at WrestleMania, but because of their inability to agree on a finish, Austin refused, and The Rock took his place and defeated Hogan. At WrestleMania X8, Austin defeated Scott Hall instead. Austin took a week long break following WrestleMania, refusing to show up for the following night's Raw.

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, and he ultimately chose Raw. Austin then entered a feud with the Undertaker that resulted in a number one contenders match for the WWF Undisputed Championship at Backlash 2002, which Austin loss. He would later get betrayed by The Big Show who went on to rejoin the NWO. After that Austin got betrayed by Flair. He then went on to defeat The Big Show and Ric Flair in a handicap match at Judgment Day 2002. Austin's last appearance was on June 3, when he defeated Ric Flair in a match where Flair became Austin's servant. After Austin no-showed an episode of Raw, the angle was dropped. Austin had decided to walk out again because of bad storylines that were presented to him by the creative team. This time though, he did not 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. Austin, however, vetoed any matches that would result in him losing and ultimately walked out of the company when the writing staff wanted Austin to lose to Lesnar. 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 did not give Lesnar a proper stage for such a big win over a star of the magnitude that Austin held. 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. 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 ultimately became 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 17, 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 Bischoff's team of wrestlers. Austin quickly returned to WWE television before the end of 2003 when he was part of a 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 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, 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.

Part-time appearances (2005−present)

Steve Austin made his first appearance on WWE programming in a year on April 3, 2005 at WrestleMania 21 where he was confronted by "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in Piper's Pit until Carlito interrupted to insult both. This resulted in Carlito receiving a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin and Piper throwing him out of the ring. The segment ended with Austin and Piper celebrating with beer until Austin gave Piper a Stone Cold Stunner as well.

Then, 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 walked 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, who was brought in to generate some last minute interest in the match. The stipulation was dropped due to Austin not competing.

Austin returned to WWE briefly to face JBL in a beer drinking contest at the March 5, 2006 edition of WWE Saturday Night's Main Event. 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 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 31, 2007, Stone Cold inducted his friend Jim Ross into The WWE Hall of Fame. At WrestleMania 23, Austin, as a special guest referee, officiated the match between Bobby Lashley and Umaga. In the course of the event, Austin delivered stunners to Umaga, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Donald Trump. He then appeared in a video on the June 11 edition of Raw as part of Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, where he shared his thoughts on his past feuds with Mr. McMahon.

Stone Cold appeared on the August 18, 2007 edition of Saturday Night's Main Event, as a possible illegitimate child of Mr. McMahon and stunned Mr. McMahon and Jonathan Coachman. Stone Cold appeared at SummerSlam 2007 where he was the replacement for Matt Hardy to battle MVP in a Beer Drinking Contest. The match ended in a no contest decision after Austin handed a beer to MVP and gave him the Stone Cold Stunner.

On the November 5, 2007 edition of Raw Steve Austin made an appearance to confront Santino Marella for bashing The Condemned. The argument ended as Marella received a Stone Cold Stunner from Austin, who then walked backstage only to return with a Budweiser beer truck to hose down Marella and Maria with beer.

On December 10, 2007 during the Raw 15th Anniversary Spectacular, Steve Austin returned after Vince McMahon received the Mandible claw from Mankind and a Chokeslam from The Undertaker for proclaiming himself "the greatest Raw superstar of all time." Shortly after, McMahon received a Stone Cold Stunner as Austin called out all WWE stars in attendance to the ring to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Raw. The show closed as Austin, Triple H and Hornswoggle poured beer on McMahon, who was knocked out in the ring.

Stone Cold is one of the choices to be the special guest referee at Cyber Sunday (2008) & is scheduled to appear regardless if he is the referee or not. The other choices are Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels.

In wrestling

  • As "Stunning" Steve Austin
  • As The Ringmaster
  • Signature taunts
    • Stone Cold Salute (Middle finger to the opponent)
    • Opening two beer cans, knocking them together, and chugging them
  • Managers
  • Nicknames
    • "Stone Cold"
    • The Texas Rattlesnake
    • The Toughest S.O.B. in the WWF / WWE
    • The Bionic Redneck
    • The Extreme Superstar
    • The World's Toughest S.O.B.
  • Entrance music
    • Ringmaster by Jim Johnston (1995-1996)
    • Hell Frozen Over by Jim Johnston (1996-1998)
    • I Wont Do What You Tell Me by Jim Johnston (1998-2000, Late 2001-present)
    • Glass Shatters by Disturbed (October 2000-July 2001)
    • Venomous by Jim Johnston (used during his time in the Alliance during the Invasion angle)

    Championships and accomplishments

    Other media

    Film

    Following the end of his full time in-ring wrestling career, Austin began pursuing a career in acting. In January 2005, Austin signed a three picture deal with WWE Films. 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. 2007 saw the release of The Condemned which starred Austin as "Jack Conrad." The movie failed to meet box office expectations.

    Austin has also been in a number of WWE Home Videos, including Cause Stone Cold Said So (1997), Austin 3:16 Uncensored (1998), Austin vs. McMahon: The Whole True Story (1999), Hell Yeah: Stone Cold's Saga Continues (2000), Stone Cold Steve Austin: Lord Of The Ring (2001), Stone Cold Steve Austin: What? (2002), The Stone Cold Truth (2004), and The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin (2008).

    Television

    Austin has also made various appearances on television. In 1998, he appeared on the series V.I.P. in an episode entitled "Scents and Sensibility." He also appeared on Dilbert in the 2000 episode "The Delivery." He was also a regular guest commentator on the satirical MTV program Celebrity Deathmatch. Also in 2000, Austin appeared in six episodes of Nash Bridges as "Detective Jake Cage." His other credits include MADtv (2002), The Bernie Mac Show (2003), Punk'd (2005), MSG, NY (2007), The Big Ten (2007), Road Rules: Viewer's Revenge (2007), and Live with Regis and Kelly (2007).

    Books

    In 2003, Austin's autobiography The Stone Cold Truth was released. The book features excerpts written by his good friend, Jim Ross.

    Personal life

    Williams dated a woman named Kathryn Burrhus throughout high school and college, and the two were set to be married. Although they did marry on November 24, 1990, Williams pursued a relationship with Jeannie Clark, whom he was working with. Subsequently his marriage to Kathy was quickly annulled on August 7, 1992.

    Williams married Jeannie Clark on December 18, 1992. Together, they had two daughters, Stephanie (born in 1992) and Cassidy (born in 1996). He also adopted Jeannie's daughter, Jade (Jeannie's daughter with former husband & Austin's trainer Chris Adams). They divorced on May 10, 1999 and their daughters now live in England with Jeannie.

    On September 13, 2000, Austin married Debra Marshall. On June 15, 2002, however, police were called to their residence in San Antonio, Texas. They found a hysterical Debra with bruises. Austin had left the house and was asked by police not to return. On August 14, 2002, Austin was arrested and charged with domestic abuse. He pled no contest on November 25, 2002 and was given a year's probation, a $1,000 fine and ordered to carry out eighty hours of community service. Debra would later claim that Steve Austin was a steroid user and this incident was the result of roid rage. Austin filed for divorce from Debra on July 22, 2002 and the divorce was finalized on February 5, 2003.

    Notes

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    References

    • Mick Foley Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins.
    • PWI Staff "Pro Wrestling Illustrated presents: 2007 Wrestling almanac & book of facts". "Wrestling’s historical cards". Kappa Publishing, .
    • Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jim Ross The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books.

    http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwe-news/steve-austin-advertised-for-wwe-cyber-sunday.php

    External links

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