Stone Cold Steve Austin

From Academic Kids


Stephen Williams (born December 18, 1964) better known by his stage name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is a professional wrestler from Victoria, Texas. His birth name was Stephen James Anderson; he took on the surname Williams when he was adopted by his stepfather (his biological father had left the family when he was a small child). There are also several sources that claim that his middle name is Shane, not James and there is much debate over this.

He went on to play football at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), and, after holding down various odd jobs, began his wrestling career in the late 1980s in Texas. He took the ring name Steve Austin when he turned professional in 1990 because there was already a prominent, if not massively famous, wrestler with the ring name (and real name) Steve Williams. Austin states that he received the blessing of actor Lee Majors to use the name "Steve Austin", which was first used as the name of the character Majors played in the 1970s sci fi TV series The Six Million Dollar Man. Austin was trained by "Gentleman" Chris Adams amongst others.


World Championship Wrestling/Extreme Championship Wrestling

Austin very rapidly moved up to pro wrestling's big leagues after brief spells in various smaller promotions including the USWA and GCW. He wrestled for WCW as "Stunning" Steve Austin, from 1991 to 1995, mainly making a major name for himself as a member (with Brian Pillman) of The Hollywood Blondes, a hated heel tag team that became one of the most famous and charismatic tandems of the early 1990s. Before that, he won WCW's Televsion Title from Bobby Eaton virtually straight after his debut in June 1991, and held it for 15 consecutive months. He also aligned himself with Rick Rude, Larry Zbysko, Arn Anderson and Eaton in Paul E. Dangerously's Dangerous Alliance heel stable during this period. He then broke away and formed his partnership with real-life friend Brian Pillman in early 1993, but was feuding with Pillman by the end of the year and pursuing solo glory and the WCW United States Title.

Missing image
Steve Austin & Brian Pillman "The Hollywood Blondes"

The fact that the Hollywood Blondes were broken up at the height of their career as a team says a lot and goes to show that many WCW bookers and writers simply couldn't cope with their growing popularity and respect amongst smart and knowledgable fans. To most fans, Austin and Pillman were sneering heels designed to be hated, but a growing percentage of the audience were slowly beginning to appreciate anti-heroes such as Austin and cheer them on instead. Political problems and strange, but understandable, decisions from on high dogged the determined and outspoken Austin all throughout his WCW tenure.

He was also arguably held back from a deserved place in WCW's upper card in 1993/1994, despite holding the coveted United States Title for most of the latter year. Austin famously had his backstage critics, possibly fuelled by jealousy, but he also had his vocal and influential supporters though, including Ric Flair, and his long-term friends Mick Foley and William Regal. There is the long-held belief amongst many that Austin was touted by many to then-president Eric Bischoff as a suitable WCW World Champion in 1994, but Bischoff wasn't exactly Austin's #1 fan.

Various problems, and very possibly the expensive hirings of the likes of Hulk Hogan and "Macho Man" Randy Savage, made sure such runs never happened however. Eventually, Bischoff fired Austin over the phone in the summer of 1995 while Austin was recovering from an injury sustained while on tour in Japan. Austin felt deeply offended that Bischoff did not notify him in person, since WCW's Atlanta HQ was a very short drive from where he was staying.

After acrimoniously leaving WCW, Austin briefly went to Paul Heyman's ECW organisation on a short-term deal while waiting for the inevitable call from the WWF. As "Superstar" Steve Austin, he began to develop the Stone Cold gimmick that would make him genuinely famous, starring in a series of memorable TV skits that parodied Hogan and Bischoff amongst others.


In December 1995, Austin joined the WWF as a heel, but was given a gimmick that made it difficult for him to catch on with fans: The Ringmaster, the bland defender of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase's "Million Dollar Belt." Not liking his ring name at all, Austin asked WWF writers to come up with a new name for his character that would suggest a ruthless, cold-hearted persona; according to legend and Mick Foley in particular, the writers suggested "Chilly McFreeze" and "Ice Dagger." Austin then came up with the name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, reportedly after his then-wife Jeannie, a Brit, advised him to drink his tea before it became "stone cold." There is also another story claiming that the moniker was taken by Austin from a TV documentary on serial killers.

Austin 3:16

Austin shaved his head bald, a look he has maintained for a decade now, and overcame Savio Vega in a tough bout at WrestleMania XII. He soon parted ways with his with manager Ted DiBiase that spring when DiBiase quit and moved to WCW. Austin's genuine rise to superstardom began in June 1996, when he was booked to win the WWF's annual King of the Ring single-elimination tournament on PPV. After toppling Marc Mero in the semi-finals, he defeated the veteran Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the final; a popular 80s star who was then incorporating a moral, Christian message in his gimmick. After the match, Austin cut a promo during his coronation which viciously mocked Jake's reformed lifestyle: "You sit there and you thump your Bible and say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!" Austin 3:16 ultimately became one of the most popular catchphrases in wrestling history, but not instantly. Austin later turned face by befriending the fans.

(Interestingly, he was not originally intended to win the tournament; the WWF originally booked Hunter Hearst Helmsley (now Triple H) to win. However, the WWF changed its plans a few weeks before the PPV because of the MSG Incident; for more details, see Clique).

Strangely, Austin was somewhat underused by the WWF for the next few months, and was mired in pointless midcard feuds with the likes of Yokozuna and Triple H, still firmly in the WWF doghouse. One thing drove Austin on though: the in-exile and unhappy WWF legend Bret Hart. Austin spoke about Hart constantly and taunted him relentlessly on TV. Hart accepted Austin's challenge and returned to the WWF in October 1996. At the Survivor Series that November, Hart cleanly pinned Austin in a well-paced match which helped create the foundations for the eventual year-long feud between the two. Austin's ever-growing popularity and notoriety multiplied after his strong showing and in spite of his loss. The match came hot on the heels of a highly controversial incident broadcast live on Raw, which saw Austin "break into" the injured Brian Pillman's house allegedly brandishing a gun.

Austin then won the 1997 Royal Rumble match two months later after already being eliminated and then sneaking back into the ring unnoticed to eliminate the "real" winner, Bret Hart. After a subsequent, complex turn of real-life events largely revolving around Shawn Michaels, Hart and Austin were booked at the 11th hour for a re-match at WrestleMania 13 in March 1997. Hart defeated Austin in a submissions match refereed by Ken Shamrock, but the iconic image of the night was Austin's grimacing, bloody face being cheered on massively by the live Chicago crowd as the bitter Hart refused to release his patented Sharpshooter.

After a PPV rematch with Hart, a PPV WWF Title shot against The Undertaker, and a brief tag team runs with both Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley, Austin challenged Bret Hart's younger brother, the late Owen Hart. Austin's anti-Hart and anti-Canada stance made him easily the most popular star the WWF has had in over a decade, but he certainly wasn't popular up in Calgary at the fondly-remembered "Canadian Stampede" PPV in July 1997. Austin was almost booed out of the country by the fiercely Hart-loyal crowd, and the sight of a handcuffed Austin being led out of the arena by "policemen" while flipping the bird to the fans is still potent. Four weeks after that, at SummerSlam 1997, disaster struck when Austin suffered a near-career ending neck injury as a result of an botched piledriver by Owen. After being briefly paralyzed, Austin recovered and was able to win the match as planned, but the incident would force him to take time off for surgery in 1999, and would shorten his career.

By this point, things out of the ring were stepping up a level: "Austin 3:16" T-shirts were the hottest thing in wrestling; and the "Austin 3:16" interpretation of the the classic "#1" foam hand, now flipping a middle finger to the world, was also a record-setting best seller.

Austin vs. McMahon

After some time out, Austin returned to wreak revenge on Owen Hart to reclaim the WWF Intercontinental Title in November 1997, a title he later handed over to The Rock as his sights were now on bigger things. Austin won the 1998 Royal Rumble in January 1998, his second consecutive win, which triggered and fueled an storyline feud with WWF owner Vince McMahon that helped lead to the WWF's final victory over the now-defunct WCW in their war for the pro wrestling marketplace and Monday night TV ratings. In the process, the feud catapulted Austin to the level of mainstream recognition arguably matched only by Hulk Hogan in the mid-1980s. In fact, at the 1998/1999 peak of Austin's popularity, the WWF's sales of Austin-branded merchandise massively dwarfed the sales of Hogan-branded merchandise during Hogan's mid-1980s prime. Austin was even cast in recurring roles on two TV series: MTV's animated series Celebrity Deathmatch, and CBS' Nash Bridges, and featured in the nationwide "Got Milk?" ad campaign.

Missing image
Stone Cold's trademark action of skulling beer.

Austin went on to win his first WWF Championship in March 1998, defeating then-heel Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XIV in Boston. Mike Tyson served as special guest referee for their contest and photgraphs of Austin & Tyson celebrating together after the bout made newspapers worldwide. By now, Austin's authority-challenging, beer-swilling everyman persona was firmly over with the fans, who loudly lapped up every middle finger, swear word and catchphrase, including "Hell Yeah!" and "Cause Stone Cold Said So!"

The next night on RAW, Vince McMahon offered to work with Stone Cold, but only if Austin would agree to do things "his way." Austin refused, giving McMahon the Stone Cold Stunner, choosing to do things "the hard way." The feud built over the next few weeks until finally McMahon challenged Austin to a match on RAW that ended in a disqualification due to interference from Dude Love. The Austin vs. McMahon non-match resulted in the first ratings victory by the WWF in the Monday Night Wars in 84 weeks.

The two feuded throughout the next year, with Austin being challenged by McMahon's Corporation, resulting in some of the best TV the company ever produced. The success of the feud helped usher in the most successful era in WWF history, the Attitude Era. The rivalry was "blown off" at St. Valentine's Day Massacre in February 1999, when Austin defeated McMahon in a Steel Cage Match.

Towards the end of 1998 and throughout 1999, Austin got caught up in a vicious and complicated feud with Kane, Mick Foley and The Undertaker amongst others. Austin lost his title to Kane that June, but regained it 24 hours later on Raw. Then, in September 1998, he lost the title again, regaining it in March 1999 from Mr. McMahon's latest charge, The Rock, at WrestleMania 15.

After more feuds and arguments with The Undertaker, Mr. McMahon and the re-emerging Triple H, Austin's body began to genuinely wear out, forcing him to wear braces on his knees and he also was still suffering lingering effects from his SummerSlam 1997 neck injury. That injury, compounded by years of general wear and tear, forced him to undergo serious spinal fusion surgery in late 1999. When it was learned by the WWF that Austin needed the surgery and a year away from action, Austin's injury was staged as a backstage hit-and-run incident at Survivor Series 1999. Austin would not wrestle for a full 11 months after the surgery.


Missing image
Stone Cold's trademark slamming of two beers together.

He made a successful wrestling comeback in October 2000 to avenge his on-screen storyline hit-and-run attacker. It transpired that the driver was actually Rikishi, but when their battles failed to set the world on fire, the focus was shifted to Austin taking it out on Rikishi's alleged puppetmaster, Triple H. During this time, Austin won his third Royal Rumble in January 2001, last eliminating his old nemesis Kane. Then, on April 1, 2001 at WrestleMania 17, Austin made one of the most shocking heel (bad guy) turns ever, barbarically dismantling The Rock with a steel chair to win the WWF Championship and in the process aligning himself with his long-time enemy, WWF boss Vince McMahon, and, confusingly, Triple H. After the turn, Austin inadvertently coined a new popular catchphrase, "What?!", which fans would yell at any pause during a promo (at first, this would happened only for Austin, but eventually it would happen for any wrestler who came out to speak on the mic).

The fans, however, never really got into the storyline - which is strange as Hogan's heel turn back in 1996 helped take WCW above the WWF. Natural fan reactions meant that Austin briefly returned to being a babyface in the spring of 2001, but he turned heel again by turning on then-babyface Kurt Angle at the Invasion PPV and he thus joined The Alliance that was "attacking" the WWF from the outside. Again, fans were not entirely fond of the storyline, although Austin's switch was largely done to make up for the lack of major WCW stars who had not yet signed with the WWF after the WWF purchased WCW that March, such as Goldberg and Sting.

Austin lost and regained his title in the feud with Kurt Angle, then during that year's Survivor Series main event of Team Alliance (WCW/ECW) vs. Team WWF, Austin turned face again when Angle - now a member of the Alliance - turned his back on Austin mid-match. Angle was supposed to turn face during that time and Austin was supposed to be a hated heel still, but The Rock didn't forgive Angle when he betrayed the WWF and joined the Alliance. The storyline changes were a concession to the fact that the whole series of storylines hadn't really worked out, but Austin was still the champion regardless. He then lost the belt to wrestling's first Undisputed World Champion, then heel, Chris Jericho, that December.

Sadly, Austin's subsequent feuds also didn't really challenge him or draw big money either, especially his spat with the nWo and in particular Scott Hall in early 2002. Bored and run down, Austin walked out on WWE in June 2002. He later publicly admitted that he has never fully recovered from his injuries, especially his nagging knee injuries and the neck injury, and that he was frustrated with the booking and direction of his character. In February 2003, he returned to the WWE, mainly in a non-wrestling role.

(Soon after walking out on WWF, the company would change its name from WWF to WWE in an unrelated legal fight with the World Wildlife Fund. The company's slogan for the brand name change, "Get the F Out!" was perceived by some as a jab at Austin leaving the company. The Rock used the line in a WWE vignette about the name change, further fueling such speculation.)

Return to WrestleMania

After a match with The Rock at WrestleMania XIX, Austin became co-general manager for RAW, alongside his old WCW nemesis Eric Bischoff (outside the ring, the two have largely settled their differences). (In earlier storyline, in 1999, Austin also had a stint as CEO of WWE). After a rather ordinary 2003, on the November 16, 2003 edition of Raw, Austin was "fired" as co-GM of RAW as the result of a stipulation in a match at WWE's Survivor Series PPV. He sat out TV shows for several weeks to sell the storyline and make it appear like a real firing, but quickly returned to WWE television before the end of 2003, when he was part of a WWE Christmas special taped live in front of U.S. troops in Iraq. On December 29, 2003, he returned to regular WWE TV as the troubleshooting "Sheriff" of RAW.

Austin guested as referee for the match between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg at WrestleMania XX, then on April 17 2004, WWE put out a press release on their website claiming that Steve Austin and WWE were unable to settle long-running contract disputes and had again parted ways - reportedly over a contract dispute about WWE's control of Austin's non-WWE projects, such as movies and music. Austin could thus no longer use "Stone Cold" to promote himself, as that name is trademarked by WWE; Austin had to correct many in interviews to ensure they do not refer to him by that moniker. Another issue that may have influenced WWE in its decision is Austin's recent history of domestic violence incidents, which WWE saw as tarnishing their popular image. In November 2002, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor assault charge [1] ( after striking his then-wife during an argument. [2] ( Police in San Antonio were investigating charges that he threw his current girlfriend to the ground during a domestic dispute on March 24, 2004.

Steve Austin made his first appearance on WWE TV in a year on April 3, 2005 at WrestleMania 21 in Los Angeles. Austin was interviewed by 2005 Hall of Fame inductee "Rowdy" Roddy Piper in a Piper's Pit segment, and would use his finishing move, the "Stone Cold Stunner" on both Piper and WWE wrestler Carlito Caribbean Cool.

Austin then made an appearance at the following night's WWE Raw show - also from Los Angeles - in a segment with Maven and [[Mike Bucci|Simon Dean

On a July 13, 2005 edition of Raw, Austin came back to "listen" to the complaints of Muhammad Hassan, who claimed he was mistreated for being an Arab-American. Austin gave him a match against Shelton Benjamin but stayed out to enforce the match. He later attack Hassan after Hassan had low blowed Benjamin.

Film career

On January 19, 2005, Steve Austin and Vince McMahon held a press conference to announce an agreement for a three picture deal with WWE Films.

Steve Austin is also playing the role "Guard Dunham", a prison guard in the 2005 movie The Longest Yard featuring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.

In 2005, Steve Austin was Punk'd by his current manager.

Finishing/Signature Moves

Missing image
Austin delivers a Stone Cold Stunner to Roddy Piper

As The Ringmaster

As "Stunning" Steve Austin

  • Stun Gun (Snake Eyes; victim is dropped on top rope)
  • That's a Wrap (Standing Figure Four Leglock)
  • Hollywood and Vine (Shin Grapevine with Achilles Tendon Hold)

Trademark quotes

As "Stunning" Steve Austin

  • "Your brush with greatness is over!"

As "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

  • "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!"
  • "And that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so!"
  • "You think you can beat my ass? Hell No!"
  • "Give me a Hell Yeah!"
  • "You suck!"
  • "I'll open up a can of whoop ass on you!"
  • "Don't take this ass-whoopin' personally, Son."
  • "I will stomp a mudhole in your ass and walk it dry!"
  • "Don't trust anyone."
  • "Oh Hell Yeah!"
  • "What?"
  • "I'm here to drink beer and raise hell!"

Previous Managers

Championships and accomplishments

Title Reigns
Texas Wrestling Federation
TWF Tag Team Title1 (with Rod Price)
Defeated Won Tournament November 10, 1990 Texas
Lost to Title Relinquished May 1, 1991 Texas
World Championship Wrestling
WCW World Television Title
Defeated Bobby Eaton June 3, 1991 Birmingham, Alabama
Lost to Barry Windham April 27, 1992 Atlanta, Georgia
WCW World Television Title (2)
Defeated Barry Windham May 23, 1992 Chattanooga, Tennessee
Lost to Ricky Steamboat September 2, 1992 Atlanta, Georgia
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Title1 (with Brian Pillman)
Defeated Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas March 2, 1993 Macon, Georgia
Lost to Arn Anderson & Paul Roma August 18, 1993 Daytona Beach, Florida
WCW United States Heavyweight Title
Defeated Dustin Rhodes December 27, 1993 Charlotte, North Carolina
Lost to Ricky Steamboat August 24, 1994 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
WCW United States Heavyweight Title (2)
Defeated Ricky Steamboat2 September 18, 1994 Roanoke, Virginia
Lost to Jim Duggan September 18, 1994 Roanoke, Virginia
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
WWF World Tag Team Title (with Shawn Michaels)
Defeated Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart May 26, 1997 Evansville, Indiana
Lost to Title declared vacant June, 1997 ?
WWF World Tag Team Title (2) (with Dude Love)
Defeated Owen Hart & British Bulldog July 14, 1997 San Antonio, Texas
Lost to Title declared vacant3 September 7, 1997 ?
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title
Defeated Owen Hart August 3, 1997 East Rutherford, New Jersey
Lost to Title declared vacant4 September 8, 1997 Cincinnati, Ohio
WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title (2)
Defeated Owen Hart November 9, 1997 Montreal, Quebec
Lost to Rocky Maivia5 December 8, 1997 Portland, Maine
WWF World Heavyweight Title
Defeated Shawn Michaels March 29, 1998 Boston, Massachusetts
Lost to Kane July 28, 1998 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Title (2)
Defeated Kane July 29, 1998 Cleveland, Ohio
Lost to Title declared vacant6 September 27, 1998 Hamilton, Ontario
World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Title (3)
Defeated Rocky Maivia March 28, 1999 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lost to The Undertaker May 23, 1999 Kansas City, Missouri
World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Title (4)
Defeated The Undertaker July 28, 1999 Charlotte, North Carolina
Lost to Mankind7 August 22, 1999 Minneapolis, Minnesota
World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Title (5)
Defeated The Rock April 1, 2001 Houston, Texas
Lost to Kurt Angle September 23, 2001 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Title (6)
Defeated Kurt Angle October 8, 2001 Indianapolis, Indiana
Lost to Chris Jericho December 9, 2001 San Diego, California

1. The titles were unified at this point.
2. The title was awarded to Austin when injured Steamboat was unable to defend it.
3. Austin vacates the title due to a neck injury.
4. The title was declared vacant when WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter suspends Steve Austin.
5. Austin forfeits the title and gives it to Rocky Maivia.
6. In a three way match against The Undertaker and Kane, both pinned him simultaneously, so the title was declared vacant.
7. In a triangle match against Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

WWE Championship
Preceded by:
Shawn Michaels
First reign Followed by:
Preceded by:
Second reign Followed by:
Preceded by:
The Rock
Third reign Followed by:
The Undertaker
Preceded by:
The Undertaker
Fourth reign Followed by:
Preceded by:
The Rock
Fifth reign Followed by:
Kurt Angle
Preceded by:
Kurt Angle
Sixth reign Followed by:
Chris Jericho

Other accomplishments

  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) ranked him # 19 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003. He as also ranked # 50 of the best tag teams of the "PWI Years" with Brian Pillman.
  • He has won several PWI Awards over the years. He won 1990 PWI Rookie of the Year, 1998 Most Popular Wrestler, 2001 Most Hated Wrestler, and Wrestler of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2001. He won Match of the Year in 1997 (vs. Bret Hart) and Feud of the year in 1998 and 1999 (vs. Vince McMahon both years).

Template:WWEchampions Template:WWEUSchampions Template:WWEICchampions


Autobiography: The Stone Cold Truth with Dennis Brent 2003



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