Steve Austin: More than just Stone Cold

Holy cow! Steve Austin!

I only have vague memories of Stunning Steve Austin from the final days that World Class Championship Wrestling was available on cable in Trenton, GA around 1990 or so. Where I became a Steve Austin fan was a few years later, when he and the late Brian Pillman formed one of the most entertaining tag teams of the 1990’s, The Hollywood Blonds, in WCW. Man, they were hilarious – “rolling film” as they were whipping Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas, or whomever they were whipping at the time.

Fast forward a few years to WWF’s King Of The Ring, 1996. Every jabroni in the world will tell you “I knew Steve was going to be huge when he delivered that ‘Austin 3:16′ line.” Bullsnot. As legend has it, Steve wasn’t even supposed to win King Of The Ring; Triple-H was, but Hunter was punished for his role in ‘The Madison Square Garden Kliq incident.’ Yes, Austin 3:16 was one of the greatest promo lines in the history of pro wrestling, but Steve worked his arse off both before and after delivering the goods to “Dok Hendrix” that night. That work, plus a little luck and most fans deciding they loved cheering for the bad guy led to the greatest run in the history of Vince McMahon’s company.

It’s hard to believe Steve’s run as the top wrestler in the world lasted only seven years – less than that if you consider the time he had to take off for major injuries. Such is the life of a pro wrestler, especially when a botch almost leaves you paralyzed and you still find a way back inside the squared circle (BTW, it’s awesome to hear people like Steve use the term “squared circle.” I learned the phrase from one of the men who made me want to be a broadcaster, Gordon Solie, in 1978).

People who don’t know better are constantly asking Steve and other retired wrestlers “when are you coming back,” or “how about one more match?” Dad gum, folks, did Steve and the other boys give their all for you already, and then some? While I would no doubt like to see this match, it’s okay if it never happens. Steve has proven there is a hell of a life to be lived after wrestling.

He’s been part of several action movies – are they B-movies? You got a problem with B-movies? People who do A-movies can’t do B-movies. Anyway, Steve is in Grown Ups 2 this summer, which is a smidge of a different role. But more his speed is his show on CMT, Redneck Island, which is in the midst of its 3rd season. Is it just me, or do they do confessions in an outhouse? Ah, home.

Eight minutes isn’t nearly enough to talk to Steve, but it sure was fun having a go at it. Don’t forget to listen to the Steve Austin Show, a great, great podcast.

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