A Month for SCSA
One of the most influential and popular wrestlers of today is Stone Cold Steve Austin. His attitude has struck a chord with fans and he has thrilled packed arenas with his no-nonsense wrestling style. This being the month of Austin’s birth, I thought it appropriate to feature his road to the fan’s hearts and how he came to be the true people’s champion.
Steve Austin was born in Victoria, Texas, on December 18, 1968. However, he was born Steven Williams, not Steve Austin. As a child, Steve watched Houston wrestling on TV.
In 1989, Williams found himself unloading trucks in order to make some money. His football scholarship at North Texas State University had run out so he needed a way to pay the bills. After work he would sometimes travel to the Dallas Sportatorium to watch the famous Von Erichs wrestle. On one night after work he saw an advertisement for a wrestling school taught by Chris Adams. He decided that he might as well give it a shot so, he went.
After completing training in 1990, Steve became a member of World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW). During his stay in WCCW, Williams began a feud with his former teacher, Chris Adams. Eventually, he would defeat his mentor.
In 1991, Steve began a career with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) under the new last name of Austin. Eric Bischoff, President of WCW, convinced that a wrestler wearing black trunks and boots could not succeed, created “Stunning” Steve Austin. Austin had reigns as both US champ and TV champ, however; he would become more famous for the tag team The Hollywood Blondes that was formed with the late Brian Pillman. When Williams tore his tricep muscle, an injury which required surgery, he was fired from WCW.
After his release from WCW, Williams spent a short tenure in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), again under the name of Steve Austin.
Then came Austin’s big break. In 1995, when he signed a contract with tht World Wrestling Federation. He debuted as “The Ringmaster,” an incarnation of a “Million Dollar Champion,” with none other than Ted Dibiase by his side. However, this would all change in 1996 at the King of the Ring tournament. It was after his victory over Jake “The Snake” Roberts at this tournament that Austin 3:16 was born.
This new attitude was simply what Austin had always wanted to be: a beer-swilling, hard-nosed, blue collar wrestler. He finally was able to wear the black trunks and boots and make it sell. With his rise in popularity, it was inevitable that Austin would gain title shots. In fact, he at one time held the Intercontinental Championship and Tag Team Championship, with Shawn Michaels and then Dude Love.
In 1998 at Wrestlemania XIV in Boston, Austin got his chance at the World Championship. That night, he defeated Shawn Michaels and became the champ. However, his refusal to bend to the whim of Vince McMahon and become a “corporate” champion made him the target of a plot to take the gold away.
Although Austin is currently not the holder of the world’s title, he is the champion of the people. He has gained the respect of the fans for his refusal to be something that he is not. It took eight long years, but Stone Cold Steve Austin is a wrestler who has the love of the fans and respect from other wrestlers. He is his own man.