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Canadian Bulldog's True Wrestling Stories: Stone Cold Steve Austin
By Canadian Bulldog
Apr 11, 2006 - 3:07 PM
The glass shatters.
Middle fingers are extended.
Large quantities of beer are consumed.
Everyone goes home happy.
But enough about my new daycare program. Instead, let's talk about someone who helped usher in a new era of violence, foul-mouthed antics, and in-your-face "attitude". I give you… The True Wrestling Story Of The Lady Who's Running My New Daycare Program.
Or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Whatever…
Chapter One: WHAT?
Steve Austin, astronaut.
"A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster."
Those were the first words people heard during the January 18, 1974 debut of "The Six Million Dollar Man" in an episode entitled "Population: Zero".
And, uh… yeah -- Look, I'll level with you guys. I HAD to include the requisite "Steve Austin/Six Million Dollar Man" joke somewhere in here. HAD TO. The federal body that governs the LAIWCCAA (Lame-Ass Internet Wrestling Community Columnists Association of America) REQUIRES it.
But wait! I'm Canadian, so I should probably be able to circumvent those rules (see also the precedent-setting case of World Wrestling Entertainment v. Keith, Scott). On the other hand -- why would I want to challenge the regulators?
Trust me, it's a road you don't want to go down. One minute, you're living the good life, writing columns on two prominent websites, and selling an exciting new book. The next thing you know -- BAM! -- you're The Fake Jim Cornette.
Yeah. You do NOT want to piss off the regulators.
Chapter Two: WHAT?
Steve Austin was born as Someone Else in Somewhere In Texas to a set of parents who were Also Probably From Texas. This "True Wrestling Story" thing -- not an exact science.
Austin enjoyed a happy childhood, getting involved in community sports, playing with neighborhood children and giving the Stone Cold Stunner to his cat, Chuckles.
Yet, Austin knew he wanted more from his life -- especially given the fact that he was only eight years old. He (eventually) began training for a wrestling career under the tutelage of "Gentleman" Chris Adams.
Geez, Chris Adams? What the hell? You think he could have at least found a better quality of future WCW curtain-jerker to train him, such as Zan Panzer or Rip Rogers.
Shortly after he began training Austin (or maybe it took a few years; again, not an exact science), Adams knew his charge was ready for the big time.
Yeah, as if Chris Fucking Adams knew who was and wasn't ready for the big time. All those nights fighting Superstar Bill Dundee in front of 35 fans in Memphis made you an expert, Chris? Did you think he was the next P.Y. Chu Hi or something? Cripes.
Austin, however, would get his revenge soon enough.
Chapter Three: WHAT?
In his first "big" (big for shitty Memphis wrestling, anyways) angle, Austin stole Adams' ex-wife Jeannie right from under his nose (and don't even ASK what she was doing there). Announcers were calling it "the Matt Hardy-Lita-Edge storyline of our generation". The Memphis fans loved it.
All 35 of them.
After feuding with the likes of Adams, Dundee and some of them Dead Von Erich Kids, Austin realized that he had to move on to a promotion that was serious about its wrestling. One that had a solid management team in place and was prepared to do whatever it took to push him.
Instead, he went to WCW.
Chapter Four: WHAT?
During Austin's very first match in the Atlanta-based organization, he defeated Beautiful Bobby Eaton to win the WCW Television Title. That's actually not as surprising as it sounds: the belt was either going to him, Firebreaker Chip or Oz.
Austin's valet Jeannie, re-named Lady Blossom, was replaced in the role by Madusa. Talk about trading down…
However, this was done to facilitate Austin's induction into The Dangerous Alliance, a group of veteran heels that were in brought in to fight, week in and week out, some combination of Sting, Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham Wearing A Cast And Leather Jacket.
Seriously -- that's how every episode of WCW Worldwide ended for months. Rick Rude would be facing, say, P.N. News (for you newbies, P.N. was a fatter, more popular John Cena), when all of a sudden, there would be Arn Anderson and Larry Zybsko, followed by Dustin and Barry with that fucking cast and jacket on. Every week!
Thank goodness WCW eventually learned not to spoil main events with pointless screwjob finishes.
Chapter Five: WHAT?
The above photo says it all: Austin pissing against a wall, while Brian Pillman sports a cocky grin, even though Ric Flair's head is clearly superimposed over his.
Together, they teamed as The Hollywood Blondes, two young studs that worked their way up to the prestigious WCW World Tag Team Titles. Actually, the prestige is kind of contentious -- I believe that other titleholders that year included the duos of Tex Slazenger and Awesome Kong, Erik Watts and Big Josh, and J.W. Storm and The Juicer.
Heh… WCW mid-card jokes. They never get old!
Eventually, the Blondes were split up because… well, I have NO IDEA why they were split up. Perhaps Flair didn't take kindly to Pillman carting his superimposed head around.
After being asked to job to Sgt. Craig Pittman (HA! There's another one!), Austin realized that perhaps his best days in WCW were behind him. He wanted to work for a company that was known for its professionalism and strict code of conduct.
Instead, he went to ECW.
Chapter Six: WHAT?
Austin made a thrilling debut in the famed ECW Arena (in reality, the back room of a delicatessen), cutting promos, causing havoc and proving that he was going to be a force to reckon with in ECW for a long time.
Six days later, Austin was recruited to the big time, otherwise known as the World Wrestling Federation (deal with it, TNA fanboys!). There, he made a less than thrilling debut under the new name of Norman Dodge the Rodeo Clown (later shortened to the catchier Ringmaster).
However, he soon received permission to change his name and image to Something Else. Because of it, he won the prestigious King of the Ring tournament, breaking the streak of previous WWF kings that had either died (Owen Hart, Harley Race) or sucked (Billy Gunn, Haku, Arachnaman).
It was there he delivered his famous speech, which I swear I didn't just lift from an old Inside The Ropes, no sir:
"You're always talking about your psalms, your John 3:16. Well, Austin 3:16 says, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
Once he had his king's crown and scepter, there was only one way to realistically portray this persona: as a rebel that feuds with his boss.
Chapter Seven: WHAT?
Little-known fact: Well before the whole thing with Mike Tyson happened, Austin originally made a spectacle of himself during a public visit by then-President Bill Clinton.
At first, WWF owner and former Superstars of Wrestling announcer Vince McMahon was pissed off at his wrestler. But then he, too, remembered that Austin wasn't the only psychopathic asshole in the company. Thus, a feud between Austin and McMahon was born.
Unlike most feuds in the Vince Russo-era WWF, Austin vs. McMahon lasted far longer than two episodes of Monday Night Raw. In fact, it's still going! If you look outside your window right now, there they are, Austin and McMahon, feuding. Probably over a lawnmower or somesuch. Wave hello.
Publicly, it all began after Austin defeated Shawn Michaels for the WWF championship at WrestleMania 14 (Russo Takez Over The Book!). Following the win, McMahon said he disliked Austin because he wasn't a "corporate champion". Austin studied for the role by embezzling millions into secret offshore accounts.
This didn't help matters. Although… it helps to explain where Austin's catchphrase came from. It was initially going to be "That's the bottom line, before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, 'cause Stone Cold said so!" but then he realized that he was 'cooking the books'.
To combat Austin, McMahon assembled an elite force of heels called The Corporation that, at times included Ken Shamrock, Big Bossman, Chyna, Test, Terrence Taylor, Richard Morton, Thomas Rich and Alexandra York. The Rock was probably in there at one point as well.
Although most of The Corporation members would probably have trouble even putting away someone like Yellow Dog, the rivalry worked, helping the WWF's Monday Night Raw defeat WCW's Monday Nitro after a 83-week slide.
If this were a DVD, right about now would be where Eric Bischoff would be forced to meekly claim that Austin vs. McMahon was a stroke of genius, and that Bischoff sucked because he hadn't thought of it first.
Chapter Eight: WHAT?
Austin would go on to win the WWF Title several more times before the company became "WWE" and thus started sucking, according to TNA fanboys.
During his final reign, Austin turned heel and became the key member of The WCW/ECW Alliance, which, in fairness to the TNA fanboys, really did suck.
Once the InVasion storyline tanked, I mean, finished, Austin was turned face again, ready to take on all challenges. Until, that is, he left the company in 2002.
Chapter Nine: WHAT?
Austin walked out of the company (now known as "WWE" for some strange reason) in mid-2002 after refusing to job to Scott Hall, Brock Lesnar, Stephanie McMahon, Heavy Metal Van Hammer and numerous others.
Austin was also battling "personal demons" (kayfabe for "drugs") at this point, according to renowned television newsmagazine WWE Confidential. His life took a definite turn for the worse when, during a domestic dispute with his wife Debra, he tossed her a can of beer, toasted her, and then gave her a stunner, crawled down to the floor beside her and delivered the old "Stone Cold Salute".
… GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER! I just meant he gave her the finger, that's all.
… AND NOT IN THE WAY YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT, EITHER!!!
McMahon stated on national television that Austin would never return to a WWE ring again. Ever.
EVER!!! (Sorry, cross-over moment from another one of my columns)
Which of course, this being wrestling, meant that Austin would just return six weeks later under a mask as the mysterious Freebird Fantasia (okay; last WCW mid-card joke, I swear!).
Chapter Ten: WHAT?
Indeed, Austin returned in early 2003, ready to show his critics that he was still a force to be reckoned with. For, uh, one whole match, before he retired again.
Instead of leaving like a little wimp again this time (Note to Guttman: Wrestlers don't actually READ this site, do they?), Austin teamed up with real-life best friend Eric Bischoff as they became hilarious Co-General Managers of Monday Night Raw.
When that angle played out, WWE decided to go in an entirely different direction and make Austin the show's "sheriff". And after that, commissioner. And then president. And then…
In early 2004, Austin finished up his contract with WWE, not returning this time for almost six more months. This time, however, it was part of a lucrative deal with the company's new WWE Films That Will Never Get Made division.
Austin isn't finished with wrestling just yet. Earlier this month, he inducted Bret "Hit Man" Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame, being the only person on earth Hart doesn't despise.
Whenever a whiny Canadian crybaby needs to put over in a speech, Austin will be there.
Whenever a mid-card heel needs to put in his place, Austin will be there.
Whenever a WWE Diva needs to be beat up unnecessarily, Austin will be there.
Whenever Canadian Bulldog needs someone to run his new daycare center, Austin will be there.
For true wrestling stories, I'm Canadian Bulldog.
Canadian Bulldog is a borderline journalist who writes weekly for World Wrestling Insanity and Online Onslaught and has published his own book of nutty e-mails to wrestlers. See his obscenely expensive Canadian BullBLOG for more details. He welcomes your comments at CanadianBulldog@worldwrestlinginsanity.com
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