“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Was a Wrestler Before an Actor

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Renowned for movies “The Longest Yard,” “The Condemned,” and “The Expendables,” Stone Cold “Steve Austin” first catapulted into popularity inside the ring, being one of the most famous professional American wrestlers of all time. Boasting multiple championships and raking up victories, he soon became the WWE poster boy in the 1990s. Though injuries halted his career, he never failed to leave the audience in awe during his remarkable stint in the wrestling world.

In this article, let’s know more about Steve Austin, his humble beginnings, and how he landed in the arena and onto the silver screen and television.

Early Life

Steve James Anderson “Steve Austin” was born on December 18, 1964, in Victoria, Texas. He is of English, Irish, Swedish, and German descent. However, he came from a broken family, with his parents, Beverly Jane Harrison and James Anderson, getting a divorce only when Austin was only about a year old.

Austin spent most of his childhood days in Edna, Texas, where he and his mother moved. Soon, Beverly found a new love, and in 1968, remarried Ken Williams. Austin’s name was changed to Steven James Williams, to his stepfather’s surname.

After completing secondary education at Edna High School, Austin acquired a football scholarship from Wharton County Junior College in Wharton, then a full scholarship from the University of North Texas in Denton. Free education was in his grasp, given his outstanding football skills.

Early Career

Though he played football, Austin had a different career in mind and wanted to be a wrestler. In line with his aspirations, he joined Chris Adams’s wrestling school in Dallas Sportatorium as a rookie in late 1988. After receiving ample technical training, Austin started his professional wrestling career in 1989 under the name Steve Williams. Afterward, he suited for different small wrestling companies to earn money.

Steve Austin in 1996

To avoid confusing him with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Dutch Mantell, a Memship booker, changed his name to Steve Austin. In 1991, he joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and adopted the name “Stunning Steve Austin.” He used the moniker until 1995 and was characterized by a striking man who banked on his attractive looks and flowy blonde hair. However, Austin failed to rise in popularity, only getting two TV titles under his belt, and eventually, he was fired by WCW.

Rising Wrestler

In December 1995, Austin entered the World Wrestling Federation (now known as WWE). While he left WWE to join Extreme Championship Wrestling, it was only a short stint. After a few weeks, he returned to WWE, but this time as “The Ringmaster.”

Steve Austin, a WWF Champion

Austin was repackaged the following year after getting his head shaved and growing a goatee. It was then when he started using “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and began making a name for himself, known for being the bold, gaudy, beer-lover rascal, that often eluded his bosses and the establishment. His signature move called the “Stone Cold Stunner,” which was a gut kick followed by a jawbreaker, allowed him to gain subsequent victories, putting him in the limelight and making him WWE’s poster boy during the industry’s peak from the late 1990s to 2000s.

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin is regarded as one of the biggest, most influential, and profitable WWE stars. His career was cut short in 2003 after incurring severe neck and knee injuries. Despite that, no one can contest the mark he left in the wrestling area and the hearts of the audience. In 2009, he was inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame.

Steve Austin signature pose, flipping off the audience

Television and Film

Steve Austin first started doing guest roles on Nash Bridges, CBS’ police procedural TV series, where he played the role of Jake Cage, a police department inspector in San Francisco. His debut on the silver screen came in 2005 for the movie “The Longest Yard.” Two years later, he had his first starring role in “The Condemned,” where he played Jack Conrad, a serial convict waiting for his execution, who was forced to fight in an illegal deathmatch.

The Condemned poster

In 2010, Austin became a part of the flick “The Expendables” and “Hunt To Kill,” both alongside stars Eric Roberts and Gary Daniels. Other films he made include “Damage,” “Knockout,” “Maximum Conviction,” and “Tactical Force.” Austin also appeared in numerous TV shows mostly as a host, such as in “Redneck Island,” “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge,” and “Straight Up Steve Austin,” allowing him also to leave a mark in the entertainment industry.

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