Childhood & Early Life
Steve was born Steven James Anderson, on December 18, 1964, in Austin, Texas, Austin. He was around a year old when his parents, James and Beverly Anderson got divorced.
Following the divorce, his mother got married to a man named Ken Williams. Austin adopted his stepfather’s surname and changed his name to “Steven James Williams.”
He has three brothers, Scott, Kevin, and Jeff. He also has a younger sister named Jennifer.
Steve spent most of his childhood in Edna, Texas, and attended ‘Edna High School.’ He earned a football scholarship at ‘Wharton County Junior College.’
He attended the ‘University of North Texas’ on full scholarship. However, he dropped out soon, to work at a loading dock in Houston, Texas.
After developing a serious passion for wrestling, he enrolled at the ‘Dallas Sportatorium’ in 1989. He was trained by Chris Adams and broke into the wrestling business a year later.
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Steve made his wrestling debut in 1989 with a televised ‘World Class Championship Wrestling’ (WCCW) match against Frogman LeBlanc. Steve traveled around the US, lived in his car, and earned as much as $20 per fight.
He was named “Steve Austin” by a booker named Dutch Mantell, to avoid any confusion with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, who was quite popular then. Soon, Austin joined the ‘United States Wrestling Association’ (USWA), which he left in 1990, to return to Dallas and begin a feud with Chris Adams.
He finally joined ‘WCW’ and adopted the nickname “Stunning.” He made his ‘WCW’ debut in 1991, where he defeated Bobby Eaton and won his first ‘WCW World Television Championship.’
He joined Paul E’s ‘The Dangerous Alliance,’ which disbanded within a few months. After defending his title for a while, Austin lost it to Ricky Steamboat.
In 1993, he became the tag-team partner of Brian Pillman and called their team ‘The Hollywood Blonds.’ They also won the ‘WCW Tag Team Championship’ and held the title for five months.
Steve turned heel on Pillman after the latter returned from an injury at ‘Clash of the Champions XXV.’ He then won the ‘WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.’
He lost the title to Jim Duggan and was soon fired by the ‘WCW’ vice president Eric Bischoff who did not consider him a remarkable wrestler. He joined the ‘Extreme Championship Wrestling’ (ECW) in 1995, where he developed his future “Stone Cold” persona and also learnt how to cut a promo.
He credits Paul Heyman for his skills to cut a promo. He also adopted Mikey Whipwreck’s finishing move, the “Whipper-Snapper,” and later popularised it as the “Stone Cold Stunner.”
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He exited from the ‘ECW’ to join the ‘WWF.’ He made his ‘WWF’ debut on January 8, 1996, on ‘Raw,’ where he was awarded the ‘Million Dollar Championship.’
He had his debut match on January 15, against Matt Hardy. The match ended in Hardy’s defeat.
He started wrestling as “The Ringmaster,” but later shaved his head, grew a goatee, and adopted the name “Stone Cold.” In 1996, Austin won the ‘King of the Ring’ match against Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
The phrase ‘Austin 3:16’ used in his promo against Jake set the beginning of the ‘Attitude Era,’ which put him on the road to superstardom. His feud with the Hart family was one of his longest-running feuds.
The feud began with Austin challenging and taunting Bret Hart for a bout, which Hart eventually accepted. They had several bouts, but the submission match at ‘Wrestlemania 13’ was memorable.
Hart defeated Austin, who passed out while Hart pulled a sharpshooter on him. Although he bled profusely, Austin refused to take any assistance to his locker room.
He also entered into a feud with Owen Hart later. He got a chance to win the ‘WWF Tag Team Championship’ and the ‘Intercontinental Championship.’
However, due to an injury, he had to give up both the championships. His other famous feuds were with Vince McMahon, The Rock, and Triple H. These clashes helped him win four federation championships, along with several other titles.
His last official match took place at ‘Wrestlemania XIX’ in 2003, against The Rock. He lost the match to The Rock. He was fired by Eric Bischoff on the next episode of ‘Raw’ as part of the storyline.
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However, Austin announced his retirement on ‘WWE’ the very next day. He accepted that he had pushed his body against his doctor’s advice.
From 2003 to 2004, he slipped into his non-wrestling role as the “Sheriff” of ‘Raw.’ After being on and off the screen for a while, Austin finally parted ways with ‘WWE.’
His last appearance was in January 2018, on ‘Raw’s 25th anniversary. He performed a “Stone Cold Stunner” on Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon.
Austin made his film debut with ‘The Longest Yard’ in 2005. His other notable films are ‘The Condemned’ (2007), ‘The Expendables’ (2010), ‘Grown Ups 2’ (2013), and ‘Finders Keepers’ (2014).
His latest movie appearance was in ‘Smosh: The Movie,’ where he played himself. He made his TV debut as himself in ‘V.I.P.’
Some of his other TV shows are ‘Celebrity Deathmatch’ (1998–2002), ‘Nash Bridges’ (1999–2000), ‘Dilbert’ (2005), ‘The Bernie Mac Show’ (2005), and ‘Chuck’ (2010). Austin has also hosted TV shows such as ‘Tough Enough’ (2011) and ‘Redneck Island’ (2012–2016).
He currently hosts ‘Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge’ (2014), which is in its fifth season. He also successfully runs a podcast titled ‘Stone Cold Podcast’ that began in 2014.
Awards & Achievements
Austin has won countless titles as a professional wrestler. Some of them are the ‘WCW World Television Championship’(twice), the ‘WCW United States Heavyweight Championship’ (twice), the ‘WCW World Tag Team Championship,’ and the ‘NWA World Tag Team Championship.’
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His ‘WWE’ titles include the ‘WWF Championship’ (6 times), the ‘WWF Intercontinental Championship’(twice), the ‘World Tag Team Championship’(4 times), the ‘Million Dollar Championship,’ and the ‘King of the Ring’ (1996). He also won the ‘Royal Rumble’ in 1997, 1998, and 2001.
He was inducted into the ‘WWE Hall of Fame’ in 2009. He won two ‘Slammy Awards’ for ‘Freedom of Speech’ (1997) and the ‘Best Original WWE Network Show.’
He was also inducted into the ‘Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame’ in 2016. He was also named ‘Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s ‘Wrestler of the Year’ in 1998, 1999, and 2001.
He attained the first place on ‘Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s list of the top 500 singles wrestlers in ‘PWI 500,’ in 1998 and 1999. He was also ranked number 19 on the list of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the ‘PWI Years’ in 2003.
Austin married his high-school sweetheart, Kathryn Burrhus, on November 24, 1990. However, his marriage to Burrhus ended when he started dating Chris Adams’s former girlfriend, Jeanie Clarke aka “Lady Blossom.”
Austin and Clarke married on December 18, 1992. Soon, they had two daughters, Stephanie and Cassidy. Austin also adopted Clarke's daughter with Chris, Jade.
Austin and Clarke divorced in 1999. Austin then married wrestling valet, Debra Marshall, on September 13, 2000. In 2002, Debra accused Austin of domestic violence. She called the police on June 15 and told them that Austin had beaten her on the head, back, and legs before leaving the house.
On August 14, 2002, Austin was arrested and given a year’s probation, with a fine of $1,000 and 80 hours of community service. He divorced Debra in 2003.
His other girlfriend, Tess Broussard, also accused him of beating her. In 2004, she told the police that he had thrown her on the ground and that she had injured her right hand due to the fall.
He married his fourth wife, Kristin, in 2009.