The Bottom Line on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin from The Texas Rattlesnake himself

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November 29, 2011

The Texas Rattlesnake talks about his journey to becoming "Stone Cold," life on the road, his career regrets and what to expect from "'Stone Cold' Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time."

How much control did you take over how your definitive story was going to be told?

It’s always interesting. You go and talk about everything from A to Z in about two days. In the editing process, a lot of words get chopped out. So I commented on a lot of things, and I feel pretty good about the message that was there. They can’t have every single word you said on the DVD, but I took as much control as I could.

From a bird’s eye view, the deck was stacked against you becoming a successful Superstar. You were fired early on, and then saddled with ineffective personas. To what do you credit overcoming all that?

I wouldn’t say the deck was stacked against me as far as my wrestling career goes. It took me many years to figure out the right formula of what would make “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. It took years of being “Stunning” Steve Austin to help me figure that out. So I wouldn’t say it was the deck that was stacked against me, I’d say it was me doing what all these young guys are doing right now, trying to put all the pieces together to try and put together the winning formula and it finally worked. And it took a lot overcoming bureaucratic BS, injuries, and a lot of just being pissed off because someone told me I wasn’t marketable. It took all those things to finally come up with the winning combination of name, attitude, presentation, promo and in-ring product, and it turned into “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Given the opportunity to fix anything about your story, do a match over, for example, what is it?

I’d probably take back the piledriver from Owen [Hart]in '96, because that kind of shortened my career in the ring. I’d take back that incident in Atlanta and work with Brock [Lesnar]. It wasn’t a Brock issue, it was a business issue. I handled that in the wrong fashion. Those are the two things that I would do differently. As for the rest of it, I wouldn’t go back and do any of it over. I had a great time. I don’t second guess anything. Skip the time machine. I’m happy with the way it all went down.

In the DVD, you say being a Superstar is a three-part business — part truck driver, part wrestler and part public celeb. Which is the hardest part?

It’s probably the professional athlete part of it. That’s the physicality. That’s the toil and the rigors you put your body through from just a performance standpoint. Going to the gym every day and just busting your ass and making all the shows just trying to stay healthy and that’s just the physical standpoint. Man, when what you do for a living is being a WWE Superstar, nothing else matters. You enter this zombie mode and months, years, decades later, you come out of that zombie mode when you retire. You just go from one show to the next. I’m not trying to make it sound like a grind … I mean it IS a physical grind … but I’ll tell you what: I had, give or take, some 14 to 15 years in the business and I had a blast the entire time. There were highs and lows, and sometimes I was burned out. There were times that I put a lot of pressure on myself but make no mistakes about it, my career is the high point of my life, from start to finish. 

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