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Why Stone Cold Steve Austin Retired From WWE

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Steve Austin returns to WWE

 

It’s heavily rumored that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is finally headed back to the ring, but here’s why he retired from WWE in the first place. Today, Austin is thought of as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, both in the ring and on the microphone.

 

 

The “Stone Cold” character launched a thousand catchphrases and T-shirts, and he was clearly the biggest overall star in WWE during its biggest period of popularity ever, the Attitude Era that took place from 1997 to 2001.

 

 

steve austin at wrestlemaniasteve austin at wrestlemania

As big as he got though, Austin wasn’t an overnight success, debuting in 1989 to a few brief stints in WCW – as “Stunning” Steve Austin – and in ECW – as “Superstar” Steve Austin – before finally signing with WWE in 1996.

 

 

Even then, it took a while for Austin’s fateful Austin 3:16 promo to occur, and another year-plus before he was firmly entrenched as the hottest act in the company. At the end of the day, Austin’s reign as a WWE main eventer was only about five years long – a much shorter WWE career than someone like John Cena – but he definitely accomplished a lot in that time.

 

 

vince mcmahon not happy with steve austin

When Austin retired from WWE in 2003, he was just shy of 40 years old, but the fans still loved to cheer him on. Unfortunately, while Austin would’ve happily continued his wrestling career for awhile longer, his body didn’t agree. At Summerslam 1997, Austin had suffered a partially broken neck thanks to a botched piledriver at the hands of the late Owen Hart.

 

 

While he was able to return to action a few months later, the damage was done. Austin’s in-ring career was on borrowed time from then on, leading him to retire for medical reasons after losing to future Hollywood star The Rock at WrestleMania XIX.

 

 

Shawn Michaels fights Steve Austin

Medically, Austin really shouldn’t have returned to action so quickly after his neck injury, but he was red hot at the time, and neither he or WWE wanted to lose that with a long layoff. As a side effect, by fall 1999, Austin’s neck was in a bad way, and he needed surgery to repair it.

 

 

“Stone Cold” was written off TV at Survivor Series, with the story being that he was ran over by a car in the parking lot. He returned to the ring in fall 2000. By WrestleMania XIX in 2003 though, Austin’s neck was badly acting up again, and that, along with multiple nagging injuries, forced the “Texas Rattlesnake” to call it a career and retire.

 

 

steve austin

Now, reports are suggesting that Austin will have his first match in nearly 20 years at WrestleMania XXXVIII, which emanates from Austin’s native Texas. It remains to be seen if these reports pan out, as this isn’t the first time seemingly credible rumors about a “Stone Cold” return to WWE have floated around over the years.

 

 

Plus, Austin is 57-years-old, and while he’s in great shape, it might not be ring shape. Still, recent years have seen several wrestlers come out of injury-induced retirement, such as Sting and Edge. If they can step back into the ring, maybe Austin can too. The question now is whether he should do that.

 




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