WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin has opened up about one of the toughest moments of his life as he had to prepare for life outside of the squared circle.
Steve Austin was the runaway success story of the boom period in WWE in the late nineties that became defined as the Attitude Era. The Texas Rattlesnake’s feud with Vince McMahon drew millions of eyeballs to WWE television week after week for years, despite Austin already having suffered the most serious injury of his career.
Austin had his neck broken by Owen Hart at SummerSlam 1997 and despite this, Steve Austin still had five years ahead of them in the business – albeit one of those was spent on the sidelines after undergoing badly needed neck surgery.
At WrestleMania 19 Austin laced up his boots for the last time as he went out in a loss to The Rock. 19 years would pass before fans saw Austin compete once again in the main event of WrestleMania 38 in an unadvertised match against Kevin Owens.
Speaking to Bill Apter for Sportskeeda, Stone Cold Steve Austin discussed the end of his wrestling career back in 2003 and how tough it was to walk away from the sport before he had even reached the age of 40:
“Believe me, retiring at 38 was the toughest, one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do, walk away from the business that I love so much. This is one of the things that I love more than anything in my life. I have my family, and of course, they are very close to me, but professional wrestling, you want to call it sports entertainment, it’s all the same to me. This is one of my biggest, if not the biggest, passions of my life. So it was very hard for me to walk away at 38 years of age.”
“There is no telling as to what I would have done had everything else played out the same with respect to the development of the character. But you know, things along the way, getting dropped my head forced me to turn into a brawler but god, if I could have had that kind of physicality and you know, that kind of health that I had in my youth. The run would have lasted a lot longer.”