Steve Austin is an American professional wrestler and actor born on December 18, 1964 in Edina, Texas. Known as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, the pro wrestler won the WWF Championship from 1995-1999. After retiring, he went into acting where he starred in the TV show Nash Bridges (1998-1999) and films The Longest Yard (2005) and The Condemned (2007).
Professional wrestler, born Steve Anderson, on December 18, 1964, in Victoria, Texas. Raised by his mother and stepfather, Ken Williams, he never knew his biological father, and soon took Williams's name, Steve grew up in Edna, Texas, as part of a big family. In high school, he was inducted into the National Honor Society before winning a football scholarship to the University of North Texas. In 1987, just a few credits shy of a degree in physical education, Steve Williams dropped out of college and began working on a loading dock near Houston, Texas.
Professional Wrestling Debut
In 1989, after developing a serious interest in professional wrestling, Williams joined a new wrestling school in Dallas. After graduation, he joined the United States Wrestling Association and in 1990 had his first professional match. During his first year on the tour, Williams traveled around the southern United States, earning $20 a fight and living in his car. In 1991, having dropped his good guy persona and taken on a new name, "Stunning" Steve Austin, he made his World Championship Wrestling (WCW) debut.
During his career with WCW, Austin formed a partnership with "Flyin" Brian Pillman; as the "Hollywood Blonds, they won the 1993 World Tag Team Championship. Austin also won the 1993 WCW United States Championship. In 1994, he tore his tricep while wrestling in Japan and was subsequently fired by WCW, a rejection he would not forget easily. After a stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling, Austin signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in late 1995. Another revamping of his image resulted in a new name, "Stone Cold," a new bald-headed look, and a new signature finishing move, the "Stone Cold stunner."
From 1995 to 1999, Austin won four federation championships and numerous other tag team and individual titles. His persistence became legendary: after suffering a serious nerve injury to his neck in early 1997, Austin came back to win the WWF championship that year. He has a reputation among his fans as an aggressive rebel who defies all authority, especially the infamous owner of the WWF, Vince McMahon. Austin's long-running feud with McMahon, extending to several bouts within the ring, has raised WWF television ratings and increased Austin's popularity. Also known as the "Texas Rattlesnake," Austin is widely considered one of the WWF's most popular wrestlers. In 1998 alone, he made an estimated $1.2 million salary plus a huge sum in merchandising royalties.
In addition to his success in the WWF, Austin has pursued an interest in acting. In 1998 and 1999, he appeared on several episodes of the TV series Nash Bridges as Jake Cage, a renegade policeman assisting the show's good guys.
Austin's marriage to his first wife, Kathy, was annulled. His second wife Jeannie, whom he married in 1995, once served as his valet, Lady Blossom. They have two children, Stephanie and Cassidy.
In January 2000, Austin underwent spinal surgery in order to correct damage done during his years of wrestling, putting him out of commission for six months to a year.
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