Stone Cold Steve Austin was a recent guest on Chris Jericho’s “Talk Is Jericho” podcast. Austin returned the favor after he had Jericho on his show on Peacock.
Austin talked about his WWE career, working with guys like Bret Hart, The Rock, and more. Here are a couple of highlights from the interview:
Steve Austin said it was Bret Hart’s idea for Austin to blade during their famous WrestleMania 13 match:
“Me and Bret were talking. He said, ‘Steve, if you’re going to pass out in the sharpshooter, you need to have some color.’ I said, ‘You think?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ At the time, there was a no color policy. So, I’m the newer guy. I don’t have any tenure. I’ve done the business (blading), plenty. But, under this new place that I’m in, I don’t have any stroke. He said, ‘If you want, I’ll get it for you.’ That’s an insurance policy and he just put me under his umbrella. I hit my head on the guard rail and I got busted open, but that was his idea. On that exchange, when we went to the floor, I said, ‘Judgement call’, meaning, hey, if you want to, get it, but if you don’t, don’t worry about it because we got these people hook, line, and sinker. He was following through.
I’m so glad he did because, had I would have done the same exact thing, the way I sold that, I can’t say I’m blowing smoke up my a*s, but, I sold it like a motherf*cker. Had I not had all that red sh*t on my face, streaming through my teeth, and then you see how much blood I actually lost, and it wasn’t one of those gore fests, because you can go too hard and get too much and it becomes distracting and hard to watch. This was not hard to watch. This just added so much level to the struggle that I was going through, but was not just a turnoff. So, it became one of the most iconic images, in my opinion, in the history of the wrestling business. I’m not going to say the most, but one of the most.”
Austin said he knew going into WrestleMania 19 that it was going to be his last match:
“The day before, my heart wigged out. There was nothing wrong with me. I was just living real hard and the sh*t hit the fan. There was no permanent damage or nothing. It wasn’t a heart attack. It wasn’t an anxiety attack. It’s just sh*t hit the fan. They didn’t really even release me. They said, ‘Ok, you can go, but technically, we’re not saying you can wrestle.’ I was never cleared. I’m damn sure going to wrestle The Rock and his a*ss one and Rock’s going over.
We went out there and we did about as good as we could. It could have been better. Nobody knew this was going to be my last match, other than about 5 or 10 people. I think The Rock knew. I was pulling the plug on myself due to the neck injuries that I had suffered in the past as they were catching back up with me. I didn’t have a doctor saying, ‘You must quit.’ This was like talking to Dale Earnhardt when he pulled the plug on his racing career. He had so many concussions that he had to pull his own plug. That’s the hardest thing to do because you want somebody to be able to say, ‘You have to quit, and here’s why.’ You would listen to a medical professional. I’m not a medical professional, but I know what I’ve heard from my medical professionals. I’m looking at a real good chance of something bad happening if I’m in there with the wrong person and the wrong thing happens. So, that was going to be my last match.
I was so emotional about it that if I talked to anybody that day, and I didn’t talk to anybody that day because I couldn’t because I would have welled up and damn near start crying. That’s how hard it was going to be to leave the business for me. It took me a long time to adjust to life after the ring. I’ll never forget. We went out there and Rock hit me with those three Rock Bottoms. On that last one, he picked me up and slammed the sh*t out of me. He always took care of me. It looked like a million bucks. You knew that was the final nail in the coffin. Earl hit that three count. I was like, laying in (Wrestlemania) 13 in that pile of blood, I was like, we did it. In this one, it was like someone just lifted a thousand pounds off my back and it was like, dude, you’re not in harm’s way anymore. I was at peace with that. I went home to my room that night and drank some beers and processed everything, but it was a weird night and an emotional night that took me a long time to recover from.”