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WWE News: 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin talks not getting paid by WWE after neck injury; drug addiction, more

Johny Payne
13.22K   //    15 Feb 2018, 21:38 IST

Steve Austin recalled his neck injury and subsequent challenging experiences
Steve Austin recalled his neck injury and subsequent challenging experiences

What’s the story?

On a recent edition of The Steve Austin Show, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Billy Gunn spoke on a myriad of topics.

Apparently, Austin recalled that he wasn’t accompanied by any WWE employees after his hospital visit on the night of the serious neck injury he suffered at the hands of Owen Hart. Besides, Austin also weighed in on alcohol being “his thing” and several wrestlers suffering from drug addiction back in the day.

In case you didn’t know…

On August 3rd, 1997 Steve Austin challenged Owen Hart for the WWF Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam.

Hart botched a Piledriver on Austin—breaking the latter’s neck—following which Austin continued the match, and ended up securing a roll-up pin and winning the IC title from Hart. Later that night, Austin was rushed to a local medical facility in an ambulance and underwent several tests in order to determine the nature and extent of the injury.

The heart of the matter

While Billy Gunn recalled his own neck injury, and how the experience was quite traumatic for him, Gunn asserted that he had to return earlier than he should’ve as back in 1995 the business wasn’t as flexible as it is today and he feared he’d lose his spot on the WWE roster if he sat out too long. In reference to the same, Steve Austin recalled that following the aforementioned Owen Hart incident in 1997, he got neck fusion surgery around 1999-2000, and was on the sidelines for several months—a time during which he didn’t get paid by the WWE, as opposed to today’s contracted WWE Superstars who get paid even when they’re out with injury.

Furthermore, Austin recalled the fateful night of August 3rd, 1997, emphasizing that he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, and got the X-Ray done as there was no MRI—finding out that nothing was broken but he had bruised his spinal cord. Austin added that 3 girls had followed his ambulance to the hospital, and met him when he was making his way to the medical facility—

“I walk outside the hospital, (and) ain't nobody from the company come with me. I'm sitting there, I'm all messed up, and three girls had followed the ambulance to the hospital. I walked out to no support there! 'Steve, do you want a ride back to the hotel?' 'Yeah!' I got in the car with them.” 

Austin continued that they took him to a liquor store where he bought a 12-pack Budweiser, following which they took him back to the Holiday Inn hotel by the Newark, New Jersey airport. Austin and Billy Gunn then weighed in on the drug addiction issues in the pro-wrestling business back in the day; with Gunn pointing out his addiction to opioids, and adding that he’s been clean for 7 years now.

Austin added that although he dabbled in the recreational use of pharmaceutical and other drugs, he never suffered addiction to them. The Texas Rattlesnake, however, confessed that alcohol was indeed his thing back in the day, and he had a good time with it.

What’s next?

Steve Austin has long retired from the sport of professional wrestling, whereas Billy Gunn presently competes on the independent professional wrestling circuit.

Author’s take

Honestly speaking, these stories simply prove that the pro-wrestling business has come a long way since the 1990s.

Besides, kudos to the 3 women for helping out a wounded Rattlesnake. Give ‘em a Hell Yeah! 

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Johny Payne
Martial artist and combat Lover from Goa, India. Can be reached at
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