Many people in the wrestling business are dealt a bad hand. Some make the best of their situation and keep their head above water. Others fold and fade into obscurity. In 1995, Steve Austin could have easily become a member of the latter category. Having been one of the most promising young stars in the business in the early 90s, Austin was cast aside by WCW when he was more than ready to become a top guy. Seen as nothing special by the likes of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, Austin was fired without any form of remorse from his employers. Through a combination of desire, hard work and flat out stubbornness, Austin took this bad hand and rebounded to become the biggest star the business has ever seen.
Beginning his career in his local World Class Championship Wrestling promotion in 1989, Austin picked things up really quickly and was considered one of the can’t miss prospects in the country at the time. He was given the spotlight when paired with his trainer, the late Chris Adams, and their feud is one which holds up very well to this day. It was inevitable that Austin would be cherry-picked from the struggling group, and in 1991 he took his considerable talents to WCW. The first major title of “Stunning” Steve’s career was the TV title which he held for the guts of a year. At a time when alot of the new characters introduced by WCW were met with groans and confusion from the audience, the TV champ was a breath of fresh air, putting in stellar performances on a weekly basis. A spot in legendary heel unit The Dangerous Alliance followed for Austin and he shone alongside the likes of Rick Rude, Arn Anderson and of course the mouthpiece Paul E. Dangerously.
The most memorable period of Austin’s WCW run was also the most mishandled. Following the break-up of the Alliance, Steve was paired with newly heel Brian Pillman. The duo, known as the Hollywood Blondes were taking tag team wrestling to new levels with their amazing chemistry, charisma and workrate when the rug was pulled out from under them after less than a year. In a hair-brained plan, the two were split up and put in a terrible feud where Austin was seconded by Colonel Robert Parker. Ever the workhorse, Steve continued to give his all during this singles run and when paired up with the legendary Ricky Steamboat, the results were excellent. However, it was clear that the new regime in WCW were less and less in his corner as the months wore on and when Hulk Hogan arrived, Austin was cast aside for a brigade of washed up Hogan pals. Despite his lack of push, it was still a shock when Eric Bischoff fired Austin while he was at home nursing an injury.
It’s a real tragedy with what happened to World Class Championship Wrestling, specifically watching this commercial from 1985 with the Von Erich boys. Two of the three in this video are no longer with us. Kevin Von Erich is the only survivor as Kerry and Mike tragically died in the 90s, both suicides. The alleged “World Class Curse” is no secret to long time wrestling fans, specifically those in Texas.
In just six weeks, the Von Erich family will me immortalized as they enter World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Fame, the night before Wrestlemania 25.
15 years ago… we could’ve chilled with them at the Pizza Inn.
All the Pizza… Salads… AND MUFFINS! I want a buffet to have MUFFINS!! The world was better back then…
Hall of Fame Family
Hall of Fame Pizza
Sad that neither are around anymore…