Steve Austin Comments On Being Forced To Retire At 38, His Favorite Opponents

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During a recent interview with Esquire, WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin commented on his favorite opponents, being forced to retire at 38 years old, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On his favorite opponents: “Man, there were so many. Bret ‘the Hitman’ Hart kind of really made Stone Cold, because when he came back from an injury in ’96, he picked me to be his opponent. When we wrestled in WrestleMania 13, we actually did it a double turn. I went in as the bad guy, he went in as the good guy, and by the time the match was over, he was the bad guy, I was the good guy. As far as realism, there’s probably no one better making professional wrestling look like a real sport. With the Rock, I had this electric chemistry, where he brought out the best in me, and I brought out the best in him. And Mick Foley, same thing, a guy that never phoned it in. But when you look back at that roster that we had, I mean, damn near everybody’s in the Hall of Fame, or they’re going to be in the Hall of Fame.”

On retiring at the peak of his career: “The reason I got out of the wrestling business was because in ’97, when I got pile-drived, I was a transient quadriplegic for about 60 seconds in front of 20,000 people on the Pay-Per-View. I was able to come back from that, but I bruised my spinal cord, so some neurological damage. Finally, just all of that started catching up to me, and I decided, you know what? I need to probably get out of here before I really do permanent damage. I retired at 38.”

On having more matches in him at 38: “Think about that, 38. That’s so many matches left in me, so much more money on the table, so many more stories to tell and fans to entertain. It took me a long time to come to grips with that. I got in this with the sole mission of being a professional wrestler. I wanted to be on top of the card, because that’s where you get all the attention, that’s where you make the most money. At anything you do in life, you want to be at the highest level, right? But I didn’t have a plan B when I got in, and I didn’t have an exit strategy when I got out.”


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