Stone Cold On Why He Didn’t Announce His Retirement Before His Final Match, ‘Bionic Redneck’ Gimmick


Steve Austin talked about his retirement match and more in the latest episode of his podcast (transcription via Wrestling Inc). Some of the highlights are below:

On the “Bionic Redneck” gimmick: “That was the reason I had those knee braces, man. It wasn’t for looks. It was because I needed them. But it turned out to be part of the ‘Bionic Redneck’. I came up with that gimmick just because, by the time it came down to it, my right arm wouldn’t straightened out, I had some plates in my neck and I had those two knee braces on, it became part of my [ring] gear. And put that on top of those knee braces, and it was a very interesting look. It looked like I was ready to go in there and go to battle, stomp a mud hole in somebody’s ass and walk it dry.”

On experimenting with different-colored knee braces during his heel run following WrestleMania 17: “I always wore black and when I got a chance to turn heel after that famous WrestleMania 17 match, which we just got finished talking about, when I turned heel, I said, ‘do you know what? Now that I’m a heel, I ain’t got to be cool anymore, so I can f–k around and change colors.’ So I went with snakeskin, red, white, gold, different colors because I could push the envelope as a heel and that’s why the different colored knee braces came in later in my heel run.”

On not announcing his retirement before his last match: “The reason for that was, it was going to be my last match, WrestleMania 19. The neck had caught up with me. Everything had caught up with me. And we didn’t announce that, ‘hey, this is going to be ‘Stone Cold”s [last] match’ because this was the third and final match with The Rock. He was going over. He didn’t say it was going to be my last match because the promotion was still doing pretty good. The momentum was still good. It might have started to slow down a little bit, but if you’ve just announced, ‘hey this is going to be ‘Stone Cold”s last match,’ maybe that would kind of slowed business down or slowed the momentum down and maybe turned some people off. And it would be great to have a great sendoff, but it wasn’t about that. We didn’t want to slow the momentum of the company and make it about me having my last match because, I can’t remember when I made that decision, and I talked to Vince that that was going to be my last match, but it was really close to leading up to that and we didn’t want to slow down business, is the bottom line, and that’s why it was never really announced is that being my last match.”

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