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Austin's power trip - Mat Matters - Stone Cold Steve Austin's wrestling career - Brief Article - Column

AS I AM WRITING THIS, IT looks like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's WWE career is all but dead. The wrestler who helped redefine the federation in the late '90s is officially on leave from WWE after failing to show up for an episode of "Raw" in June. Apparently, Austin was upset with the direction of his character since Wrestlemania. The final straw was a script calling for him to lose to this month's cover subject, Brock Lesnar.

Austin has also had his troubles outside the ring recently. He is accused of assaulting his wife, Debra, after the police had to be summoned to the couple's San Antonio home on June 15. At presstime, the charges were still pending, but clearly this is a troubling incident.

If Austin just wants some time away from the ring to sort out his life or if he wants to retire, more power to him. I'm just hoping he's not another in a long line of professional wrestlers who have mistaken their in-ring fame for overall fame. While Hulk Hogan back in the day and more recently the Rock have been able to make the leap to mainstream celebrity, the list of wrestlers who have gone from the ring to obscurity is long and ugly.

Take Chyna, who two years ago was the most popular female wrestler in WWE. She walked away from the federation to try her hand at acting. After baring all in Playboy not once but twice, she was last seen boxing against Joey Buttafuco on Fox's "Celebrity Boxing" special in May. To add insult to injury, she lost to the former auto mechanic and noted lecher.

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Maybe all Austin needs is a fresh start. After all, the whole beer-drinking, 3:16 gimmick is more than five years old, a lifetime in the world of pro wrestling. I suggest Austin take a cue from the comedy hit of the summer and return to the ring as a groovy special agent with a British accent, hyperactive libido, and crushed velvet tights. Say goodbye to "Stone Cold," and say hello to Steve Austin Powers.

Smashing, baby, indeed.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Century Publishing
COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group


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