Inside the WWE ring, there were few opponents as fierce as Steve Austin. Following Hulk Hogan’s departure from professional wrestling in the early 1990s, the WWE was desperate to find its next superstar, and it did not take long for Austin to sell audiences on his personal brand of anti-hero swagger. He quickly emerged as an icon in the wrestling world, thanks in part to his vulgarity, and his signature move "The Stone Cold Stunner."
Austin is without doubt one of the most popular wrestling superstars in the history of the WWE. But what happened to Stone Cold Steve Austin following his retirement from professional wrestling in 2003? As it turns out, he’s had quite a successful career off the mat as well.
When Austin exited the ring for the final time, he wasn't quite ready to relinquish his fame. The wrestler leveraged his over-the-top personality to score several gigs in reality television, a film career, and even his own line of beer. However, his life hasn’t been perfect; he’s been arrested on charges of domestic abuse, and suffers from chronic pain brought on by multiple wrestling-related injuries.
While he no longer physically breaks his adversaries, Austin now gets his kicks by eliminating contestants on game shows. A lot has changed about his life, but you can be sure that the star will do anything he can to stay in the spotlight a little longer.
Austin Has Launched Two Successful PodcastsVideo: YouTube
In 2013, Austin dove head-first into the podcasting business; that year, the star launched two shows. The Steve Austin Show is a weekly podcast that is considered to be family-friendly. His second podcast, The Steve Austin Show Unleashed!, is geared towards a more adult audience. Both of his podcasts are very successful, and average 793,000 downloads a week.
Wrestling Injuries Took A Toll On AustinPhoto: Stone Cold Steve Austin / Facebook
As one can imagine, being a professional wrestler involves a copies amount of personal injury. In a SummerSlam 1997 match against Owen Hart, a botched pile driver almost broke Austin's neck. The resulting injury required months of rehabilitation, and kept him out of the ring for an extended period of time.
Austin also has a history of knee and back problems, and at one point was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff that required surgery. He explained the injury:
"I f*cked up my shoulder trying to train too heavy and it was a bunch of wear and tear and some bullsh*t. [I] end up tearing the infraspinatus and the supraspinatus, so the preoperative diagnosis when I went in to see Dr. Neal ElAttrache was rotator cuff tear, bicep tendinosis and instability, AC joint arthrosis, and degenerative labral tear. Okay? Turns out after all the MRIs, I had a rotator cuff tear, bicep tendinosis and instability, AC joint arthrosis, [and] degenerative labral tear."
With so many injuries, it's a miracle that Austin can even walk anymore.
Austin's Ex-Wife Blamed His Domestic Violence On Steroid Use
During a 2007 interview with Hannity & Colmes, Austin's third wife Debra Marshall discussed the issue of steroid abuse in the WWE. Marshall, who was also a professional wrestler, was asked about the rampant abuse of steroids seen in professional wrestling, and her ex-husband's experience with the drug. Considering how rough Austin had been with her, Marshall's response was remarkably fair:
"You know, what I can say is what I know from being married to Steve Austin, and he definitely told me he used them. And I've actually seen him do that before... If you think about it, look at the record. Look at the record of how many wrestlers — the record pretty much tells it all. I mean, 60 wrestlers have died in 10 years under the age of 45, and how many had enlarged hearts and all that?"
Marshall also described how Austin's alleged steroid use led to his abusive behavior. "I have seen the steroid rages. I have seen him being paranoid. I have seen his panic attacks. I mean, for three times, I'd seen him attack me — I mean, and at work people would know it, and they would cover the bruises on my face."
Austin Hosts A Game Show Called 'Redneck Island'
In 2012, Country Music Television hired the "Bionic Redneck" to host their reality game show, Redneck Island. The show is a Survivor-style competition that challenges 12 people to compete in mental and physical challenges. At the end of every episode, one contestant gets voted off, and the last one standing takes home a cash prize.
Redneck Island has thus far been a success for CMT; the show finished its fifth season — with Austin hosting all five seasons — in March of 2016.