Stone Cold Steve Austin, real name Steve Williams, grew up in Edna, Texas. He dropped out of college with under 15 credits left until graduation and went to work on loading docks.

He eventually got the notion to start training as a professional wrestler, a sport which he had watched since childhood. He started training locally, and soon began competing in a small promotion.

He got his first big break when he was hired by World Championship Wrestling. He was initially successful, becoming one half of one of the best tag teams in recent memory, the Hollywood Blondes, alongside Brian Pillman. "Stunning" Steve Austin was held back due to politics, however, and was eventually fired over the telephone by Eric Bischoff during rehabilitation of an injury.

This led to a short run in Extreme Championship Wrestling, where "Superstar" Steve Austin gave a series of ultra-bitter shoot interviews against his former employers. He was soon after picked up by the World Wrestling Federation.

Not many people remember Austin's first gimmick in the WWF, when he was known as The Ringmaster, Ted DiBiase's Million Dollar Champion. For good reason: the gimmick sucked. He soon after began a slow metamorphasis into the beer swilling, foul mouthed, bird-flipping, bad motherfucker that graces your television screen each week: Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Austin suffered a near-crippling neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart at SummerSlam '97, forcing him to take a few months off to heal. It should be noted that even though he was unable to move his arms or legs for close to a minute, he still managed to drag himself over to Hart and limply cover him to win the match--because he was supposed to win. In professional wrestling, the show must go on.

Gaining the World Wrestling Federation Championship for the first time at Wrestlemania XIV (March 1998) he has unquestionably been the number one face (good guy) in the WWF ever since, selling more memorabilia and clothing than Hulk Hogan ever did in his prime. His feud with Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWF, was one of the most successful and money-making draws in pro wrestling history.

A neck injury forced him to take an eleven month seat on the sidelines (November 1999-October 2000), after which he returned to reclaim his spot at the top of the professional wrestling world, although he now arguably shares that honor with The Rock, who in Austin's absence established himself as just as popular as Austin had been.

In a highly controvertial move, Austin turned heel at Wrestlemania X-Seven, during his match with The Rock with the WWF Championship on the line.  He allied himself with Vince McMahon--until now his greatest nemesis--to ensure himself of winning the title.  It was a highly gutsy move, as turning your number one star into a bad guy isn't always the greatest thing for ratings and merchandise sales.  Fans soon showed their willingness to boo him just as much as they'd been cheering him before--although the reaction to him in some areas was still mixed, instead of the wholeheartedly negative reaction the WWF wants.

He soon teamed with fellow heel HHH, beating the snot out of anyone who got in their way.  After HHH went out with a leg injury a few months after Wrestlemania, Austin's been wrestling as a single again, most recently defending his WWF Championship against popular babyfaces Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho at the 2001 King of the Ring.

Stone Cold Steve Austin had a falling out with WWE in June of 2002. He had no-showed 2 weeks of shows following WrestleMania X8 in March in protest of WWE's plans for him, but those differences were smoothed over and Austin made a return to TV.

Then, in June, Austin walked out again after a dispute with Vince McMahon, who asked Austin to lose to Brock Lesnar in a King of the Ring qualifying match. Austin balked, and he and his wife, Debra, got on a plane and flew back to Texas. WWE made a huge effort to bury Austin, including having The Rock cut a promo telling all the unhappy wrestlers to "Get the F out". WWE Confidential then aired a piece bashing Austin for walking out.

Austin's problems continued to mount with a domestic violence arrest, where Debra told the police Austin had struck her. Austin filed for divorce several weeks later, but he and Debra apparently reconciled and underwent counseling. In November of 2002, Austin pled no contest to the charges, and was given a year's probation a sentenced to community service.

With Austin's legal problems seemingly resolved, speculation on the Internet seems to be pointing to a return to the WWE sooner rather than later. This is fueled by comments by Jim Ross and Linda McMahon, in which they both expressed that Austin is a "good friend".

UPDATE!:Stone Cold returned to WWE at the No Way Out pay-per-view event in February, 2003. He defeated Eric Bischoff in five minutes with three Stone Cold Stunners. Now, what happens next is going to be rather interesting...

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