Stone Cold Steve Austin could possibly still be wrestling today had it not been for a nasty neck injury he suffered in the early days of his career.
Shortly after his rise to superstardom in 1996 following his King Of The Ring win, Austin debuted his Austin 3:16 gimmick that would change his career forever. As opposed to what most probably remember about him in the ring, "The Texas Rattlesnake" actually had a lot more technical style inside the squared circle before he suffered a bad neck injury at SummerSlam against Owen Hart in 1997. Hart botched a piledriver on Austin that left him with a broken neck. After suffering the injury Austin was able to crawl over to Hart, who was distracting the crowd by taunting them after realizing Austin was hurt, and get the rollup pin for the win.
Due to his injury, however, he was forced to take a significant amount of time off and relinquish his WWE Intercontinental Championship and Tag Team Titles that he held at the time. After his recovery Austin was able to continue his journey inside the ring and go on to have a Hall Of Fame career.
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Recently, Austin took to his podcast, The Steve Austin Show, to reflect on his time in the WWE. During the show, he revealed that fellow WWE Legend The Undertaker actually looked out for him after he returned from his injury (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
"I would say my favorite match with The Undertaker was actually in a small town in Pennsylvania. I had just come back from getting dropped on my head, almost got paralyzed, and they started putting me in some matches after several months of being off.
"I was in a six-man tag team match, Undertaker, myself, and someone else against three other guys. I can't remember who the guys were and I wasn't really supposed to go out there and take many bumps, but due to the excitement of the crowd, all of the Austin 3:16 shirts, I said, 'man, I've got to go out there and take a bump,' so I tagged in, ran a highspot, took a couple of bumps, and tagged out.
"As the guy went into the ring, I stepped on the apron and The Undertaker looked at me with that look that only he can give and said beneath his breath, 'what in the hell do you think you're doing?' and it was the fact that it was the legendary 'Deadman' actually cared that I went in there and I could have potentially been hurt and he should some compassion for his fellow teammate in the middle of a six-man match in a small town - it may have been Hershey, Pennsylvania.
"I thought it was awesome and that's one of the reasons I have so much respect for the guy."
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