In 2015, Stone Cold Steve Austin is rightly recognized as one of the greatest wrestlers ever to grace the squared circle.
It wasn't always that way though for the Texas native. Indeed, before signing with the WWE (then WWF) back in 1995, Austin saw his wrestling hopes dashed when he was fired by then WCW Vice President Eric Bischoff.
Taking the call
20 years on, speaking in an interview with the WWE Network, the wrestling legend has opened up about the moment he heard he had been cut from the promotion.
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"Janey from the office at WCW calls me and she said 'Hey Steve, Eric needs you to call him', and I could see the writing on the wall right there, so I drive back to my house and I call Eric," Auston recalled.
"He goes, 'Yeah Steve just wanted to let you know, based on the amount of money we're paying you and the amount of days you've been incapacitated, we're going to go ahead and exercise our right to terminate the agreement."
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The Texas Rattlesnake also revealed his exit was made official after receiving a FedEx the next day.
After watching Stone Cold dominate the wrestling business for two decades before retiring, it might be hard to believe there was a time when his services weren't required by a promotion.
But, after multiple injuries and fears over his marketability, Bischoff took the executive decision that he must regret to this day.
In the past, Austin has expressed his frustration at how his firing unfolded - he previously called Bischoff a coward for doing it by phone - but this latest interview suggests the legendary wrestler has moved on.
Indeed, he admits that he now understands Bischoff's position:
"I can totally see why he fired me," said Austin. "I mean the guy did what he thought he had to do."
"It wasn't like I was a drawing card for the company. There were a million guys like me that they didn't have to pay that much money to that could do what I was doing.
"I totally saw why he did what he thought he had to do. At the time, I didn't, but now when I look back...I don't blame him at all for firing me."
WWE fans: Where does Stone Cold rank amongst the all-time greats? Have your say in the comments below...
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