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Stone Cold says he'll be back
By TIM BAINES -- Ottawa Sun


Stone Cold Steve Austin holds up his WWF World title at the Calgary Saddledome during RAW is WAR May 28, 2001. -- Calgary Sun photo

Stone Cold Steve Austin wants to get back in the ring, he wants to lay a big can of whoopass on someone, but the time isn't right, not now ... or even at next month's Wrestlemania. But the time will come.

"Hell, I might have one or two matches left in me down the road," he says over the phone. "You want to be in the main event. It's like an NFL QB or a hockey great who are not doing it anymore. They still want to play.

"Sometimes it's a little frustrating. Wrestlemania would be too soon. The circumstances would have to be right. Wrestling just for the sake of wrestling doesn't do anything for me."

Until that time, Austin is just lapping up his success in WWE; as a beer-swigging, middle-finger-flipping rebel, he's probably the biggest star in wrestling. He wants to be a crowd pleaser and thanks his lucky stars WWE fans have accepted him back after a couple of lengthy absences.

"Each time that glass breaks and the music starts, in my heart I'm saying 'thank you very much.'

"Out of sight, out of mind sometimes creeps up on you."

Austin is currently cast as the sheriff of RAW.

"I enjoy it so far, but I wish they'd get me busier and pluck me in a few more storylines," he says. "It's Stone Cold's law. It frees me up to raise some hell."

Born Steve Williams in Victoria, Tex., in 1964, Austin says his in-ring role has a connection to his real-life character.

"Stone Cold is an extension of Steve Williams," he says. "It's like I'm a junkie and I'm getting my fix by raising hell. Out of the ring, I pretty much keep to myself. I've got a short attention span and I've got an aggressive side.

"(As Stone Cold) all I'm doing is grabbing the volume knob and turning it up. What you see is what you get."

Austin says wrestling has undergone a huge metamorphosis.

"The product is sometimes a little too polished, it needs that edge," he says. "Bret Hart. He's one of my favourite guys. He was no nonsense, he'd tell a story (when he was wrestling). He didn't have to reinvent the wheel. He had a style I still appreciate. Same thing with Ric Flair. You don't have to do the crazy high spots."

So how about the nomadic life of a wrestler?

"We'd get in a car and drive several hundred miles a day," says Austin. "We weren't making any money. I'd ride down the road with guys like Mick Foley, Brian Pillman and Kevin Nash. You're a wrestler, but you're also a truck driver.

"I kind of feel more at home in an arena than at my own house. I guess I kind of have gypsy in my blood."

Austin, who jokes that he "wrestles on the side and drinks for a living," wasn't always king of the hill. He remembers sitting in Grade 6 math class when the football coach came looking for him.

"Coach John Adams ... I was a pretty decent football player and I figured he was coming to talk to me about that," says Austin. "But the coach (whose wife taught the class) told me if I didn't stop acting up he was going to make things real hard for me. I listened."

So Steve Williams became a National Honours Society student, a good kid.

"We got the belt at home if we screwed up," he says. "That's just the way I was brought up. If I did something wrong, I got my ass whipped."

So now he's doing the ass-kicking. Stone Cold Steve Austin is an icon ... and no amount of beer can wash that away.

More on Stone Cold Steve Austin

- Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty won the tag titles from The Basham Brothers.

- Word is Macho Man Randy Savage could appear at TNA's Bound for Glory pay-per-view in April. Joanie Laurer (Chyna in WWE) could appear on Feb. 18.

- One-legged Zach Gowen has been released by WWE.

- Mark Henry hurt his shoulder in a match against Chris Benoit on RAW. He could be out of action for a few months.

- The winning e-bay bid for a photo of Miss Jackie's breast flash was $40 US.

- Tammy Sytch (Sunny) says she's quitting wrestling to become a flight attendant.

- Could the Wrestlemania main event be a three-way match between Benoit, Triple H and Shawn Michaels?


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