March 27, 2010
Stone Cold says he has 'has one last match' in him
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Stone Cold Steve Austin admits he "has one last match" in him. The big question, will we ever see it?
"I appeared (as a celebrity guest host) on Monday Night RAW to push the movie (Damage)," says Austin.
"WWE has changed. It's a different climate, more of a PG image. They've cleaned it up a bit. For me to go back, I have to watch my Ps and Qs.
"It's another day and age. They've got young superstars to sell. Do I have a match left in me? Absolutely. Do I want to do one more? I don't know.
"I'm very content with leaving well enough alone. I don't want to be 90% of what Stone Cold was."
Austin says he's on the road promoting his movie this weekend, so don't expect to see him at Sunday’s WrestleMania 26.
Austin says he was happy to see Bret Hart return to WWE, if only for a brief run and match against Vince McMahon at 'Mania.
"That's the wrestling business for you. The match with Bret and Vince brings closure to the storyline. I whole-heartedly doubt Bret will ever forget the (Montreal Survivor Series) screwjob. He was one of my favourite guys to get in the ring with. I'm a big Bret Hart fan."
Austin is proud of Damage, the story of John Brickner (Austin), an ex-con forced to make some difficult choices (becoming a bare-knuckles fighter), now out on DVD. At times, it's all too real. Just ask MMA fighter Paul Lazenby, who absorbed a wicked punch, not pulled like it had been so many times in wrestling rings across the world.
"It was a montage-type scene. I threw a left hook and got it a little too deep. With my pinkie finger, I pushed his nose about two inches across the other side of his face. He just looked at me and said, 'Keep going.' So I kept swinging at him. We had a laugh about it, but I felt horrible."
Austin has another film, The Expendables, scheduled for release this fall, where he's part of an outstanding cast of action heroes. Sylvester Stallone, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger all appear.
"There's lots of testosterone, with bullets and explosives flying everywhere," says Austin.
As a wrestling icon, Austin stood at the top of the mountain. He was a huge money-maker who pushed wrestling into popularity levels it had never known.
Austin was front and centre in changing the way fans looked at wrestlers.
"As Stone Cold, I was in the grey area a lot, in a black and white business," says Austin. "Wrestling is good vs. evil and I brought both into one package. I was the anti-hero. I don't think when people thought of me they had warm, fuzzy thoughts. At the end, I wanted to do something else other than pro wrestling. It was the first love of my life. But I had to move down the road. I don't miss it anymore, but when I first got out, I missed it tremendously."
Acting seemed like a natural next step.
"The biggest catalogue of my work is in wrestling. Now, my goal in acting is to be as effective in front of a movie camera as I was in front of a WWE camera. What you see is me. I went to a couple of things with an acting coach. If I could do it all over again, I'd take drama classes back in the day when I was a youngster.
"In anything you do, you set goals to go as high as you can. What I did in my pro wrestling career, when I was white hot, nobody before or since has touched me. I want to be a major part of the movie scene, just like that."
Austin says he loves doing action movies.
"I want to make movies I enjoy," he says. "I've learned that you really don't have a clue about the movie-making process until you've done three or four. It's like my first wrestling match, you just don't get comfortable in your skin. Back in the day, I was a big Charles Bronson fan. I loved Steve McQueen, Sly, Steven Seagal and Arnold movies."
Tim Baines is the Sports Editor for the Ottawa Sun and can be emailed at Tim.firstname.lastname@example.org.