Steve Austin ‘vulnerable’ in ‘Stone Cold Takes on America’

Apr 28, 2023, 12:56 PM

Six-time WWE champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, poses for a portrait to promote his new reality s...

Six-time WWE champion, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, poses for a portrait to promote his new reality series "Stone Cold Takes On America" on Wednesday, April 26, 2023, in Gardenerville, Nev. (Andy Barron/Invision/AP)

(Andy Barron/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — “Stone Cold” Steve Austin missed out on many seemingly mundane experiences during his legendary, bloodied, broken-bodied rise to becoming one of the most popular wrestlers of all time. But the Texas Rattlesnake is making up for lost time with his new adventure reality series, “Stone Cold Takes on America.”

“It’s about doing different things in America and doing some of the things that I’ve always wanted to do,” said the six-time WWE champion. “Like almost anything in life, to reach a high level, you sacrifice a lot of stuff. … It sounded like a great idea to go do a lot of bucket list items.”

The A&E series, premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, gives a glimpse into Austin’s post-wrestling lighter side as he attempts to conquer activities like to bartending and competing against skilled senior citizen bowlers. He also does live TV weather forecasting and waits tables at a streak restaurant (no patrons were hit with the Stone Cold Stunner ).

“There are some things I’m loving … and there are some things that I’m little bit of a fish out of water, and it’s painful. But through it all, I think we had 12 or 13 people on the crew, and we traveled all around in an RV, and I drove every single mile,” said the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame inductee. “I was just trying to perform a job the best that I could — someone else’s job — on one hour of training. So yeah, man, I don’t like to use the word vulnerable, but I guess I’m a little bit more vulnerable than Stone Cold.”

The 58-year-old shot to wrestling fame in the late ’90s before spilling into pop culture stardom with his brash, charismatic, profanity-laced attitude that eventually moved fans from disdain to adoration. Helping lead the WWE’s popular “Attitude” era, his “Stone Cold” persona resonated with blue collar fans as well as anyone who hated their boss. (He had a running storyline of bickering and battling with WWE CEO Vince McMahon ). He drank celebratory beers in the ring after wins, and created crowd-participating catchphrases like “Give me a hell yeah!” It was also common to see his “ Austin 3:16” T-shirts —a cheeky play on the John 3:16 Bible verse — in schools and malls across the country. The merch became one of the biggest sellers in WWE history.

Hollywood recognized his gravitas, and he went on to star in 2007’s “The Condemned,” and joined the ensemble cast that included Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis in 2010’s “The Expendables.” In recent years, he beefed up his reality TV experience by hosting the “WWE Tough Enough” reality competition as well as several seasons of CMT’s “Redneck Island.”

But if fans expect to see the tough guy in the black wrestling trunks, black leather vest with a scowled face while he’s learning new jobs, they might be disappointed.

“For the first few episodes, there was a little bit of an identity crisis on my part,” explained the three-time Royal Rumble champion. “I live my life as Steve Austin, and so I’m not trying to be ‘Stone Cold’ in this show.”

But that doesn’t mean his alter ego is gone forever. Rumors swirled with frenzy that the native Texan would appear at WrestleMania 39 earlier this month, but filming conflicts didn’t allow him enough time to get into wrestling shape. However, he’s not ruling out future surprises WWE appearances.

“If the stars aligned again, then yes, I would,” said Austin, who acknowledged there were discussions with fellow wrestling legend and current WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

But Austin isn’t begging to go back in the ring. He’s enjoying his post-wrestling life and wishes that much like his “Stone Cold” character inspired a legion of fans, this show motivates viewers to try something new, while hoping they follow these adventures with as much fervor as his wrestling storylines.

“I dropped out of college with 17 hours left to graduate, and all my jobs were manual labor jobs. I was driving a forklift before I got to the wrestling business. But I tell people I never had a plan B. Plan A was to succeed. I never had any desires of being a world champion … I just wanted to be a wrestler,” said Austin. “But as you learn the business, you learn that you want to climb the ladder to get to the very top. So, just whatever you want to do, don’t let anybody hold you back and go for it.”


Follow Associated Press entertainment journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton at: @GaryGHamilton on all his social media platforms.

National News

Associated Press

Pat Robertson dies at 93; founded Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Coalition

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Pat Robertson, a religious broadcaster who turned a tiny Virginia station into the global Christian Broadcasting Network, tried a run for president and helped make religion central to Republican Party politics in America through his Christian Coalition, has died. He was 93. Robertson’s death Thursday was announced by his broadcasting […]

5 hours ago

FILE - Homes burn as a wildfire rips through a development near Rock Creek Village, Dec. 30, 2021, ...

Associated Press

Authorities to reveal results of investigation into how Colorado’s worst wildfire started

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say they have wrapped up their investigation into what started the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history and will announce their findings on Thursday. The blaze destroyed nearly 1,100 homes as heavy winds pushed it across the heavily populated suburbs between Denver and Boulder on Dec. 30, 2021. Two people were […]

1 day ago

Kim Adams of the SOAR Initiative, a nonprofit that seeks to prevent drug overdoses in Ohio, packs f...

Associated Press

‘Keep them alive’: More states legalize fentanyl test strips to combat surging opioid deaths

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — At Cleveland’s Urban Kutz Barbershop, customers can flip through magazines as they wait, or help themselves to drug screening tests left out in a box on a table with a somber message: “Your drugs could contain fentanyl. Please take free test strips.” Owner Waverly Willis has given out strips for years […]

1 day ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during an event to commemorate Pride Month, in the East Room of t...

Associated Press

Biden invites thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals, singer Betty Who, to Pride Month celebration

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has invited thousands of LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate Pride Month in a high-profile show of support at a time when the community feels under attack like never before and the White House has little recourse to beat back a flood state-level legislation against them. Biden was announcing new initiatives […]

1 day ago

FILE - Former President Donald Trump greets supporters before speaking at the Westside Conservative...

Associated Press

The Republican presidential field is largely set. Here are takeaways on where the contest stands.

NEW YORK (AP) — After a trio of new announcements this week, the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential field is all but set. A handful of stragglers may jump in later, but as of now there are at least 10 high-profile Republican candidates officially seeking their party’s nomination. And with the announcement phase of the primary […]

1 day ago

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak watches a drone demonstration as he visits the Friendship Techno...

Associated Press

Biden and Sunak to focus on Ukraine and economic security in British PM’s first White House visit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rishi Sunak for wide-ranging talks on Thursday as the British leader makes his first White House visit as premier. The leaders’ Oval Office talks are expected to cover the war in Ukraine, China, economic security, international cooperation on regulating the growing field of artificial intelligence, and more. Biden and Sunak have already […]

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

Steve Austin ‘vulnerable’ in ‘Stone Cold Takes on America’