Stone Cold Steve Austin Was Almost Not Cleared To Compete Because His Doctor Thought Wrestling Was Real

In 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin was on his way to becoming the top wrestling star in the industry. Then his match with Owen Hart derailed his ascension. During the infamous match, Owen Hart hit a tombstone piledriver on Austin, but Owen landed on his butt instead of his knees when performing the move, that move is what broke Austin’s neck and almost ended his in ring career. Austin was later cleared and resumed his climb to the top, becoming arguably the most famous star in all of wrestling.

Gregory Iron recently began a podcast and his fourth episode featured a year old interview with Steve Austin. Below are highlights, including the story Austin told about getting himself cleared to get back into the ring.

WWE Hall of Famer and pro wrestling legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin joined Gregory Iron on the latest episode of “Iron on Wrestling.” Recorded last year during the filming of a WrestleDaze feature on Iron, the conversation between the two wrestlers touches on Austin’s mindset immediately after his 1997 neck injury, as well as the days that followed his 1999 neck surgery.

“I got a phone call from Vince. He said ‘Steve, I want to talk to you about an angle when you come back.’” Austin said in response to the idea of a 2000 return, “I told him ‘Man, I don’t think I’m coming back.’ That kind of shocked him, because he thought I was going to be coming back.

Austin also spoke about the uphill battle to get back in the ring following his injury. “When it first happened, I went to see Dr. Joseph Torg in Philly, and he was like the lead guy on Quadriplegia,” he said. “He wasn’t going to let me back in the ring. He thought the business was a shoot. So finally, I had to tell the doctor, ‘I don’t gotta take a piledriver every time I go out. I can control what I do’.” And it was like a light went off in his head.”

As hard as Austin worked to return to in-ring action, his final match against The Rock at WrestleMania XIX became the kind of career conclusion “The Texas Rattlesnake” didn’t even know he needed. “When I walked up the ramp, I just felt a sense of relief,” Austin said. “It felt like this 200-pound iron plate had been lifted off my back. There was no way in hell I wasn’t going to miss the business, and that would come back to haunt me later, but the initial relief of just saying, ‘Okay, I don’t have to put my body on the line anymore.’ It was a big relief. It was bittersweet. It was weird. But it was what it was.”

Other topics on the episode include Austin’s candid thoughts on his Three Stages of Hell match with “The Game” Triple H, why Austin has yet to watch his WrestleMania XIX match with The Rock, and the time Austin almost had his face crushed performing one of his signature “Stone Cold” stunts. “Iron on Wrestling” is available on Apple Podcasts. The full video interview is available on YouTube.

Gregory Iron

You can listen to the podcast here.

Sample of the Podcast in the video below

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