This past summer, Steve Austin appeared on Jay Mohr's podcast, Mohr Stories. During the podcast, Austin discussed making the transition from wrestling to acting and quitting WWE in 2002. Here are some highlights:
Quitting WWE: "I remember one time I was wrestling down in Columbus, Georgia. I was working with Ric Flair in a cage, and I got a call from Jim Ross. They were dropping the creative on me. They wanted me to do the favors for Brock Lesnar in Atlanta. Man, I was running hard. [What does that mean, do the favors?] I was going to get beat. [I don't like this already] I didn't either, back then. So Jim Ross had called to give me the down low on what was going to happen. I said well, really? I'm running up and down the road trying to sell these buildings out. We're kicking ass. When you got a number one cat, you keep throwing the gas on him. You don't fiddlef*** around with him. You keep the hammer down. I said, man, it ain't good business. I'll be happy to lay down on anybody if we're going to do the buildup and we're going to get paid for this thing and do a big number, but we had not done this. It was just going to be a Monday Night RAW, a match out of the blue. I said well, if that's going to be the case I won't be there. Well, I'm just telling you what's happening, you might want to call Vince.
"So sure enough, I get a couple messages that I need to call Vince. So I called him. Vince gave me the same scenario. It was like two in the morning. We got RAW the next day. I said so that's what we're doing? He says yep.Visit Wrestling Inc. I said, okay. See, I see the way you're looking at me right now, the way I said okay. It means okay, it ain't okay. But when I say okay to him, he just heard me say okay. My okay mean like ha, that's bulls***. My okay means I ain't going to be there. So that's when I took my ball and hauled ass back to Texas and said hey, piss on it. I quit. So that was the case.
"[So what happened?] Well, you know they got TV, man. I'm sitting on an airplane going back to San Antonio and my phone's blowing up like a son of a b****. They're trying to get ahold of me, and I said sayonara, catch you later. It was just a real bad decision, but made. [Bad decision by you?] Oh yeah. Well, bad decision on their part, business wise, to want to beat me on short notice with no advertising. No buildup, come on, man, s***. We're trying to make this kid. He had all the potential in the world. Nothing personal against Brock, I love Brock and I always did, but it just wasn't a good business decision. And if I'm out there working my ass off, as was everybody else, we're all making damn good money selling out, and all of a sudden, dude, you want to pick me off like that?
"[What's the repercussions for going against Vince like that?] I quit! I quit, I was gone for almost a year. [Didn't you have a contract that says you can't quit?] Well yeah, I could quit. I mean, it wasn't like I was going to go anywhere. I didn't do anything. I was gone for like eight or ten months. [How nice was the break?] Oh, I was miserable.Check out Wrestling Inc. Dude, are you kidding me? I made a snap decision and walked away from, we were doing killer business. Every arena was sold out, it was 20000. I don't care what day of the week it was, they were all sold out. I was on top. So you walk away from that paycheck. You ain't got nothing coming in the mailbox. They stop paying you. You still have bills. I'm watching the show. They're doing a smear campaign. Now they've got to just trash me and say I took my ball and went home, and that was their whole spin. They just said that I took my ball and went home. It was bad. I was miserable watching all my buddies go up and down the road and keep doing Monday Night RAW. I was leading the charge, and I took my s*** and went home.
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