With a brand new year upon us, I’ve taken a few moments to reflect back at the Throwback Thursday clips of 2013. It seems that each and every week, it is mentioned that all of the biggest stars in professional wrestling had been thru Memphis at one time or another. But did you know that Stone Cold Steve Austin began his ascend to the top of the sport in Memphis?
The year was 1989 and Steve Austin was reigning Pro Wrestling Illustrated Rookie of the Year. As you’ll see in this week’s Throwback Thursday clip, he was in Memphis for one thing and one thing only – the Southern Heavyweight Championship.
Accompanied by his lovely valet Jeannie, Austin had a much differed look back in 1989. From the long, blond hair and multi-colored wrestling shorts to the bald-headed, beer-swilling hell-raiser – I guess you could say that his change throughout the years have been simply “Stunning.”
Austin & Jeannie join Dave Brown for a brief interview before heading into the ring to face “Nightmare” Danny Davis. Pay close attention because you may recognize a familiar face donning the referee stripes.
Of course, the referee was none other than the son of the legendary “Superstar” Bill Dundee, Jamie Dundee. Jamie later went on to compete in the USWA, WWE and ECW.
In 1991, Steve Austin joined World Championship Wrestling where he defeated “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton for the WCW Television Championship within his first couple of weeks with the company. Of course, Austin 3:16 was born in 1996 and his rise to super-stardom couldn’t be stopped. Under the alias of Stone Cold Steve Austin, he became a house-hold name & WWE Hall of Famer.
I look forward to another year of opening the vault of Memphis wrestling’s rich history! Happy New Year, everyone!
Fun Facts: At the beginning of his career, Steve Austin wrestled under his real name Steve Williams. It wasn’t until he wrestled in Memphis that he became Steve Austin. Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter in WWE) was the booker who officially gave him the name Steve Austin.
“Throwback Thursday” is a weekly Memphis Wrestling post at MemphiSport.com.
Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.