Stone Cold Steve Austin has made a fortune off of stomping mud holes into his opponent and walking them dry. Although currently retired from in-ring competition, The Texas Rattlesnake has been an absolute phenomenon in the squared circle, with a professional wrestling career lasting well over a decade. His rise to main event superstardom began in the WWE, where he would become a six-time world champion and excite the crowd with his anti-authority, middle finger gesturing, and beer guzzling ways.
The Bionic Redneck was born in Austin, Texas, but he would spend much of his childhood in the town of Edna, where he attended high school and played football leading to scholarships at Wharton County Junior College and the University of North Texas. His wrestling career began in 1989, wrestling for World Class Championship Wrestling, winning his first match and receiving $40 for his work. In 1990, he arrived at World Championship Wrestling, quickly winning his first title after just three weeks on the job. After a brief stint in Extreme Championship Wrestling, he would get a call from WWE looking to sign this red hot Texan. Under the bright lights of WWE, Austin would have a meteoric rise to the main event, and he would become one of the most popular professional wrestlers of all-time.
Austin’s star in the WWE shines so bright that it can be almost blinding. He has starred in the main event of three separate WrestleManias, and has since transitioned from a life of in-ring competition to the life as an actor, starring in numerous films over the course of a decade. But after all this tremendous success, how much money has “The Toughest S.O.B. of the WWE” accumulated? Let’s take a gander at The Rattlesnake’s riches.
Stone Cold’s Net Worth as of 2016: $45 Million
Stone Cold’s net worth arrives at an impressive $45 million, significantly topping his former foe Triple H and even besting the highest paid performer in the WWE, John Cena. Steve Austin rivals Hulk Hogan as the biggest star in WWE’s history, so it is not at all surprising to find out that The Texas Rattlesnake currently holds a cool fortune. From battling his boss to fighting bad guys in action films, Stone Cold is a force to be reckoned with both inside and outside of the squared circle.
1989 – 1995
The Texas Rattlesnake would arrive on the wrestling scene in 1989, wrestling with his real name until being forced to change his ring name to Steve Austin, as to avoid confusion with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, an already well-known professional wrestler with the same name as the rattlesnake. While in the United States Wrestling Association, he would add the word “Stunning” to his name; a nickname that stayed with him during his tenure with World Championship Wrestling.
“Stunning” Steve Austin made his debut for WCW in 1991, quickly winning the World Television Championship. He would then form The Hollywood Blondes with Brian Pillman, quickly ascending to the top of the tag team division, winning both the NWA and WCW Tag Team Championships.
After turning on Pillman, Austin broke out on his own again, winning the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship title against Dustin Rhodes. Austin would then enter into a feud with Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, who would defeat Austin for the title, only to lose it back to the stunning blonde via forfeit. What should have been an awesome moment in the life of Austin took a swift turn to disappointment alley, as he would lose his title only minutes later to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.
After failing to regain his championship, Austin would be fired by WCW, while still recovering from a tricep injury. When Steve Austin arrived in Extreme Championship Wrestling, he was angry as hell, ripping at his former boss on-air and revealing an in-your-face, take-no-prisoners persona, which would carry him to WWE greatness. Within the Land of Extreme, this anti-authority hell raiser quickly rose to the main event, but failed to win the world championship at both November to Remember and December to Dismember 1995. But in late 1995, the WWE would come knocking at the door of The Rattlesnake.
1995 – 1998
Austin first stepped into a WWE ring on the January 8, 1996 edition of Monday Night Raw, wrestling under the name of The Ringmaster. That night, the future Stone Cold would be awarded the Million Dollar Championship from his manager WWE legend “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Soon after his debut, Austin would shave his head and grow a goatee; a trademark look that would follow him all throughout his tenure under the bright lights of the WWE.
Much like his flowing blonde locks, Austin would leave the name Ringmaster behind, and return to his rebellious ways, becoming the infamous Stone Cold Steve Austin and ushering in the era of Austin 3:16, giving his legendary promo after winning the King of the Ring tournament in 1996. The brash Stone Cold would quickly rise to the top of the WWE, winning the 1997 Royal Rumble match, and going on to have legendary encounters with the “Hitman” Bret Hart, particularly their epic match-up at WrestleMania 13, where Austin transformed into an crowd favorite, a position he would maintain for much of his WWE career.
In 1997, Austin would add three championship reigns to his resume; winning the tag team championships on two separate occasions, and later winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a match that almost ended his career, as he suffered a broken neck while receiving a botched pile driver from former champion Owen Hart. He would get a measure of revenge at that year’s Survivor Series, reclaiming his Intercontinental Championship from Hart. But 1998 would truly be the year of Stone Cold, as he once again won the Royal Rumble match, and would go onto WrestleMania XIV, defeating “The Heart Break Kid” Shawn Michaels for his first world championship.
1998 – 2000
Right after his WrestleMania victory, the McMahon-Austin feud would begin, as Vince McMahon didn’t like the rattlesnake’s disrespectful nature and implored him to join his side or else. Steve Austin responded with a thunderous Stone Cold Stunner, laying out the chairman and celebrated as the crowd went crazy. Austin would face his boss in a highly-rated segment on an April episode of Raw. This match would lead to Stone Cold’s feud with Dude Love, as Austin retained his title against the tie-dye wearing hippie in two consecutive pay per view encounters.
Austin then moved onto a feud with the “Big Red Machine” Kane, who would defeat the Texas Rattlesnake and take away Stone Cold’s championship at King of the Ring 1998. However, Austin would win the title back the very next night. The beer-drinking Texan would hold onto to his championship for a few months until his corporate enemy Vince McMahon decided to vacate his world title, and then less than a month later, Vince fired him on-screen, only for this Bionic Redneck to return, raise hell and drive his boss even more crazy.
His boss screwed him out of another Royal Rumble victory in 1999, but Austin would gain a measure of retribution at the only edition of WWE’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, defeating the embattled billionaire and finally receiving the opportunity to face The Rock at WrestleMania XV for the greatest prize in the industry. After winning the WWE Championship, Austin would feud with The Undertaker, losing his belt, but reclaiming it in short fashion only a month later.
After once again losing his world championship, he would feud with Triple H who had then ascended to the top of the WWE ladder. But Austin would cut this feud short, as he took a nine-month hiatus from competition, stemming from a neck injury received two years prior by Owen Hart’s botched pile driver. In storyline terms, Austin had been mysteriously hit by a car before his scheduled triple threat main event at Survivor Series 1999. He would not return to in-ring competition until No Mercy 2000, attacking the assailant Rikishi who had hit Austin with a car, but it was revealed that Triple H was behind the plot all along. Austin would not rest without revenge, and would routinely target Triple H and Rikishi at each televised event.
2001 – present
2001 was a very eventful year for Stone Cold, he won the Royal Rumble match for the third time, and once again defeated The Rock by help of his former foe Vince McMahon. Austin had turned into a full-fledged bad guy. He teamed with top villain Triple H, and they became known as The Two-Man Power Trip, winning the tag team championship. After his partner suffered a horrendous injury, Austin was on his own again, shifting back and forth from bad guy to good guy, until turning heel once more and becoming the leader of the evil Alliance of invading WCW and ECW wrestlers. During this time, he would trade world title reigns with Kurt Angle, solidfying the Olympic Gold Medalist as one of the top star’s in the business.
After The Invasion angle folded, Austin once again became a baby face, assaulting Booker T in a supermarket, feuding with a returning NWO, and kidnapping Scott Hall. But behind the scenes, Stone Cold was very dissatisfied with the product, calling the story lines “piss poor,” and walking away from the company in June 2002. He would not return to the WWE until February 2003, defeating his former WCW employer Eric Bischoff in a squash match, and then going onto WrestleMania XIX to have his retirement match against The Rock.
Later that year, Austin would become the co-general manager of Monday Night Raw, and later acted as the program’s sheriff. As the years progressed, Austin would appear less and less on WWE television, as he would transition his talents to film such as The Longest Yard, The Expendables, The Condemned, Grown Ups 2, and many more.
After retiring from the ring, Austin would only appear on WWE television during special occasions, such as refereeing The Battle of The Billionaires match at WrestleMania 23, pitting Vince McMahon’s hand-picked opponent against an opponent chosen by current Presidential Candidate Donald Trump. And in 2009, Stone Cold’s career would come full circle as he was inducted into that year’s class of the WWE Hall of Fame. But The Texas Rattlesnake hasn’t entirely walked away from WWE’s limelight, most recently appearing at this year’s WrestleMania, alongside fellow wrestling legends Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley.
The Texas Rattlesnake has traveled down a path of glory, inspiring an ocean of fans across the globe with an entertaining and rebellious attitude that cannot be replicated. Austin may very well be the most popular professional wrestler to ever walk this green Earth. It should surprise no one that such a powerful performer was able to accumulate such a mammoth amount of money. From movies to the ring, Stone Cold has earned every penny of that $45 million, as he will live on forever in the archives and within the mind of even the most casual fan.