Steve Austin: The Stone Cold Truth
Professional wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin on working out, drinking wine, and fighting.
This interview almost caused Steve Austin to miss his flight. We called, he tried to dig out his phone on the fly, and ended up bypassing the on-ramp for I-10 in Los Angeles as a result. Pissed? Nah. Stone Cold might have flipped us the bird, hung up, and thrown his phone out the window, but this is Steve—one hell of a good guy who’s seen plenty and is here to tell us about it.
MF: When was the last time you were in an actual fistfight?
SA: Shit, man. I can’t recollect. It’s been an absolute hell of a long time—before I got into the wrestling business. Most times, when I went into a bar, I always got the drunk redneck that wanted to arm wrestle, but I don’t arm wrestle. I maintain my composure and I’m cool. I think fightin’ and all that horseshit is an energy you send off to somebody. Back in the day I’d fight, but these days, not so much. I’d want to put a condom on my fist before I fought anyone.
MF: What are some things you can’t travel without?
Sunglasses, because my eyes are light sensitive, and I cannot stand bright light. If it’s the morning, and I had a late night, the worst thing in the world is a bright light. It’s not to go incognito or any of that shit. I wear decent shades, but if I lose them, I’ll go right to the store and get cheap ones, because my eyes are that sensitive. Now, if there’s one thing I put in my suitcase, it’s a corkscrew, because there ain’t nothin’ worse than opening a bottle of damn wine by pushing a cork in with a Sharpie because you don’t have a corkscrew.
MF: Wine? The thrower of many a Beer Bash is a wine drinker?
Depends on what mood I’m in. Man, I dig my vodka, and that’s Chopin vodka, because I drink the good stuff. But if I’m on a Cabernet kick, I can’t tell you how many corks I punched down in the bottle because I didn’t have a corkscrew—and the best way to get that thing out is to push the cork down with something strong enough, and that’s usually a Sharpie, which I have in my backpack 24/7.
MF: You’ve done manual labor your whole life. Could you go back to making your living that way if you had to?
Aw, shit. I could go right back into it. I own a ranch in Texas, so there’s always something to do as far as work goes, whether it’s tractor stuff or tearing down fence. Driving a forklift is kind of like riding a bicycle. You’ve either got forklift skills or you don’t, and I can remove somebody’s molars with a forklift. You’re either good or you ain’t, and dammit, I drove one long enough to be outstanding at it. I ain’t braggin’, but I’ve always been able to drive anything on wheels, as you’ve seen from my wrestling career.
MF: Have you also been working out your whole life?
“I’ve been working out since I was a kid. If I don’t make my workout, I don’t feel as good mentally or physically. You’ve got to make the time to train at least three times a week—go to the gym, go for a hike, whatever works. Whenever I tweak anything or just get banged up and it’s not serious, like when I broke my neck, I hit the gym. I start with baby weights so I can get the blood circulating around that injured area, and I gradually add more weight. It works.