ECW Hardcore TV (1995–2001)
Steve Austin: You know, a couple of weeks ago, when Eric Bischoff told his secretary to tell her secretary to leave a message on my answering machine, for me to call Eric Bischoff, and then I called Eric Bischoff, and he proceeded to fire me over the phone, I thought a big cloud was lifted off the career of Steve Austin. Because gone were the days where I'd go up to someone and say "Hey, what about me and Sting? We got this big thing going. How 'bout the cage?" And someone says "No, baby, that's for somebody else. We're just gonna keep you right where you're at right now." Well, then I said "Well, how about me and Savage? Man, I got this great idea, man. He comes in, he's got the Slim Jim deal, well hell, I..." No, Steve, that's for somebody else, baby. Then you go "I got this great idea, I can do it with Hulk Hogan. I'm gonna be the Steve-o-Maniac, and we're gonna take this thing all the way, because Hulk Hogan, Hulkamania was the biggest thing to ever come down the wrestling spike." And they say "No, it's not for you, brother. You can't do that, and we're gonna keep you right where you are." I said "How about me and Brian get back together? The Hollywood Blondes, it was the best tag team to come along in ten years." And they say "No, Steve, we need you in a singles role, man. We need you to do this, we're gonna put the U.S. title on you. And then we're gonna take you here, and then you're the number one contender, so then you got this World title shot." Well, all that shit never happened! So there I am, floundering along, there's nothing going my way because of politics. And WCW kept the biggest potential superstar in wrestling on the God damn ground! What are you supposed to do? On one hand, they're paying you a bunch of money. They're paying me a bunch of money! Well, on this hand, they're telling me "Hey, go out there and give Bagwell a hell of a match. Go out there with an eighteen year old German kid, give him seven good minutes. Let other people see what he can do." They say "You are what you eat." And WCW, they didn't feed me nothing but garbage! So I let myself become garbage. I became complacent with everything that they said. As long as big Ted kept sending in the checks, maybe I wasn't happy with what was going on, but I became complacent. Then they send me to Japan, the big injury. Bischoff delivers a shot heard around the damn world! "Steve Austin's out of the high-paying job." All the sudden, the phone starts ringing off the hook. It's ECW, it's the WWF, it's All-Japan, it's New Japan, and all Steve Austin's gotta do is make a decision. Todd Gordon, whether he mortgages his house one time, two times, maybe three times, came up with it, all right? The right figure for Steve Austin to make a decision. I stroll into the ECW Arena... it's the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen! I broke in in a building called the Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas. Home of the world-famous Von Erichs. Anybody that was anybody stepped foot in the Dallas Sportatorium. For the last two years, all you've heard about, anywhere in wrestling, is the famous ECW Arena. Debut night, I roll in. You got the Sandman. You've got the Raven. You got the Pit Bulls. You got Stevie Richards, you got the Public Enemy. You got the Gangstas. You got Mikey Whipwrep, whatever the hell his name is. You got a bunch of damn misfits running around, thinking that they can actually wrestle. All I've seen in ECW is a bunch of violent crap! And that's exactly what I'll call it, because that's what it is. Steve Austin is here to wrestle. It's what I do best, it's what I do better than anybody in the world. Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, they got the big send-off. Tears were in everybody's eyes, there was a big deal. All Steve Austin got was a good swift kick in the ass as Bischoff hung up the phone and left me high and dry! There's no Hogans here. There's no Flairs here. There's not a Dusty Rhodes, and there damn sure isn't an Eric Bischoff here. There's no one that can hold back Steve Austin now. "Stunning"? Tossed it out the window. Never was meant to be. ECW is gonna find out firsthand what Steve Austin can do. And I'm gonna show everybody here exactly what a true superstar is supposed to do. What a true superstar is supposed to be. Because no one here can hold me back. Not Todd Gordon, not Hulk Hogan, not Eric Bischoff, nobody. I'm gonna be the superstar that I always knew that I could be. Because there's no one... no one in ECW that can stop me.