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#@&!!&**#$!#@ Best Advice I Ever Got

I had a day off today on the movie shoot so I figured I’d write a random wrestling story that happened to me back in the day.  This is a true story and I remember it like it was yesterday…So here goes.

I had been wrestling for just over 2 months when I asked Jerry Jarrett, the owner of USWA, when I could start working full time.  I had been wrestling on Friday nights and Saturday mornings at the world Famous Sportatorium in Dallas, Texas.  Friday night was the big weekly card, and Saturday morning was the TV taping which aired later that night.  During the week I worked at Watkins Motor Lines in Dallas.  Watkins was a freight dock and I loaded and unloaded trucks and drove a forklift.  Manual labor was my specialty.   I was still living in Denton, Texas.  My football scholarship was over and I was burnt out on doing research papers and had dropped out of college with 17 hours to graduate with a degree in P.E.  My parents were less than thrilled to say the least.  I would have been the first of 5 kids to graduate from college.  Oh well.

Jerry said Hell, Steve, I think you’re ready now.  Two weeks later I had everything I owned packed in my brand spanking new Hyundai Excel base model.  Silver in color, a 5 speed manual transmission, AC, and a am/fm CD player.  My older brother Scott cosigned the note for me and my monthly payments were $154 bucks a month.  That wasn’t a problem working on the freight dock.  I had worked my way up to top pay faster than anybody had ever done.  $12 bucks an hour was pretty damn good money back in the day.  No problem making payments.  That would soon change when I got to Nashville, Tennessee where the USWA territory was based.  USWA was a weekly territory, meaning you worked the same towns every single week.  Except Thursday was a spot show.  Let me explain this to you so you know the schedule we were on and what a spot show is. Most of the guys were based out of the Nashville area.  I was living in a sh!tbox motel called The Congress Inn off of Dickerson Pike.  The people who ran the place let me pay my tab whenever I got some money.  They really helped save my ass cause money was pretty bad at the time.  But I Always Paid My Tab.  So, anyway, Monday was Memphis, TN.  Tuesday was Louisville, KY.  Wednesday was Evansville, IN. Thursday was a spot show.  A spot show is simply a show booked in any random town that is not on the regular schedule.  The Thursday spot shows were usually within close proximity to Nashville.  We would work the spot show and afterward everyone would meet at a designated parking lot and jump on the Waylon Jennings tour bus that Jerry leased.  We would drive all night to make Dallas by around 12 to 1 o’clock in the afternoon.  Then all the guys would go workout or sleep until the show that night and then we would all load up on beer to drive to Memphis for live TV.  After TV we would get back on the bus and drive back to the parking lot where we had left our cars after the Thursday night spot show.  Everyone would go go home, rest up, and we would work the Nashville fairgrounds that Saturday night.  Sometimes we had a Sunday spot show, sometimes we didn’t.  It was a lot of traveling for not a whole lot of money, speaking for myself.  My first stint in USWA yielded $15-20 dollar a night pay.  But that’s a whole other story…I’m weaving a long winded tale about pro wrestling and I just wanted to set the table for telling the story about when the booker of the territory cussed me out.  The booker’s name was Dirty Dutch Mantel.

I don’t know how long Dutch had been in the business when I came along, but I know it was a long time.  And Dutch was always a helluva worker inside the ring and a great promo on the mic.  He was a wily veteran who had seen many a greenhorn come and go.  As I mentioned, I had only been working a couple months when Jerry sent me to Tennessee to work full time for his promotion.  As it turned out I had a brand new car that got good mileage.  Dutch and Chris Champion would jump in as my traveling partners.  They supplied the gas and I supplied the ride.  And I also got to ask a million and one questions about the business inside the ring.  Psychology , history of the biz, stories from the road, wrestling etiquette, where to stay, where not to stay, wrestling vocabulary, etc…Basically everything one needed to make it OR not make it in the wrestling business.  There damn sure weren’t any guarantees…

We were working a Thursday spot show in Lebanon, TN.  I was working a guy in a mask that particular night.  Can’t remember his name.  He was a guy with time in the business, a veteran, but not an accomplished star.  Dutch had given us instructions to give the people 8-10 minutes.  Hehe…When you’re a rookie 8-10 minutes sounds like a lifetime…And a few years later you can’t even BEGIN to tell your story with anything less than WHAT YOU NEED…TO TELL THAT STORY…THAT NIGHT…AT THAT BUILDING…WITH THAT OPPONENT…You and your opponent need some paint, a paint brush, you’ve got all the canvas you need…And time is at your disposal.  All you need is a finish and a sharp ear to LISTEN to the people.  Then start painting…

So back to the match…we stunk out the joint and damn near killed the town off…it was the drizzling sh!ts as Dutch would soon point out when I came back to the dressing room.  Course, I thought we had totally gone out and absolutely dazzled the crowd in attendance with a deep layer of psychology, mixed with an abundance of wrestling knowledge and a lifetime supply of grace and athleticism…That’s how stupid you are when you’re green in the business…I was rotten.  Plain and simple.  And, as Big Bill DeMott would say…Greener than goose sh!t.  Now anybody who knows Dutch Mantell, knows he certainly isn’t bashful about giving his opinion on anything…And since he’s the booker…And responsible for the towns he’s booking, mainly because his job depends on it, he’s gotta look after his ass.  And on top of that he’s a guy who likes to help young cats who want to make it in the business.

Brother, what in the Hell was that sh!t?  I was dumb enough to reply-It was a match…That was the absolute drizzling sh!ts…Really? I asked…Yeah, I was plenty stupid back then.  He then proceeds to rip me apart for at least a lifetime it seemed.  He called Chris Champion over and demonstrated how I had screwed up half the wrestling holds I had used.  This ass chewing session was a 9.9 out of 10.  I think he actually invented a few new cuss words to use on me.  The Dutchisms were  relentless, ruthless, and certainly unparalleled at this point in my life.  Then he points at a steel chair…You see that steel chair, right there?  Yes… I want you to grab that chair and watch every match on the card.  That’s the only way you’re going to learn this sh!t.  He turned and walked away.  He had just given me some of the best advice anyone had ever given to me in the wrestling business.  And his delivery and technique were spot on.  I got it.  From that point on for the rest of my career I watched damn near every match of every card my whole career.  Obviously when I was white hot in the WWE I did not have time to watch as much, but I’ll never forget that night.

Thanks to Jerry Jarrett for the job.  Thanks to Dutch for all the advice and help while I was there.   And, most of all…Thanks for cussing my ass out, it was the best advice I ever got.

Steve Austin

57 Responses to “#@&!!&**#$!#@ Best Advice I Ever Got”

  1. Fazz says:

    Another great post Steve. Maybe some day you’ll get the time to put together a book filled with non sequitur stories like these!

  2. Jackeline Nuit says:

    That’s why you are great man Steve ….. you have to come to brazil… with your experience you can teach some guys on UFC how to be a man ….. i fucking respect you ……. cheers from Brazil and a question? How is the weather in Vancouver? ;D xoxo

  3. Excellent!! Awesome how someone comes along when you think you’re just the best things since sliced bread and gives you advice to become even greater. Thank God you listened to that advice to become the best there is!

  4. joe vincent says:

    Wow, thats really interesting. You have had a very eventful life, that was how it all started and now look. Pretty cool. You oughta tell some huntin tales too!

  5. Midwest says:

    Long time fan of yours since I was a child (21 years old now.) these stories matter more to me than anything else. I respect you, even though I no longer watch wrestling. I have grown up and work in a marketing firm now, but there will always be times I recall the 90’s with great romanticism about having my hero be Stone Cold.

  6. Dawn V Johnson says:

    I agree with Fazz you need to Write a Book, your Stories are so Interesting & Exciting always leaves us wanting more…loved this one…and if it took an @ss chewing to become You, it was worth it right..ya had the B***s I mean Guts to take Dutchs advice and with it ya became as Liesl said the Best…Enjoy ya blogs Tough Guy..Take Care Dawn

  7. Dustin Alexander says:

    Hey Steve, Great story, I just want to say thank you for taking time out of your busy day to tell this, and all of your stories, I enjoy reading everything you have to say. You are my “Superman.” Congrats with all the success. Please keep it coming sir. Hope all is well, and I am looking forward to getting a chance to meet you in the future. 3:16

  8. Master of pain says:

    Mr. Austin, you are the greatest Wwe/f star ever, im want a one more match of you at Wrestlemania 29..

  9. Ellen Smith says:

    Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

  10. Singh says:

    Hi Stone Cold how are you man. I find it really cool that I was looking at information about your new movie the package online. Next day I see the newspaper sitting in my living room and it says that you’re filming for it right here in Abbotsford. There’s a lot of us berry farmers here in Abby. Maybe you could do a scene where you dump some dead bodies in a blueberry farm or something lol.

  11. Kenny Boyle says:

    You’re probably sick of hearing the old generation of wrestling being compared to the new generation, but the new generation don’t know how to sell a story, but that could be due to the time the WWE give their wrestlers to wrestle, because it’s adverts, then advertising WWE merchendise then really long times, then adverts for the next WWE ppv event on a ppv (advertise on raw or smackdown, but not a ppv, make the night special and worth paying for) or spending lots of time with the microphone in the ring. It annoys me because I love wrestling so much, the spark has gone out of it and can’t enjoy a champion who tries to rap, but can’t. But it was nice reading your blog Sir S.C.S.A and I agree on

  12. Kenny Boyle says:

    correction: really long times was suppose to be really long times on the microphone and at the end I agree with Fazz, a book would be cool :)

  13. Christopher Wright says:

    So great to have you back in BC! You are truly the BEST. Thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy day to share your stories (& great advice) with us. Now how ’bout you send some of our rain to the BSR and bring us a bit more of that TX sunshine! Your ranch is amazing.

  14. Amy Larson says:

    Great blog. I love reading them! Take care.

  15. wouldnt it be great if dutch or the other guy chris was to come into WWE when you was there and have a one-off match.? remonise the old days .

  16. merry(@merrytn) says:

    i just love it..

  17. very much later in years to come , i got this feeling you may start a wrestleing school and train pups up as a coach , to get into the buissness. now thats somthing to think about. basicly yourself steve got trained up by the best and they could say they got trained up by the better.

  18. Dake the Snake Williams says:

    I rate this story 9.99 out of 10.

  19. I love hearing these stories about how you came up. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Chase Hammer says:

    good story Steve. Still #1. I would also quite enjoy a book of stories you have encountered along the way.

    Keep it up.

  21. James says:

    I can vouche for what Steve says in the blog. First of all, you didn’t get rich in the Memphis territory. Secondly, Dutch is a hell of a guy and can cuss you out before you know what hit you. Thirdly, I witnessed Steve, many times, doing exactly what he said about watching matches. He was one of the few young guys who really studied the business and what went on in the ring instead of hanging out and shootin’ the shit in the dressing room. That’s why he got to where he did and why most of us who were around in those days aren’t a bit surprised how far he made it.

  22. Jamie says:

    Cool story Steve like hearing stuff about your wrestling career

  23. Wayne Burt says:

    I was in the indy part of the biz for 6yrs, I’m about to turn 43 yrs old, I have had some great times during my stint, but I will never forget the best advice I was given, it was Bump, sell, tell a story…I did my best to do that every show I worked, I got my ass chewed on when I screwed up too, but it makes you a better worker for sure…This was a great story, thx for sharing with us Steve…

  24. Jay Patel says:

    Great Blog. You should write a book Steve. You gotta came to LA sometime again it could be wwe related or someting else. I would Love to someday Meet my favorite superstar of all time

  25. James "Tad Chilly" Stone says:

    Awesome story Steve – sometimes we all need our asses chewed for a little motivation!!! Dirty Dutch was one of my favorites when i was a kid watching “Channel 5” Memphis Wrestling

  26. Trisha Greiffenstein says:

    Quick question…… Did Dutch wrestle at Sam Houston Coliseum/Paul Boesch? Seems I remember him but can’t place him. Grew up with Paul Boesch and those jewerly commercial where he wore the earrings. When I was young that was the best thing in the world

    • admin says:

      I.W. Marks was the name of the jeweler. Don’t know about Dutch wrestling there. Damn right, Houston Wrestling was the best.

  27. Howard says:

    Steve…great story…I interviewed you back in 1995 when you lived in Douglasvile, Ga. Met you and your wife at a place called Taco Mac…you told me then the best advice you ever heard for a rookie wrestler was to keep your mouth shut and ears and eyes open…which judging from your great success, you did. I still have the autographed picture you signed for me as “Stunning Steve” Austin. I was friends with Bruce at the gym.

  28. carcass says:

    Steve Im thinking back then u probably had a tape player in your sweet ride not a cd player, the 1st time i remember seeing u wrestle was back in 89 for uswa, i beleive foley was there too as cactus jack manson, really hoping u come back for one more match and blow the roof off the place, u are missed!!!

  29. Jack Dempsey Smith says:

    Ive heard Dutch tell it just like that. You learned from one of the best but of course when you left, wrestling was over for me. But got some of the best advice in my life from you. “if you want something you better get off of your ass and go after it because it damn sure aint gonna come to you”

  30. wagdaddy says:

    Hey…I have talked with Dutch many times….you nailed it perfectly, that is Dutch to a tee…..wish VKM, would fire his writers and hire folks like Dutch to give his roster a real education in wrestling…..not ‘Sports Entertainment’. I grew up in the Memphis area….I know it was a crappy place to work-but for a fan-I got to see everybody, cause everybody came to there to learn: Hogan, Rock and even Stone Cold Steve Austin…..great blog, just like the ones Dutch writes.

  31. Jimmy Arrans says:

    I grew up watching wrestling from memphis every saturday morning on WMC-TV5 with Lance Russell and Dave Brown..Dutch Mantel was a legend and fan favorite in Memphis as was Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett. Seen so many wrestlers come through those doors. What is weird is Until I watched your dvds and see how you looked when you started, I now remeber seeing you back in the day. It is amazing to know that the best in the business use to wrestle in my backyard. I live in Millington, TN a 15 to 20 Minute drive north of Memphis. I can very well picture Dutch Mantel chewing you out and giving yiu advice. Glad he did. Keep up the blogs. I love them.

  32. aaron says:

    Pretty damn funny. You should really think about maybe writing a book about/with these stories, you have a natural timing (prose i think it’s called) like you do in acting – makes me gripped whilst also making me laugh out loud. Like the ‘Bottom line’ dvd I can’t get enough of these stories, so funny.

  33. Kristin says:

    Steve I enjoyed this story so much, I was born and raised in Tennessee before moving to NJ at 21 yrs old. Wrestling was very big where I was raised, it was all the rage and it is still a sport that is appreciated and taken very serious by the town people hehe. I was raised in Johnson City, which is next to Bristol.
    I was also intrigued with the story of your education, my own son who was an amazing wrestler all through middle and high school received a scholarship for Football to one of the best colleges in NJ and he is just messing around and he would be the first person to graduate from college in my family but his screwing around is more than likely going to put an end to those dreams I have for him. I just really enjoyed this story and you covered a lot of things that I was always wondering. Thank you so much for sharing that story about your history, it was great!!!
    Also wanted to say that you look amazing dressed as the movie character… You look so good!! I met you in Sayerville NJ in the late 90’/early 2000’s and it was one of the most exciting and beautiful days of my life!!! Thank you for being so down to earth and entertaining us thoroughly!!! Looking forward to the movie :-). I also love antique shops… There’s some really good ones in Manhattan that you gotta see sometime ;~>. Thanks again and keep writing … it!!!!

  34. […] Cold” Steve Austin took time out of his busy schedule on Friday February 17th, 2012 to update his blog. Austin, who is currently filming a movie in Canada, wrote about his early years in the […]

  35. […] Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin posted a new blog over on his official website In the blog, Austin tells the story of "Dirty" Dutch Mantel cussing him out after a […]

  36. Martin says:

    Long time wrestling fan here, enjoyed your work since even before you were “stone cold” and white hot. I really enjoyed reading this snippet of your life story, thanks for taking the time to write it Steve. All the best!

  37. […] In his latest blog, Steve Austin discusses the best piece of advice he was ever […]

  38. Shaun says:

    For those of you asking for a book, this story and others are in his autobiography written a few years ago. I think it was co-written by JR. It is an interesting read you should check out. I believe in the book he listed the made up curse words.

  39. David Hanmer says:

    Excellent read. Thanks for posting Steve!

  40. Josh says:

    Thanks for the good read! I had one of those conversations back when i frist started my job as a apprentice when i was 19. Its funny how when it frist happens you feel like s##t afterwords, then a a few years down the road you can drink a beer with the guy and laugh about it.

  41. […] You can check out the full entry at this link. […]

  42. Mathew Giroux says:

    Has No one ever heard of the BOOK you did back around ’03 or so, called “THE STONE COLD TRUTH” ???? ……Sheesh!!

  43. Howard says:

    Steve…Bruce got in a bit of trouble at the gym…w/o going into any of the details, he was accused of some things by an employee…I think he ended up having to sell out his portion of the gym. Haven’t seen him since you and Debra were in there working out on your way from an Atlanta show to Birmingham. So I guess that was maybe in the late 1990s. Oh, I went by your old home in Douglasville when I was back visiting and looks the same. Damn Steve, cannot believe that it has been 16 years since then. We moved to south Fla. and love retirement and traveling the world. I still remember the night you called me at my house agreeing to meet me at Taco Mac for that interview…still tell folks that was the fastest I ever climbed stairs in my life when my wife yelled down you were on the phone. Wish you and all the old guys were back in the ring…it’s hard to watch this PG stuff and endure the lame story lines they have today. When I think of you, The Rock, Triple H, Taker, Angle, Foley, Shawn Michaels, etc. all appearing on a weekly basis on TV 2 times a week…damn! It didn’t get any better than that! You guys were like the 1927 Yankees!!! Damn for sure never been duplicated!! Good luck in your movie…great story about Mantell…I remember those mutton chop sideburns and his black snake whip and such. Best of health to you and God bless…Howard

  44. Jimmy Arrans says:

    You must be talking about Bruce Dundee. Last I saw him was on Memphis Wrestling when they tried to revive it on a different station here. But it did not catch on like it did on WMC-TV5. But he was there wrestling. Other than that I have no idea. Have not heard anything. To sit here and thing all those wrestlers who came through this area..Junkyard Dog, The Mood Dogs, The Freebirds, Handsome Jimmy Valiant, Bill Dundee, Kamalia, The Rock-n-Roll Express, Even Cowboy Bob Orton I do remember seeing and I believe Brett Hart came through the Memphis area…So many legends…It was a great time. Miss it a lot.

  45. Jimmy Arrans says:

    Ok.. Had a major brain fart and got Bill Dundee Mixed up with someone else.. Not sure who you are talking about..Bruce who? im Jimsox 38 on twitter too btw. Just letting you know.

  46. Chantal Alford says:

    Are you sure my Dad didn’t introduce you to that bookie? Love your blogs.

  47. jason cormier says:

    keep it coming cant wait to see the new movie and thats all i have to say about that!

  48. Chantal Alford says:

    @ admin- Why yes, yes it is
    I also like to think you got the name of your ranch from our garage door

  49. RICK LINK says:


  50. greatestaustinfan says:

    your the greatest wrestler ever. Period. The greatest. Greatest Austin memory is u winning the title on raw vs the undertaker in 1999. Watched it as a kid. Your the best ever. You won the monday night wars. Without austin there is no wwe today. N thats the bottom line!

  51. allenwithrow says:

    Sounds about right about dutch dont know how many times when I was coming up he gave me great advice had some of the best matches I ever had after advice from old dutch one of the very few people that have a mind for the business inside and out of the ring.

  52. Dallasboy says:

    Your my idol

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