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Bruce Prichard on the backstage reaction of Steve Austin walking out

Stone Cold Steve Austin

In the latest episode of Something To Wrestle With Podcast, former WWE Manager Bruce Prichard talked about the infamous incident when Steve Austin walked out of the company back in 2002 and revealed the backstage reaction to it.

According to Prichard, at first when Austin no-showed the Raw episode everybody at backstage was in pure shock and this feeling later evolved in anger:

“I think it was disbelief. There was a consensus of, of everybody; the last person you would think that would leave was Steve. You kind of felt that he’s a lifer, he’s our guy and no matter what, good times and bad, he’s going to be there. It was shock. It was pure shock, not believing that this was really happening. And then the shock went to anger. ‘How can he do that?’”

Continuing on the topic, Bruce revealed that after the incident, Austin stopped taking calls from anybody related to WWE, including himself:

“It was a whole range of emotions. Steve wasn’t taking anybody’s calls. I reached out to him, he didn’t take my call. He didn’t want to talk to anybody and I think there was a point that was the last straw with Vince in his mind at that time, that if he’s going to walk out ‘I won’t tolerate that.’”

It’s worth noting here, that Stone Cold Steve Austin left WWE back in 2002 in an absurd manner. There are lots of stories of what actually happened but ultimately, it’s said that WWE had planned for Brock Lesnar to beat Austin clean.

This match was supposed to be a normal match on Raw with little to no build-up which the Texas Rattle Snake didn’t like and he walked out of the company.


  • D2K

    Yeah. 15 years. I guess that is why it is bring brought up.

  • Darrin Tyler

    I agree. And I remember that was it. I’m on Austin’s side. And I actually Remember that back then.
    Wow….has it been this long?

  • D2K

    If you are going to editorialize news posts at least post ALL the facts. Austin didn’t leave in an “absurd manner.”

    Austin openly criticized WWF creative at the time on the Byte This! program. They booked him to lose clean to Brock Lesnar in a KOTR Qualifying match on RAW as retaliation against him for openly criticizing the product. That’s the reason why the match came out of nowhere and had no build-up, and that is also a piece of information WWE likes to omit from the the urban-legend.

    How are you gonna have a former KOTR WINNER lose in a KOTR “qualifying” match to an unproven-rookie, much less have him in the tournament to start with?


    That creative doesn’t help get over at all Lesnar in any way, shape, or form and it all but buries Austin. He had every right to be pissed, and he had every right to leave.

    They can talk all they want about how this is a “team effort” and other rhetoric to confuse the misinformed, but as a sports entertainer YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for your own brand. We’ve seen many stupid decisions by WWE creative ruin careers. Look at Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt. These two guys should be top guys in the company, yet they are knocking on the back door to jobber-hood.

    Now, walking out on a live program was wrong. He should have forced them to find a new opponent and different circumstances. Put the burden on them. He could have vetoed that. He should have wrestled a different match, fulfilled the remaining dates on his contract, and then take a powder. However, he had-had enough, and he let his emotions control his actions. That’s why we should NEVER make decisions based on sheer emotion. It voided his contract and he lost thousands of dollars in royalties because of it. Now Vince gets that money. I’m sure he gets new royalties for new stuff that he has done since he came back, but all the pre Ruthless-Aggression era stuff is just gone.

    I’m so tired of this revisionist-history in a story that people just can’t seem to stop telling. What HE did was wrong, what THEY did was wrong. It was a lot of immaturity, arrogance, and egocentric decision-making involved. Austin told the truth, they got salty and tried to screw HIM, he in turn screwed THEM, and in the process he screwed HIMSELF.

    Now can we move on from this?