Steve Austin pitched to be related to WWE legend Hulk Hogan during WCW days, Eric Bischoff reveals
Eric Bischoff famously fired Steve Austin from WCW via FedEx in 1995.
He’s often reminded of this fact because Austin headed to WWE via ECW and became Stone Cold Steve Austin, the biggest draw and arguably biggest star in the history of professional wrestling.
Letting a talent like that slip through your fingers is a bitter pill to swallow, but Austin was injured when he was released and Bischoff couldn’t see his rise coming.
At the time, WCW had huge stars like Hulk Hogan on their roster and the NWO formed just one year after Austin’s release.
When Hogan joined WCW, he didn’t want to be a full-time player.
“It was made clear by Hulk that he wanted a limited agreement, meaning he didn’t want to be on six-eight pay-per-views a year,” Bischoff said on his 83 Weeks podcast.
“Hulk knew early on that he was an attraction, he wasn’t a day player. He left WWE when he did in large part to the steroid trail, but there were creative issues. But I think the primary issue that caused Hulk to leave was the schedule.
“He wanted to pursue movies, he wanted to pursue television, and he could do neither while you’re working the kind of schedule in WWE, and he didn’t want that same schedule in WCW.”
Hogan was undoubtedly the biggest name in wrestling at this point. When he joined WCW, it was a shift in the business and Bischoff told a story of how Austin thought he could capitalise.
“Steve saw the handwriting on the wall with Hogan,” Bischoff said. “Steve, being a professional, meaning wanting to be at the top and reach his potential, saw an opportunity to work with Hogan.
“I never got the sense that Steve was desperate or it was the most important thing to him at the time. Steve came to me with the idea that somehow he would be related to Hulk Hogan and tag with him.”
Ultimately, Bischoff didn’t run with the idea because he didn’t think Hogan would work with Austin.
“The reason I was concerned about what I was hearing wasn’t because it was a bad idea at all, but I knew from having talked with Hulk and Ric [Flair] from the months leading up to Hulk Hogan signing with WCW how reticent Hulk was to work with anybody that he didn’t know. Steve was one of those guys.”
Austin was a U.S. champion, TV champion and tag team champion with Brian Pillman in WCW, but that was nothing compared to the great heights he reached in WWE.
Turns out he didn’t need to be related to Hulk Hogan!