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WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was recently a guest on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jericho podcast and addressed the situation that led to him leaving WWE in 2002 when he refused to job to Brock Lesnar:
"Well I handled the situation like a total ass. What had happened, I was working Columbus the night before Monday Night RAW, I was working Flair in a cage. Jim Ross calls me. I'm laying in a hotel, just kind of resting up for the match because I got into town early and made the drive. He told me creative wanted Brock to beat me. And I'm thinking, okay hold it. I'm drawing stupid money right now. Obviously WWF had spent a lot of money getting me into this position. I busted my ass getting myself in this position. Guys that draw stupid money don't just happen overnight. So now all of a sudden you want me to do a job for a guy, now I love Brock Lesnar and he's a monster, and as soon as he walked in the door everybody saw massive potential in the guy, but for me to do a job for him without any kind of buildup? A match but no two or three weeks talking about it? A pay per view match is what it was.
"So anyway, he told me creative. I said, 'well, if that's going to be the case I won't be there.' He said, 'okay. I'm just telling you what the old man told me. 'So he calls the old man and tells him. Jim calls me back. Hey, call the old man when you get through working. Vince gives me the scenario when I call and I say that's what we're doing, huh? He goes, 'that's what we're doing,' and I said, 'okay.' Well, when I said okay, you can't see my eyes, I mean okay. I'm not going to be there. That's why I don't like phone calls when we're talking business.
"So anyway, me being in the place I was in my head at the time, hell, I was drinking a lot of damn whiskey and beer. I showed up every night. I was the first guy in the dressing room and the last guy to leave and I worked my ass off. But hey, man. We were running hard back then, Chris. I just said, 'piss on these guys. Why would they try and do this to me?' I got back on an airplane and flew to San Antonio.
"It was stupid, Chris, because you have to own up to some responsibility and accountability and show up. Honor your deal. You're packed with the boys and your job. So I should have showed up like a man, come up with a solution. Could have been a different solution, could have been just don't even do the match, but show up and talk to Vince face to face, solve the problem in some way or fashion, and get through it like a grown man."