Stone Cold Steve Austin cards reach beyond that of most wrestlers. An icon during one of professional wrestling's biggest booms, he transcended the industry and quickly rose to all-time great status where he can be mentioned alongside the likes of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and The Rock.
To find the first Stone Cold Steve Austin cards, you have to go back before his beer-swigging, middle finger-raising persona took over and look back to his days with WCW. There he was known as "Stunning" Steve Austin, a character that failed to catch on.
When he arrived in WWE, the hobby was starting to change and hits like autographs and memorabilia cards took over the chase. Austin has both of these.
Stone Cold Steve Austin cards are plentiful, but here's a look at some of his most important.
Top Stone Cold Steve Austin Wrestling Cards
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The first Steve Austin card didn't come in packs. Rather it was included in the WCW Collector Series Special #3 1993 Yearbook. The magazine came out in January 1993. Austin is one of nine cards on a sheet, which had to be removed and separated in order to make it a single card. Among the other notable cards included on the sheet are Cactus Jack, Shane Douglas and Brian Pillman.
Tracking down the card is tough but not impossible. Because of its distribution and the fact it had to be separated from the sheet, it can be especially difficult to find one in top condition.
Most consider this to be the Stone Cold Steve Austin rookie card.
It is worth pointing out that Austin does have an earlier "Stunning Steve" card that is part of the 1991 WCW Cromy Luchadores game.
1995 Cardz WCW Main Event has the first traditional Steve Austin card to be included in packs. The card has the future WWF Champion in mid-air, getting ready to land on Sting.
Due to the traditional nature of the card, some consider this to be a rookie card. As a result, prices of high-grade copies from PSA and BGS can command solid values. Even raw, it's worth a decent amount considering that most wrestling base cards don't draw a lot of outside interest.
2001 Fleer WWF Championship Clash Main Event Memorabilia Stone Cold Steve Austin #SA-KA-CJ Event-Used Steel Chair with Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho
Most wrestling relic cards have either a piece of an event-used mat or t-shirt. This one, which is also one of the earliest Steve Austin memorabilia cards, is better. It has a piece of a match-used steel chair embedded in it. Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho are also featured on the tough card.
The 2001 Fleer WWF Wrestlemania Foreign Object Stone Cold Steve Austin isn't his most valuable memorabilia card but it is notable for being his first. This set was Fleer's first with the WWF license and relics were one of the key selling points. When they first came out they were a novelty. With so many in the market today, it's no longer the case. Multi-colored swatches do add some rarity and higher values.
The 2001 Fleer WWF Wrestlemania Signature Moves Stone Cold Steve Austin is his first certified autograph card. Hand-numbered to 500 copies on the back, all are signed with the "Austin 3:16" catchphrase rather than a traditional signature. Interest in this card has been on the rise over the years as it's the only one collectors have if they're looking for an autographed wrestling card.