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November 29, 1999 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Steve Austin's career in doubt, WCW Mayhem review, more

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As mentioned last week, the future of Steve Austin as an in-ring performer is in serious doubt after getting results of tests on his neck, originally injured in the August 3, 1997 Meadowlands match against Owen Hart.

Austin is suffering from a combination of problems that will keep him out of the ring at least for the short-term. In the last few weeks he wrestled, he was alarmed as he was suffering both tingling and numbness in his arms, fingers and shoulders. The WWF, after getting reports from his first examination on 11/5, began making new plans for the next several months based on the idea that Austin won't be able to wrestle in the foreseeable future. The planned main storyline had Austin and Rock as the key players. That plan, as it regarded the recently completed Survivor Series to the Royal Rumble, was to build to a Wrestlemania showdown with Austin, as a heel champ, defending and losing the title against The Rock to give Rock the needed push for the company to rely on him as the top star. When the results came in, the plans changed including the quick attempt to push Big Show back to the main event level (apparently the decision came down to giving the title to Show or Kane, and Show got the nod, probably because of the need to justify his higher contract), and more emphasis on Vince McMahon on television.

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