WRESTLER STEVE AUSTIN IN FIGHT OF HIS LIFE

Published on: June 25, 2002

Wrestling superstar "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is "heading for disaster" -- and the headline-making fight with his stunning wife Debra is just the tip of his devastating problems.

"Both his professional life and personal life are spiraling out of control," disclosed an insider.

And Austin's longtime friend Melanie King, widow of late wrestler Brian Pillman, told The ENQUIRER: "The marriage between Steve and Debra is rocky at best."

Austin, 37, who's been severely injured in the ring, had been looking forward to retirement and starting a family with 42-year-old Debra.

"But Debra keeps pushing him back into wrestling, saying that if he quits, she'll leave him. She is captivated by the fame and their arguments are getting more frequent," says Melanie.

"She flatly refuses to have kids because she doesn't want to lose her figure. Steve is devastated by her decision."

Adding to his misery, Austin was yanked from the talent roster of World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the WWF) in mid-June after failing to show up for two matches. Sources say he is very unhappy with the story lines given him and feels he was losing his star status.

But now his career may be entirely over, says an industry source.

"World Wrestling Entertainment is the only game in town. There isn't any competition."

The mounting pressures finally came to a head for the gifted grappler who won millions of fans with his beer-swilling redneck persona and trademark growl, "Hell, yeah!"

On June 15 his blonde bombshell wife, also a pro wrestler, called police to their San Antonio home.

"I can't believe he hit me," a crying Debra told cops, according to the police report obtained by The ENQUIRER.

She told authorities that Austin had beaten her on the head and back, and then left the house.

Stone Cold's wife "had a large noticeable welt on the right side of her face just below her eye," the responding officer noted in his report, and she charged that her husband "hit her several times." She refused paramedic treatment.

Debra did not file charges so her husband was not considered a fugitive.

"Steve's life is heading for disaster," the insider concluded.

Added his pal Melanie: "He's in a rough spot right now. Hopefully, he'll get it together before it gets any worse."