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Thread: Steve Austin Month

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The Blonds were also ahead of the curve a bit with their late nineties style parody of Flair and Arn. This was one of the funniest things I had seen in wrestling up to that point. They really won me over with this skit.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1g...-the-old_sport

    The way it ended was a real disappointment, I had forgotten about the chickensuit part of the Austin/Pillman feud . They would meet as a part of a Thundercage tag team match at Superbrawl but it was just an afterthought to the Sting/Rude part of the match.

  2. #52
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The final years in WCW

    Austin's United States Title push begins just before the Hollywood Blonds split, as he gets a title shot against Dustin Rhodes at Halloween Havoc '93. This match is not nearly as good as their Halloween Havoc '91 match. In fact, it's not good at all. Austin does some quality heel work, slapping Rhodes to begin, then running out of the ring like a bitch, only to act all tough on the floor. Austin gets a three count by using the ropes for leverage on a pin, but it immediately gets overturned, and Rhodes schoolboys Austin for the real win while Steve celebrates a victory he thought he had. Man, did WCW love that finish. Boring match. Most memorable part of the match is Jesse Ventura calling Dustin Rhodes a "gay caballero" just because it caught me completely off guard. You're not going to find that on The Network (VHS rips forever). It's probably a good thing he wasn't a WWF announcer during the first Goldust run.

    There is a rematch at Starrcade '93, that is only slightly better (was Havoc '91 beginners luck? What the fuck is going on?). It's a two out of three falls match, and Austin bizarrely goes 2-0 to win the title, not that I'm complaining. Austin bumps his ass off, cheats every chance he gets, and gets both "falls" in heelish ways, the first getting Dustin DQ'd by falling over the top rope when Dustin attempts to use Austin as a weapon against a Col. Parker on the apron. The second fall happens with Austin using his feet on the ropes for leverage pin, which has been 95% of his victories I've seen doing this project.

    Austin is a heel god, and is about to start 1994 as the WCW United States Champion, with a new submission hold, and enter his signature (singles) feud in WCW against Ricky Steamboat.

    Like the Dustin Rhodes feud, they're recycling a TV Title feud, and placing it higher up on the card as a US Title feud, but unlike the Dustin Rhodes feud, they've improved this one greatly. Austin has really found his character.

    Spoiler


    Austin begins his foulest mouth in wrestling gimmick in 1994 WCW. This is also the beginning of his problems with authority, as he clashes greatly with Nick Bockwinkel, who was a commissioner of sorts, in those days. And the matches against Steamboat, these were the best match matches Austin ever had to this point.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2j58vb

    The Bash at the Beach 1994 match is more heel godliness by Austin. He's faking injuries, talking shit to everybody near him, doing karate katas, and when he can't put Steamboat away, tries really hard to get himself DQ'd with a champion's advantage. Steamboat is still so good, and they have an epic tombstone piledriver reversal party towards the end of the match. After one last ditch effort by Austin to get himself DQ'd, this time by the throwing the ref in front of Steamboat, Ricky pleas with the ref to keep the match going. The crowd pleas with Ricky. The ref lets it go on, and Austin gets a pin out of nowhere (with his feet on the ropes!), to steal a victory. This is just a clinic. One of the best heels ever, at the top of his game, versus one of the best pure babyfaces ever, showing no signs of slowing down. Everybody should see this match one time.

    They have a rematch at Clash of the Champions a month later in August 1994, and it's probably an even better match. The stipulation of "Austin can lose the title by DQ" made him try less shenanigans, and as a result, you get a quicker pace. Steamboat, apparently legitimately injures his back during this match, but he's such a good seller, I can't tell when it's the real injury, and when it's just regular back work. They call back a few spots from previous encounters, and Austin even does a ("Here's a blast from the past!") a Hollywood Blonds camera taunt, calling back the Blonds vs. Steamboat/Douglas feud. After a shitload of Steamboat pinfall attempts, The Dragon reverses a body slam attempt into a pin for the victory. Another great match between the two, as Steamboat ends Austin's 240 day US Title reign, in what would be his swansong match, from the back injury that I can't quite tell exactly when it happens, because he's so goddamned good. Beating the GOAT, in a classic match, is not a bad way to go out.

    Spoiler


    So I teased that 1994 would be the year that it would go off the rails for Austin and WCW, after a really credible job up to that point (Austin has been some sort of WCW Champion for 23 of the 38 months he's been there), and we're in August, and he's spent every day as champion, coming off his best singles feud ever. So what happened?

    Well, if you rewatched The Bash of the Beach match, you'd notice Schiavone spends a large part of that match talking about Hulk Hogan's WCW debut which would take place later on that show. This would be the start of WCW spurning what they spent the early part of the decade building, to use the wayback machine to build a company that makes sense centered around Hogan. Would a Hogan and Austin feud in 1994 work in WCW? Of course it would, but I understand why WCW felt the need to go a safer route, and make WCW into the 1987 WWF All Star team.

    The first sign that WCW would not be the place for Austin would be a month after dropping the title to Steamboat -- So we're essentially talking, a month after the peak of his career so far -- A legitimately injured Ricky Steamboat can't defend the US Title at Fall Brawl, so Nick Bockwinkel hands Austin the US Title, but makes him defend it that night against a surprise opponent. That surprise opponent was 80s All Star, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and 80s All Star "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, fucking squashes Austin in a couple of minutes.

    Here's Austin's first promo after Fall Brawl. Austin would lose the rematch at Halloween Havoc '94, and then spend all of November jobbing to Jim Duggan on a house show tour, every single night.

    Austin would get hurt, and not return to WCW until March of 1995. He cuts a really good promo sounding like am ambitious Texas Rattlesnake, with plans to make it to the top of the mountain, but WCW has already passed him by. It's now 100% the Hulk Hogan Era show, with Randy Savage, and a fake Ultimate Warrior, getting most of the air time. Austin would get booked at the next Pay Per View. In a dark match.

    1995 had to be the most difficult year in Austin's career. Two years prior, he looked like the alpha of his Comedy Trio crew, and in line to be WCW's future top heel, and two years later, Pillman had surpassed him, Raven is doing the best stuff he'd ever do in ECW, and even old an acquaintance, like fucking Oz, has graduated from their fake Comedy League Heavyweight Champion to the very real WWF World Heavyweight Champion. And we haven't even mentioned him getting fired yet. Steve gets home, there's a message waiting telling him to call Eric Bischoff. He calls, and Easy E, in soulless corporate speak, talks about how the amount of days Austin has worked the past year, doesn't justify the amount of money they're paying him, without actually saying, "You're fired." Austin makes him say it. "It sounds like you're firing me, Eric." Eric says yes, and there is a Fed Ex delivery the next day that confirms it.

    There is an alternate universe somewhere, where Hulk Hogan declines WCW's offer, and WCW stays the course with their "New Generation" of wrestlers, and this affects everything in good ways and bad, but it wasn't to be, and to WCW's credit, they would make the Hogan era work for their most successful period ever. But to Steve Austin's credit, he becomes the superstar, he always knew he could be, and there wasn't anybody in WCW that could stop it.



    A prophet
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-16-2016 at 05:35 PM.


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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    I still rate the Steamboat/Austin Clash match as one of the greatest free TV matches of all time. I think Steamboat takes either a turnbuckle wrong or a superplex wrong to injure his back, it's been awhile since I've seen it. You hit it on the head reviewing both matches though, both guys were on top of their game. I was so disappointed with Hacksaw replacing Steamboat at Fall Brawl not knowing his career was over at the time.

    Still though 1995 would provide one gem in WCW with Austin and Savage in somewhat of a dream match on Saturday night. Other than that all I really remember him doing is squashing Joey Maggs on a regular basis and being puzzled and somewhat disappointed by the turn of events in Austin's career. That being said I still wasn't all up in arms preaching that they are wasting a future world champion.
    Last edited by The Icon; 03-15-2016 at 02:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    "There is an alternate universe..." it certainly seems like you have some ideas.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The Extreme Superstar

    Austin's ECW run seems to get as much or more talk as his WCW run, which I'm not against (anything to keep the ECW name alive), but that diminishes his WCW run a little too much for my liking. That's just a credit to how much fun his brief ECW run was, though. Austin "debuts" at ECW Gangstas Paradise, cutting a Hulk Hogan Parody (Stevamania) that would air on Hardcore TV, his Comedy Trio chops showing up onscreen for the first time since the Hollywood Blonds clowned the Four Horsemen to their face. A month later, he'd cut a "Monday Nyquil" promo, where he does an impression of Eric Biscoff, and further buries WCW.

    From there, Austin embarked on the ultimate "anti-harcore" gimmick in ECW, something tried many times before and after, but working best with a man with Austin's chops. This was one of the best technical wrestlers on the planet. Austin calling ECW "violent crap" had a lot of weight, and you could completely believe his Superstar entitlement, as he seemed to be in disbelief that he had to slum it in a "shithole" like the ECW Arena.

    It was Austin's second promo where he really shined, though. I consider this the greatest promo of all time.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2u...nterview_sport

    There used to be a raw footage version of this promo on Youtube, where you see the camera pan at the end of the interview, and the entire ECW lockerroom is standing around watching Austin cut this, and Sandman starts cheering. Everybody knows by now that Steve Austin can cut a promo, but this particular one becomes so special because it exists as the mission statement of a guy who would become the biggest superstar of his generation three years later.

    "The politics of WCW kept the biggest potential superstar on the goddamned ground."
    "You are what you eat. WCW fed me garbage, so I became garbage."
    "Wrestle. It's what I do best. It's what I do better than anybody in the world."
    "Stunning? Tossed it out the window. It was never meant to be."
    "Find out first hand what Steve Austin can do. I'm gonna show everybody here, exactly what a true superstar is supposed to do. What a true superstar is supposed to be. Because nobody here can hold me back. I'm gonna be the superstar that I always knew that I could be. Because there is no one, no one, in ECW, that can stop me."

    This is Babe Ruth calling his shot.

    Everybody has had moments where they irrationally felt like they were better than everybody at something. Most people talk themselves out of it almost immediately. Austin still felt this way, in a time, where quite frankly, he probably shouldn't have anymore. But he was right. He justified that irrational feeling. And then he proved it.

    Austin would randomly show up at ECW events, usually to talk shit to Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck, the World Title feud at the time, and berate the ECW fans for accepting and liking it, cutting the best live promos of his life, all while taking shots at his former employer, WCW. This was Austin not only showing ECW what a Superstar is supposed to look like, but discovering what it would take from himself to fulfill his promise.

    Austin would wrestle only two official ECW matches. A singles match against Mikey Whipwreck at November to Remember, where Austin is clearly rusty, and wrestles his last match with long blond locks. He wrestles a Three Way Dance against Mikey and Sandman at December to Dismember, where he debuts the (Ringmaster style) shaved head, and has a moment where he drinks one of Sandman's beers, and spits it in his face, finding another ingredient for his future Stone Cold persona.

    Neither of the matches are particular good, but they're interesting to watch Stunning Steve further transition into Stone Cold.

    Paul E. tried to book Austin as ECW Champion, but Austin declined. He preferred to get the "real ECW guys" over while he was there. Plus he had some immediate WWF plans.



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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The raw footage of that promo was actually released on the Best Of Steve Austin WWE DVD. What caught my attention was Raven out of character and soaking it all in, brilliant stuff.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Austin 3:16

    December 18, 1995 was Steve Austin's 31st Birthday, and it was a very happy birthday indeed, as he finally made his WWF debut in Newark, Delaware, although it would air on January 8, 1996. From the Dallas Sportatorium to WCW Disney to the ECW Arena to the big time. Austin's debut would begin with Ted DiBiase introducing his new Million Dollar Champion, "The Ringmaster," keeping the annoying tradition in Steve Austin's career of giving one of the best promo men in wrestling, a mouth piece, very much alive. Austin does get to talk, and unsurprisingly, cuts a good promo, talking about how he's destined for success in the WWF.

    Austin would wrestle the same night, against a very much still a jobber, Matt Hardy, although that would air January 15. Austin hits a Stun Gun, to a minor pop, before sinking in the Million Dollar Dream for the win.

    This was all done to build Austin as a major threat in the upcoming Royal Rumble match. Austin would only last ten minutes, getting eliminated by Fatu, but this was a botch. Austin was booked to be in the final four, but his grip slipped on the top rope as he was getting clotheslined over it, and he went out. You could actually see Austin talking to Michaels on his way out, no doubt cluing him in on coming up with a new final four. Due to its unplanned nature, the camera barely catches Austin getting eliminated, and Mr. Perfect has to say, "What happened to the Ringmaster?" Vince McMahon replies, "Not certain. He must've been eliminated and we missed it," the cadence of the "we missed it" part sounding like a condescending parent, addressing the crew for doing so, Austin himself for fucking up, or all of the above.

    The Ringmaster would spend the rest of January wrestling Henry O. Godwin, on the house show circuit, even making it to Madison Square Garden for the first time, January 26th. February would see Austin start to face Savio Vega instead. The Ringmaster wouldn't be booked on the February Pay Per View, which couldn't have felt great, but an interesting thing happened on the February 19th edition of Raw, where Vince McMahon, on commentary, describes The Ringmaster's personality as "stone cold," doing some field experimentation on Austin' suggestion, I'm sure.

    A March 2 episode of Superstars would be Austin's last TV appearance as The Ringmaster.

    March 11, Steve Austin would show up on Raw as "Stone Cold" for the first time, nobody knowing what Stone Cold on Raw would eventually mean for everybody. He and Savio Vega are now working their program on TV, in what would be Austin's first WWF rivalry, a rivalry that would take them both into their Wrestlemania debuts in Anaheim at Wrestlemania 12, where Austin will win. Austin's first television loss happens two weeks later against "The Caribbean Kid" (a masked Vega), on an April 13 episode of Superstars. In late May, with the Savio Vegas feud still going, a stipulation was added to a Caribbean Strap Rematch on Superstars that stated, "If Vega wins, DiBiase would have to leave the WWF." Vega wins, DiBiase leaves, and Stone Cold Steve Austin becomes the Stone Cold Steve Austin that would make him famous, even debuting The Stunner, the very next week on WWF Superstars.

    The night before the DiBiase getting sent packing taping, Scott Hall would make his Nitro debut. So in a two day span, WCW would start their nWo run, and WWF would start their Stone Cold run. Not a bad time in wrestling.

    The Stone Cold character wasn't always the Texas Rattlesnake, like we remember him, though. In fact, Stunning Steve and The Extreme Superstar had more resemblance to the Stone Cold we think of, than what Stone Cold actually started off as. Stone Cold started off as an icy, stoic, soft spoken, sociopath kind of gimmick, inspired by the HBO documentary on mob hitman, Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski. Unfortunately, it's hard to find WWF Superstars from that era on Youtube, so there's no Iceman sounding Steve Austin interviews, and I don't know exactly when he started bringing in the Stone Cold swagger, possibly while DiBiase was still with him, but it really developed after DiBiase left. Stone Cold even claimed he lost on purpose, because DiBiase was "holding him back." In the weeks leading up to King of the Ring '96, Stone Cold Steve Austin is finally truly Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    Part of the legend of KOTR '96 is that it was game changer in another kind of way, with the future "Game" Triple H, originally booked to win, but after the MSG Curtain Call in mid May, the WWF changed plans, as a punishment to the man that was never before, and never after, punished for anything. That may be true, but I'm a little skeptical because on the very same MSG Curtain Call show was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Jake "The Snake" Roberts, which would of course, end up being the finals of King of the Ring. They had been working out that match all week. Triple H was working mostly with Duke Drose in those days, which was never going to be the KOTR finals. Now Triple H had also begun working with Marc Mero, which definitely seems like a KOTR Finals Vinny Mac would love, and Austin even defeats Mero in the Semis, but does that mean Austin was scheduled to job to Mero in the semis so Triple H could go over in the finals? Why is Austin working with Jake Roberts then? Was Roberts originally supposed to job to Austin in the Quarterfinals, when the Quarterfinals was never going to air on the Pay Per View? I don't buy it. Stone Cold Steve Austin was always going to win King of the Ring '96 because Stone Cold Steve Austin was the only man that ever should have.

    And he should have so he could do this:


    Piss off

    The game has changed for real.


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    Eccentric enigma Soulblazed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Damn good thread..Being that it's 3/16 and in honor of Austin 3:16, here's a couple moments from Austin's career.

    Who else remembers watching this on Raw shortly after Summerslam 97? I was 13 at the time and watching this just got me to understand precisely how the "Stone Cold" character thinks/operates etc Damn good promo/venting by Austin to JR in a shitty "hotel room"


    Now that I've finally seen highlights of this match, I'm gonna hunt the full match down later


    Funny moment between Eddy and Austin backstage at Tribute To The Troops 2003

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Recently a bunch of clips of a Jake Roberts shoot have popped up on YouTube. He takes the Austin 3:16 idea further in this short clip, they would have been printing even more money with this idea.


  10. #60
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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Kilgore, I love this thread. Happy 3/16 everyone!

  11. #61
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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Great shit up in here. Austin's little 6 week run in ECW in 1995 is one of the major reasons why 1995 is my favorite period in ECW history. Those promos were amazingly prophetic, couldn't put it any more perfectly than Kilgore did in that it was comparable to Babe Ruth calling his shots.

    Like I said before my memories of Austin in WCW are vague, I do remember when he lost the US title to Jim Duggan and that whole mess, since that was the first little period I was ever exposed to Austin I honestly wasn't all that impressed. I do remember him coming to the WWF though, The Ringmaster, I could have swore he was still in Ringmaster mode for the strap match at Beware of Dog for example, but it's been so long since I've seen that show this could easily be a case of my memory just being no good.

    I don't think we had cable when Austin 3:16 went down at KOTR, I honestly can't remember much from that little period in June 96, I remember renting KOTR 96 on VHS tape later in that year though. My big first memory with Austin was the "Pillman has a gun" segment. I loved everything about that scene back in the day, that was really the beginning of Austin becoming a thing to me. The way he just beat the fuck out of the dudes in the parking lot and strait up home invasioned the guy, Stone Cold indeed.

    I have to say I started to REALLY like Stone Cold in the fall of 1997 around the time he first stunned Mcmahon, I remember telling non-wrestling friends about Austin, man you got to see this guy, he drinks beer and he's like "FUCK YOU!" Within a few months everybody was wearing Stone Cold t-shirts.

    Austin became THE MAN in my household though when the whole Mike Tyson scene went down. My dad watched that with us and all of a sudden it wasn't so much of a battle to be able to watch wrestling on the 1 tv in our house on Monday nights. As a matter of fact, I even got my dad to listen to a scramblevisioned No Way Out 98, to this very day my dad still rents all of Austin's strait to DVD movies.

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    I watched a bunch of Ringmaster matches over the past month or two. Sometimes you can see shades of the Stone Cold he would become. He had a pretty good squash of Scott (not yet Too Hot) Taylor that was very much in the style of Stone Cold. But then he'll go and have a boring "Ringmaster" style match with Marty Jannetty where he just boringly applies holds and displays none of the fire or intensity he brought to the table as Stone Cold. I do remember liking the Savio Vega matches from early in Austin's WWF run. I'm hoping Kilgore reviews at least one of them. I wonder if Caribbean Strap Match from Beware of Dog holds up? That was my favorite Savio match back in the day.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    If you put the letter 'S' in front of Hitman you have my exact opinion of Bret Hart

    Austin 3:16 is remembered as instantly being over. I remembered it this way for a long time too. Well, while it got a loud pop at King of the Ring, rewatching Raws from that summer, you won't find nearly as many Austin 3:16 signs as you may think. The main reason? Most people were watching Nitro, and the type of wrestling fan that would love a cool heel like Austin, certainly was. That summer was one of the lowest points in WWF history, as the nWo dominated the WWF in ratings, while the WWF had absolutely no answer booking wise. The WWF kept Austin off the main SummerSlam card! Although Austin acting like the delay button's worst nightmare on Livewire was fun, in order for fans to truly care about Austin one way or another, he'd have to be part of a program they care about. Savio Vegas wasn't quite that and opening the curtain on a SummerSlam Brawl For All wouldn't apply either.

    What changed? On the last day of August 1996, Stone Cold Steve Austin called out Bret Hart. Bret Hart hadn't been seen on television since Wrestlemania 12, and Austin started unmercifully calling Bret out. This finally gave Austin fodder to focus his masterful worked rage against.

    The newly hired Brian F'n Pillman, the former Hollywood Blond, and former Hart Dungeon graduate, was perfectly qualified to moderate this budding rivalry, and in fantastic heel fashion, would claim to give Bret the message, only to also claim Bret would cower at the thought. Bret's brother, Owen, had to join in the fun, backing up the coward claims as the WWF teased one of my favorite heel trio stable that was never to be.

    At In Your House Mind Games in September is where this fun peaked. Pillman and Owen called out Austin for an in-ring interview, in which Austin completely eviscerates Bret.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x24...port?start=269

    "If you put the letter 'S' in front of Hitman you have my exact opinion of Bret Hart." "You say you're the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be, but I LIVE IT." Two weeks later, Bret would make his Raw return, and accept Austin's Survivor Series challenge, while calling him "the best wrestler in the WWF."

    This would be where the WWF would start to get their booking groove back. Pillman, marks out to the announcement of Bret saying he's coming back. This does not please Stone Cold. Two weeks later, he breaks Pillman's ankle, by crushing his ankle in a steel chair, a move since named, the "Pillmanizer." This does not please Brian Fucking Pillman. The next week, Austin 3:16 meets Pillman 9:MM Glock. This madness is taking place while the WWF masterfully hypes Hart's return against Austin like a Heavyweight Prize Fight.

    Spoiler


    After 11 months in the WWF, Austin is becoming the centerpiece of Monday Night Raw, and has a feud that is arguably more important than the WWF Title Feud (Michaels vs. Sid) going on at the same time. The prayer of Austin 3:16 is starting to be answered.

    Spoiler
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-25-2016 at 12:59 AM.


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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Baker View Post
    I watched a bunch of Ringmaster matches over the past month or two. Sometimes you can see shades of the Stone Cold he would become. He had a pretty good squash of Scott (not yet Too Hot) Taylor that was very much in the style of Stone Cold. But then he'll go and have a boring "Ringmaster" style match with Marty Jannetty where he just boringly applies holds and displays none of the fire or intensity he brought to the table as Stone Cold. I do remember liking the Savio Vega matches from early in Austin's WWF run. I'm hoping Kilgore reviews at least one of them. I wonder if Caribbean Strap Match from Beware of Dog holds up? That was my favorite Savio match back in the day.
    Good that you mentioned Savio, Baker! Found a very interesting shoot interview clip where Austin credits Savio to getting him in shape when he wrestled him for months in 96 leading up the infamous Caribbean Strap Matches plus after those 2 strap matches..Turns out they became real good friends. Austin was talking about how brutal both the strap matches were in that he hated having to do the 2nd match because him and Savio beat the shit outta each other, plus it was only a couple days after the 1st match. I really loved the Caribbean Strap Match they had, come to think of it..I hunted it down on dailymotion.com. It's posted below the Austin shoot clip


    Part 1 of the 2nd Strap Match Savio and Austin had which was 2 days after the 1st match where the power got knocked out.


    Part 2

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart - Survivor Series 1996

    Spoiler


    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2m7ncl

    Austin comes out to his famous glass shattering theme song, which he debuted at the previous PPV (Buried Alive). Man, does this have a big match feel. J.R., who is spectacular this entire match, begins things by comparing it to Tyson vs. Holyfield, which could probably be a superficial analogy, considering it happened a couple weeks earlier, but it's a great analogy, with Austin as wrestling's Tyson, and Bret, the older warrior, not ready to roll over yet.

    Austin comes out to some cool buzz, and a couple signs, but not as many cheers as you would expect from the crowd that would later be 70/30 in Psycho Sid's favor against a babyface champion. The staredown is intense, and Austin finishes it off with some double birds.

    "Neither man has ever submitted," according to JR, which doesn't seem right with Austin being a heel for his entire career at this point, but it really sets up what this feud would become more perfectly than he could ever know the moment he said it.

    "How ironic if Stone Cold Steve Austin put on the sharpshooter, and Bret Hart submitted here at Survivor Series," Vince replies, having no idea how much more "ironic" his statement is than the scenario.

    The match starts off slow, like it took a lot of balls to start the match this way. All the intensity in the build up, you'd expect a hot start. Both men are so crisp in their grappling, with loads of reversals, and snug on their submission holds. Bret keeps his head below Austin's shoulder blades while locking in a hammerlock, so Austin can't snap mare him. These are the little things these two are thinking about, and doing.

    The slow start makes the first fist exchange pop big time. They reeled the crowd in, with it taking ten minutes for them to start exchanging hayemakers. Austin "wins rounds one," according to JR, as Bret folds from the punches. Austin hot shots a Stun Gun right after (to ECW superfan, "Faith No More Guy's" absolute delight).

    Austin controls the next portion of the match, mostly working the neck and throat.

    A superplex attempt by Austin gives Bret his first opening in awhile, as Bret does half a suplex so Austin lands on his face off the second rope. From there, Bret does his rare top rope version of his elbow drop.

    The match spills to the outside, and Austin talks shit a few inches away from a fan's face. This had to be terrifying.

    The guard rail breaks loose as Austin and Bret spill into the crowd. Austin eventually catapults Bret onto a durable Spanish announce table, which does not break. Austin drops an elbow off the apron, onto Bret hanging still hanging off the table, as the match is officially in its highway gear.

    Back in the ring, Austin is using the ropes for leverage as he locks in an abdominal stretch. Referee, Tim White, eventually sees it and breaks it up, in which he receives double birds and Austin mouthing "Fuck you," to him. Austin is the entire Attitude Era, up to this point.

    Austin's trash talking with the ref gives Bret an opening, and here is the second punch exchange of the match. "And Bret wins Round 2!"

    A rare double Irish Whip reversal, sees Bret hit a Stun Gun on Austin. I love a stolen signature move. I'm an easy man to please.

    Bret with a perfect piledriver, which I believe Baker has stated something like, "You know Bret is feeling it when he busts out the piledriver." Bret looks to be going into his Excellence of Execution OCD mode, with a back breaker, but breaks protocol, by once again going to the top for his elbow drop. Austin crotches him there, Flair chops him to some loud crowd "woos" that definitely pissed of Vince McMahon in that moment he was getting destroyed by WCW. Austin then teases a second rope superplex, only to go all the way to the top, and hit a perfect Superplex of his own.

    With both men flat on their back, Austin slowly looks to float over for a pin, but Bret is prepared, grapevines Austin's leg, and almost gets the pin.

    Back on their feet, Austin is retreating for the first time. Bret catches up to Austin, takes his back, but Austin is giving it up on purpose, as he hits a Stunner out of nowhere. Bret is close to the ropes, so Austin drags Bret to the center of the ring before the pin, which is just enough time for Bret to kick out. Austin goes for three or four more pin attempts in anger.

    Austin is now out of moves. He's used everything he's got. So he starts busting out some submissions you've never seen him use before. First a Texas Cloverleaf, which every time I watch this match I think, "He should have used this in more big matches." Bret gets to the ropes, so Austin then puts Bret into a bow and arrow submission, like this is Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, or some shit.

    Bret rolls out of the bow and arrow, quickly gets to his feet, and tries the Sharpshooter. He can't turn over Austin, as JR states, "Austin isn't just a school yard bully." He's backing it up.

    Austin hits a jawbreaker, which pops the crowd loud enough that I think half of them thought it was a stunner. Austin starts slapping himself in the head, trying to shake the cobwebs.

    Austin gets to his feet, and waits for Bret to get to his. Austin busts out the Million Dollar Dream for the first time in six months.

    Bret with the Wrestlemania 8 counter, running up the turnbuckles, jumping back and pinning Austin, daring him to release the hold, or get pinned. Austin refuses to release the submission, as the ref counts to three.

    Bret Hart beats Steve Austin in one of the greatest matches of all time.

    Austin rolls to the floor, with his hands on his head, in disbelief that he lost the match. He stands on the floor, looking like the fresher man, as he and Bret stare each other down.

    "This rivalry is far from over."
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-25-2016 at 05:00 AM.


  16. #66
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The Toughest S.O.B. to ever step foot in a WWF Ring

    After the loss at Survivor Series 1996, Austin is temporarily cooled down, inexplicably not even making the December Pay Per View. The next month, would be a different story.

    Royal Rumble 1997

    This is another War Games 1992 moment for Austin, where in an environment, filled with stars, he shows himself to better them all.

    Austin is still very much a heel, and his reactions still reflect that. But there are more and more cheers, and more and more Austin 3:16 signs and shirts. The rise of the cool heel is hitting its apex, and there is no cooler heel than Stone Cold Steve Austin.

    Austin draws #4 at the Royal Rumble, with Mideon and Crush already in the ring. Mideon eliminates Crush, and receives a Stunner to a loud pop, before being thrown out himself, like the piece of trash he is. Austin gets the best push you could get in the Rumble -- The wrestler waiting for more wrestlers to enter -- Which Austin would shine with that opportunity.

    Bart Gunn is immediately eliminated. Stone Cold does pushups and checks his imaginary watch.

    Jake Roberts is out next. Stone Cold mocks Roberts with a fake prayer, throws Jake out, and then his bagged snake out right after. Austin offends the Church and PETA in a thirty second span.

    The Rumble starts to fill out after that, with Austin as the workhorse, and drawing the biggest reactions if he looks like he might get eliminated. Worth noting, Stone Cold is the rare heel (back then), that would attack heels just as quickly as babyfaces, with one example being, him attacking Owen Hart more aggressively than a few previous entrants, possibly because Austin sees Owen as the next best thing to fighting Bret, regardless of "good or bad."

    After eliminating Owen Hart and Marc Mero at the same time, Austin is once again playing the waiting game, and his first WWF rival, Savio Vega, is out next, who hilariously comes out to no reaction. Austin hits a Stun Gun, and then clotheslines Vega out, to Austin's biggest babyface reaction yet. He's gaining fans.

    Jesse James out next, who gets a little offense in, starts to dance, and promptly gets eliminated.

    Once again, Austin is playing the waiting game, when a screeching guitar plays, and Austin has an all time great reaction to realizing he'll be facing Bret Hart. What starts off initially as fear, quickly turns into Austin hyping himself up, and looking forward to it. The crowd is white hot, as they exchange punches.

    The finish is, a Terry Funk/Mankind brawl after elimination, steals all the referees attention, so a Bret Hart elimination of Austin, isn't seen. Austin immediately jumps back in, eliminates Undertaker and Vader at the same time, waits for Bret to eliminate (fake) Diesel, and then eliminates Bret Hart for the win, as Austin receives another record high babyface pop.

    Stone Cold Steve Austin has won the 1997 Royal Rumble.

    This is one of the great turning points in WWF history, as it puts into motion the Stone Cold turn. Bret had already teased his new sore loser gimmick on the previous pay per view (that Austin wasn't booked at), but after being screwed out of Royal Rumble win, Bret Hart turns his crybaby routine up to 11. He pushes referees, and makes a bee line to commentary, specifically to Vince McMahon, yelling, "What is this shit?" In 1997, Bret Hart had an even filthier mouth than Steve Austin. Bret Hart is last seen walking back to the locker room, jawing with fans.

    Though they wouldn't know it yet, this would be the start of a really volatile time in the WWF. Shawn Michaels regained the WWF Heavyweight Title on the very same show, but would infamously "lose his smile" a month later, which was him faking an injury and surrendering the title, three days before the February Pay Per View, and five weeks before Wrestlemania 13.

    With Bret still bitching about the Royal Rumble finish, WWF's audible is a restart of the (not actual) Final Four (since Fake Diesel was the second to last eliminated) of the Royal Rumble, in a four way dance (Hart, Austin, Vader, Taker), with Royal Rumble style elimination, for the newly vacated title. This is almost a classic, but it suffers a bit from the Royal Rumble style elimination stipulation, but it's still very good, with Vader, of all those more successful WWF wrestlers involved, making a case for MVP of the match. Bret wins, last eliminating 'Taker, to become the new WWF champion.

    This reign would last 24 hours. The next night on Raw, Sid would regain the WWF Title, after Steve Austin interference "screws" Bret over, with a chair shot to the head, and a Sid powerbomb for good measure. This sets up the Sid-Taker Title feud, but more importantly, is setting up an Austin-Hart Wrestlemania rematch.

    The build has Bret crying more than ever, with an epic meltdown, one week before Wrestlemania 13. Meanwhile Austin, although obsessed, all he wants to do is fight, which is respectable. He even becomes somewhat of a sympathetic figure, with a "Submission Match" stipulation added to Wrestlemania rematch, clearly favoring Hart. No matter, with Hart snapping, the usual cool Excellence of Execution, is falling into Austin's trap, and their rematch, which is surpassing the Heavyweight Title feud in significance, also promises to be more intense than the Survivor Series masterpiece. And it is.

    Austin vs. Hart - Wrestlemania 13

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2oe88j

    For my money, this is the greatest match in North American history.

    A hot start, which is the opposite of the Survivor Series start, and makes sense with both men unhinged by now. They quickly spill to the floor, and do some crowd brawling, which was very much still a fun novelty in early 1997, as the Attitude Era (and latter day ECW to a lesser extent) hadn't burned it out yet.

    Back in the ring, Bret works Austin's (already injured) knee over, before Austin hot shots a Stunner in desperation. Austin's knee is in worse shape than Bret after the Stunner, though, so Bret regains an advantage, works the knee over even more, culminating with his (awesome) figure four around the ring post, which also takes Bret outside, to grab a chair, to use immediately, and a ring bell to throw it on the apron, setting up a spot for ten minutes later! These two think about matches on a different level.

    Hart attempts to Pillmanize Austin's ankle, in some pay back for his future Hart Foundation brother, and real life Hart Family Thanksgiving guest, but this gives Austin enough time to recover, take the chair that was closed on his ankle, and use it to bash the back of Bret Hart's skull in. Austin with some babyface fire to go along with his comeback, foreshadowing the finish. Austin works some of his signature moves (double bird elbow drop from the second rope), to many more cheers than he got walking to the ring.

    Austin works his first submission, which he apparently learned from Al Snow, worried he didn't have enough submissions of his own and it's a move I'm not sure has a name. Picture the Rings of Saturn, a double arm crucifix kind of submission, only with Austin with bottom positioning instead of top, and an added grapevine over the neck. Al gave him a good one. I don't know if Austin has just never gotten out of Stone Cold character, but even to this day, when he talks about this match, he pretends like he never knew any submissions, meanwhile it was a huge part of Stunning Steve's game, and he was busting some new ones out four months prior at Survivor Series. Anyway, Austin also uses a Boston (Texas?) Crab, before Bret crawls to the ropes.

    A Sharpshooter attempt, by Austin, gives Bret an opening for a comeback, after he rakes Austin's eyes. On the outside, Bret Irish Whips Austin into the guard rail, and very discretely blades Austin, giving this blood feud, some actual blood. Bret really works Austin over on the outside, opening up the cut more, as Austin bumps like only he can.

    Back in the ring, the crowd sees the blood for the first time, and pops huge. This is (I think) only the third time in since Wrestlemania 8 there has been blood in a WWF match.

    After Bret goes in Excellence of Execution OCD mode, he cuts it short to take the easy way out, and start working Austin's knee over with a chair. Commentary makes a big deal about this, once again, foreshadowing what's to come. Austin prevents a Bret Sharpshooter attempt, the same way Bret prevented his, with the old rake to the eyes. And then a football punt to Bret's nuts, gets way more cheers than boos, as the crowd is clearly starting to turn.

    Austin stomps a mud hole in Bret in the corner, with another set of double birds before the final kick. Crowd pops even louder than before. Then a (second rope) Superplex from Austin.

    Austin goes outside, grabs himself an extension cord, and starts to hang Bret off the apron. That ring bell is still there. Hart desperately grabs the bell, and "rings Austin's bell," which only sends Austin in retreat mode, giving Hart some time to gather himself, and catch Austin from behind to lock in the Sharpshooter, in the middle of the ring.

    From here, is one of the most famous finishes of all time. A bloodied Austin, screaming and refusing to quit, and almost reversing it, before Bret locks it in even deeper. Austin still refuses to give up, instead passing out due to blood loss.

    After the match, Hart attacks a beaten Austin to loud boos, and backs down from Special Guest Referee Ken Shamrock (in the GOAT special guest referee performance, as he butts in no more, and no less than a regular referee), cementing the double turn.

    This was a risky move. Bret is (at worst) the second biggest babyface in the WWF, with the Undertaker as his only competition, with the man Bret put over the previously year to carry the torch (Shawn Michaels), flopping as champion, and "retiring" five weeks prior, for all the WWF knew at the time, for real. WWF is also getting their teeth kicked in by WCW. They're turning their #1 or #2 babyface, to try a big babyface push on an anti-hero, who has never been a babyface before, on any level of wrestling. We know this is the greatest move they'll ever make, but that night, this took some pretty huge balls.

    One week later, on a taped edition of Raw, Stone Cold is introduced on Raw, by Jim Ross, as "the toughest S.O.B. to ever step foot in a WWF ring." He is interviewed by Vince McMahon in the ring, where Austin cuts a mission statement of sorts, for what he now is, and will continue to be:

    "You can look at Steve Austin, and you can think whatever you want. You can think I'm a class act, or you can think I'm the biggest jackass you ever met, but the bottom line is, I ain't changing for nobody. You put me in this ring, whether you got me against "a good guy," and the people boo the hell out of me, or you got me against "a bad guy," and they cheer me, it doesn't make a damn. All I set out to do, when the bell rings, is whip somebodies ass, and ain't you gotta like how I do it, but I'm damn sure gonna get the job done!"

    The crowd erupts. This is a new kind of babyface. And it's about to change wrestling.
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-25-2016 at 04:48 AM.


  17. #67
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    A slight detour

    So the double switch worked. Austin is a reluctant babyface, and Bret is a confused heel, wondering why people are cheering for the anti-hero. It's perfect. Bret soon forms the Hart Foundation, to get even more heel heat, and take the rivalry to the next level.

    But lets talk about ratings for the first time. In January of 1997, Raw Ratings are in the low Twos. By April, they are in the mid Threes. This bump in ratings is due, almost exclusively, to the Austin-Hart feud.

    If you look at the ratings in Early 1997, they're still trying to build around Shawn Michaels, and it's not going well.

    1/6/97 (Episode built around HBK and Sid, with Sid powerbombing a Lothario family member) 2.1
    1/20/97 (Post Royal Rumble show, Hart gets screwed at the Rumble, rants about it) 2.2
    2/10/97 (Shawn Loses smile): 2.3

    We're in 1997, so I will be unmerciful in my discussion of Shawn Michaels, because he deserves it. Shawn Michaels is anti-ratings. When he's on the TV, people turn to Nitro. He loses his smile, and ratings start to go up, especially when Steve Austin is on the screen.

    2/24/97 (ECW Invasion!): 2.5
    3/17/97 (Wrestlemania go home show, Bret's "BULLSHIT" tantrum/Austin and Bret brawl, ) 2.4
    3/24/97 (Post Wrestlemania show, Bret cements heel turn by attacking an "injured" Michaels, No Austin, selling the Wrestlemania match) 2.5
    3/31/97 (Bret/Owen/Davey Boy reunite. Steve Austin makes his return): 2.7
    4/7/97 (Half the roster is in South Africa, so a split crew gives a mediocre show): 2.2
    4/21/97 (Show built around Bret/Austin, Bret leaves in an ambulance, Stone Cold is driving, which is everything Austin would do in 1998): 2.8
    4/28/97 (Hart Foundation officially reforms with Anvil showing up, and they get their revenge sending Austin to hospital): 3.4

    Raw is gaining some serious momentum on the heels of the Austin-Hart Foundation feud. But it's not for long, as Hart needs knee surgery, so Michaels is clumsily inserted in the middle of the feud. It actually works at first, before people remember they hate Shawn Michaels, and start tuning back into Nitro.

    5/12/97 (Austin calls out Bret Hart early in the show but HBK gets the confrontation with Bret Hart late in it): 3.2
    5/19/97 (HBK confronts Austin for a 3.4 rating in the first hour. Austin wrestles Anvil in the second hour to a 3.8 rating, the highest Raw rating since pre-nWo)
    5/26/97 (HBK's in ring return in the second hour, tagging with Austin, forming the first odd couple tag team for Austin as they win the Tag Titles): 3.1
    6/2/97 (Austin/HBK tag again versus LOD): 2.5

    Austin and Michaels are still the Tag Team Champions that hate each other, and actually square off at KOTR 97. It's a double DQ and a predictably good match considering who is involved.

    6/9/97: (Post KOTR Raw) 2.2

    But the damage has been done. The WWF attempts to get Austin vs. Hart Foundation back on track, with Bret Hart's knee getting healthy (he and Shawn would fight for real backstage that night. Shawn would get suspended, and he and Austin would be stripped of the tag belts), as they build towards July's In Your House: Canadian Stampede.

    Bottom line, Stone Cold Steve Austin has already shown himself to be the first WWF Wrestler since Hogan, to radically move the needle in their favor. He's just getting started, and he's a couple weeks away from another wrestling classic.


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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Pain in the Neck

    With the Shawn Michaels suspension, The Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Hart Foundation feud is back on track and headed to a Ten Man Tag main event at (the GOAT) In Your House Pay Per VIew.

    Canadian Stampede Ten Man Tag - Hart Foundation vs. Austin/Shamrock/Goldust/LOD

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x25...port?start=542

    My hyperbole is strong in this thread. I've named a GOAT Promo. A GOAT Match. A GOAT In Your House. Even A GOAT Special Guest Referee. This match too is a GOAT Something. GOAT Crowd? GOAT Multi-man Tag? GOAT Match in Canada? GOAT Heel Performance (Baker approved!)? All of the above? Anyway you slice it, it's greatness.

    The hot start, with Austin and Bret beginning like their Wrestlemania match did, and Austin feeding Hart, and the crowd, by getting backed into the corner, as the crowd goes absolutely apeshit, with even Jerry Lawler impressed yelling, "The building is shaking." Austin getting some of it back with Bret, and flipping off the crowd, beginning what would essentially become Austin versus the entire country of Canada. This is Part 3 of Austin sharing a ring with the biggest stars of the day, and shining brightest. Austin and Bret have a call back to Survivor Series, with Austin locking in a Million Dollar Dream, Bret running up the turnbuckles and falling back for the pin, but Austin learning his lesson and letting go of the hold just before the three count.

    Austin is a heel god in this match. The smile after the low blow on Bret Hart. The double birds to the crowd. At one point, he makes an Owen Hart knee sandwich with the ring post and a chair as the bread, injuring his knee enough where he as to leave the match, and then attacks Bruce Hart in the crowd, just because. Austin actually had some cool heel pops before the match. After this it's 100% "Austin sucks." Anvil bear hugging Austin, and carrying him to the Hart Foundation corner, where the four of them pummel Austin, is a fun spot, that becomes iconic with this crowd. They erupt like the Habs just scored a goal in overtime. Austin then fighting out of the corner, so he could Stun his former partner, Brian F'n Pillman, which makes Bret grab Austin's leg, so he can drag him to a ring post, and get revenge for his little brother, taking out Austin's knee. Just greatness. Austin then gets taken to the back, evening the match up at four against four.

    Austin comes back seven minutes later, immediately tags himself back in, and takes it to Bret Hart, getting the better of him, and taking all the heel heat back. Stone Cold even puts Bret in a (pretty bad) Sharpshooter, which has Owen make his return to make the save. Just a masterclass in match structure. Owen tags himself him, and him and Stone Cold fight on the floor. Austin once again finds himself fighting the entire Hart family, face washing Bruce, trying to choke out Stu, getting jumped by a Hart cousin, or brother I don't know about.

    Bruce jumps the guard rail, starts brawling with LOD, and in the chaos of the melee, Owen Hart school boys Austin, with a handful of tights, for a three count, as the crowd loses its mind.

    That match is perfection, and in a post-match-high, I'm ready to confirm all of its potential GOAT titles.

    That match, as an island to itself would be good enough, but with Owen pinning Austin, it perfectly sets up an IC title Feud for the two of them. On one hand, it seems like a slight demotion for Austin -- Austin is the hottest babyface in the company, in the hottest feud, and now he's been somewhat demoted to feud with Bret's little brother for a midcard title -- And this might actually be Kliq business, with it all coinciding with HBK's return. But Austin "slumming" it back in the midcard would allow him to get the dominant wins you might hesitate to give him in main events (like against Bret and Shawn, who haven't lost clean to him yet), and really put him over the top.

    That seemed to be the plan, anyway. Austin vs. Owen for the IC Title at SummerSlam '97.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKYYsg-jMfU

    Can you imagine if Austin never recovered from that? How different would wrestling history be? But Austin did recover. In fact, he showed up on Raw the next night, like nothing ever happened, only slightly more pissed off than usual, and fully prepared to wrestle. Breaking a neck can't be considered good luck, but in a way, it actually helped Austin's push. This was a man being promoted as "The toughest S.O.B. to ever step foot in a WWF ring." And now he was walking around, cutting godly promos, a day after legitimately breaking his fucking neck.

    This did two things.

    1. It gave the feud with Owen Hart higher stakes. Despite how good Owen was, he was not Bret, and his feud with Stone Cold could only seem like a lesser version of a feud that just created an all time great match. Now, it became a unique situation. Owen broke Austin's neck. For realz. People desperately want to see Austin, the most pissed off man not named Taz, get his hands on the man that broke his neck now. This isn't just an IC Title feud anymore.

    2. The suspension. Austin needs time to recover from a broken neck. The WWF angle is Austin has been suspended until a doctor clears him to wrestle, much to Austin's dismay, who wanted to wrestle again the very next night. This enhances the "toughest S.O.B." persona, and it also gives Austin another outlet to let loose his poetic rage onto. Austin's interviews while "suspended" get Austin over as much as the Bret Hart matches did. Seeing what Austin had to say became must see television, after a summer where WCW had once again increased its ratings lead. People that watched WCW, and didn't like the WWF, were tuning into Austin. And he was on fire.

    The JR Interview:

    Spoiler


    In which Stone Cold proclaims himself "The Best Wrestler in the World" who is "more pissed off than ever," while hilariously snapping at JR every time he opens his mouth.

    Target Practice:

    Spoiler


    In which a (possibly drunk) Stone Cold, is pissed off at the WWF for sending a lowly camera crew to his house, so he decides to take out his bow and start (accurately) use WWF 8X10 Head Shots as target practice.

    This is also the beginning of Stone Cold-Vince McMahon rivalry. 1996 was the first year where Vince was overtly acknowledged as more than just the dorky commentator. HBK's hints during his title reign, Vince bringing Bret Hart back a few months later, and JR's "heel turn" where he talked about Vince firing him, were the three major steps to the truth. Now with Stone Cold's "suspension" he could acknowledge that it wasn't just a faceless WWF, or whatever figurehead WWF was trotting out there (Sgt. Slaughter), if the WWF was suspending anybody, it was Vince McMahon with the last say so. So when Stone Cold would be allowed in WWF buildings, his only goal was to be a pain in the ass to Vince McMahon.

    September saw the WWF trying to strip Austin of his IC Title, due to his inability to defend it. This led to Austin stunning Sgt. Slaughter, which was actually a really big deal for a couple weeks, and underestimated now that you've seen things like this hundreds of time. Authority figures didn't really take bumps like that in the WWF previously (as far as I remember). Another reason this has been undervalued is because it was surpassed a mere two weeks later. Holy shit, was it surpassed. On September 22, in the WWF's home arena of Madison Square Garden, the WWF stripped Austin of his IC Title, and he retaliated by doing what so many before him wanted to do. He Stunned his boss.

    Spoiler


    That reaction. You can only Stun Vince McMahon for the first time once. That's a crowd, raised in the Kayfabe era, having some hybrid reaction of Smark/Mark, as the business is changing before their eyes. Austin was already a made man. But he was even more made after that.

    This is all leading to Stone Cold's return from injury. At Bad Blood in October, Austin helps Owen Hart regain the vacant IC Title. He explains himself here, and also stooges Vince, but the gist is, Stone Cold wants Owen Hart's ass. And at Survivor Series, Stone Cold would get a chance to regain his belt against the man who broke his neck.

    Their Survivor Series match is nothing special. The most notable things I find, is back in July, Austin had some of the most heat I had ever heard in Canada, and here we are, only four months later, and Austin is getting cheered in Canada. Against a Hart! I had completely forgot that after Austin beats Owen (after a Tombstone tease into a Stunner), Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon come out to attack Austin. Furnas and Lafon are "Team Canada" and absolutely nobody in the crowd is rooting for them. Austin stuns them both to the delight of the crowd (who are about twenty minutes away from the Montreal Screwjob, which they would not find delightful). Austin getting cheered in Canada in 1997, after spending essentially the entire year feuding with Harts, prove him to be one of the most over people ever. He's pretty much unbooable, at this point. And now he's the Intercontinental Champion, healthy enough to compete, and hungry for more.
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-25-2016 at 11:28 PM.


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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    I fucking love that little period when Austin was coming back from his neck injury dropping everyone with stunners. I forgot that he was on Raw the very next night after breaking his neck at Summerslam. Raw was on fire there coming out of Summerslam 97, September-October 97.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The Best in the Damn World

    "You know as well as I do that this is what I do for a living. This is all that I do. Can't nobody tell me I ain't the best in the damn world. I appreciate the fact that you and the World Wrestling Federation care. And I also appreciate the fact, that hell, you can kiss my ass."
    - Stone Cold Steve Austin (September 22, 1997)

    The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin is serious now. At Survivor Series, the WWF gained an IC Champion who is more over than pretty much everybody in wrestling, but they lost Bret Hart, and by proxy, lost the Hart Foundation. The WWF are now, by their own choice, down a man in the main event, and there's never been a more qualified man to make the step up than Steve Austin in 1997.

    The Raw after Survivor Series was not surprisingly heavy on the Montreal Screwjob aftermath, but Austin's first feud as IC Champion was kicked off on the very same show, and quite brilliantly. Austin is in the ring, getting another hero's welcome by a Canadian crowd, talking about all the asses he's whipped, when he's interrupted by a young upstart named, The Rock.

    The Rock cuts a promo, that is oddly prophetic.

    "Austin, your new bottom line will read -- Has Been, compliments of The Rock."

    We're a couple weeks away from the official start of the Attitude Era, and you have The Rock cutting a promo on Stone Cold Steve Austin, with the Rock, acting like the hungry young lion, chasing after an Austin, who hasn't even reached the mountain top yet. But The Rock already knows, Steve Austin is the man, and more impressively, he knows he's the only man that could hang with him.

    Austin's retort to the cocky young Rock on that first night, though -- "You don't suck because these people chant Rocky sucks. You suck, because Stone Cold says so." This starts the feud right, and the next four weeks, the two play a cat and mouse game, en route to a showdown at December's In Your House PPV (D-Generation X).

    The next week, Austin comes out (and for the first time?), has a question for everybody. "If anybody wants to see Rocky Maivia get his ass whipped, give me a hell yeah!" The Rock comes out acting all tough, but hilariously sends D' Lo Brown out to the ring. While Austin is whipping D' Lo's ass, The Rock sneaks in the ring, and steals Austin's IC Title.

    During week three of the feud, The Rock, with the IC Belt is interrupted on the Jumbotron, by Austin, who is in the control room, dimming the lights, and putting Rocky Sucks chants up on the board. Austin has this to say, "When you're walking through the airport, and you're beeper goes off, you look down and it says, 3-1-6. You know your ass belongs to Stone Cold. You've got to ask yourself a question. With me learning all this technology, you gotta wonder, is it live, or is it Memorex?" It's Memorex. Austin sneaks up behind The Rock, as the Rock looks at his beeper which is going off, and no doubt reads, 3-1-6. Rocky eats a stunner before a live Austin sends him off. "Take your belt, and have yourself a nice Thanksgiving, but here's a little bird for you to enjoy right now."

    At the go home show before IYH, both Austin and Rock find something that would become trademarks of their main event runs. Rock, while in a match against Vader, hits a really early version of the People's Elbow. It's slightly less theatrical, but it's unmistakable. Austin finds that entering an arena in a vehicle, is guaranteed to make a crowd pop, as he shows up in the middle of the match, driving a Stone Cold pickup truck, blasting AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long. Austin gets out, drinking a beer, so he's been drinking and driving, and he stands on top of the vehicle, heckling Rock.

    Austin vs. Rock - In Your House: D-Generation X

    The first of many high profile pay per view matches the two would have. Austin shows up driving the same pickup, and then there is a hot start to the match, with the two brawling before Stone Cold can even get his vest off. The rest of the Nation jump Austin since the match hadn't officially started, and he fights them all off, even accidentally stunning a referee, while he's whipping asses. The Rock reaches into his trunks, grabs some brass knucks, and winds up, but Austin blocks the punch, boots Rock in the gut, and Stuns him for the win. The match is less than five minutes, as to continue to protect Austin's neck, I guess, but the crowd is white hot for the entire match, so it's a good time.

    So Austin wins, and the next night on Raw, Vince McMahon, in his first live appearance since the Screwjob wants Austin to give Rock a rematch, after the shenanigans of the night before. Austin doesn't want to defend it, not because he fears The Rock, but because he doesn't like taking orders from Vince. They tease the decision to the last segment of Raw, where Austin refuses, and Vince is forced to, once again, strip Austin of the IC Title. Austin, fresh off spending the show in the back drinking, "Steveweisers," has this to say. "You don't have to strip me. I done been the Intercontinental Champion. I done been a Tag Team Champion. Hell, son. There ain't but one belt in the Federation that I'm interested in, and that's the World Wrestling Federation Championship Belt. So what I'm gonna do Rock is I'm gonna forfeit the damn title to you tonight, because I got bigger fish to fry. So take the damn thing because I don't want in no more." Rock reluctantly takes the belt. "Shake my hand, Rock. Trust me. Trust me, champ. This is on the up-and-up."

    Austin immediately stuns Rock.

    "D.T.A. Rock. Don't trust anybody." Austin drops Steveweiser and DTA on the same show, a month after dropping, Give Me a Hell Yeah. Quite a fertile time for Stone Cold, and he knows it.

    "Vince, you talk about your TV ratings. You send your camera crew with me, because Steve Austin has plans for the belt, and it ain't got a damn thing to do with wrestling. All you have to do is tune in next week. The same Stone Cold time. Same Stone Cold channel."

    The ratings rise a full point over the next month, as Austin throws the IC Belt in the river the very next week, as Vince McMahon ushers in the Attitude Era in the very next segment for the top of the hour. The WWF also debuts their scratch logo on the December 15 edition of Raw. Austin Stuns Santa the week after that, and finishes 1997 by putting Goldust in a port-a-potty (Crapper 3:16), and tipping it over.

    Raw has its highest rating of the year on the last broadcast of 1997, and on that very show, announce they've been negotiations with "Iron" Mike Tyson. Momentum is shifting in the Monday Night Wars.

    Austin spends the beginning of 1998, out of control, Stunning anybody he comes across, in preparation for the Royal Rumble.

    Royal Rumble 1998

    The Rock draws #4, and like Austin the previous year, is the workhorse of the match, getting him more over in the process. But the winner of this match was only ever going to be one man, and he entered at #24. Austin's music hits, and everybody in the match (Rock, Honky Tonk Man, Kama, 8 Ball, Bradshaw, Mark Henry, Goldust, Thrasher and Marc Mero), stop wrestling, and look out to the entrance way, all wanting to take out the hottest wrestler in the business. Austin keeps them waiting, not coming out. And then, he sneaks up behind them all, having come out through the crowd, and immediately eliminates Marc Mero and 8 Ball.

    There is a final four of Austin, Rock, Dude Love and Farooq. Farooq eliminates the Dude, and sets his sight on Austin. Rock pretends to be hurt, so Farooq has to do all the work. Right when it looks like Farooq might eliminate Austin, Rock throws Farooq out. The two future aces of the Attitude Era are the last two. Austin stuns Rock, and throws him over the top. "Stone Cold. Stone Cold. Stone Cold. Is going to Wrestlemania."

    -----
    The next night is Raw's first 4 rating since three weeks before Scott Hall showed up in WCW, and the rating would never dip below 3 again until 2004. This Raw was built around Tyson's first appearance in a WWF ring, which of course, was interrupted by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince asks Austin, "Why are you here?"

    "Because I'm sick and tired of seeing Mike Tyson. He comes in, he's shaking everybody's hand, making friends with all the WWF superstars, and it's made me so damn sick, I've been in the back throwing up. I ain't gonna shake your damn hand, because I didn't come out here to make friends with ya. Mike, shut up. I respect what you've done, but Christ, son, when you step in this ring, you're messing with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that's something, you don't do. Let me make it short and sweet. What I'm telling you is, I want a piece of Mike Tyson's ass. Don't say one word, Vince. I'll knock your damn lights out too. I respect what ya done, Mike, but you're out here, calling yourself the 'Baddest Man on the Planet.' Right now, you got your little beady eyes, locked in on the eyes, of the world's toughest, Son of a bitch! I can beat you any day of the week, twice on Sunday. Do I think you can beat my ass? Hell no. Do I think I can beat your ass? Why, hell yeah! I don't know how good your hearing is, but if you don't understand what I'm saying, I always got a little bit of sign language, so here's to ya."

    Tyson pushes Austin, and it's pandemonium in the ring. Austin gets restraint as Vince throws a temper tantrum, yelling, "You ruined it," at Austin. Austin flips him the double birds. Absolute perfection of a segment.

    One of the reasons this worked so well, was because Austin was so goddamned believable as a Tough SOB. When Austin says to Tyson's face, "I can beat your ass," people believed it. Which is insane. But that's how good Austin was. He never winked to the camera. He never smirked, like isn't this fun? No matter what room he was in, Austin made himself look like the baddest motherfucker in the building. It didn't matter if he was standing next to Tyson, Austin would look tougher, and I think even Mike would agree, a lot of times, merely looking tougher, is enough.


    Which one looks like the baddest man on the planet?

    WWF smartly milks the confrontation the next week, and makes it seem like Austin vs. Tyson is the new Wrestlemania feud. Austin closes the show with, "I'll knock that damn gold tooth out of your mouth, and make it a necklace for Stone Cold. To make it official, Mike, February 15th, I'll be in Houston, Texas. All you got to do, is show up, son. And I dare you to show up, because I'm telling you, I'm telling the world, I will knock your ass out, and that's the bottom line, 'cause Stone Cold said so."

    DX, loves the idea of Austin vs. Tyson, hoping it softens up Stone Cold, so they do a "Let them fight" campaign the very next week. This leads to the first confrontation of Austin and Michaels since Austin won the Royal Rumble.

    "I appreciate that you support Austin vs. Tyson, because Stone Cold Steve Austin can damn well beat the crap out of Mike Tyson. But the fact of the matter is, when Stone Cold won the Royal Rumble, that means, whether I fight Mike Tyson today, tomorrow, or whenever, Shawn that means, your ass belongs to Stone Cold Steve Austin. I'll tell you this, whether it happens at Wrestlemania, today, or whenever, that damn belt is coming with Stone Cold, whether you like it or not, I really don't give a damn. Stone Cold Steve Austin can beat anybodies ass in the world, and that's the bottom line, because I said so."

    Later in the show Austin fights both the New Age Outlaws before DX attacks, and Austin receives a 4-on-1 beating. They do the Andre the Giant tie up in the ropes, as Shawn holds the belts in front of Austin's face. "You've never had one of these, and this is as close as you'll ever get."

    Cactus Jack (rolling an IV stand) and Terry Funk (in a hospital gown) make the save, returning from the hospital to get their hands on the New Age Outlaws. Austin chases DX to the back as Raw ends.

    The cat and mouse game to Wrestlemania has begun.

    The next week, Stone Cold is pissed off, and calls out DX. DX does a promo from the back, gleefully saying they won't come out unless they give them a good reason to. Stone Cold has a reason. "I got your belt, son." Michaels laughs at the notion, and opens his belt bag, to find a Styrofoam belt I got Christmas of 1991. End of the show has DX + NAO getting the belt back, but Cactus Jack, Chainsaw Charlie and Owen Hart showing up to back Austin up.

    Austin/Cactus/Chainsaw/Owen Hart vs. Triple H/New Age Outlaws/ Savio Vega - IYH

    This is not Canadian Stampede, but it's a pretty fun match and would become a good example of the typical Attitude Era style brawl, that ends with Austin pinning Road Dogg, with the most notable thing being Austin Stunning Chyna to end the show. Austin was showing mercy, trying to avoid doing so, but Chyna flipping him double birds, was the last straw, and she got the boot + stunner, as the crowd went crazy.

    March 2, saw Mike Tyson join DX, and Shawn Michaels knock Austin out with Sweet Chin music.

    March 9, saw Steve Austin hold Raw hostage, demanding Vince McMahon answer him once again calling Mike Tyson, "The Baddest Man on the Planet," which Stone Cold sees as an insult to himself. Gerald Briscoe and Jack Lanza out, which doesn't satisfy Steve. Then Slaughter, who Austin tells to go get Vince, "And that's an order...jackass. What are you gonna suspend me? Wrestlemania is right around the corner. You ain't gonna do nothing." Vince finally comes out. "I see you blowing smoke up Mike Tysons ass, and it makes me sick. Look me in the eyes, and tell me I'm not the world's toughest son of a bitch." Vince comes in the ring, backpeddles by calling his proclamation of Tyson, "A figure of speech," and Austin verbally embarrasses him, daring to hit him, or fire him, while Vince gives him a death stare. "Lets face it Vince, you don't want me to be Heavyweight Champion." Austin gives Vince ten seconds to leave the ring, or he's gonna whip his ass. The show ends with Austin attacking Triple H, who was supposedly alone, with HBK home at Texas, but HBK was there all along, and for the second week in a row, knocks Austin out with Sweet Chin music.

    March 17 saw Kevin Kelley try and corner Vince McMahon into answering whether he wants Stone Cold Steve Austin to be champion. Kevin Kelly wants the truth. Vince says, the fans, and Stone Cold Steve Austin, "can't handle the truth." Kevin Kelley gets uppity. "Yes or no?" Vince's answer, "It's not just a no, it's a, 'Oh hell no. That's the bottom line, because Vince McMahon said so." Worth noting, the amount of Austin signs is ridiculous. Like we all remember the sign game was strong during the Attitude Era, but this week, all the signs are Austin related. It's ludicrous.

    March 23 saw Austin open the show telling Vince McMahon there isn't a damn thing he can do about Wrestlemania. Slaughter comes out and tells that under Vince's orders Austin has to fight Rocky Maivia tonight. Austin doesn't give a damn. Then Slaugher says if he doesn't, the WM match will become non-title. Austin is incredulous that he had already agreed, and then Slaughter threw an extra threat his way anyway, so Austin Stunned him for it. Austin wrestles Rock, beats him via Stunner, Stuns D'Lo for fun too, before HBK comes out to cut a promo to end the show, calling himself the greatest WWF Champion of all time, and third time will be the charm, when his sweet chin music knocks Austin out at Wrestlemania 14.

    The go home Raw gets a 3.6 rating. The go home show before the previous Wrestlemania got a 2.35 rating.

    Before we get to the match, this was Steve Austin's Road to Wrestlemania video package the WWF did in that fired me up.

    Austin vs. Michaels - Wrestlemania 14

    "Austin. Michaels. Tyson. The shit is on and that's the damndest bottom line, I've ever bottom lined."
    -Stone Cold Steve Austin

    WWF's I can still hear the echoes promo, into an Austin vs. HBK package, into Austin coming out as the challenger to the belt at Wrestlemania to the hottest Wrestlemania crowd since Wrestlemania 6. Goddamn.

    I won't do much play-by-play on this match, since everybody has seen it. Michaels takes the back body drop to the outside, SummerSlam '95 style, so I think his back was feeling okay to begin with. He bumps well until he goes face first into the announce table off the apron, which must be where he tweaks his back for real, although I think he was doing a whole lot of selling too. Austin hits a Stun Gun, which I didn't remember, but it always makes me happy when he brings it back. I've always been disappointed that JR/King don't understand the Holyfield chant directed at Tyson, although King blaming the "stupid Boston accent," for not understanding was quick. With both men compromised, the middle portion of the match comes to a screeching halt, but it doesn't last long, and we get to the finish, which was cool. The referee bump, the double reversal of Sweet Chin Music into the Stone Cold Stunner, with Iron Mike counting to three, and Stone Cold Steve Austin is the WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World.

    The Austin Era is official.
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-26-2016 at 02:44 PM.


  21. #71
    Atodaso Strobe's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    I just want to pop in to say Kilgore is doing an incredible job here and I'll need to spread some rep around so I can rep him at some point.

  22. #72
    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Austin vs. McMahon

    We've now entered the most thoroughly documented time in WWF's history, so I don't need to write much. While the Austin vs. McMahon tease of April 13, 1998 is where Raw finally broke Nitro's streak, it's less stated that the first hour of the first Raw after WM14, beat Nitro, which was rare. Not even the hour where Tyson debuted did that. This first hour was the Austin vs. McMahon show, with Austin stunning Vince in the first segment, Austin getting arrested in the third, and what would become the entire Attitude Era condensed into one hour is established. Two weeks later, they would finally beat Nitro.

    Here is the PWTorch's write up on the event:

    Spoiler


    I'm just going to pick and choose what I remember as the highlights of Austin's run from here on out.

    Steve Austin vs. Dude Love - Over the Edge

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkr...ude-love_sport

    Austin in the house that birthed 3:16. Somebody tries a 3:16 chant, which probably should have been more of a thing, but it didn't catch on here, and as far as I remember, anywhere else. Vince is a special guest ref, and just before he rings the bell, Undertaker makes a surprise appearance to make sure things are somewhat fair, and the crowd goes crazy. Attitude Era crowds are incredible. I already knew this, but rewatching anything, you can't help but notice it again.

    At first, I was thinking, this isn't as good as I remember, but then business picks up, and it's a great time. This match is spot heavy, but not a spotfest. Both men are too good, and make the previous spots count. Some highlights

    Austin knocking Dude's fake teeth out, and Jerry saying, "Oh no, the Dude has lost his smile!"
    Vince making it a no DQ as he goes.
    Gerald Briscoe getting wiped out by Dude getting tossed onto the time keeper's table, but he valiantly makES it back to his feet with bell hammer raised.
    The bump Dude takes as Stone Cold clotheslines Dude off the guard rail.
    vince making it falls count anywhere match as he goes
    Austin with a Stun Gun onto a car!
    Austin takes two dangerous bumps off cars, so he's less concened by his neck.
    Dude's sunset flip off a car and onto concrete
    Austin bleeds, which always looks cool on that dome of his
    Dude's elbow drop off a car onto concrete
    Vince's joy the first time Dude uses a chair. He's so happy.
    A fired up Austin hits the top rope with a chair, and almost hits himself in the face
    Foley's unprotected chair shot
    McMahon's unprotected chair shot. You know, the AE did this a lot, but they were "smart" enough to eventually use gimmicked, paper thin chairs, that were basically disposable baking trays on legs. They didn't have these yet. These were real chairs.
    Pat Patterson taking an Undertaker chokeslam through a table
    Gerald Briscoe taking an Undertaker chokeslam through a table
    Austin using a knocked out Vince's arm for a three count, like some Weekend at Bernie's shit.
    Dat crowd.

    I still love this match. They'd do this type of match a lot in the next few years, but few would work as well for me.

    Steve Austin vs. Kane - KOTR First Blood Match
    This is the worst match I've watched while doing this. Stunning Steve's USWA stuff is better. Kane sucks, so it's forgivable, and due to the nature of the match (First Blood), this is essentially fifteen minutes of the two taking turns throwing each other into things. If you ever have to rewatch this, have fun noticing that. It's 90% of the match. It makes sense, I can't fault them for that, but holy shit is it tedious. They have to overbook it, with the Cell coming down, and run ins (I actually forgot that Foley does double duty after taking the famous Hell in the Cell bumps earlier in the night. Foley is god.), and it's nice how they protected Austin while having him drop the strap (Undertaker "accidentally" hits Austins chair, with his own chair, which busts him up, and Austin loses a First Blood match, being opened up by his not-opponent), but it's all unnecessary. Faith No More Guy is not pleased in the crowd, and he speaks for me here, as he so often does. Kane will drop the belt the next night, so it seems to be done to begin 'Taker's heel turn, which did not need a 24 hour Kane Title Reign to happen.


    Steve Austin vs. Kane - Raw (June 29, 1998)

    This is the best singles match I ever saw Kane have (I haven't seen anything he's done since 2001, and I probably never will). No bullshit, no gimmicks, just Stone Cold bumping like crazy for him, and Kane still with his early run aura and athleticism. It's one television segment, so it's quick, and it ends with a couple reverses into Kane taking one of the best Stunners ever (seriously, watch it again. I don't know how he didn't hurt himself). The belt goes back where it belongs, and quite frankly, never should have left. This Raw got a 5.4 rating, when the ones before and after got a 4.3 and 4.0, so I suspect this is the only reason things got booked this way. Monday Night Wars "giving things away for free" is not a complaint I will ever have, nor should any consumer who is getting cool things for free, but marginalizing titles is a complaint I can get behind.

    The Austin-Taker feud is heating up.
    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-28-2016 at 01:48 AM.


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    Leaf & Rider Prider CM Punk'd's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    You gotta include the Highway to Hell video for the match with Taker in your next write-up. Great shit so far.

    Still My Champ
    Thanks, surrender.

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    I feel kinda invincible Kilgore's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    The rest of 1998

    Quote Originally Posted by CM Punk'd View Post
    You gotta include the Highway to Hell video for the match with Taker in your next write-up. Great shit so far.
    Oh hell yeah.



    Bare titties on Raw at 1:45? Bare titties on Raw at 1:45.

    Steve Austin vs. Undertaker - SummerSlam 1998

    Undertaker has slowly been morphing into a dude, as apposed to the undead what have you from before, and his entrance at SummerSlam reflects this. There is very little theatrics. Lights barely go down, and Undertaker is walking to the ring faster than he ever has before. He and Kane have an uneasy alliance, but commentary expects Kane to help his brother before the night is over.

    Austin enters to Jim Ross proclaiming, "No WWF Champion has ever entered Madison Square Garden and received that kind of reception." I don't know if that's true (Hogan in 1985 would disagree, brother), but if it's false, it's just barely. Austin is as over as any human who has ever walked to a wrestling ring.

    The match begins with Austin taking a step back as Taker approaches, which is the ultimate respect. Austin plays counterpuncher, and the two are quickly in a slugfest, with Taker getting the better of it. The crowd is so fucking hot. Austin kicks out of a quick pin attempt, quickly gets to his feet, and flips the double birds. Stone Cold realizing he can't outslug Taker, channels his Stunning Steve, with drop toehold into a hammerlock. Austin getting knocked "loopy" happens a lot faster in the match than I remember. For anybody that doesn't know, Taker goes down for a baaaaaack body drop, Austin kicks him in the gut, and Taker's head flips vertically as he straightens himself out, and the back of Taker's head hits Austin in the temple, or forehead, and Austin scarily goes down like a piece of trash. You could tell Austin isn't fully there, and making things worse, Taker channels his own Stunning Steve, with a Stun Gun on Stone Cold's ass.

    Austin eventually regains advantage, stopping an Old School attempt with an arm drag of sorts. Kane comes to ringside, but Taker tells him to leave, like "I got this." MMA Taker is born, as he puts his hands up, and he and Austin start slugging it out again, this time with Austin getting the advantage.

    Austin starts working Taker's leg. He goes to the outside to bank Taker's leg on the apron, but once Austin gets back on the apron, Taker chokeslams him outside-in.

    There is some crowd brawling and Taker really works Austin over from here on out. JR takes notice, saying he's never seen Austin take this kind of punishment. Austin is playing a pretty prototypical babyface in this match, selling like crazy, in prep for the eventual comeback, but it borders on overselling.

    Back on the outside, Taker has the incredible leg drop from the top rope onto the Austin napping on the Spanish announce table. Austin busted his lip, or bit his tongue earlier in the match, and like a total pro, doesn't spit the color out until he gets back in the ring from the leg drop, like it's eternal bleeding. "Never waste your color," I can hear him saying at a later date.

    There is a series of reversals that I can't help but think was the original ending, but Austin isn't totally there, so Undertaker bear hugs him, and then crotches him on the top rope, with indecision. He goes for another old school, which doesn't go any better, this time, Austin allowing Taker to jump into an uppercut to his balls. The two get up, Austin hits the boot + Stunner, and Earl Hebner gives a dramatic (slow) three count as the crowd goes crazy.

    This match had the potential to be a classic, but never fully recovered from the clash of heads. Even so, it's better than its reputation, and is a match I find more enjoyable than Wrestlemania 14, for example. It also almost tripled the amount of PPV buys from the previous year, and to this day, is the highest selling SummerSlam in WWF/E history, which will most likely remain with the PPV model blown up.

    Steve Austin vs. Undertaker vs. Kane - Breakdown

    This is the PPV right after SummerSlam, and the match starts great with Austin attacking Undertaker during his entrance with a chair (the thin gimmicked chairs have arrived!). The match is of course, unfair, with it suspected to turn into a handicap match, as Kane can't pin Undertaker, and Undertaker can't pin Kane, all part of Vince's "master plan," so Austin needs all the help he can get. It also broke the previous month's shortest Undertaker entrance record.

    The rest of the match, is not great. It goes on and on and on and on. It's basically a handicap match, and Kane & Undertaker have a little dissension to add drama, but it's just a two-on-one beatdown for most of the match, and they lose the crowd ten minutes into the twenty-two(!) minute match.

    Kane and Undertaker both win, with a double chokeslam and a double pin, to end the second Stone Cold title reign. Kane is involved in both reign enders, and both of those matches are terrible. Kane ruins everything. Even in 1998. Vince hilariously takes the belt, and walks out like he won, while the Canadian crowd boos loudly.

    The best thing to happen between these four this night was during a Cage Match on Heat before the PPV, McMahon got locked in the cage by a ring crew member in a jump suit, who took off his hat and mullet wig, to reveal himself to be Stone Cold Steve Austin, as he beat the hell out Vince.

    The next night, during the Title coronation, Austin drives a Zamboni to the ring, in another classic Attitude Era moment.

    The Austin-Taker feud would last til the end of the year. October would see Austin special guest referee a match between Undertaker and Kane to see who the real new champion is. It ended in a double countout, so the title was still vacant going into Survivor Series 1998.

    Steve Austin vs. Mankind - Survivor Series

    This is round two, and Austin already beat the Big Bossman earlier in the night, in which Austin took repeated nightstick blows to his left shoulder, and comes out favoring it against Mankind. This is a fun chaotic Attitude Era brawl, with all kinds of shenanigans. Austin takes a back body drop on concrete floor, which he's done in every PPV match I've rewatched so far. Foley wrestles the entire match without shoes, as he shows up in his corporate tuxedo, and Austin tears his loafers off within five seconds to use as weapons. Austin looks to have the win after a Stunner, when Vince McMahon rises out of his Ironside Wheelchair to drag the ref out of the ring after a two count. Austin with another Stunner, this one stunning Corporate Mankind out of his slacks, and Shane-O-Mac comes in to make the count, but stops after two, and flips Austin double birds. A (weak) Gerald Briscoe chairshot to the Austin's shoulder gets the three count for Mankind, as he has eliminated Austin from the WWF Title Tournament.

    The Rock would of course win later that night, for his first World Title reign, and a kickstart of a Rock-Foley feud.

    The Austin-Taker feud would resume, with a blowoff match at the December pay per view, that has an added stipulation of winner gets a spot in the Rumble. It's also a Buried Alive match, just to ensure it sucks, I guess.

    The build up has Undertaker attempting to embalm Austin, Austin running around with a shovel, Stunning anybody in site, including ICP, looking to whip 'Taker's ass, and Undertaker eventually doing a crucifixion of sorts, on Austin. This all happened in like three weeks. The Attitude Era was bananas.

    Steve Austin vs. Undertaker (Buried Alive Match) - IYH Rock Bottom

    This is another shit show, and even though Kane shows up, I can't blame him for this one. Aimless brawling around the gravesite, and the finish comes with Austin showing up with a back hoe, and I might as well be operating the fucking thing, because it takes the dude forever to start dropping dirt on 'Taker, and then it won't reach to the huge mound of dirt to start shoveling. The most entertaining thing about this match is watching Austin getting pissed off at the operator, unleashing a great sing-songy, "Jeeeeeeesus Christ" that would make many pissed of dads proud, before drinking on the Undertaker's grave. Worth noting, Austin takes another baaaaaack body drop on the concrete.

    By the end of 1998, Steve Austin has broken Hulk Hogan's 1986 record for headlining the most 10K attended events, has sold more WWF shirts than anybody previously or after ever would in a calander year, and had carried the WWF to breaking WCW's streak and amounting a lead of their own they would never relinquish. The only catch is, old rival and current WWF Champion, The Rock, thinks he can do even better.

    Last edited by Kilgore; 03-29-2016 at 07:02 PM.


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    American Ninja ShinobiMusashi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Steve Austin Month

    Oh man, this thread gets a big "HELL YEAH" from me. I caught that Summerslam 98 go-home episode of Raw a few months ago, it has to be one of the best episodes of Raw ever. Always loved that Taker vs Austin main event from Summerslam. To me that little period there was when the Attitude Era peaked, from there it was all downhill.



    Great find, sig worthy.

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