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Top 10 WWE Hell In A Cell Matches

October 25, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Hell in a Cell match has become one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Started in 1997, the HIAC match features blood, drama, action, and intensity. Today I celebrate this classic by looking back at the ten best in WWE history.

Like anything else, Hell in a Cell has had its ups and down. Fortunately for most WWE fans, there have been more ups than downs. The concept has been watered down a bit since over the years with the reduction of blood and excess matches. Lucky for us, there are plenty of classics that remind us why this one is just that good.

I always like to remind redears that like any top ten list it is all a matter of opinion. If you agree, disagree, or feel that I left one off the list, let me know and leave a comment. Until then, here are my top ten WWE Hell in a Cell matches in match history.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Badd Blood 1997 - Some of you may argue between this and number two and I can certainly respect that. For me, this match was not only the greatest Hell in a Cell match ever, it is also one of my top ten favorite matches overall of all-time. This was Shawn Michaels at his best and in my opinion and arguably the best match from The Undertaker’s storied WWE career.

Mankind vs. The Undertaker, King of the Ring 1998 - It is hard to argue with this one not being at the top. I went back and forth several times. The drama in this match is second to none. However, I just felt that Michaels vs. Undertaker was a better match overall. Mick Foley set a dangerous standard here which has never been repeated. It was historic, physical, and a masterpiece in a lot of ways. I still liked Michaels vs. Undertaker slightly better when watching these two back, but I have no problem with anyone arguing this one number one.

Triple H vs. Batista, Vengeance 2005 - To me this is an often forgotten about classic. For as much criticism that Triple H and even Batista have gotten at times, this match really should silence any and all critics. I also remember the finish being a shocker at the time as nobody expected Hunter to lose all of those matches to Batista. This one even featured some cool weapons including a chain contraption. The match and storyline here behind the feud were some of the best of all-time.

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Bad Blood 2004 - One recurring theme you’ll see in this blog is that you’ll see a lot of names more than once. Triple H and of course Shawn Michaels are repeat offenders and with good reason. The storyline of both being undefeated in HIAC matches also created great drama in this one. How good was this match? An epic 47 minute masterpiece is how good it was. You Tube has plenty of highlights but you really owe it to yourself to check out the full match if you get that opportunity. The chemistry between these two guys here was unreal.

Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Rikishi, Armageddon 2000 - This match is probably better known for Rikishi’s bump than the actual match itself. However, in looking back at the videos this was one of the most fun HIAC matches. How can you go wrong having all six of these superstars in one Hell in a Cell match? The answer is simple, you can’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (No Mercy 2002) - This is a really interesting match in that you have some fans that will argue that this was one of the best HIAC matches ever where you have a whole other set of fans that don’t even remember it. I am in the middle. I thought this one had a lot of fun spots, not what you’d expect from two big men. Lesnar retained in a match that was one of his best of his entire first WWE run.

Edge vs. The Undertaker, SummerSlam 2008 - Like several matches on this list, this one is another forgotten classic. Edge and The Undertaker I thought had one of the most underrated feuds a few years back. They had tremendous chemistry and SummerSlam 2008 may have been their finest moment. This match had it all including Edge’s specialty; tables, ladders, and chairs. Quite frankly this was one of the most thrilling Hell in a Cell matches of all.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 28 - Once again, Triple H pops up on the list. This one is still fresh in our minds and in terms of drama, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Shawn Michaels was the referee and while the match didn’t have your usual Hell in a Cell theatrics, it told a hell of a story. This one was bloody, brutal, and intense and arguably not only one of the best Hell in a Cell matches, but one of the best WrestleMania matches in Mania history.

Triple H vs. Mick Foley, No Way Out 2000 - This would have been higher up on the list if it served as the true retirement match for Mick Foley that it was promoted to be. The emotional sendoff at the end of the match could have gone down as one of the best ever if it stood. The bloody match had some thrilling moments battling at the top of the cage as well as a flaming barbed wire bat. They tried to replay Foley’s sick bump from King of the Ring but it wasn’t quite the same. Nonetheless it was certainly a great one and a match that belongs on any Hell in a Cell list.

The Undertaker and Steve Austin vs. Mankind and Kane, RAW Is War 1998 - This was one of the most exciting matches on RAW during the Attitude Era. The match was held right before King of the Ring to build up the two main-events. The big moment of this action-packed match came when Austin climbed the cage and attacked Kane on top which saw the crowd just got absolutely nuts. Jim Ross in particular is fantastic with the call here.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Shoots Down WWE Comeback Rumors

October 17, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Internet went crazy last week with comments made by Stone Cold Steve Austin about a return. Many interpreted those comments made by Austin on his podcast to a return to the pro wrestling ring, specifically WrestleMania 31. While that may still be possible down the line, Austin is quick to temper your expectations for 31.

Austin commented on those rumors on a recent Steve Austin Podcast. Austin took calls and a caller asked him flat out about the comeback rumors. Austin was flattered by the comments but was quick to clarify his statements. Austin said that while he did say he was training for a comeback, he was referring to training for a comeback at Gold’s Gym. Austin said he was training at a hole-in-the-wall gym to get ready to get back to Gold’s. Austin said that he was getting in shape for a big project he has coming up in February. Austin also said that he has no desires to take bumps and has no time to train for a match.

But wait, that wasn’t all he said. Austin threw in a little teaser about the comeback wrestling fans have been waiting for. Austin was asked by the same caller about wrestling Brock Lesnar. Austin mentioned that if he were to come back (to the ring) that Brock Lesnar would be looking up at the lights for a 1-2-3 and he’d drop him on that stack of dimes he calls a neck. Austin cut the quick promo in Stone Cold fashion and while he was having fun with it, it was sure a fun teaser to a program that could be a lot of fun.

Austin has never shut the door
on a return to the wrestling ring. Austin has said several times that if everything aligned itself perfectly that he’d consider it.

“I’d consider anything if the perfect situation or opportunity arose and it would be more than a million-dollar question. I don’t want to sit here and promote a match, sell a match or talk about making a comeback. The dirt sheets, or whatever you call them, and I talk to Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller all the time and they’re nice guys and I would consider them friends. I see Dave at almost every MMA fight, but I don’t want to stir any pots or hint or tease anything.

People get their panties in a wad and say, “Stone Cold, either do it or not.” So, anything can happen, but I’m not going to endorse, promote, sell or tease anything in regards to a match.”

There was a rough plan last year at WrestleMania 30 for a Steve Austin vs. Triple H match would have tied into a feud with Trips and Stephanie feuding with Vince McMahon over control of the company. Obviously that never happened and while I can’t imagine Austin coming back for that, he must have been warm to it for the plan to be on the books. There were also lots of rumors about Austin wrestling CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 due to promos shot by Paul Heyman’s production company for WWE 2K13. Of course none of those matches ever came to fruition and it would appear that talks never got serious for either bout.

The Brock Lesnar match is interesting. Paul Heyman teased it on Austin’s podcast and did a very good job of selling Austin on it in under three minutes. WrestleMania 32 will be in Dallas at Texas Stadium in 2016. There are already reports that the WWE is gearing up for something big on that show in hopes of setting some kind of attendance record. I can’t think of anything bigger than Austin coming back for one last match.

Regarding a Brock vs. Austin match in 2016, I can’t think of anything bigger the WWE could put together for 32. That said, Brock’s contract is set to expire around WrestleMania 31 so he may or may not even be an option. I have heard rumblings of another Austin vs. Rock match but I think that is just pure guesswork as opposed to a plan. Depending upon where someone like Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, or even Seth Rollins are at that stage of the game I think you could always consider them, although they would have to be in a much better spot than they are today. I suppose CM Punk could always be a dark horse but I think you have a better chance of seeing Austin back in a WWE ring than Punk at this point.

The door may not be shut but I think 32 is it for Austin. He’ll be 51 heading into Texas Stadium and while he still looks to be in tremendous shape, I can’t see him trying to come back past 51.

Hey, there is always the Royal Rumble. Austin already told Vince last year if he is looking for a guy than to give him a call. It’s better than nothing!

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Top Stone Cold Steve Austin WWE RAW Moments

October 02, 2014 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It was over a decade ago when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin‘s hell raising was a regular part of our Monday night pro wrestling culture. New reports indicate that the Texas Rattlesnake may be heading back to the WWE. What better time to celebrate his legacy on RAW and look back at the top Monday Night RAW moments of Stone Cold Steve Austin.

To sit here and recall all of the great WWE RAW moments and matches featuring Steve Austin would take forever. For me, there wasn’t a night where Steve Austin appeared on WWE RAW that wasn’t memorable. Rather than list them all, I want to take a look at just five of memorable WWE RAW moments from the Texas Rattlesnake. Crack a cold one and light one up, because Stone Cold is about to open a can of five memorable moments on you’re a$%.

Steve Austin stuns Vince McMahon in Madison Square Garden, 1997. This was the catalyst to the classic Austin-McMahon feud. Mr. McMahon had yet to arrive, as fans were still accustomed to watching the slicked back hairdo of interviewer Vince McMahon. However, Vince had lifted up his veil more than ever before and was readily acknowledging his role as the man who runs the WWE.

It was just a few months ago where Owen Hart dropped Steve Austin on his head and put him out of commission for months. Owen Hart was in the ring giving a speech, when an enraged Steve Austin hit the ring. Five NYPD officers tried to stop Stone Cold. Vince McMahon then stepped into the ring and played “compassionate McMahon” and explained to Steve that he was still injured and couldn’t compete. McMahon’s compassion was met with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin was led away in handcuffs in a moment that is generally regarded as the most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history.

Steve Austin says hello to Mike Tyson, 1998. This was voted on WWE.com as the fifth most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history. It was a transitional time for the WWE. The Attitude Era was taking over and the company was finally starting to make strides against WCW. Some point to this angle as the single most important angle to the turnaround in the Monday Night Wars and the next several years of monster business.

Mike Tyson was brought to RAW and introduced as the enforcer for the upcoming WrestleMania XIV match between Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels. Tyson came to the ring with an entourage and was paid several accolades by Vince McMahon. Steve Austin then hit the ring to McMahon’s displeasure. Austin went off on a rant which ended with Austin looking Mike Tyson in the eyes and popping him the one-finger salute on both hands. Mike Tyson and Steve Austin shoved each other and all hell broke loose. McMahon yelled that Austin “ruined it”, and Steve Austin was on his way to becoming the biggest star in the pro wrestling business.

Brian Pillman pulls a gun on Steve Austin, 1996. Over a decade later and this is still one of the most talked about moments in WWE RAW history. While this controversial moment aired on RAW, it actually took place off-site. The scene of the crime was actually the home of Brian Pillman.

After shattering Brian Pillman’s ankle in the ring, Austin drove to Pillman’s house. Austin fought Pillman’s neighbors to make his way into the house. WWE RAW had a satellite feed into the house set up for a Pillman interview. Austin broke down the door and came face-to-face with a psychotic Brian Pillman in a chair. Pillman then pulled a gun, fired shots, and the screen went blank.

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The WWE tried to replicate the angle a few times, never successfully. Recently as last year, the WWE tried to reproduce a similar angle involving Triple H breaking into Randy Orton’s house. For some reason, none of the attempts at similar angles since have been anywhere close to as memorable as the original between the two Hollywood Blondes.

Steve Austin’s Beer Bash, 1999. This was listed as the second most memorable moment in all of WWE RAW history on WWE.com. This was during the day’s Vince McMahon’s “Corporation” where Vince and Shane McMahon were proud to have The Rock as the WWE champion. Vince was interviewing The Rock live in the ring on WWE RAW when a glass crashed and a huge Coors Light truck made its way to the ring. The driver of the truck was none other than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

After weeks of being jerked around by Vince McMahon, Austin had enough. Austin drove into the arena, got on top of the truck, and cut a pre-WrestleMania XV promo on The Rock. Austin then offered to share a pre-match beer with The Rock that turned out to be a memorable beer bath. Austin sprayed The Rock and the McMahons with beer from the hose and tore the house down. Austin then capped it off with a traditional double one-finger salute to the Great One.

Steve Austin pulls a gun on Vince McMahon, 1998. This was a memorable Steve Austin moment that surprisingly didn’t make the WWE.com Top 15 Memorable RAW Moments. Steve Austin had recently been fired by Vince McMahon, and well…he wasn’t going quietly.

Austin stalked McMahon throughout the evening on WWE RAW. Austin finally called Vince in his office and told him that his “time was up.” As Vince McMahon (in a wheelchair) was getting into his limo little did he know that the Texas Rattlesnake was waiting for him in the back of the car. McMahon tried to roll away in his wheelchair to no avail. Austin then took McMahon hostage. The night culminated with Austin wheeling McMahon to the center of the ring. Austin brought a hysterically crying Vince McMahon to his knees, stood behind him, and pulled out a gun. Austin put the gun to Vince’s head, pulled the trigger, and a flag that read, “Bang 3:16″ popped out. McMahon was further humiliated by peeing in his pants as Austin pulled the trigger. Austin topped the night off with a Stunner and a great deal of revenge had on his former boss, Vince McMahon.

And that’s the bottom line, because the Camel Clutch Blog said so.


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Stone Cold Steve Austin Possibly Returning To The WWE

September 29, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE fans are eagerly anticipating the return of one of its biggest stars. Stone Cold Steve Austin is rumored to be heading back and this news has led to all kinds of speculation regarding the future of the Texas Rattlesnake.

Dave Meltzer broke the news in recent Wrestling Observer Newsletters. While Meltzer isn’t guaranteeing anything, something is definitely in the works between Austin and the WWE.

“The company has told its distributors to go into heavy production of Austin merchandise, so expect him to return to television in some form, or for at least a renewed push of his merchandise.”

Nobody has been able to confirm or reveal anything specific regarding this news. The other interesting tidbit is that the WWE promoted Austin’s podcast on RAW a couple of weeks ago. What is interesting about that is they didn’t promote Chris Jericho’s who ironically had C.O.O. Triple H on for a fascinating two-part episode. The promotion of Austin’s podcast and the new merchandise are certainly not a coincidence.

So what would Steve Austin do in 2014 in the WWE? I think and this is all a guess, I think that Austin comes back as some kind of authority figure. I also think that this all could lead to a big one-off return at WrestleMania 31. There have been rumblings for a while now about Austin wrestling Brock Lesnar at Mania 31. I don’t think it is as crazy an idea as some people think.

I have blogged a few times on the odd relationship between Austin and the WWE. I always found it odd that the WWE haven’t used Austin in recent years other than Tough Enough. Austin is right up there with Hogan as one of the biggest stars in company history. Austin still has the gift of gab, looks great, and can certainly bring some element of entertainment to RAW. Yet for whatever reason he hasn’t been on RAW in years. I never understood it.

Whatever the issues were between he and the WWE it would appear that they are now resolved. I can’t think of a better time to see Austin back in the WWE. The company desperately needs a boost and Austin is the guy to give it to them. Whether this culminates into a match or is just some kind of promotional deal, I am just glad the Texas Rattlesnake is back. We all need him!

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WWE Top 10 Video: World Championship Victories

September 01, 2014 By: Category: lists, Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE has posted one of the more interesting top 10 lists on its YouTube channel. The WWE ranks the top 10 WWE championship wins in a list that is bound to stir debate among wrestling fans.

Before I get into anything I just want to preface this by saying you have to take these lists for what they are. It is someone’s opinion the same as I have my opinion and you have yours. Thus there really is no right or wrong list when it comes to something this subjective. That said, this list is ridiculous!

10 – The Rock defeats Triple H (Backlash 2000)
9 – Eddie Guerrero defeats Brock Lesnar (No Way Out 2004)
8 – Mankind defeats The Rock (Monday Night Raw, 1999)
7 – Randy Savage defeats Ted DiBiase (WrestleMania 4)
6 – Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan (WrestleMania 6)
5 – Daniel Bryan defeats Batista, Randy Orton (WrestleMania 30)
4 – John Cena defeats JBL (WrestleMania 21)
3 – Shawn Michaels defeats Bret Hart (WrestleMania 12)
2 – Hulk Hogan defeats Iron Sheik (New York, NY, 1984)
1 – Stone Cold Steve Austin defeats Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania 14)

This is not as bad of a list as some of their others. I am a little surprised at the lack of political influence on this list. Not one Triple H or Randy Orton title win makes the list. One thing that is never stipulated however is the criteria. If the criteria is impact on the business, I have no problem with the first two title changes. Yet if that was the criteria, the remainder of the top 10 would look much different.

I am surprised that Daniel Bryan not only made the list but made the top five. It appeared that the WWE were phasing out the historic implications of Bryan’s win when they kept him off of  the NBC version of WrestleMania 30. Maybe that won’t be the case at all? Putting him at five was not where I expected to see him on this kind of list.

I will probably do my own list at some point so I don’t want to tip my hat. But right off the top there are several obvious omissions.

Brock Lesnar defeats The Rock (SummerSlam 2001)
CM Punk defeats John Cena (Money in the Bank 2011)
Bruno Sammartino defeating Buddy Rogers (New York, NY 1963)

In the meantime have at it and enjoy the trip down memory lane.

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Happy 35th Birthday WWE Intercontinental Championship

September 01, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Intercontinental championship celebrates its 35th birthday today. The Inertcontinental title has wrapped around the waists of some of the greatest workers in WWE history. Its present value may be diminished but its place in history remains strong.

It is almost impossible for someone watching pro wrestling today to understand what the I-C title meant for several decades to WWE fans and wrestlers. At one time some would argue the best workers in the company were rewarded with this prestigious title. Today the title is more a curse than a blessing, but that doesn’t change 35 years of rich history.

The WWE recently ranked the top 25 champions in I-C history on WWE.com. I did my own ranking a few years ago here on the CCB. Our top ten was very similar, yet we couldn’t be further apart on our overall first choice. My number one champion, Magnificent Muraco didn’t even make their .com top ten. How does a man who held the title for a combined 541 days over two title reigns not even break the top ten? However, we weren’t far apart on number two as I ranked Randy Savage two while they had him at one.

When I started watching wrestling in 1982 the intercontinental title was just as much a focal point of WWE or WWF television at the time as was the world title. Quite frankly the intercontinental title had more visibility as the I-C champ appeared on weekly television more often than the world champ. It was the feud for that title which grabbed my attention more than any other, specifically the challenger. It didn’t get much better than the Magnificent Muraco as far as I was concerned.

Even as a kid I liked an entertaining heel more than a white bread babyface. Muraco was the man as far as I was concerned. Today I still can sit back and enjoy a Muraco promo or match from that period as he (as well as the combination of him and Lou Albano) was just that good in and out of the ring. There really weren’t many others better.

Muraco’s feuds with Pedro Morales, Rocky Johnson, and especially Jimmy Snuka were the show stealers for me. I didn’t care about Bob Backlund’s title matches or Andre the Giant’s freak show feud against another big man. I just wanted to see the Magnificent one in action whether it was on Saturday morning television eating a hot dog destroying a jobber or coming within inches of losing his title at the Spectrum. The Intercontinental title was put on a bannister for me from day one thanks to Muraco.

As I got older and wiser to pro wrestling the I-C title remained my favorite title series. The title quickly evolved into the “worker’s title” as wrestlers from that era will tell you. Hulk Hogan gave you the show, but the intercontinental title gave you the wrestling. Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Curt Hennig, Ricky Steamboat, and Davey Boy Smith epitomized this ethic and only got better with the pressures of the championship.

Ironically if you poll longtime WWE fans you will likely find more intercontinental title matches in their top ten greatest WWE matches of all-time than WWE world title bouts. Ricky Steamboat vs. Randy Savage, Bret Hart vs. Davey Boy Smith, Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect all find their way into those lists and showcase how great that 1980s-early 1990s era of the intercontinental championship truly was.

The belt got derailed in the mid-1990s and took a serious step back to the WWE championship. Yet through the efforts of some the greatest workers in WWE history, the prestige of the championship was reborn in the Attitude Era. Steve Austin, Owen, Hart, Edge, Chris Jericho, The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Jeff Hardy, and William Regal put the worker back into the worker’s championship.

Unfortunately the championship has probably seen its lowest value over the last several years. I can’t understand how the same guy who booked this championship with such prestige 25 years ago has reduced it to a meaningless championship for bottom feeders. The era of Valentine, Muraco, Savage, and Steamboat has given way to the era of Big E. Langston, The Miz, Curtis Axel, Kofi Kingston, Ezeikiel Jackson, and Bad News Barrett.

There is a glimmer of hope as Dolph Ziggler has recently regained the I-C title. Ziggler rehabilitated the belt more than anyone four years ago, specifically with a highly underrated series against Kofi Kingston. Ziggler is a throwback to that 80s ear of I-C champions and is arguably the only one in the company today who could turn the fortunes of that title around. Maybe the Chairman of the Board has had a change of heart?

And that would be the best birthday present this little title born out of a phantom tournament in Rio de Janeiro could ask for.

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WWE.com Rank the Best Intercontinental Champions in History

August 29, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE Intercontinental championship is just days away from turning 35 (and I will have an extensive blog on that next week) and WWE.com is looking back at the greats that held the title. WWE.com has ranked the top 25 champs of all-time and while they got many right, they got many wrong.

The intercontinental title means different things for fans of different WWE eras. For fans like me that started watching wrestling in 1982, the I-C title is the “worker’s championship”, a reward for the hardest workers in the company. For today’s fans, it is a title generally served to the low-mid carders with absolutely no prestige or value.

The WWE has started celebrating the 35th anniversary of the title early. WWE.com put together a controversial list of the top 25 Intercontinental title champions of all-time. Of course you have to take these lists with a grain of salt and understand that objectivity sometimes gives way for political agendas. Regardless, the list provides some interesting insight into a title that was arguably the best match on the card at times throughout WWE history.

Now I also did a list on my own a few years ago right here on the Camel Clutch Blog. I updated the list this past February, but the list was originally published in June of 2011. Let’s take a look at their list from WWE.com first.

25. Shelton Benjamin
24. Cody Rhodes
23. Stone Cold Steve Austin
22. Jeff Hardy
21. Goldust
20. Jeff Jarrett
19. The Rock
18. Edge
17. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
16. Triple H
15. Rob Van Dam
14. Don Muraco
13. Shawn Michaels
12. Pat Patterson
11. Rick Rude
10. Tito Santana
9. Randy Orton
8. Pedro Morales
7. Bret Hart
6. Razor Ramon
5. The Honky Tonk Man
4. Mr. Perfect
3. Ultimate Warrior
2. Chris Jericho
1. Randy Savage

Compare that to my list from the CCB

1. Magnificent Muraco
2. “Macho Man” Randy Savage
3. “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig
4. The Honkytonk Man
5. Pedro Morales
6. Shawn Michaels
7. Tito Santana
8. The Ultimate Warrior
9. Greg Valentine
10. “Razor Ramon” Scott Hall
Honorable mention – Chris Jericho, Jeff Jarrett, Bret Hart, and The Rock

Our top ten features very similar names, and our top five actually looks very much alike. Curt Hennig, Honkytonk Man, and Randy Savage all land in my top five. However, we could not be further apart on our choice for the greatest champion of all-time. In my mind there was nobody better than Magnificent Muraco. The man held the title for a combined 541 days between two title reigns. Savage was great and he did land at number two on my list after all. Yet putting Muraco whose feuds outshined the WWE championship feuds at the time landed outside of their top 10 is just downright criminal!

I am downright shocked that Shawn Michaels was pushed out of the top ten on the WWE.com list. If the criteria is legacy, well he probably doesn’t have as much of a legacy as I-C champion as some of the others. That said, his place in the history of the title is greatly devalued. He resurrected that title in the 1990s and routinely blew away the WWE championship matches at the time. His intercontinental title match with Razor Ramon at WM X is one of the greatest WrestleMania matches ever. I am shocked that guys like Pat Patterson, Rick Rude, the Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana were ahead of HBK.

Greg Valentine at 17 is another head-scratcher. Valentine’s place on the cards as intercontinental champion was very important during the WWE 1980s boom. Hulk Hogan gave you a show and Valentine gave you excellent championship matches. I think he deserved better. Jeff Jarrett had six I-C title reigns, second only to Chris Jericho’s nine. He deserved a lot better than 20.

Steve Austin is another interesting name. Austin wound up at 20 on the list. Austin didn’t have long reigns as champion and he probably deserved the 20 slot. I am just surprised they put him there. Randy Orton at number nine has to be a political move because while he deserved to be on the list, I wouldn’t put him anywhere near my top 15.

Again these lists are all subjective and fun to talk about. Regardless of the arguments, it is just nice to see the intercontinental title get a little respect on their website. Check back here Monday for a special blog celebrating 35 years of the I-C title.

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Stone Cold Steve Austin Compares Legacies With Hulk Hogan

August 06, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Stone Cold Steve Austin may not have wanted to work with Hulk Hogan in 2002 but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect the Hulkster. Austin was recently asked to compare their legacies and his answer may surprise you.

If there was a Mount Rushmore of WWE legends there is no question that Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin would be on that mountain. That is why it always fascinating to hear Austin and Hulk talk about one another. The fact that they never worked together adds to the mystique of this fairy tale rivalry. Yet Austin has gone out of his way in recent years to pay the Hulkster his respect and squash any implied heat.

Austin recently talked about perceived heat with Hulk on his podcast and claimed there was never any real animosity between the two. Austin recently did a media stop and the subject ironically came up once again. Austin was asked point blank about who was the bigger star between the two.

“If you’re talking to me, it’s going to be Stone Cold Steve Austin,” said Austin. “If you guys are talking to Hulk, it’s going to be him.”

Austin went on to make the same point he made on his podcast recently, yet a little more succinct.
“I respect Hulk Hogan because his career lasted some 30 odd years,” Austin stated. “I think I lasted about 15, but during my peak years, I took the business to a height it never seen before.

Austin has said that recently and made those same remarks about John Cena. Austin has a point and while many would prefer Stone Cold to Hulk Hogan, the longevity Hogan had was amazing. Equally amazing is the short tenure that Austin had on top. As big as Austin was, it is easy to forget that he really only had five years in that top spot before he ended his full-time in-ring career.

Austin was also complimentary when it came to who was more recognized between he and Hogan.

When says to anybody off the street, ‘Hey, do you know anything about pro wrestling?’ They’ll say, ‘Yeah, wasn’t that guy Hulk Hogan a pro wrestler?’ His name might come to your mind before mine, so I give that guy all due respect. He had a tremendous run.”

Hogan has said numerous times that he regrets not having the match with Steve Austin. If you recall, Hogan made a remark about the Hall of Fame about having the match. Austin has said numerous times that they never had the match because they couldn’t figure out who was going over.

That’s a damned shame because it would have been absolutely huge!

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50 Greatest WWE SummerSlam Matches Ever

August 05, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

So here it is! The ultimate compilation of great and historic SummerSlam WWE matches. Here are the 50 greatest matches ever from the biggest party from the WWE summer extravaganza.

50. MILLION DOLLAR CHAMPIONSHIP: TED DIBIASE VS. VIRGIL (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
One of the most underrated matches in WWE history, and Virgil’s greatest match ever, sees Virgil pay off years of indifferent abuse from Dibiase, knocking him out on an exposed turnbuckle, all while Rowdy Roddy Piper, Virgil’s motivator, did one hell of an acting job at the commentary table.

49. ROCKERS/TITO SANTANA VS. FABULOUS ROUGEAU BROTHERS/RICK MARTEL (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Go ahead, find the weakest worker in the match, I dare you. Just a tremendous back and forth contest with three skilled faces, and three heels who knew the formula. Just think, if Strike Force never broke up, this would have been an amazing TLC match.

48. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: DIESEL VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)
Four months after dropping the title to Big Daddy Cool, Razor got a measure of revenge with Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton as his back-up. Shawn Michaels’ miscue in accidentally hitting Diesel with Sweet Chin Music set up the eventual split between the two men.

47. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: REY MYSTERIO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
Before this match, Ziggler was considered by many to be an overrated product of the developmental system. After a furiously paced battle that opened the 2009 show, Ziggler proved he belonged with a flawless heel effort in defeat, and more than earned his forthcoming push.

46. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CM PUNK VS. JBL (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
This one’s a bit forgotten, but it’s historical in that it was Punk’s first successful defense of a World Title on PPV. There was a sick moment in which both men landed in a fashion where JBL’s head landed on the back of Punk’s, legit knocking Punk silly, but he had enough bearing to finish the match, and win.

45. BRET HART VS. DOINK THE CLOWN/JERRY LAWLER (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
It was a better angle than it was a match. Lawler faked an injury to get out of facing Hart, whose family had been tormented by Lawler for months. Bret won by DQ after Lawler, not injured, interfered. Then Lawler was forced to face Bret, where he was then mauled. Lawler won by DQ on a technicality.

44. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. CHRIS JERICHO (August 21, 2005 – Washington, DC)
The anti-Cena backlash was just beginning to pick up steam at this point, as Jericho proved to be the crowd favorite in the nation’s capital. Cena would win with the then-called FU, and would drive Jericho out of the company for two years one night later on Raw.

43. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: KURT ANGLE VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 24, 2003 – Phoenix, AZ)
Sadly, this might be the worst of the Angle/Lesnar matches, due to the overbooking and involvement of Vince McMahon (wearing an uncharacteristic Hawaiian shirt), but it was still good enough for the most part. Lesnar tapped out for the first time, proving that Angle is as good as Frank Mir. *cough*

42. WORLD TAG TEAM: STEINER BROTHERS VS. HEAVENLY BODIES (August 30, 1993 – Auburn Hills, MI)
With family in the crowd, and their home state behind them en masse, the Steiners put on a variant of their classic NWA/WCW ‘technical spotfests’ with Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard, both quite game to play at the Steiners’ level. One Frankensteiner later, and the Steiners prevailed in their backyard.

41. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: CHRIS BENOIT VS. ROB VAN DAM (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
The story was Benoit (Smackdown) was attempting to bring the belt to the blue brand, whereas RVD (Raw) was fighting to keep it on Eric Bischoff’s show. It was the usual tooth-and-nail show of aggression, and Van Dam recaptured the gold from the “Canadian Crippler”.

40. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. MANKIND VS. TRIPLE H (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
This match was heavily hyped with then-Governor Jesse Ventura donning the referee stripes, and the media blitz was quite a coup for WWE. Mankind scored an upset by pinning an injured Austin, but Mick Foley would drop the gold to Triple H the following night to give The Game his first reign.

39. WORLD TAG TEAM/2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: DEMOLITION VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 27, 1990 – Philadelphia, PA)
I was there! Demolition scored the first fall, but their final reign ended in a DQ in the second stanza, followed by their three man hoodwinking (Ax was not supposed to be at ringside) being foiled by the Legion of Doom, allowing for The Hitman and The Anvil to double team Crush to win.

38. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: EDGE VS. JOHN CENA (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
Cena got booed out of his hometown arena, and the Bostonians couldn’t have been happier to see Edge retain. It was the typical “main event style” match that the two do so well, and Edge’s brass knuckle shot sealed the victory, prompting Jim Ross to curse up a storm at ringside.

37. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT: CHRIS BENOIT VS. RANDY ORTON (August 15, 2004 – Toronto, ON)
Even Benoit’s countrymen seemed enthralled by the notion of Orton becoming the youngest World Champion in WWE history, and it happened after one of Orton’s more stellar efforts to date. Say what you will about Orton, but seeing him bawl his eyes out in victory was a nice, real moment.

36. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. UNDERTAKER (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
As great a match as this was, it would have been even more epic had Austin not been knocked silly on a backdrop counter spot earlier in the match. As it was, it was the culmination of a summer’s worth of storylines, and had the satisfying ending of Austin beating the Dead Man cleanly.

35. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: RICK RUDE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
If not for Randy Savage, I’d say nobody got better matches out of the Warrior than Rude, who added both a musclebound-rival perspective, as well as a ragdoll for the Warrior to throw around. After Roddy Piper distacted Rude, Warrior got his gold back in convincing fashion.

34. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE UNDERTAKER VS. BRET HART (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Bret Hart would never be allowed to wrestle in America again if he lost, and having Shawn Michaels as the referee stacked the deck against him. However, an errant Michaels chair shot felled the Dead Man, and Hart was able to salvage his US career with a reluctant count from Michaels.

33. CHRIS JERICHO VS. DOLPH ZIGGLER (August 19, 2012 – Los Angeles, CA) WWE planted a red herring, making fans believe Jericho was losing prior to his leaving the company. Instead, Y2J won a highly-intense opening match with the Walls of Jericho. Jericho would leave the following night, when Ziggler beat him in a ‘briefcase vs. career’ match, but came back at the Rumble

32. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: LANCE STORM VS. EDGE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Take a technically proficient bad guy, a formula-driven, yet energetic good guy, and give them the opening match in which to set a killer pace for the show. Done and done! Edge, despite Christian’s questionable failed interference, put away his Canadian counterpart to capture the gold.

31. ELIMINATION MATCH: TEAM WWE VS. THE NEXUS (August 15, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA)
Considering the lack of experience on the opposing team, this match turned out pretty damn good. Bret Hart’s Summerslam return was also a welcome addition to the match. So what if John Cena managed to win using his Superman formula? It was still a good forty minutes, wasn’t it?

30. I QUIT MATCH: RIC FLAIR VS. MICK FOLEY (August 20, 2006 – Boston, MA)
For a feud that began over petty comments made in an autobiography, this bloodbath stole the show for a lackluster Summerslam. Melina, as Foley’s ally, was great in her role of concerned friend, and Flair drawing a submission from Foley by threatening to main her was great theater.

29. STREET FIGHT: TEST VS. SHANE MCMAHON (August 22, 1999 – Minneapolis, MN)
Test’s greatest match ever, and it may have been Shane’s as well. Test was fighting for the right to date Shane’s sister, Stephanie, and the two beat the hell out of each other in an overbooked, but fun, skirmish. Test won, but Shane stunned everyone with his diving elbow through the table.

28. DEGENERATION X VS. LEGACY (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
This was quite a coming out party for Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase, and they were made to hold their own against a reunited DX, who tend to dominate anyone that’s not a main eventer. Although Legacy lost, they looked pretty damn good, but it’s a shame the momentum didn’t last.

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27. KURT ANGLE VS. REY MYSTERIO (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
It may have been under ten minutes long, but it was still an exciting way to open possibly the greatest Summerslam ever. Mysterio’s WWE PPV debut saw no wasted motion, as he and Angle found instant chemistry. Angle prevailed with the ankle lock, and the fans needed to catch their breath.

26. WWE HARDCORE/LADDER MATCH: ROB VAN DAM VS. JEFF HARDY (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
WWE fans were warming up fast to the Alliance’s resident daredevil, as he and WWE’s enigmatic freak tore down the house, setting new standards for ladder match insanity. Van Dam would retrieve the title, and his rise into an eventual babyface star was coming to fruition.

25. LION’S DEN MATCH: OWEN HART VS. KEN SHAMROCK (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
It was WWE’s attempt at UFC, before UFC was the rage with every tatted-up blowhard in your neighborhood. Held in the confines of the theater inside MSG, Shamrock and Hart stretched and slugged each other until Owen could prove no match for Shamrock’s anklelock.

24. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/TLC: JEFF HARDY VS. CM PUNK (August 23, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA)
One of Hardy’s final contributions to WWE, before his life began its free fall, was this exciting, innovative, and spotastic TLC match that closed the 2009 event. Punk won by a hair after taking his lumps, but Undertaker was there at the end to ruin the moment with a chokeslam.

23. WCW HEAVYWEIGHT: BOOKER T VS. THE ROCK (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
It’s a shame the feud was so one-sided toward The Great One, because he and Booker would rank in the top ten of all time most charismatic performers. The match was a great main event showcase, but Booker T spinarooni-ed his way right into a Rock Bottom, wounding the Alliance’s windfall.

22. DANIEL BRYAN VS. WADE BARRETT (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
A sleeper classic between the best technical wrestler in the world, and his former NXT alum, no wrestling slouch in his own right. Bryan and Barrett exchanged science and stiff shots for the duration of this forgotten battle, with Barrett narrowly winning.

21. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE VS. THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
The confusing storyline of Mr. Perfect attempting to manage whoever won did little damage to the body of the match. It lacked the intensity of their WrestleMania VII epic, but Savage and Warrior told their typical icon vs. icon story very well up until the disappointing countout finish.

20. JOHN CENA VS. BATISTA (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
Two of the prized prodigies of WWE’s early developmental days were engineered to tell main event stories with a larger-than-life feel. Both men have spent their careers doing just that, and the result was this great match, wherein Batista put Cena out for months with a riveting Batista Bomb.

19. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H VS. KURT ANGLE (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
One of the more intense matches in Summerslam history saw Kurt Angle get his brains scrambled on a table Pedigree gone wrong. In the midst of the Angle-HHH-Stephanie love triangle, there was enough heat, plus The Rock’s “it factor” to give Summerslam 2000’s finale a sound ending.

18. NON TITLE MATCH: BRAIN BUSTERS VS. HART FOUNDATION (August 28, 1989 – East Rutherford, NJ)
The booking may have been suspect (Busters leaving in the fall, titles not on the line), but the match was just old school tag team wrestling from four experts on the matter. Bret Hart nearly left WWE after this show, and if he had, he’d have gone out with a tremendous opening match.

17. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. VADER (August 18, 1996 – Cleveland, OH)
There was some interesting discooperation in the middle, where Michaels legitimately chewed out Vader for messing up a spot. That flaw aside, what you get is a great “killer monster vs. hearty underdog champion” dynamic, with Michaels winning to continue his first World title reign.

16. UNDISPUTED HEAVYWEIGHT: THE ROCK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Who could forget those awesome training vignettes in the weeks before the match? Those well-done videos were paid off with a heavyweight clash for the ages, where Lesnar shook off Rock’s offensive toolbox, and sent him back to Hollywood with a roaring F5 to the cheers of the crowd.

15. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: OWEN HART VS. STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN (August 3, 1997 – East Rutherford, NJ)
Up until the final two or three minutes, Hart and Austin were engaged in an absolute classic, but it was the final moments that made it legendary. Austin was temporarily paralyzed after a botched piledriver, and still found the willpower to ease Owen into a roll-up to score the win. Simply chill inducing.

14. HELL IN A CELL: THE UNDERTAKER VS. EDGE (August 17, 2008 – Indianapolis, IN)
After screwing over The Dead Man for over a year, Edge finally got his when he was locked inside “Satan’s Structure” with Undertaker himself. One of the first “violent” matches in the PG era, Undertaker won, and then vanquished Edge into a smoldering pit to settle the score.

13. 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS: CHRIS JERICHO VS. CHRIS BENOIT (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
The match was somewhat abbreviated, perhaps due to time constraints, but leave it to the “Calgary Kids” to pack a lot of action into a short frame of space. Benoit would take the contest two falls to one after cheating in the final frame, but anyone who watched it was satisfied enough.

12. WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT/STREET FIGHT: CHRISTIAN VS. RANDY ORTON (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
This may well be Randy Orton’s greatest match ever; an all-out war where his demented “Viper” persona got revenge on Christian’s underhanded title win one month earlier. Both men pummeled each other with chairs and canes until an RKO on the stairs ended it.

11. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: MR. PERFECT VS. BRET HART (August 26, 1991 – New York, NY)
And with that, The Hitman was a made man. Perfect was on his way out with back injuries, and in defeat, he made his real life friend look like the world-beater Vince McMahon needed. After kicking out of the Perfect Plex, Hart would snare Perfect in the Sharpshooter and force the submission.

10. WWE UNIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. JOHN CENA (August 14, 2011 – Los Angeles, CA)
It was going to be hard to top their five star effort at Money in the Bank, but damned if they didn’t come close. Punk’s relatively clean win (with Cena’s foot on the ropes) was only undone by Alberto Del Rio’s cash-in of his Money in the Bank privilege afterward.

9. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN VS. KURT ANGLE (August 19, 2001 – San Jose, CA)
Angle kicked out of three Stunners and was suddenly no longer the goofy, milk-loving Americana nerd that Austin remembered. If not for a BS ending wherein Nick Patrick disqualified Stone Cold, his boss, and saved his title, this match might be number one. Alas.

8. NO DISQUALIFICATION: CM PUNK VS. BROCK LESNAR (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
Could’ve been the match of the year for 2013, if not for one entry still to come. In many ways, this clash follows the template of a Vader/Sting battle, but with weapons and WWE Main Event-style pacing. It’s maybe Brock’s best WWE match, and Punk’s last classic.

7. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: THE ROCK VS. TRIPLE H (August 30, 1998 – New York, NY)
By the end of the match, two main eventers were born. Rock’s People’s Elbow, done while Triple H was lying on a ladder, brought Madison Square Garden down. In the end, Hunter ended Rock’s nine month reign as IC Champ, but bigger things were ahead for both.

6. WWE HEAVYWEIGHT: JOHN CENA VS. DANIEL BRYAN (August 18, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA)
It’d take eight winding, agonizing months for the true conclusion of Bryan’s ascension, and even then, the broken neck sadly deflated it. Still, this is an incredible match, lauded as the best of 2013, and Cena laid down cleanly, without his typical out.

5. WWE INTERCONTINENTAL/LADDER MATCH: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. RAZOR RAMON (August 27, 1995 – Pittsburgh, PA)
It was a tough task to try and outdo WrestleMania X’s standard-defining match, but the Kliq running buddies were game to try. The story of this one centered around Michaels having his leg hammered, but Razor ate some Chin Music off the ladder, and Michaels wound up retaining the gold.

4. WORLD TAG TEAM/TLC: EDGE/CHRISTIAN VS. HARDY BOYZ VS. DUDLEY BOYZ (August 27, 2000 – Raleigh, NC)
Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz winning, since they were the “home team”. But there was nothing conventional about this stunt show, in which Jeff Hardy swantoned off a ladder, nearly killing him and Bubba Ray Dudley. Edge and Christian ended up retaining, and celebrated with a 37 second pose.

3. NON-SANCTIONED STREET FIGHT: SHAWN MICHAELS VS. TRIPLE H (August 25, 2002 – Uniondale, NY)
Michaels’ first match in over four years opened a lot of eyes. The eyes opened realized that, after such a layoff, Michaels was capable of outworking just about anyone with no rust evident. The Heartbreak Kid scored the win, and provided closure to his career over the next eight years.

2.WWE HEAVYWEIGHT/STEEL CAGE MATCH: BRET HART VS. OWEN HART (August 29, 1994 – Chicago, IL)The greatest sibling rivalry in wrestling history hit its apex with a bloodless, but quite exciting, steel cage challenge with the entire Hart family at ringside. After dozens of near escapes and dramatic moments, Bret left brother Owen hanging and dropped to the floor to keep his championship.

1.WWE INTERCONTINENTAL: BRET HART VS. THE BRITISH BULLDOG (August 29, 1992 – London, England)
Bulldog was the native son with 80,000 fans behind him, but he should be grateful that Bret had his back. In this babyface can-you-top-this war, Hart led Bulldog, who spent the summer drugged up and burnt out, to the best match of his life, putting his brother-in-law over before a raucous crowd.

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Happy Anniversary Austin 3:16 WWE1996 King of the Ring

June 24, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

18 years ago on June 23, 1996 Steve Austin was able to capitalize on a unique opportunity and delivered a catchphrase that turned the pro wrestling business around. Happy 17th anniversary WWE King of the Ring 96 and Austin 3:16.

It is hard to imagine how different the pro wrestling business would have been if not for Austin’s performance at the 1996 King of the Ring. Austin was already breaking out but on that night he went from star to a superstar on the cusp of a phenomenon. It is even crazier to think about that if not for WCW signing away Hall and Nash, Austin 3:16 may have never even happened.

The original plans for the 1996 King of the Ring were booked for Hunter Hearst Helmsley to win the tournament. Triple H was booked to be in Austin’s spot, beating Marc Mero and Jake Roberts en route to a big push. Instead, Hunter was pinned in the opening round on television by Jake the Snake. This was of course all a result of Hunter’s participation in the “Kliq Curtain Call” at M.S.G. If you take a step back and look at the big picture, if WCW never signed Hall and Nash you’d have no curtain call at M.S.G, Hunter would have went over in the tournament, and who knows what kind of shake Austin would have had dealing with the politics of the Kliq. Amazing that what looked like such a brilliant move from WCW would later blow up in their faces when the door opened for Austin, he broke out, and the WWE turned business around and skyrocketed past WCW.

Austin was getting hot coming into the King of the Ring. He started developing the Stone Cold persona and he immediately stood out on the WWE television shows. Quite frankly I think it was Live Wire that really gave him the extra time needed and the platform to get the gimmick over. On Live Wire he would have more time to cut promos and just be “Stone Cold” than he would on a RAW or Superstars broadcast.

Going into the tournament it was tough to pick who would get the win. Most assumed it would be HHH because the newsletters had reported that he was in for a monster push. This certainly wasn’t set up to be Austin’s night. As a matter of a fact if you look back on Google you’ll see that the poster was all about The Ultimate Warrior and his match with Jerry Lawler. The tournament wasn’t even the focus of the promotion. Additionally feuds with Shawn Michaels-British Bulldog and Mankind-Undertaker got most of the attention on television going in.

Austin had a fantastic match with Marc Mero in the semifinals on pay per view. It is funny because Mero has gotten a horrible reputation due to insults from Mick Foley and Triple H in books and interviews but in retrospect he was a heck of a hand back then. Austin and Mero went close to twenty-minutes. Austin won with a bloody lip after hitting the Stunner on Mero in a competitive match.

Austin won much easier in the finals against Jake Roberts. Roberts had his ribs taped up after Vader attacked him after their semifinal. Austin dominated the match and worked the ribs before hitting the Stunner for the win and the King of the Ring in under five minutes. The match itself was probably one of the more uneventful in-ring K.O.R. finals but the same cannot be said for the post match promo, arguably the greatest and most influential in pro wrestling history.

The first thing I want to be done is to get that piece of crap out of my ring. Don’t just get him out of the ring, get him out of the WWF because I’ve proved, son, without a shadow of a doubt, you ain’t got what it takes anymore. You sit there and you thump your bible and you say your prayers and it didn’t get you anywhere. Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16 … Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass. All he’s gotta do is go buy him a cheap bottle of Thunderbird and try to dig back some of that courage he had in his prime. As the King of the Ring, I’m serving notice to every one of the WWF superstars. I don’t give a damn what they are, they’re all on the list, and that’s Stone Cold’s list, and I’m fixing to start running through all of them. As far as this championship match is considered, son, I don’t give a damn if it’s Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels; Steve Austin’s time has come, and when I get the shot you’re looking at the next WWF Champion. And that’s the bottom line because Stone Cold said so.

It wasn’t long after that when you started seeing more fans cheer for Austin, wear Austin 3:16 t-shirts, and of course bring plenty of signs to the shows. Don’t be surprised if you see a fan today wearing that same shirt. The promo was the catalyst for a phenomenon that saw the entire business change and one man morph into the biggest draw in pro wrestling history. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Happy 17th anniversary Austin 3:16 and thank you Eric Bischoff for signing away Hall and Nash to make it all happen!

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Another Wrestling Mistake like Stone Cold Steve Austin?

June 16, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Professional wrestling is the kind of business where fans can look back 10-15 years later and ask, “What were they thinking?”

Never was that question asked so often as when “Stunning” Steve Austin was released by the WCW before he signed with Vinnie Mac and the boys in Stamford. Austin was one of the hidden gems in the company who released or misused or had the misfortune of going down with the sinking ship. He skills and craft was so “special” that even the great Ric Flair said of all the moves the company made over the years, letting Austin go was one of the worst.

Austin must not think so, mainly because he left one ship to ride another one, becoming one of the most popular characters of all time and helped define the “Attitude Era” of the WWE.

When the WWE made cuts this week that included 11 superstars (including one referee), did they make the right moves and did they part with the next “Steve Austin?”

Austin held 21 championships throughout his professional wrestling career, and is a 6-time WWF Champion as well as the fifth Triple Crown Champion. He was also the winner of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament, as well as the 1997, 1998 and 2001 Royal Rumbles. He was forced to retire from in ring competition in 2003, due to a series of knee and neck injuries.

Throughout the rest of 2003 and 2004, he was featured as the Co-General Manager and “Sheriff” of Raw. Since 2005, he has continued to make occasional appearances, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009 by Vince McMahon. In 2011, Steve Austin returned to WWE to host the reboot of the reality series Tough Enough.

His popularity in some reports over the years, has rivaled his good friend The Rock and some would say it has passed that of the immortal Hulk Hogan. Who else do you know would defy character and beat the hell out of their own boss to prove a point?

Austin’s shtick and of course, Austin’s success.

In the same way WCW decided to wash its hands of Austin, who just weeks after his debut, defeated Bobby Eaton for his first WCW World Television Championship on June 3, 1991, maybe the WWE washing their hands of Drew McIntyre too soon and tried to revitalize his career. The former member of 3MB was as talented as others in the business, but I don’t think he was ever really given a chance to shine on his own.
McIntyre signed with WWE in 2007.

Along with a brief stint on the SmackDown brand, he spent time in developmental territories Ohio Valley Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling, winning the Heavyweight and Tag Team Championships later, before returning to SmackDown and quickly winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship. In 2010, he held the WWE Tag Team Championship with Cody Rhodes. McIntyre then experienced a dramatic plunge down the card, becoming an occasional competitor on WWE Superstars. In late 2012, he became a member of 3MB before being released last week.

McIntyre had a look of a champion and a skill set that I likened to Rick Rude and Barry Windham, His speed and strength were never really used and although he has won gold before in the company, he was not able to retain it for a long period and he was not able to draw like other superstars. Austin never had that issue, but unlike McIntyre, Austin could speak and sell when needed.

Timing for Austin was right, obviously timing was wrong for McIntyre. I can see him being a huge success in TNA or another indie promotion. But when all is said and done, does he become a success to the point of us asking, “What were they thinking?”

It was said once about a Texas Rattlesnake. Will be said again about a young Scotsman with a desire that was never quite quenched. This could be a huge game the WWE made. Let’s hope no one says I told you so in the near future.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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Steve Austin Talks Goldberg, WWE Stars, and One More Match

June 13, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Stone Cold Steve Austin has had some of the biggest matches in WWE history. Unfortunately there was still plenty of money left on the table due to a variety of circumstances, some of which Austin revealed in a recent media interview.

Anytime Stone Cold is going to talk to the media I am going to listen. Austin has turned into one of the more outspoken former WWE stars in recent months. The best Austin interviews are the ones he does with the wrestling media and a recent stop at Ring Rust Radio was no exception.

Austin covered a variety of topics on the interview. One of the more fascinating topics was when Austin was asked about guys he is disappointed he didn’t get to do a match or program with. Austin dropped some names, some obvious, and some not so obvious.

Well, I wasn’t in the right place, mentally, when they wanted to do Hogan. As far as what would draw money, hell that would do a ****pile of money, but I didn’t figure the match would be what it could have been if it had happened sooner. That would have been one that would have been cool if it happened. The Goldberg match, which was a no-brainer, but Bill decided to take the guaranteed money from Turner rather than jump into the WWE window and that didn’t really work out because he didn’t exactly peak out in WWE like he was in WCW. So that never really happened, but it would’ve been a great match. And I’m not putting Bill down for taking that money, I’m just saying that’s the way he played those cards and I can appreciate that. Just as far as key big guys off of the top, a match with Brock would’ve been bad ass, me and Punk would’ve been bad ass, and John Cena would’ve been a bad ass match. I think I could’ve gotten more out of Cena than anyone he’s ever worked with. I’m someone he can go out there with and have a come to Jesus meeting and get his ass fired up. I’ve got nothing but respect for that guy and a program with Steve Austin would’ve put him on another level that he has not been yet. He’s a top guy, and going to go into the WWE Hall of Fame, so when I say all that I mean it in a positive regard.

It’s funny because when everyone was talking about an Austin vs. CM Punk match two years ago I was beating the drum for Austin vs. Cena. Would the match be better? I don’t think so, however the dynamic of Austin and Cena in a feud together has the potential to be one of the biggest draws in WWE history. You can’t find two wrestling characters more polar opposite and while Punk vs. Austin also had some interesting dynamics, I think Austin vs. Cena was and still could be huge, huge money.

His point on Bill Goldberg is interesting. Goldberg likes to fancy himself a great businessman. In the end he not only got his guaranteed deal from WCW but also got a WWE deal. However, you have to guess that he left more money on the table by not coming over in 2001 and doing the match with Austin than what he made with his guaranteed deal. That match would have been a blockbuster and unfortunately Goldberg made the wrong play in my and it appears Austin’s opinion.

Austin also had some interesting thoughts about who in the WWE today can break through and become the next big star. Austin sees a few glimpses of stardom but isn’t convinced that anyone is a lock.

Man, I think it could be any one of a pool of people. I can’t sit here and drop names because I haven’t paid that much attention to the roster. I’ve been trying to DVR the shows. I am several months behind. I just subscribed to the WWE Network and I watched half of the pay-per view so far. Just from guys on the radar right now, I think all of the guys from The Shield have got big futures ahead of them. I don’t think they’re all carved in stone yet and there are still some missing pieces within each individual part of The Shield. Antonio Cesaro still has a hole somewhere in his game, but he’s certainly there. I predict a lot of success for that guy. I think Bray Wyatt is starting to kick ass and do a lot of great things. When they put Cesaro with Heyman, that was an interesting move because there were a lot of people starting to get off on Cesaro, and so they put him with Heyman, which put him back as a heel. The rest of the roster, I don’t know enough about. Here’s one thing that I will say; I remember watching some of my matches from Dallas on my email, and I was watching them back and I see an athletic body and a guy that’s stable, but the look was just not that great. So there are some guys down there that, as they go through the process and they’re not afraid to embrace making some changes and making some alterations to their gear, to their look to find the right gimmick and package to bring it all together. Man, there’s probably two or three diamonds in the rough down there because they’re not close to an appearance that is going to be the final thing that actually helps them get over and be received by the crowd as a heel or a babyface.

Austin has made similar comments about Cesaro on his podcast. He likes him in the ring but he has said several times that he thinks he is missing something. He isn’t a fan of his ring attire, I know that from listening to his podcast. His thoughts on the Shield were also quite interesting, although I am not sure how many holes that need to be filled at this point.

Finally, the million dollar question any good interview has to ask Austin is about a potential comeback. Austin was asked and while he was non-committal, no doors were closed.

I’d consider anything if the perfect situation or opportunity arose and it would be more than a million dollar question. I don’t want to sit here and promote a match, sell a match, or talk about making a comeback. The dirtsheets, or whatever you call them, and I talk to Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller all the time and they’re nice guys and I would consider them friends, I see Dave at almost every MMA fight, but I don’t want to stir any pots or hint or tease anything. People get their panties in a wad and say, ‘Stone Cold, either do it or not’. So, anything can happen, but I’m not going to endorse, promote, sell, or tease anything in regards to a match.

Austin typically gives this answer on his show and what is interesting is that he never says no. It is almost at this point as if he is sending some kind of an S.O.S. to the WWE and trying to let them know he is ready to talk.

Maybe we’ll get that Cena vs. Austin match after all?

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