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Saturday, January 2, 2016

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Retrospective: The Birth of Stone Cold Steve Austin

By @TrueGodImmortal 

Now, when we talk about the Attitude Era, we always reference the biggest star in wrestling history, Stone Cold Steve Austin. After a certain point, Austin became a household name and led the WWF to the promised land with the Attitude Era, but the origin of Stone Cold Steve Austin started in the New Generation Era. Starting out as the Ringmaster, Austin would be stuck in a terrible character with Ted Dibiase as his manager looking for success to no avail. Soon after, he would end up in a feud with Savio Vega, where he would eventually change his name to Stone Cold Steve Austin.

That change would be the boost he needed, as he would eventually begin to break away from needing Dibiase and the Stone Cold character was originally centered around the Natural Born Killers film and molded after serial killers in many ways, before it just led to Austin becoming more comfortable as himself essentially. Brash, loud, aggressive, Austin would start to test the limits of everything in WWF at the time. Once disposing of Dibiase In his corner, he would win the King of The Ring 1996 and the rest from there would be history.

"Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass" and from there, a storm was brewing. This storm would be the era of the greatest superstar in pro wrestling, not just WWE, Stone Cold Steve Austin. Although he didn't really start as the ass kicking rattlesnake we all know and love. The edgier Steve Austin character starting coming into form after he cut the legendary promo after winning the 1996 King In The Ring. Looking back now, it's amazing how things fall into place, because a certain wrestler other than Austin was supposed to win that year, but if it wasn't for a certain "call", Austin wouldn't have cut that promo, and we probably would've never seen the Attitude Era. Stone Cold began a rivalry with the MAN in WWE at the time, Bret "The Hitman" Hart at Survivor Series, which led to a classic battle at Wrestlemania 13. The match saw a double turn play out masterfully with a gusty performance from Stone Cold winning the crowd's respect. The now babyface Austin would continue his momentum by being a chaotic rebel like anti-hero. A fateful night in MSG would be another major checkpoint in the birth of Stone Cold's era. He would hit his finisher, The Stone Cold Stunner on the owner of the company, Vince McMahon. With a character that everybody around the world could resonate with, Austin's popularity surged.

After that popularity surge, the WWF would never be the same. Austin would end up as a tag team champion twice in the New Generation Era, sell a ton of T shirts with his Austin 3:16 shirt (rumored to be the highest selling shirt in WWF history), and change the business forever. While the birth of Stone Cold Steve Austin was a gradual process, and he wasn't the biggest star of this era, but his beginnings were in the New Generation Era. With one of the greatest feuds ever taking place in this era, that being Bret vs Austin, one would have to acknowledge the greatness that was Austin in the New Generation Era.

Some noteworthy moments of Austin in the New Generation Era?
*Attacking Brian Pillman on Superstars 
*Winning King of The Ring 1996
*His promo on Livewire
*Feud with Bret and the Harts 
*Savio Vega feud
*Stunning Vince McMahon 
*Winning Tag Titles with Shawn Michaels and Dude Love 
*Winning Royal Rumble 1997 (technically)

After this era, we would see Austin jumpstart the biggest time in wrestling: the Attitude Era. We'll get into that coming soon. Stay tuned.



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