Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why Stone Cold is a legend

Since i was a kid, i knew Stone Cold Steve Austin was one of my all-time favorite pro-wrestlers the moment i watched him.

What makes him a legend that is so loved by millions? Because he redefined an era in the WWF/WWE. Back then, pro-wrestlers dressed professionally and athletically. Pro-wrestlers were about sportsmanship. Stone Cold broke from traditional ideals of what a pro-wrestler ought to be and led a rebellion. He dressed casual, used foul language, disrespected other pro-wrestlers, attacked his boss and anyone else if they got in his way.

Following the character of "The Ringmaster" came a Stone Cold Steve Austin is the Robin Hood of the WWF/WWE only that he is an almost indestructible anti-hero. Unlike other faces, Stone Cold doesn't portray the qualities of a charismatic face which is original. Stone Cold is a flat out anti-hero. He's arrogant, selfish, cruel, outrageous, funny, mean-spirited, tough, and so forth. He cares about no one but himself although he likes to entertain his fans. Stone Cold is his own authority and it's his pride that makes him a solid character. Overall, Stone Cold is a believable character with his strengths and weaknesses.  

Stone Cold has made some of the most memorable promos in WWF/WWE history. For example, after defeating Jake the Snake Roberts in a King of the Ring match, Stone Cold Steve Austin had this to say: 

"The first thing i want to be done is to get that piece of crap outta my ring! Don't just get him outta the ring, get him out of the WWF because i proved son 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 a**!" 

This was the debut of the "Austin 3:16" phrase and the beginning of a new era. Stone Cold centered a solid fanbase with slogans such as "Hell yeah!" and "What?" or "that's the bottom line cuz Stone Cold said so!" He gave a mix hilarious promos, fierce ones, but sometimes he said nothing at all. His eyes and face said it all. This is what made his promos so revolutionary and his rather apathetic attitude towards what happens to his opponents. This is another example: 

"Sportsmanship? What a load of crap! Don't preach your morality to me..Steve Austin doesn't have any compassion...You want mercy? Take your a** to church.."

One of the things that separates Stone Cold from many others is that he builds a strong relationship with his fans. He shouts "oh Hell Yeah!" or asks them questions such as "If you want to see Stone Cold Steve Austin unleash hell, gimme a hell yeah!" He lets fans toss beers to him. Other superstars do not know how to get fans riled up well.

Ringwise, Stone Cold has some of the most devastating moves including his finisher - the Stone Cold Stunner. As far as in-ring psychology and story-telling, Stone Cold does it like no tomorrow. He comes straight at his opponent wasting no time. He was a total expert in using the Thesz press and other moves.

He's had some of the best feuds/rivalries leading to the greatest matches with Bret Hart, the Undertaker, the Rock, Triple H, Vince McMahon, and more. 

One of his best matches was with Bret Hart at Wrestlemania 13. Their rivalry began when Stone Cold won the 1996 King of the Ring tournament and taunted Bret Hart. Stone Cold insulted him leading Hart to accept. The two faced each other at Survivor Series 1996 with Hart beating him. The match continued with them participating in the Royal Rumble 1997 match. He eliminated Stone Cold but it didn't count as they were distracted with Mankind and Terry Funk. Stone Cold then began challenging Bret Hart's status as a legend as he kept whining. Stone Cold kept proclaiming himself to be the best and living by his words. An angry Bret Hart after being attacked challenged Stone Cold to a submission match at Wrestlemania 13. The match could only be won through submission. It was hard to watch Bret Hart apply the Sharpshooter on Stone Cold through the ring post and how Stone Cold gave everything to win. Stone Cold was busted open and Bret Hart finally applies the sharpshooter on Stone Cold. Just when you'd think Stone Cold would submit, he fights the pain and almost breaks the hold unlike any other pro-wrestler. He passes out but never submitted. Bret Hart may have won the match due to referee decision but Stone Cold kept his pride to the end.

Another outstanding feat was during the Harts feud when Owen Hart tombstoned Austin and Stone Cold broke his neck but still won the match. Stone Cold should've been carried out on a stretcher but chose to walk out like a champion.  

What i love about Stone Cold is that he's not afraid of anyone including the Undertaker. He makes no excuses for why he can't compete against the best. Both had some of the most epic clashes over the WWF title with Stone Cold winning some matches. 

Throughout his career, we see his character develop. We see some of his fears but nevertheless he uses those fears as a motivation to overcome them.

For these reasons, Stone Cold has popularized the WWF/WWE during the Attitude era so much that WCW went out of business. Stone Cold will be forever remembered as a pro-wrestling legend that represented what pro-wrestling is about - entertainment. 

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