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Steve Austin: An Analysis

Disclaimer: Going forward, I won't be defending my statements made in these threads. It's been brought to my attention that doing so does take away some of the meaning of this, since at the end of the day these are my own opinions, and it wouldn't be fair on my end to not allow them the chance to give their own interpretations and feelings on a performer. So I won't be responding to disagreements, and by all means I welcome anyone to give me their thoughts or feelings on these, regardless of whether or not you are agreeing with me or not. There have been some very insightful posts so far in these analysis threads, and by all means, I don't want anyone to feel discouraged in handing out their own thoughts on the matter. If anyone has questions for me, I'd be more than happy to reply to them in the threads. Otherwise, if anyone wants to actively discuss something with me that they don't agree with, just PM me. Thanks and hope you enjoy this analysis.



In Ring Work: *****
Mic Work: *****
Character Work: *****

Sorry JBL, but there's only one wrestling god. And that would be this man.

Stone Cold Steve Austin is my favorite pro wrestler. I know that's kind of bad of me to say after I just gave this man a perfect rating in all three categories, but I simply loved this man growing up. He was entertaining, he was a bad ass, he was so damn easy to root for. And it seems like I wasn't the only one who was a fan of him. And it's not hard to see why. The man could do no wrong as a pro wrestler, as evidenced by the legendary career he had. One of the greatest characters of all time, some of the best promos in WWF/WWE history, and some of the greatest collection of matches you'll ever see in your lifetime are just a sample size of the list of things that Austin has done. He changed pro wrestling forever. He ushered in a new era. He, along with a few others, brought WWF to it's highest point in terms of popularity. He helped turn Pro Wrestling into a cultural phenomenon.

To understand why this man was able to do so much for WWF and Pro Wrestling in general requires an understanding of the performer himself. And that is what we will be doing here today. So strap on tight lads, today we're looking at one of the most popular WWF Superstars of all time.

Character Work

Man oh man, the Stone Cold character. What a collection of moments this gimmick has given us. His brawl with Mike Tyson, him unleashing hell on members of the Alliance, him staring into a scared shitless Dwayne Johnson aka the Rock's eyes with a pool of blood on his face, there are so many bad ass moments that were produced by this man that it's hard to count.

So what was so great about his character? It was something different. It was a face character who wasn't a cookie cutter or tongue cheek kind of deal. He was someone who was willing to beat the holy shit out of another person regardless of who they were. He wasn't afraid of anyone. This was a guy whose signature pose was raising his hands in the air flipping everyone off. That's just insane. And at the time it was so incredibly refreshing to see. Now, we do have to give some credit to WWF for this one. Having this man feud with Vince McMahon, who was coming fresh off the Montreal Screw job controversy, was fucking brilliant. A heel authority figure as hated as Vince was also something we never really saw before. And we had the pleasure of seeing them feud with each other. It was two brand new elements to the WWF going head to head and it was awesome to see. But Austin himself was really what made this thing so damn special.

On top of that, he fit the part perfectly. The bald head, the goatee, his build, his voice, the way he talked, the way he walked, the way he performed in the ring, all of it fit his character perfectly. It was a perfect combination of elements to create this character that we have all grown to love.

I know his heel turn at Wrestlemania 17 ended up being a bad business move in the long run, but most of the reason for that was because his character worked so damn well in the heel role. You felt legitimately betrayed when this man sold his sole to the devil because he was someone we wanted to relate to. And he never had any trouble getting people to hate him (EDIT: This part is bullshit. I don't know why I typed that sentence in but I'm sorry for the mistake). So his character worked perfectly for both ends of the spectrum, which was a rarity. Usually major dynamics have to be changed, but that wasn't the case with Austin's gimmick. That, among other things, is what made it so special.

I guess I should briefly discuss his Ringmaster Gimmick. I never got a chance to see much of it growing up, especially since there wasn't as much access to digital content at the time compared to now. But I always liked it for the most part. Now a days, I'm sort of indifferent to it. But all in all, it's an irrelevant point in his career to me. But it does play a major part in another section of this review I'll be talking about later.

In the end, his Stone Cold "3:16" gimmick is what earns him a perfect rating from me. It was a gimmick that resulted in Austin's rise to stardom and that helped WWF become the winner in the Monday Night Wars with WCW. It was a perfect gimmick for the right man at the right time. There are specific claim that can be made for wrestlers from a kayfabe perspective. The Rock was the greatest entertainer. Daniel Bryan was the greatest underdog. Shawn Michaels was the greatest in ring performer. Kurt Angle was the greatest wrestler. Goldberg was the greatest ass kicker. Ric Flair was the greatest cheater. The list goes on and on. Well, in that regard, Steve Austin is the greatest character ever. There was simply nothing quite like it. It was something different, it was something original, it was something that fit him perfectly, and it was just something that was desperately needed at the time.

Mic Work

You could attempt to pay to me to watch all of Austin's promos. And while I would most certainly take you up on the offer, I wouldn't say no if I was asked to do it for free either. Was there ever a bad promo from this man? I've heard some people make the claim that he had some repetitive traits in his promos, and while it never bothered me, I can certainly see where those people are coming from. But, with that said, I would like their thoughts on the Rock or Chris Jericho or Ric Flair, guys who also had some repetitive traits to their promos and are still considered by many to be some of the greatest mic workers of our time. For me, the repetitiveness was great for Austin. "Give me a hell yeah" "What?" "Stomp a mud hole" "Whoop your ass", these were things that fit his character perfectly. And it's something we don't get a lot of now a days. Guys who have their own defining sayings that they love to say in their promos is sort of a lost art in the pro wrestling world we live in now. I always considered having that to be a great thing, as long as it was something that the crowd could get behind. And Austin never failed to get the crowd to cheer for him when he said these things.

And that's one of the first aspects of his mic work that was so special. His ability to control a crowd was unreal. Look at this shit.



This man looks so at home with this promo. He is working the crowd like crazy and those miserable bastards don't even realize it. And look at all the other things he's doing. He's telling a story. He's staying true to his gimmick. His delivery, the pacing in this promo, all excellent. And there's a LOT that he's saying in this promo. Whether or not he remembers these lines beforehand or he's thinking it up on the spot, what he is doing here is absolutely spectacular. Keeping those things in mind, and being able to do all of the other things that he did that I just mentioned is incredibly difficult to do in Pro Wrestling. It's a concept that many in the WWE now are struggling with. Not Austin. It didn't matter if he was a face, heel, tweener, he was able to do these things and make it look easy. He was that talented. Now, time for another mini section, because there is one thing I want to briefly discuss that I'm sure you guys have noticed I haven't mentioned yet.

The Austin 3:16 Promo

Yeah, I'm sure you knew this was coming. Like Daniel Bryan's yes movement, Chris Jericho's gimmick change, Austin's selling in his Submission match with Bret Hart (and trust me, we will be discussing that later), Kane's debut, Hogan and Warrior having a surprisingly good match with each other at Wrestlemania, this was simply one of the most incredible things ever done in WWF/E's history, and in all of Pro Wrestling. It is a perfect example of why Austin was so damn good. And what's so amazing about this promo is that, had circumstances been a little different, this moment would have never happened. The MSG incident (google it if you somehow don't know what it is by now) prevented Triple H from getting the push that Austin was receiving here that led to this promo. Here is the promo for reference:



This is exactly how a heel who just won a match should act on the mic. He's mocking his opponent he's just beaten, being a complete ass face about it, and he is incorporating aspects of his gimmick in order to properly insult his former opponents current gimmick. As I said earlier, we just don't see mic work like this anymore, and it's an absolute shame. What's more incredible about this promo however is, according to various sources, Austin apparently came up with the Austin 3:16 line on the fly, and if that is indeed the case, then what a man this guy was. Something he came up with in the spur of the moment became one of the most popular catchphrases of all time. We've heard some great lines in Pro Wrestling history. But Austin 3:16 helped jump start his rise to stardom. And that is something that will always stand out about this promo.

In Ring Work

Now this is the one where I seem to have less people on my side in, and it blows my mind that I'm saying that. With all the incredible matches this man has had under his belt, all of the things he has been a part of, there are actually some people out there who still think this man was nothing more than a good in ring performer at best. Hell, there was even one poster on here (won't mention who it was or what thread it was in) who told me Austin was nothing more than a "decent brawler"



I mean, holy shit. I can't believe there are actually people out there who think that. It's an insult to all of the incredible things this man has done. But I'm venting.

So why was he so great? What did he do that made me give him a perfect rating? Well, let me ask you this: What the hell didn't this man do? First off a decent brawler is horribly underrating what he was in that category. He was the greatest user of the brawling in ring style ever, no questions asked. I at one time thought Bruiser Brody had him beat in that regard, but when factoring in everything Austin's done, I just can't pick anyone over him. One of the greatest storytellers of all time. One of the greatest sellers of all time. Some of the most iconic moves you will ever see performed in Pro Wrestling. If you wanted a guy to make you look good, Austin was your man. If you wanted someone to make people hate you as a heel, Austin was your man. He could do both of those things in the ring and then some. His pacing, always spot on. His execution, always fantastic. There was nothing this man could do wrong in the ring. And his chemistry with a lot of wrestlers was off the charts. Triple H never had trouble getting a great match with this man. Chris Jericho loved performing against Austin because Austin always brought out the best in him. The Rock's best matches in his career are with Austin. Both Kane and Undertaker never had issues getting great matches out of him. So yeah, decent brawler my ass.

It was never more apparent how important Austin was to his opponents than Kurt Angle however. I want to go off record for a moment and say that I never use other wrestlers opinions to prove my own point unless done so for specified reasons. I don't doubt their knowledge of Pro Wrestling, and I don't consider my knowledge of the sport to be more than theirs, but I believe that other wrestlers opinions should only be used as an understanding and learning tool, rather than something that you use to prove a point. Learn from what they say and draw upon your own conclusions. Understand their perspective and see what it is that makes them think the way they do. With that said, a while back Kurt Angle was interviewed and had the following to say about Austin:

Quote:
Austin was the most under-appreciated wrestler because his character was so strong. People loved the character. They didn’t know that he was actually one of the best wrestlers. I learned so much from him. We didn’t even have to put matches together. He’d just tell me what to do at the time. I never had anybody do that for a whole, entire match.

And Austin, for 80 percent of it, we’d have the finish planned, or the comeback and the finish planned, and the rest of it, Austin would just guide me through because, back then, I was only in the [professional wrestling] business a year or a year-and-a-half. I was main eventing with Austin and I had no idea what I was doing! So I needed someone like him. He really helped me a lot.
The reason I am bringing this up is because that match Angle is referring to is their Summerslam match in 2001, considered by many and myself as well to be one of the greatest matches of the decade and in Summerslam's history. And that's saying a lot, because Summerslam's had a lot of incredible matches. And as told by Angle himself, Austin straight up carried his ass in that match. So yeah, that match was pretty much all Austin. Kurt loved performing in the ring with Austin, and it's certainly not hard to understand why.

But one thing that a lot of people don't talk about that I want to bring light to for a moment is this. When Austin started out, he didn't work the brawler style. He worked the technical wrestling style. Yeah, remember the Ringmaster gimmick I was talking about before? The whole idea of that was that he was a wrestling machine who couldn't be outclassed in the ring. But then suddenly, he decided that he wanted to change. And with that change, came a drastic change in his in ring style. Changing your in ring style is incredibly difficult. The moves, the pacing you have to perform at, the way you act, the way you move, all of these have to change and it's not an easy transition to make. But Austin did it with little to no difficulty and that's just insane. It would be like Apollo Crews one day deciding he no longer wanted to do high flying moves and instead wanted to do strictly power moves. Such a transition is hard to make, and Austin was able to do it with little to no difficulty.

I honestly can't think of anything wrong with the way he performed in the ring. He did all the things he was supposed to do and then a shit ton more. He had one of the greatest in ring years in Pro Wrestling history in 2001, he was in one of the greatest Wrestlemania main event matches ever, had one of the most iconic finishers of all time, he was simply perfect. And, above all else, he had the match that I will give the second mini section of this Analysis to:

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart Wrestlemania 13



For those of you who didn't see my review on this match in the matches thread, I consider this to not only be the greatest match of Austin's career, but the greatest match in the history of Professional Wrestling. You want a demonstration of character work and storytelling done right? This is it. You want a demonstration of how to properly put someone over? This is it. You want a demonstration of how you're supposed to use a match stipulation to your advantage? This is it. You want a demonstration of how to do a fucking match, this is it. This is a match with little to no high impact spots. It is purely story driven and nothing more. It is the cultivation of two men who absolutely hate each other beating the holy shit out of each other. It is a match that features a rare moment in Pro Wrestling, especially for that time frame, a double turn. And this is without a doubt the greatest double turn ever. The way they work this crowd to make them change their allegiance to the other is Pro Wrestling fucking done right.

And then of course, there is one of the most iconic moments in WWF history at 22:52. Austin in the sharpshooter, the crowd going nuts, the commentators reacting the way they should be, and Austin screaming in pain with blood pouring from his forehead. It is simply a moment we'll never see again in Pro Wrestling. It is bad assery at it's finest. And it is a demonstration of why Austin was such a great in ring performer. The selling, the acting, the amount of time he chooses to wait before passing out is perfect. I could go on and on about this. It is personally one of my all time in ring moments, and it is without a doubt one of the most famous.

Conclusion

So, yeah, that Austin guy was pretty good. He was the Michael Jordan, the Muhammad Ali, the Babe Ruth of Professional Wrestling. He was superb in everything that mattered in Pro Wrestling. He was responsible for one of the greatest and most iconic Pro Wrestling characters of all time, a character that still to this day is parodied by other companies and other wrestlers because of how popular it was. A character that he fit more perfectly than anyone else who stepped in the ring. He was born to play the role he was given, and he made it the perfect piece of art that it turned out to be. He was an absolute joy to watch on the mic, always doing everything he was supposed to do as a mic worker and then some. In the ring, there was simply no one else like him. He didn't need fancy moves or dives off the turnbuckle. He was proof that an understanding of in ring storytelling was all you needed to put on compelling matches. In his case, the matches he put on were legendary. It blows my mind that there are people out there who try to discredit the things this man did in the ring.

All in all, Austin is, has, and always will be my favorite Pro Wrestler. I was one of those fans cheering for him when he was fighting against the powers to be, and I am one of those fans now who continue to praise him now for the things he has done for Pro Wrestling. He took a struggling company on the verge of closing and helped turn it into the top Pro Wrestling company in the world. He deserves all the praise I am giving him now and he deserves all the praise he gets from his fans and fellow Pro Wrestlers. He is a man that no one else can compare to.

In my mind, this man is the greatest Pro Wrestler of all time.



*credit goes to Sol Katti for the signature.*

Last edited by AlternateDemise; 03-18-2017 at 09:25 AM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 06:56 PM
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

Who cares, Paige's nudes just leaked !!!!!
































Austin is great indeed


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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

The injury he sustained at the hands of Owen Hart was a blessing and a curse as well.

What I mean by that is during his very peak in 1999, in order to protect him and his neck he was put in main event segments against McMahon, Rock etc. that didn't require him to wrestle. He would come out and slap the boss in the balls, or run cars over with a monster truck and stuff like that so he could save his body for the ppv matches. This protection of him allowed him to 1. Do stuff that no one else has ever seen before, like the famous beer truck 2. Not over expose him in the ring, so when he actually did wrestle someone it was really special. He was so over (and even that's an understatement) that he had to be on the show, and therefore had to come up with ways of using him, and they topped themselves every week.
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

Excellent OP, nothing but respect for that write up. Stone Cold Steve Austin is the perfect wrestler, he had it all and then some.

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1.)Steve Austin 2.)Chris Jericho 3.)John Cena 4.)Adam Cole 4a.)Dean Ambrose



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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-17-2017, 09:00 PM
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

yup. He's my #1 GOAT.
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

You'll get no argument from me, Austin is my #1. Character, charisma, mic work, matches - all 5 stars. Austin vs Bret at WM is my #1 WWE match as well.
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

Before opening this I said to myself, "If this sombitch doesn't give ol' Stone Cold ***** in all three categories, I'm gonna stomp a mud hole in his ass and walk it dry!" You got lucky, son!
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 12:06 AM
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

I love Stone Cold too, but he shouldn't be getting a perfect score for his in-ring work. Post-piledriver, he wasn't a great wrestler. While he had classic matches with Triple H, Rock, Angle, and Benoit, he also had many duds with Undertaker (several), Jericho, Flair, Kane, and others.

You're also being too lenient about the failed heel turn. People didn't dislike it because he played the role too well; people disliked it because they simply didn't like the role, as Austin permanently lost many fans during that time.

Other popular names, like Rock and Bret, were able to turn heel after working as mega faces; but Austin couldn't. That inability signifies a lack of versatility in his character.
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

It's "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Not enough stars given in OP.

No, really, IT IS FUCKING FAKE! It's booked! Remember this before blowing a gasket when Reigns is booed/cheered (haha cheered, right), AJ loses , or Balor's in the main event crushing your favorite

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 07:32 AM
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Re: Steve Austin: An Analysis

Quote:
Originally Posted by redban View Post
I love Stone Cold too, but he shouldn't be getting a perfect score for his in-ring work. Post-piledriver, he wasn't a great wrestler. While he had classic matches with Triple H, Rock, Angle, and Benoit, he also had many duds with Undertaker (several), Jericho, Flair, Kane, and others.

You're also being too lenient about the failed heel turn. People didn't dislike it because he played the role too well; people disliked it because they simply didn't like the role, as Austin permanently lost many fans during that time.

Other popular names, like Rock and Bret, were able to turn heel after working as mega faces; but Austin couldn't. That inability signifies a lack of versatility in his character.
I disagree completely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH0r-XqeL7g

This was the RAW before Invasion in 2001

Anyone who asks who is the most over of all time it is reactions like this and the night Foley won the Title for the first time.
Also look how over he was with the What Chant ~ Watch the video the author of this thread put up titled "Stone Cold Tortures Michael Cole With What Chant". I know Rock was awesome in his own right and could command the audience very well but the glass shattering was just a different animal IMHO.
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