A look back at The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: Was it really a rivalry? - Wrestling Forum: WWE, AEW, New Japan, Indy Wrestling, Women of Wrestling Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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A look back at The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: Was it really a rivalry?

The Rock vs Stone Cold is considered by many fans, one of the greatest rivalry of all time. It was a clash of the two biggest megastars of the Attitude Era.

As much as I enjoyed it, I don’t know if I could call this a rivalry by its true definition. Indeed, a rivalry should involve competition and challenge between two competitors. In this case, it was one-sided for the most part, not only in win/lost record, but how one wrestler was more protected than the other. I’ll recap all the one on one matches between Rock/Austin and let’s see how a of a «rivalry» it was.

1997

IYH : D-Generation X PPV : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the IC title.

At that time, Austin is on the rise to become a main eventer and Rock is a midcarder. Austin beats the fuck out of every Nation member and squash The Rock in about 5 minutes. Making the Nation and Rock look very weak.

Raw is war, December 8th 1997 : The Rock defeats Stone Cold by forfeit to win the IC title.

No match here, Austin forfeits the IC belt to The Rock. By forfeiting the IC title, it hurt its credibility and its prestige, I didn’t like how they treated the belt here. And on top of that, Rock ends up eating a Stunner with his piece of thrash of belt that is the Intercontinental title. Pretty much how it looked.

1998

Royal Rumble match : Stone Cold eliminates The Rock to win the 30 man Royal Rumble

Rock and Stone Cold are the final two and Austin eliminates Rock easily in a matter of a minute.

Raw is war, March 23th 1998 : Stone Cold pins The Rock

Go home RAW before Mania XIV. An other clean win by Stone Cold who is on the rise to become WWF champion.

Raw is war, November 16th 1998 : Stone Cold defeats The Rock by DQ


Now both man are main eventers, Rock just turned heel the night before and Stone Cold is the FOTC. Late in the match, Austin has The Rock beat, but Undertaker interferes and hit Austin with a shovel. Austin gets a DQ win so The Rock can keep the title.

1999

Wrestlemania XV : Stone Cold pins The Rock to win the WWF title.

Clean victory once again by Austin even with Vince McMahon trying to hold him down. This shows Austin’s superiority over The Rock as he overcomes every odds. Kayfabe wise, both are main eventers, but Steve Austin is clearly a level above The Rock.

Backlash 1999 : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the WWF title.

Not totally clean win by Austin since Shane accidentally hits Rock with the belt. Nonetheless, big blow off win for Austin. That closes the first chapter of their main-event feud.

2001

Wrestlemania X-Seven : Stone Cold pins The Rock to win the WWF title

At that point, Rock and Austin are the undisputed two biggest stars in the wrestling industry. Again, Austin wins but needed Vince McMahon’s help. This is the first time that Rock looks very strong despite losing again. Nonetheless, Austin looks as much strong since he got way more offense than The Rock in this match, both being babyfaces.

Raw is war, April 2nd 2001 : The Rock vs Stone Cold (steel cage match) end in a no contest

For the first time, Austin is playing full heel character. This is also the first time that The Rock looks like he can actually beat Stone Cold. But then again, Austin is still the one who stands tall as he gets help from Triple H to destroy The Rock.

Rebellion 2001 : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the WWF title.

Austin is the heel, Rock is the face. Same outcome, which mean Austin gets the win with Kurt Angle’s help as he hits Rock with the belt and Stone Cold capitalizes with the Stunner.

Survivor Series 2001 : The Rock pins Stone Cold in a winner take all match.

Rock and Austin are the final two of the elimination match. Rock pins Stone Cold for the first time ever. Not a clean victory, since Kurt Angle hits Austin with the belt to help The Rock wins (shades of Rebellion). Even as a babyface, Rock couldn’t even get a clean win against heel Austin.

2003

Wrestlemania XIX : The Rock pins Stone Cold

This is actually the only clean win for The Rock over Stone Cold in ALL their one on one matches. But when you think about it, It took Rock 5 finishers and a legit heart attack to beat Stone Cold who was past his prime at that time. I know it’s all scripted but if you add the the heart attack of Stone Cold in the equation (that he really suffered the night before the match), that makes him look almost invincible. That being said, Austin looks arguably stronger in the defeat than The Rock in the victory.

Conclusion

Overall, It’s safe to say that Stone Cold looked clearly superior to The Rock when they faced each other. I didn’t point out the numerous times when Stone Cold made The Rock looks like a jabroni in almost every segments from 1997 to 1999. Hell, it blows my mind that The Rock still found a way to get himself over despite looking that inferior to Stone Cold.

That being said, my biggest concern about this « rivalry » is the lack of competition. When you think about the two biggest stars of the Attitude Era (Austin-Rock), they should be around the same level, but they were clearly not (if you take away popularity) and that’s an issue. It’s okay if they wanted Steve Austin as the top guy over The Rock, but where is the challenge for Stone Cold if Rock is nowhere near his level kayfabe wise ? I’m not necessarily asking for a 50/50 booking, but what about a 30/70 booking at worse? When they were both in their prime, from 1998 to Wrestlemania X7, Stone Cold never lost a single time against The Rock. On a kayfabe perspective, how can you convince me that The Rock is better or is a legit threat to Stone Cold when he simply can’t hold his jock? Looking back, it amazes me how we buy this as one of the greatest rivalry of all time, when in reality there was barely no competition.

Last edited by TheGuiminator; 05-15-2019 at 10:16 AM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 10:19 AM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

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Originally Posted by TheGuiminator View Post
The Rock vs Stone Cold is considered by many fans, one of the greatest rivalry of all time. It was a clash of the two biggest megastars of the Attitude Era.

As much as I enjoyed it, I don’t know if I could call this a rivalry by its true definition. Indeed, a rivalry should involve competition and challenge between two competitors. In this case, it was one-sided for the most part, not only in win/lost record, but how one wrestler was more protected than the other. I’ll recap all the one on one matches between Rock/Austin and let’s see how a of a «rivalry» it was.

1997

IYH : D-Generation X PPV : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the IC title.

At that time, Austin is on the rise to become a main eventer and Rock is a midcarder. Austin beats the fuck out of every Nation member and squash The Rock in about 5 minutes. Making the Nation and Rock look very weak.

Raw is war, December 8th 1997 : The Rock defeats Stone Cold by forfeit to win the IC title.

No match here, Austin forfeits the IC belt to The Rock. By forfeiting the IC title, it hurt its credibility and its prestige, I didn’t like how they treated the belt here. And on top of that, Rock ends up eating a Stunner with his piece of thrash of belt that is the Intercontinental title. Pretty much how it looked.

1998

Royal Rumble match : Stone Cold eliminates The Rock to win the 30 man Royal Rumble

Rock and Stone Cold are the final two and Austin eliminates Rock easily in a matter of a minute.

Raw is war, March 23th 1998 : Stone Cold pins The Rock

Go home RAW before Mania XIV. An other clean win by Stone Cold who is on the rise to become WWF champion.

Raw is war, November 16th 1998 : Stone Cold defeats The Rock by DQ


Now both man are main eventers, Rock just turned heel the night before and Stone Cold is the FOTC. Late in the match, Austin has The Rock beat, but Undertaker interferes and hit Austin with a shovel. Austin gets a DQ win so The Rock can keep the title.

1999

Wrestlemania XV : Stone Cold pins The Rock to win the WWF title.

Clean victory once again by Austin even with Vince McMahon trying to hold him down. This shows Austin’s superiority over The Rock as he overcomes every odds. Kayfabe wise, both are main eventers, but Steve Austin is clearly a level above The Rock.

Backlash 1999 : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the WWF title.

Not totally clean win by Austin since Shane accidentally hits Rock with the belt. Nonetheless, big blow off win for Austin. That closes the first chapter of their main-event feud.

2001

Wrestlemania X-Seven : Stone Cold pins The Rock to win the WWF title

At that point, Rock and Austin are the undisputed two biggest stars in the wrestling industry. Again, Austin wins but needed Vince McMahon’s help. This is the first time that Rock looks very strong despite losing again. Nonetheless, Austin looks as much strong since he got way more offense than The Rock in this match, both being babyfaces.

Raw is war, April 2nd 2001 : The Rock vs Stone Cold (steel cage match) end in a no contest

For the first time, Austin is playing full heel character. This is also the first time that The Rock looks like he can actually beat Stone Cold. But then again, Austin is still the one who stands tall as he gets help from Triple H to destroy The Rock.

Rebellion 2001 : Stone Cold pins The Rock to retain the WWF title.

Austin is the heel, Rock is the face. Same outcome, which mean Austin gets the win with Kurt Angle’s help as he hits Rock with the belt and Stone Cold capitalizes with the Stunner.

Survivor Series 2001 : The Rock pins Stone Cold in a winner take all match.

Rock and Austin are the final two of the elimination match. Rock pins Stone Cold for the first time ever. Not a clean victory, since Kurt Angle hits Austin with the belt to help The Rock wins (shades of Rebellion). Even as a babyface, Rock couldn’t even get a clean win against heel Austin.

2003

Wrestlemania XIX : The Rock pins Stone Cold

This is actually the only clean win for The Rock over Stone Cold in ALL their one on one matches. But when you think about it, It took Rock 5 finishers and a legit heart attack to beat Stone Cold who was past his prime at that time. I know it’s all scripted but if you add the the heart attack of Stone Cold in the equation (that he really suffered the night before the match), that makes him look almost invincible. That being said, Austin looks arguably stronger in the defeat than The Rock in the victory.

Conclusion

Overall, It’s safe to say that Stone Cold looked clearly superior to The Rock when they faced each other. I didn’t point out the numerous times when Stone Cold made The Rock looks like a jabroni in almost every segments from 1997 to 1999. Hell, it blows my mind that The Rock still found a way to get himself over despite looking that inferior to Stone Cold.

That being said, my biggest concern about this « rivalry » is the lack of competition. When you think about the two biggest stars of the Attitude Era (Austin-Rock), they should be around the same level, but they were clearly not (if you take away popularity) and that’s an issue. It’s okay if they wanted Steve Austin as the top guy over The Rock, but where is the challenge for Stone Cold if Rock is nowhere near his level kayfabe wise ? I’m not necessarily asking for a 50/50 booking, but what about a 30/70 booking at worse? When they were both in their prime, from 1998 to Wrestlemania X7, Stone Cold never lost a single time against The Rock. On a kayfabe perspective, how can you convince me that The Rock is better or is a legit threat to Stone Cold when he simply can’t hold his jock? Looking back, it amazes me how we buy this as one of the greatest rivalry of all time, when in reality there was barely no competition.
Didn't matter in the long run, Rock was popular/charismatic enough to basically be teflon in terms of booking. If anything it enhances why he's a GOAT and top 3 most popular wrestler of all time in any order. The "rivalry" with Rock and Austin was that they were both mega stars going at each other in the biggest era of the business.

Last edited by The Main Headliner; 05-15-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 01:06 PM
 
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So... Austin wins LOL 😄
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 03:38 PM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

I remember it as Austin winning the matches but Rock winning in altercations, but that's off memory.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 03:48 PM
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It's a rivalry if I ever saw one as wins and losses shouldn't matter so much to tell a great story, If this is the logic of some fans then they may as well say the exact same thing about any rivalry that's ever happened your not going to get 50-50 ratio Everytime.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:23 PM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

It was a rivalry in terms of in-ring performance, mic skills, and popularity. These two paralleled each other in so many ways...but in terms of booking, it's not even close. Austin was the clear winner. He basically went over 90% of the time.


Last edited by The People's H2O; 05-15-2019 at 08:25 PM.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:18 PM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

the real rivalry kayfabe wise was Steve Austin and Mr McMahon. The Rock was his right hand man for the most part post Survivor Series. He was Mr McMahon's will personified.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 11:21 PM
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

Rocks true Rival was Hunter. Their Feud in 2000 was the top feud of the AE IMO. Rock of course beat Austin in their last match together at WM. Ending their long rivarly. Mostly though their feud was so great, as it was Two Megastars at one time. You well never see that again.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:00 AM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

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Originally Posted by StylesClash90 View Post
It's a rivalry if I ever saw one as wins and losses shouldn't matter so much to tell a great story, If this is the logic of some fans then they may as well say the exact same thing about any rivalry that's ever happened your not going to get 50-50 ratio Everytime.
and people wonder why you could skip WWE tv and not miss out on anything really

story and wins/losses ARE supposed to be 50-50 in everything, they go hand in hand

Despite what you may have heard about so-called "smark marks" and the "IWC" some of us are actually here to help. All you have to do is ask.

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As a kid I wanted to believe it was real but back then we had real fights in school and I went to sling this guy into a pole like wrestlers would do when they threw guys into the ropes and the kid didn’t move and when I tried it again he punched me, I knew then that wrestlers were working together in the ring.
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And the minute you compromise that for a check, I can't feel sorry for you. You got what you wanted, therefore you got what you deserved.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 01:12 PM
 
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Re: A look back at The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin : Was it really a rivalry?

Yeah it was a rivalry, Stone Cold got the upper hand but this was still a rivalry.
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