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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What are your thoughts on Austin (after he broke his neck) and The Rock as in ring workers?

I think both of them are underappreciated by many for their in ring work because they were brawlers, and many feel that technical wrestlers and high flyers are the only good workers (for the most part).

After Owen broke his neck, Austin's offense was very repetitive, as he was constantly doing stomps, punches, clotheslines, and Irish whips with some Lou Thesz presses and Stunners. But it was very fun to watch. He generally wrestled with a lot of intensity and the action in his matches was usually rapidly moving around to different parts of the ring and ring side area. He played his character perfectly during his matches, as many times he would low blow his opponents (showing he would break the rules to win) and give the middle finger to the referee when he was admonished for something. I'd say Austin was the in ring performer of the year in WWE for 2001, as he had great matches with Triple H, Rock, Undertaker, Benoit, Jericho, and Angle. Austin was a great worker even after he broke his neck.

As for Rock, I don't quite consider him a great worker, but he is certainly very good and very underrated by the IWC. His offensive moves were generally explosive, especially his right hands, and were very entertaining to watch. He had great conditioning for being 270 lbs. and often wrestled 20+ minute matches. (I never timed his matches, but that's what it seemed like). He used rest holds, but a lot of wrestlers do that. He normally sold very well (sometimes too well) for his opponents and made them seem like a serious threat. He also had a very animated face and had great facial expressions during his matches. After he came back in 2011 and was feuding with Cena, then he was a below average worker. The combination of increased muscle mass and being away from the ring for so long killed his conditioning and he and his opponents often had to use rest holds to compensate for this. But during his original run Rock was certainly a very good worker who had a lot of very good matches. He even had decent matches with Rikishi.
 

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I think their match from Wrestlemania 17 may be one of the best matches ever. They werent the most technical at all. Their pacing and being great brawlers as well as storytellers made them have some epic fights. Even seeing them fight in the Rumble in 96 or 97 when they were both new to the company you could clearly see that their chemistry was special.
 

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The Shape
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Both fantastic workers in my opinion.

I believe that being able to get a crowd engaged in your match and telling good stories is better work than doing flips and shit that many regard as 'good work' these days. Rock and Austin had crowds eating out of the palm of their hand and did not have to do many flashy moves in order to do that
 

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The Rock is trash in the ring & corny as hell. Whether it's flopping like a fish after taking a stunner or spitting in his hand just to slap somebody
 

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Austin and The Rock actually looked like they were trying to hurt one another.

Okay, take away the silly peoples elbow and general wrestling oddities like irish whips but that brawling style looked a million times more of an actual contest rather than a choreographied gymnastics show a lot of wrestling today is.

If you're trying to defeat your opponent in a wrestling match a load of punches to the head and stomps in the corner is how you would approach a match, not a canadian destroyer every two minutes.
 

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The Rock carried over his offense not in Technical skills but rather as momentum comebacks therefore limiting his actual Workrate capabilities if he were not building one move after the other to adjust to the match formula of giving it drama above all else, He's decent as an actual legit In Ring general but I've seen much better from other guys but it's not as if it's Rock's bread and butter anyway.

Austin on the other hand to me in similar vein to The Rock was also more about feeding off the crowd to input offense for the drama rather than having a true scientific wrestling match but his Neck injury limiting his usual ability in the ring didn't really make that much of a difference as he wasn't that much of a great worker at least in my eyes anyhow.

To me I'm glad Workrate is not what brought both legends to the dance it was their larger than life appeal as performers not their know how in grappling one another.
 

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As workers?

About the best meat and potatoes you could hope for and there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. It was nothing very fancy, but it did the job, people could relate to it, and it made everyone happy.

Much of the IWC has forgotten that basic ain't bad. When it is done right, "basic" is an art form of its own..
 

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According to the majority of the IWC, in order to be a good performer you have to do 360 back flips and 75 rest holds every match.

As "wrestlers", Stunning Steve Austin and Rocky Maivia were more fundamentally sound, but nobody gave a shit. Nobody paid to see them wrestle.

It's all about storytelling/psychology which is something both Rock and Austin were masters of.
 

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They could make anyone look like a million bucks in their own unique way if they chose to and that's all it takes. If them not being able to do a 124857275923 degree splash is a cause of concern for someone which wouldn't allow them to be in their list of great in ring workers, too bad.
 

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Not many could match Austins raw intensity post neck break. Made what he did look believable whilst making sure what he did made sense in the ring.

The Rock, whilst not on the same level as a worker, had the athletic gifts mixed with the story telling aspect of what makes pro wrestling nailed down to a tee.

Fans paid money to see them. They had fans in the grasp of their hands whenever they performed. By and large they are two of the greatest workers ever to lace up a pair of boots.

I don't think either of them are under-appreciated, just praised more for other aspects of their game. The Rock and his mic work and Austin pre-neck break.
 

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They did everything with a level of intensity that cannot be replicated in the present product, except for Lesnar. I'd take a punch that looks like it's meant to make his opponent bleed, or a stomp that looks like it's intended to break his ribs, over and above a fluid sequence of moves that results in a "this is awesome" chant.
 

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Their personalities/characters were so large that their match was going to get over with the fans no matter what they did. Didn’t matter what style they worked, the crowd was always gonna be with them
 

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Even if Owen didn't nearly snap his neck clean, Austin would look odd being a sound technician. "Stone Cold" is a brawler and fights dirty when necessary. It's that manner of fighting that reflected his personality to a T, and it was one of the reasons why he and Bret were such good rivals: Bret was the traditional mat-based wrestling babyface with an obvious morale, whereas Austin was not.
 

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Was The Rock a shitty wrestler? I don't remember him doing technical wrestling or top rope moves. It seemed like he was more of a five moves of death guy.
 

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The Rock was a tremendous worker. That he got as over as he did and didn't need to come off the top rope or do a dive through them doesn't make him shit -- it shows how you can do a lot more with a lot less. Now people kill themselves to try and get a mild pop. They're not actually working to the audience or carrying themselves like stars.

Austin also eliminated top rope shit from his work after his neck injury in 1997. You actually don't need it when you are over. And you don't need it to have classic matches.
 

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Was The Rock a shitty wrestler? I don't remember him doing technical wrestling or top rope moves. It seemed like he was more of a five moves of death guy.
Typical IWC mentality.

Actually, all the WWE stars have 5-6 signature moves that they would use regularly, and
you don't have to be technical or have 77 moves in your arsenal in order to have a great match, all you need is ring psychology.

"Less is more" a line that's been said by some the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. I'm talking Undertaker, Austin, Flair...
 
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