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Salt of the Earth
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Click here for previous edition: The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Click here for previous edition: The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Ringmaster edition.
Click here for previous edition: The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Savio Vega Chronicles.
Click here for previous edition: The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin: The King of the Ring.




Following the King of the Ring win, Austin was just sort of floating around for two months. The myth of Austin becoming an overnight star straight from the King of the Ring are just that, a myth. He had to wait a fair while to become that huge star in the eyes of the fans. Here is the start of something special for the Texas Rattlesnake..


AUGUST 31ST, 1996 - SUPERSTARS

Bret Pillman conducts an interview with Stone Cold in the middle of the ring during which Steve Austin issues a challenge to Bret Hart, who hasn't been seen since Wrestlemania.

Austin says he is the best there is, the best there ever was and the best there ever will be to a chorus of boos. Pillman sells this excellently. The crowd interrupts Austin with a "We want Bret!" chant but Austin finishes his promo to some great heat and walks off.




SEPTEMBER 2ND, 1996

There are a lot of questions about Bret Hart's future in the WWF. He has been off TV since Wrestlemania. Hart is scheduled to work WWF's tour of South Africa next week. He agreed to do the tour because it was a part of the world he'd never been to and he wanted to go, but beyond that, he has no commitments to WWF. Hart and Vince McMahon had a meeting a few weeks ago, where they agreed to an angle for Bret's return, though likely not until late-96 which would lead to a match with Steve Austin.
Credit: Wrestling Observer

SEPTEMBER 9TH, 1996

Sources say Bret Hart is scheduled to return to the WWF to face Steve Austin at Survivor Series in November. Hart was originally scheduled to return at this month's PPV to do an interview to build up an angle for that match, but Bret will be in South Africa filming a TV show at that time, so that won't be happening. Bret Hart and Vince McMahon reportedly reached a verbal agreement for Hart to return, with the plan being for Bret to face Austin at Survivor Series and then appear at the December PPV before going back on the road full-time in January.
Credit: Wrestling Observer

SEPTEMBER 16TH, 1996 - MONDAY NIGHT RAW

Owen Hart and Brian Pillman are backstage. Pillman and Owen build up a big exclusive interview for the coming Sunday at In Your House: Mind Games with Bret Hart.

Stone Cold interrupts the two of them, stares into the screen and confirms that he's going to be there in the front row for this because he's the best there is.


SEPTEMBER 22ND, 1996 - IN YOUR HOUSE: MIND GAMES

Brian Pillman and Owen Hart are conducting an interview in the middle of the ring. Bret Hart isn't there. Owen Hart says that Bret Hart is scared of Stone Cold Steve Austin which is the reason he isn't there.

Austin comes out, barely any reaction for him at this stage when he's announced or when his music hits. I believe this may be the debut of the 'Austin 3:16' on the vest though.

Great promo from Stone Cold.

"Let me make myself clear. If you put the letter S in front of Hitman, you've had my exact opinion of Bret Hart"



SEPTEMBER 23RD, 1996 - MONDAY NIGHT RAW

Stone Cold is on commentary during a match between HHH and The Stalker of all people and he absolutely obliterates Bret Hart - basically says how he shits on the life, the career and the family of Bret Hart.


OCTOBER 13TH, 1996 - SUPERSTARS

Not much build between Austin and Hart in the previous weeks, I imagine mostly down to the fact that Bret has been off screen and the company looking at building other feuds on which was back then a Monday Night Raw that only aired for 1 hour.

Stone Cold is on commentary for a Savio Vega match against Salvatore Sincere as he is due to face Savio Vega at the upcoming In Your House PPV.

This is pure entertainment. Him and Mr. Perfect pretty much go at it for 8 minutes on commentary.



OCTOBER 19TH, 1996 - LIVEWIRE

Stone Cold goes on LiveWire and provides some of the most entertaining promos of the year. A lot of which involves mentions of Bret Hart with Austin doing his absolute best to carry the feud whilst Bret Hart remains off of television.




OCTOBER 20TH, 1996 - IN YOUR HOUSE: BURIED ALIVE

Stone Cold was initially scheduled to face Savio Vega but due to an injury, he is now going to go one on one with Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Austin cuts a promo before the match where he runs down Bret Hart.

This is actually the debut of the glass shatter theme we would all grow to know and love. It still feels surreal hearing it without a rapturous applause.

This is also the first time I remember Austin flipping his opponent the bird, which he does during this match.

Austin wins via the Stone Cold stunner.




OCTOBER 21ST, 1996 - MONDAY NIGHT RAW

Bret Hart finally makes his return to the company, his first appearance in 7 months. He runs down Shawn Michaels in a shoot-style promo, whilst then calling Steve Austin the best wrestler in the company and accepting his challenge of a match at Survivor Series.


OCTOBER 28TH, 1996 - MONDAY NIGHT RAW

We get a live via satellite interview from Bret Hart alongside Stone Cold, conducted by Vince McMahon.

Really begins to heat up here between the two now Bret Hart is back on television...



The reason this has had to be split into two parts was because of the mini Austin/Pillman feud which I feel is still crucial in the rise of Stone Cold. Plus, also plays a part in Austins eventual feud with the Hart Foundation the following year.


Click here to read the next instalment: The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin: 3:16 vs. 9MM.
 

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#1 Somamaniac
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It's hard to carry a feud when the other isn't there every week. Austin did a great job and this is one of the many reasons, the fans started to love Austin. He was so entertaining, it was hard to hate him.
 

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Bret was my favorite since (probably) Summerslam 1991 and then Austin was just so raw and awesome. I liked Shawn, I liked Razor, I liked Perfect, I liked Taker (to a lesser degree). I loved the build to SS 1996.

I loved the Austin/Perfect confrontation. Hennig could have had a killer feud with Austin had he stuck around.

JR losing his shit with the headset. Seems Vince was ribbing him or atleast JR thought so.

Another key take away is Austin in 1996 calling out Vince as the head guy in the World Wrestling Federation.

Loved this article. GREAT job.
 

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My mom thinks I'm cool.
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Oh man those 90's ads. XD

Awesome stuff. It's amazing how great he was with his stick work even that early, wonder how he'd have done with scripted promos...

Did Sunny always host Livewire back then?
 
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