Tomorrow, December 18, 2015, marks Stone Cold Steve Austin’s 51st birthday.
To honor the occasion Throwback Thursday on WrestlingDVDNetwork.com turns Throwback Tribute once again as we celebrate the legacy of the toughest S.O.B. in the history of the WWE with eight classic matches, as seen on the WWE Network.
For more Stone Cold Steve Austin check out Rivalries: Austin vs. McMahon: Part One and Part Two, WrestleMania 13: Austin vs. Hart, WrestleMania Rewind: The Austin Era Begins, WrestleMania Rewind: Austin vs. Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time, the Stone Cold Podcast, and the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
— “Mixed Tag Team Steel Cage Match” (WATCH)
“Stunning” Steve Austin & Jeannie vs. “Gentleman” Chris Adams & Toni
USWA Challenge • August 31, 1990 (AIRED: Sept. 22, 1990)
It’s a classic case of student versus teacher in one of Steve Austin’s earliest matches on the WWE Network. With future wife Jeannie, “Stunning” Steve goes to war with the man who started Austin in the business, “Gentleman” Cris Adams and Adams’ wife Toni. This fun, fast-paced match shows that Austin, less than 2 years in the business, was indeed a diamond in the rough.
— WCW World Tag Team Championship (WATCH)
The Four Horsemen (Arn Anderson & Paul Roma) vs. The Hollywood Blonds (Steve Austin & Brian Pillman)(c)
WCW Beach Blast ’93 • July 18, 1993
After lampooning the Horsemen on “A Flair of the Old”, the newly reformed Horsemen (and Paul Roma) were looking for revenge. The beginning of the end for The Blonds, this hard-fought match is a masterclass in tag team psychology and a mere glimmer of the greatness to come for Steve Austin.
— WCW United States Heavyweight Championship – “Best Two of Three Falls Match” (WATCH)
“Stunning” Steve Austin w/Col. Rob Parker vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes(c)
WCW Starrcade ’93: 10th Anniversary • December 27, 1993
One of the more anticipated matches on the card, this psychological clinic is a must-see for classic wrestling fans. Marking the start of a 244 day reign as U.S. Heavyweight Champion this win successfully transitioned Austin out of the Hollywood Blonds phase and into singles stardom.
— WCW United States Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin(c)
WCW Bash at the Beach ’94 • July 17, 1994
With the arrival of Hulk Hogan WCW was in a state of flux. Austin’s time as US. Champion was coming to an end as was “Stunning” Steve’s time with WCW. One of the last high-profile victories of Austin’s run in WCW, this match is yet another psychological showcase that was arguably the match of the night.
— ECW World Heavyweight Championship – “3-Way Dance” (WATCH)
The Sandman(ECW World Tag Team Champion) w/Woman vs. “Superstar” Steve Austin vs. Mikey Whipwreck(c)
ECW December to Dismember: Ultimate Jeopardy 1995 • December 9, 1995
After departing WCW Austin landed in Paul Heyman and Tod Gordon’s ECW during a key transitional point in the promotion’s history. After cutting a series of memorable promos (Steve-A-Mania, That’s Not For You, and Uncle Eric), and then cutting his hair, Steve Austin found the edge that would make the “Superstar” a worldwide phenomenon. This, Austin’s last match in ECW, is a chaotic war between three of the eras most unique wrestlers.
— “Number One Contender’s Match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship” (WATCH)
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
WWF Survivor Series ’96 • November 17, 1996
This was the match and the feud that put Steve Austin over the top in the WWF and cemented “Stone Cold’s” place as the future of the pro wrestling biz. In Bret Hart’s first PPV match since WrestleMania XII Hart and Austin wowed the MSG faithful and stole the show in one of the best matches in Survivor Series history.
— WWF Championship (WATCH)
The Undertaker vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin(c)
WWF SummerSlam 1998: Highway to Hell • August 30, 1998
Besides Bret Hart no one did more to establish Steve Austin as a true WWF Superstar than The Undertaker. Despite Austin being knocked out early in this match by an inadvertent headbutt Austin never lost a step and proceeded to put on yet another classic war with “The Dead Man”.
— “All Titles on the Line Match” (WATCH)
The Brothers of Destruction (WWF Tag Team Champions The Undertaker & Kane) vs. The Two-Man Power Trip (WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin & WWF Intercontinental Champion Triple H)
WWF Backlash 2001 • April 29, 2001
The night after Austin joined Mr.McMahon at WrestleMania X-Seven Triple H followed suit, costing The Rock the WWF title in the “Steel Cage” rematch and forming the “McMahon Alliance”, or “Two Man Power Trip”. The Brothers of Destruction, hellbent on eliminating Austin & Triple H from the WWF, defeated Edge & Christian on the April 19th SmackDown! for their first WWF Tag Team title win. With their win in this match Steve Austin and Triple H became the first tag team to hold all the major WWF titles simultaneously since Diesel and Shawn Michaels had done it at In Your House 3.
After retiring in March of 2003 Stone Cold Steve Austin remains to be one of the biggest stars in the history of pro wrestling. As these eight matches illustrate there wasn’t a person or style Austin couldn’t work. With undeniable charisma and unparalleled ability and drive, and one of the era’s best psychologists, Austin helped usher in the “Attitude Era” and was responsible for changing the dynamics of pro wrestling in ways very few wrestlers had before. As Steve Austin turns 51 tomorrow we pay tribute to “The Rattlesnake” and a legacy that will never be matched. So crack open a “Steve-weiser” and gimme a “hell yeah” as we say happy birthday to Stone Cold Steve Austin!
That’s it for TBT on WDN this week – thank you for reading! Are you a WWE Network subscriber? If so, check out the matches, see them for yourself, and let us know what you think below.
Until next week, see ya at ringside!