I've been watching pro wrestling since I was a kid. I remember, dimly, the match between Yokuzuna and Undertaker where Undertaker was beaten and put away in a cascade. Then a smoke appear showing the big shadow of the Undertaker.
It is safe to assume that everyone believe what happen in that match. Me too, I completely believe it, even though I am not now, and the most important thing was, all of us watching at that time feel very entertained. \
This is what pro wrestling is all about. It was not about the sport, it was not about the reality. It is about entertaining those who watch it. To give the satisfaction when the face win over the heel (the good over the evil), the story, the character development. I still enjoy pro wrestling until today. I am 29 by the way.
If you say it's for Kids, think about it again, do you want your kid to watch 2 big man wearing spandex fighting each other, throwing F word, or beat the other until they bleed? No, it was not certainly aim for that. it was for those who actually enjoy a good 'movie' and enjoy some kind of 'movie' around sport which they called wrestling.
I am not going to talk about why I watched pro wrestling in details, the reason I want to write this post is to highlight an era where wrestling was a the top of entertainment industry, particularly one character that change it all - from a comical wrestling, to a bad ass no joke wrestling. The character was non other than Stone Cold Steve Austin.
He was retired.... And possibly we would not see this man wrestle again like, forever. Who was this man? How this man change everything in pro wrestling world? Am I joking by asking this question, everyone know Stone Cold Steve Austin. I just ask two of my colleague while writing this post randomly, do you know Stone Cold? With a confused face, they all answered..Steve Austin? That WWF guy?
He was big in this entertainment game. That is the bottom line....
I started watching pro wrestling seriously during the middle of the attitude era. The time where Stone Cold Steve Austin was already well known in the industry. I saw this man kind of beating everyone inside the ring, with his attitude which give no sh-- to anyone, beer drinking, never giving up no matter what, he immediately attract me to keep on watching and watching every episode of Raw and pay per view. Unfortunately, he went off when I started to like him due to neck surgery then The Rock came in. I was The Rock fan ever since.
He went back to WWE went The Rock was on the top of the game, that moment when this two biggest superstar collide, is so epic and I will never forget it no matter what. Wrestlemania X-seven was the most memorable wrestlemania where two of them would fight up to the point where you could not even predict who will win that match. Basically no one win ultimately as Stone Cold change to a heel and partner with Mr. Mcmahon to beat the rock and become the World Wrestling federation Champion.
Stone cold best entrance...would be at those time where ECW and WCW were invading WWF. At the moment where you can see WWF was hopeless with team ECW and WCW outnumbering them, there goes Stone Cold came in epicly beating every single ECW and WCW character he met and ultimately giving a lot of Stone Cold Stunner in the ring which cause ECW and WCW star to forfeit and run away from the ring.
Then the rematch and the final match of Stone cold vs The Rock in Wrestlemania XIX. He was defeated, but not until 3 Rock Bottom ( The rock finisher move) delivered to him.
As you can see, Stone Cold was a character which was given this kind of very strong persona by the company. He never give up ( as his fight with Shawn Micheal), can beat a hell group of other wrestler single handedly, and need 3 time finisher move before you can pin him down. This character, ultimately become a legend in pro wrestling industry. His fame, beat Hulk Hogan and other wrestler. His character is hardly to be replicate anytime soon. He was actually a perfect character in wrestling. He is strong, dominant and don't give a damn. That's it.
Now, he wrestle no more. I would really love to see him wrestle again, but numerous info already stated that physically, he cannot wrestle anymore. He also admitted in an interview that his heart condition make him stop wrestling, he just could not take any more bump or else.
Will we see such character ever rising again in pro wrestling. Maybe not anytime soon as you can see now the PG era of WWE look girlish and everything. The only real match I can see is the Divas Championship match...ouch.
Nevertheless, there are a few character that I love now, such as Brock Lesnar, he look like a good contender to become the next Austin. He maybe just did it. But not enough to beat the legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Salute to Stone Cold Steve Austin who make people watching wrestling relevant again. I hope someday, there will be another Stone Cold Steve Austin.