First encounters: How 5 of WWE’s most legendary rivalries began

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. The Rock — Dec. 17, 1997 (D-Generation X: In Your House)

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin faced rivals like The Undertaker and Mr. McMahon throughout his WWE Hall of Fame career, but The Texas Rattlesnake’s most enduring nemesis came in the form of The Rock. Austin and The People’s Champ battled on The Grandest Stage of Them All on three separate occasions, and they were at odds over the Intercontinental Championship before either man won the WWE Title.

One week after defeating Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series 1997, “Stone Cold” was attacked by The Rock’s Nation of Domination cohorts and the title was pinched by The Great One himself. This ultimately led to the first encounter between the future WWE Champions at In Your House: D-Generation X on Dec. 7, 1997. The contest was an all-out brawl as The Texas Rattlesnake drove to the ring in his skull-emblazoned pickup truck, fending off The Nation before locking up with The Rock.

Austin emerged victorious and reclaimed his stolen Intercontinental Title. However, because “Stone Cold” used a truck to his advantage, Mr. McMahon forced him to face The Rock for the title the next night on Raw. In protest, Austin forfeited the championship by throwing it into the New Hampshire River. — KEVIN POWERS