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10 triumphant "Stone Cold" moments
In "Recoil," WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin plays a mysterious stranger named Ryan Varrett. In the town of Hop, Washington, he finds himself at odds with an evil crime lord, Drayke (Danny Trejo) and a corrupt police department. As Varrett, "Stone Cold" sets out to triumph over evil in this action-packed thriller. WWE.com looks back at 10 moments when The Texas Rattlesnake overcame the odds and triumphed over his nefarious foes throughout his Hall of Famer career.
The odds could not have been more stacked against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin than they were heading into WrestleMania XV. Ever since Austin won the WWE Title at WrestleMania XIV, The Chairman made it his mission to first dethrone The Texas Rattlesnake and then prevent him from reclaiming the title any way he could. With his powerful faction, The Corporation, and WWE Champion The Rock behind him, Mr. McMahon went as far as entering the Royal Rumble Match and actually winning.
It appeared as though Austin would not have a chance to reclaim the WWE Title. But when The Chairman relinquished his WrestleMania opportunity, then-WWE Commissioner Shawn Michaels announced that the Royal Rumble Match runner-up – “Stone Cold”- would instead battle The Rock. On The Grandest Stage of Them All, The Texas Rattlesnake overcame the nefarious Corporation, even as Mr. McMahon tried to assist The Rock, and he reclaimed the WWE Championship.
"Stone Cold" takes down The Alliance
Following Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s formation of The Alliance consisting of WCW and ECW competitors; they immediately began making their presence felt in WWE. WWE Superstars were taken off-guard and Mr. McMahon watched as The Alliance tried to overrun his empire. Due to his alliance with The Chairman, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had adopted a more emotional personality and did not initially defend WWE. Mr. McMahon pleaded with The Rattlesnake to bring back his more aggressive side and even sacrificed himself to be beat up at the hands of Austin.
When Diamond Dallas Page and Rhyno squared off with The Undertaker and Kane on Raw, it was not long before The Alliance made their way to the ring and WWE Superstars responded resulting in an all-out brawl. As the battle raged in the ring and amongst Superstars backstage, “Stone Cold” sped into the arena in his pick-up truck and began taking out WCW and ECW competitors. It wasn’t until The Texas Rattlesnake reached the ring that the full extent of his impact was felt. Austin dealt Stunners to any WCW or ECW competitor in his path, standing tall with his fellow WWE comrades.
"Stone Cold" outsmarts The New World Order ( WATCH )
Following the shocking revelation that Ric Flair was co-owner of WWE with Mr. McMahon, The Chairman brought “a lethal dose of poison” into WWE to kill his creation in 2002. That poison was none other than the infamous New World Order – “Hollywood” Hogan, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. At No Way Out, The New World Order made the error of costing “Stone Cold” Steve Austin the Undisputed Championship and spray painting their trademark “nWo” on his back.
The New World Order was unaware of what The Texas Rattlesnake was capable of, but they would soon find out. Without warning, The WWE Hall of Famer began his retaliatory strikes on the black and white clad faction. Nearly running down Scott Hall with his pick-up truck, Austin forced Hogan and Nash to flee the arena only to find their limousine tires flat. As the pair sought refuge in an office, Austin lured them out using Hall as bait. When Hogan and Nash attempted to retrieve Hall, Austin locked them in a cage and returned to the ring with Hall in tow. It was then that “Stone Cold” pummeled “The Bad Guy” in the center of the ring, leaving him with “3:16” spray painted on his back.
In October 1998, Mr. McMahon spent some time in a medical facility while recovering from a broken ankle. During the Monday Night Raw broadcast, WWE cameras were on location to check the status of The Chairman throughout the evening. At one point, Mr. McMahon received a visit from Mankind which resulted in the debut of the legendary Mr. Socko.
However, Mankind and Mr. Socko weren’t Mr. McMahon’s only visitors that evening. Dressed in doctor’s scrubs, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin used the opportunity to attack his arch nemesis. Austin pummeled Mr. McMahon’s ankle and proceeded to infamously whack the nefarious Chairman over the head with a bedpan. The WWE Chairman’s night ended when The Texas Rattlesnake shocked his enemy with a defibrillator.
"Stone Cold" banishes evil and saves Stephanie McMahon
In later 1998 and 1999, The Undertaker created one of the most evil factions to ever exist in WWE. Known as The Ministry of Darkness, their mission was to spread The Phenom’s gothic vision for the future of WWE and to oust Mr. McMahon from power. One of The Deadman’s most evil acts was the abduction of The Chairman’s daughter, Stephanie McMahon. The first time she was abducted, she was quickly discovered and moved to safety, however, the second time; The Undertaker had plans to marry The Billion Dollar Princess.
There was seemingly no one that could prevent the evil Undertaker from carrying out his plans on Raw, as Big Show and Ken Shamrock tried and were held off by The Ministry. However, the dark power of The Phenom’s faction couldn’t hold-off an onslaught from WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The Texas Rattlesnake plowed through every member of The Ministry in his path and sent The Undertaker reeling before the ceremony could be completed. Although he was Mr. McMahon’s sworn enemy, it did not stop Austin from doing the right thing and saving The Chairman’s daughter.
Before they clashed for the WWE Championship, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock battled over the prestigious Intercontinental Title. The rivalry over the title was so intense that The Great One actually stole the championship from The Texas Rattlesnake. At D-Generation X: In Your House in 1997, “Stone Cold” unleashed on The Rock at his Nation of Domination faction, reclaiming the title in an awesome rush of pure chaos where even the official was met with a Stunner.
The next night on Raw, Mr. McMahon decided that due to “Stone Cold’s” use of “excessive force” against The Rock, The Chairman was going to strip Austin of the title. Adding further insult, Mr. McMahon planned to award the title to The Rock. However, rather than surrender the title, Austin stunned The Great One and teased plans for the title. One week later, Austin delivered on his promise by tossing the Intercontinental Title off a bridge and into a river. “Stone Cold” proved that there were no lengths too great in his efforts to overcome those who would seek his demise.
Nearly 13 years after the infamous Montreal Screwjob, Bret “Hit Man” Hart returned to WWE to confront Mr. McMahon. That night at Survivor Series 1997 was also the first time that Mr. McMahon’s true nature as a ruthless executive came to light. Of course, The Chairman would eventually find himself embroiled in a legendary rivalry with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. So when the time came for Mr. McMahon and Bret Hart to sign a contract for a match at WrestleMania XXVI, there was no one better to ensure the WWE Chairman’s cooperation than The Texas Rattlesnake.
Austin shared a personal and well-documented history with both “Hit Man” and Mr. McMahon. But on this particular night, The Texas Rattlesnake would make sure The Chairman – his greatest nemesis – would get what was coming to him. Austin intimidated Mr. McMahon into signing the contract, with The Chairman and the WWE Universe under the impression that Hart was injured. However, The Rattlesnake and his WrestleMania XIII opponent then revealed that Hart was not hurt and Mr. McMahon would face The Excellence of Execution at 100 percent. Thanks to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Bret Hart would finally have his revenge on The Chairman on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
At Breakdown: In Your House in September 1998, the Triple Threat Match between WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Kane ended when both The Phenom and The Big Red Monster pinned The Texas Rattlesnake at the same time. Without a clear winner, Mr. McMahon decided that he would crown a new WWE Champion the next night on Raw. During the presentation ceremony, The Chairman was prepared to give Undertaker and Kane each a title, one the classic WWE Championship and the other as Austin’s custom made Smoking Skull title.
Moments before Mr. McMahon could present the championships, “Stone Cold” made his way into the arena. But there would be no stopping The Texas Rattlesnake on his way to the ring as he sped through the backstage area on a Zamboni. Once the WWE Hall of Famer reached ringside, he slammed the vehicle into the side of the ring, and ran off the top of it, clotheslining Mr. McMahon and unleashing his relentless fury.
In 1997, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin joined an elite group of Superstars by winning the Royal Rumble Match, securing a WWE Title opportunity at WrestleMania XIV. That very same night, Shawn Michaels retained the WWE Championship. The next evening on Raw, Mr. McMahon announced that legendary boxer Mike Tyson, who watched the Royal Rumble event from a luxury box the night before, would be the special referee in the WWE Championship Match at The Show of Shows. Austin did not take kindly to Tyson’s role and the two clashed inside the ring. This prompted The Chairman to instead make Tyson the special enforcer for the match, and it also appeared “Iron Mike” would side with HBK and D-Generation X.
At WrestleMania, the odds seemed stacked against “Stone Cold.” The battle between Austin and Michaels raged under the watchful eye of Tyson. The bout was competitive and truly highlighted why both Superstars would become WWE Hall of Famers. As the battle continued, the WWE official was taken out of action. When HBK attempted to take Austin down with Sweet Chin Music, The Texas Rattlesnake countered with a Stunner. Shockingly, Tyson entered the ring, made the count and crowned “Stone Cold” the new WWE Champion, helping Austin overcome the odds.