Stone Cold Steve Austin: What?

What

Release Date: April 30, 2002

MATCH #1: Three Stages of Hell Match – Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H, No Way Out, 2.25.01

Austin charges the ring and it’s a fistfight to start. He takes the early advantage and they spend a bit of time on the floor in the early going. Austin works on the arm, since this is just a regular match. He hits a Thesz Press and follows up with an elbow. Triple H comes back and goes after Austin’s weakened neck. He also attacks the knee to really wear Austin down. Triple H puts on the figure-four Leglock and yells for Austin to give it up. Austin gets out of it and a few moments later tries the Stunner but he can’t hit it. They trade near falls on a rollup. Triple H tries a jumping thing off the ropes and Austin catches him with a boot and then a Stunner to end the first fall at 12:21.

We have now entered the Street Fight. Austin wastes no time bringing the fight to the floor, and suplexes Triple H on the steel aisle twice. Austin hits Triple H with the TV monitor, and then back in the ring he unleashes a series of brutal chair shots. They go back outside the ring and Austin finds a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. Austin ends up getting hit with it, and he’s the first one to bleed. Triple H tries a Pedigree on the announce table but Austin back body drops him onto the other table. There’s blood all over the announce table. Back in the ring Triple H hits Austin with the ring bell that Austin himself had placed in the ring. They continue to abuse each other with weapons, and Triple H is busted open now too. Triple H finds his sledgehammer. Austin avoids being hit with it and brings the fight back inside the ring. He goes for the Stunner but HHH throws him off and levels him with the sledgehammer in the face. He follows that with a Pedigree and we’re all even at 28:10.

The cage will now be lowered, and the weapons they had with them are still in the ring of course. Triple H dominates to start, and digs the barbed wire into Austin’s head. Austin fights back with a chair shot from the seated position. He gets the barbed wire now and he uses it on Triple H. Austin gets in some offense and a few near falls. Triple H comes back and hits the Pedigree and Austin kicks out and the crowd has lost it. Austin finally hits the Stunner but Triple H kicks out of that. They get up and Triple H has the sledgehammer while Austin has the barbed wire board, and they hit each other simultaneously. Triple H luckily falls on top of Austin and that’s enough to get the pin and win the match at 39:25. That was the exact opposite of their Survivor Series match, since it had intense brawling, great psychology, great selling, great heat, and great everything. This is one of the best matches either guy ever had.
Rating: *****

MATCH #2: WCW United States Championship Match – Steve Austin vs. Ricky Steamboat, Bash at the Beach, 7.17.94

Austin starts the match slugging away and attacks the knee. Steamboat fights back with chops but Austin brings him right back down to the mat. The Dragon kicks Austin into the ring post shoulder-first. Now Steamboat focuses on Austin’s left arm. Austin goes to the second rope and Steamboat dropkicks him, hanging Austin upside down. Steamboat takes advantage, unleashing chops on the forehead. Back in the ring Steamboat goes back to work on the arm. Austin tries to fight back and he executes a couple of leapfrogs and appears to injure his knee. Steamboat doesn’t fall for the ruse though, and takes it right to the Champion. He dropkicks Austin to the floor. Steamboat goes out and they brawl on the floor. Austin runs away, revealing that his knee is not hut in the least. Back in the ring Steamboat locks on a sleeper hold! Steamboat runs Austin into the buckles and rolls him up for a near-fall. He then goes back to work on the arm. Austin repositions the referee in order to kick Steamboat in the junk. He works Steamboat over for a bit, but the Dragon is able to come back with a double-handed chokeslam for two. Steamboat is right back on the arm. Austin comes back with a hard whiplash spinebuster. Steamboat responds with a catapult into the turnbuckles and a rollup for two. Austin cuts him off with a big clothesline. Steamboat is able to catch Austin in a Stun Gun, one of the Champion’s big moves. They fight to the apron and Austin knocks throws Steamboat into the guardrail! Austin grabs Steamboat’s head but gets pushed into the ring post. Back inside Steamboat hits a chop to the head off the top rope. Steamboat unloads with punches and a back body drop. He follows with chops for a two-count. Austin gouges the eyes. He throws Steamboat over the top rope but Steamboat skins the cat. Austin again tries to throw Steamboat over the top rope and get disqualified but Steamboat skins the cat again. Steamboat tries a series of pinning combinations but can’t get more than two. A series of reversals ends with Steamboat hitting a Tombstone Piledriver! Steamboat goes up top but misses a big chop when Austin tries to pull the referee in front. The referee looks ready to disqualify Austin but Steamboat begs him not to. Steamboat hits a cross body block but Austin rolls through and puts his feet on the ropes to get the pin at 20:09. That is absolutely a forgotten classic, with two of the greatest of all-time putting on a clinic. The psychology was great, especially Austin trying to get disqualified near the end and Steamboat not allowing it. I loved this.
Rating: ****¼

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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