The Cobra Kai Reviews: Stone Cold Steve Austin - The Bottom Line On The Most Popular Superstar of All Time – By Marion Cobretti
I started watching wrestling in 1995, I didn't miss one single Raw until the Raw where The Radicalz debuted. I know this because I remember being pissed that I missed a Raw where something major happened. Anyways, so I was there from Stone Cold's genesis [I remember Ted Dibiase watching a TV, and saying he'd found the ultimate protege] up until he retired. Now, I was along for the full ride, and saw how he was on everything, and how people at school who use to make fun of me for watching wrestling were now running up to me on Tuesday mornings to ask if I'd seen whomever Stone Cold stunnered the night before. Basically, what I'm trying to say is even though I saw all that, I still can't say he's the most popular superstar of all time. Hulk Hogan was officially noted as the most recognizable face on the planet in 1987. That's a big freaking deal. He's the only wrestler to ever be featured on Sports Illustrated. He literally changed the business. He became bigger than life. So, in my opinion, Hulk is the most popular of all time. I mean, he set TV records that to this day I don't believe have been beaten. How say you guys?
The documentary portion is fantastic. I'd been waiting for a Stone Cold documentary for a while, and this one really delivers. I don't like to review'em blow by blow, as some do, simply because you probably don't care about the breakdown, and just want to know if it's worthwhile as a whole, and I can say that it definitely is.
Steve Austin vs Chris Adams - May 1990
A really short match from his USWA days. No real reason to include this than to just go the full spectrum on Steve's career. On a related note, he was voted Rookie of the Year by the WON.
Austin with the pin at 4:20
Stunning Steve Austin & Ric Flair vs Sting & Ricky Steamboat - WCW Saturday Night - 7/30/1994
Are you KIDDING ME? Man, this is just ridiculous the level of talent that's in this match, I can't believe I'd never even heard of it before hand. Needless to say, this is a remarkable, incredible match that almost goes for a full half n hour. Something completely worthy of being on PPV, if Hulk Hogan weren't amidst his first championship run, and needing Ric Flair to make the numbers work. It's a real shame that Hogan was running amok during this time, because Flair still had plenty of gas in the tank, and should have been used for various degrees of awesome like this.
Austin with the pin on Steamboat at 24:17
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Jake The Snake Roberts – KOTR Finals 
We all know why this is included. Did anybody watching this even think for a second that Jake was going to win? Man, was his “reborn” gimmick boring beyond belief. He should
have just gone to ECW as the classic Snake and feuded with Raven. Man would that have been one of the all time great feuds. Perhaps it’s just me, but I prefer the Stunner when Stone Cold doesn’t include the kick. It just seems a little more brutal.
Stone Cold Stunner for the win at 4:28
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Bret Hart - Submission Match - Wrestlemania 13 - 3/23/1997
What can I say about this match that everyone hasn't already said? Me personally, I can't give it 5 stars, because I don't think it keeps up with time as well. After seeing matches like Foley vs Orton at Backlash, or HHH vs Batista Hell in a Cell, the hardcore match, when it's an absolute war between two guys has really had the bar risen, and I just don't think this one matches up. I find that it's just a bit too slow in the hardcore aspect, and isn't as technically kick ass as say Bret's match against Piper, or Bulldog, also I think Stone Cold bleeds too late in the match, and I tend to really hate crowd brawling. Stone Cold does his own commentary on this, along with JR, and it's great. It's really something he should have done for every match. One thing they mention that I'm curious about, perhaps you guys can help, is when they're brawling in the crowd, JR mentions an nWo shirt, and says that the t-shirt police would have been all over that today. What's he referring to?
Bret Hart causes Stone Cold to pass out at 22:02
Stone Cold Steve Austin [C] vs The Rock - Intercontinental Title Match - IYH: DX - 12/06/97
Stone Cold was still on the mend from the Owen Hart neck incident, so that's why this match is what it is. I remember watching this match live on the PPV, and running around screaming with joy in my Stone Cold shirt and hat. The people I was with were routing for The Rock, but I was in full blown mark mode, and Stone Cold was my guy since the night after IYH: Final Four. As a mark, I couldn't have asked for any more from this match. Stone Cold driving a truck, giving a stunner to D-Lo on top of it, whipping people into it, and still managing to beat the Rock, it was great. These days, as a smark, it's an entertaining match still, and one that everyone should see, but not a show-stealer by any means.
Austin hits the stunner and the pin at 5:42
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Shawn Michaels [C] - WrestleMania 14 - 3/29/98
Honestly, this was my peak as a wrestling fan as a mark. You know how when you're young, and you can really get into a wrestler without being pathetic? This show is pretty bad if I recall, but I had so much fun. I couldn't wait for the main event, and I even had my Stone Cold figure on hand. At the time, I thought it was one of the best matches ever, and still had that memory of it even after Stone Cold & Shawn both said they didn't really like it. Well, seeing it again, me being a mark definitely put a shine on this, because it isn't as great as it could have been. They botch quite a few things, and never really seem to click. Although, knowing what a complete prick Shawn was at the time, I can take delight in seeing him wince in pain. It's worth the inclusion though, as it's a decent enough match, and pretty landmark. Plus, it contains what is easily Stone Cold's greatest stunner. Hell, they even had this stunner available in No Mercy's CAW.
Stone Cold hits the stunner and the pin at 20:00
Stone Cold Steve Austin [C] vs. Dude Love - WWE Heavyweight Title Match - 5/31/1998
This was a great feud, with Dude Love being the Corporation's head figure. This match is also on Mick's DVD, and although a great one, I feel their match at Unforgiven the month before was the better one. This was a great bout with them going all over the place, and Mick once again doing his absolute best to make who ever he's with look like a million bucks. I do think all the over-book hurt this one though, to be honest. I didn't need Brisco, Patterson, Vince, and The Undertaker all taking part. Still great though.
Stone Cold hits the stunner and the pin at 22:25
Stone Cold Steve Austin [C] vs. The Undertaker - WWE Heavyweight Title Match - SummerSlam - 8/30/1998
This match had an incredible build, and I recall every wrestling fan I knew going out and buying AC/DC's Highway To Hell. I myself heard the damn song so many times via WWE, that to this day I still don't want to hear it, but that's also because I'm not an AC/DC fan. The match is damn fine, and I would have liked to see what they could have done had Steve not been knocked at near the beginning of the match.
The stunner. The pin. 20:52
Stone Cold Steve Austin [C] vs. Big Show - WWE Heavyweight Title - Raw 3/22/1999
I have no idea why this match is on here. Basically just showing off that they spent a ton of money to bring in Paul Wight, then jobbed him out a little while later. Oh well, at least he got to go on that bike ride with Undertaker and eat a scorpion.
Stunner. Pin. 9:28
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock [C] - WWE Heavyweight Title - WrestleMania - 3/28/1999
I know this match doesn't get a lot of fan fare, but I think it's great. Sure, Rock hadn't completely hit his stride yet, but as close as you could get without being there. The reason Stone Cold comes out in a t-shirt, and not his vest, is because he forgot back home. It's not a big deal, but does make it seem like less of a an event without the vest. To me, they just seem to be throwing all they have at each other, and it truly feels like a war.
Stunner. Pin. 16:52
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock [C] - WWE Heavyweight Title - WrestleMania - 4/01/2001
Another match that everyone has said everything under the sun about, so I won't go on too much about it. I use to not like this match much, but I recently watched it two times for this review, so I could get myself a solid rating for it, and I've turned the tide. It's great. One of the things is the interview with Stone Cold & Rock, where they're in the locker room with JR, and at one point Steve says that he HAS to win this title, it's all he has, and then proves it with this match. He goes over the top with his intentsity, and his frustration grows & grows as it proves almost impossible to put The Rock down. The Hogan v Andre of The Attitude Era, that's for sure. I'd give it the full monty if it weren't for Rock's ridiculous selling of the stunner, and Vince's involvement. However, Rock's facial expression and utterance of "motherfucker" when he realizes it was Vince who stopped the pin, damn near gets it the 5 stars.
27 chair shots, Stone Cold get's the pin in 33:06
The 4th disc is nothing but interviews, vignettes, and segments all through out Stone Cold's career. It's an awesome disc that gives you absolutely every classic Austin moment that didn't take place in the ring. From Monday Nyquil, to buying cowboy hats for Vince & Angle. It's a fantastic cap on a fantastic set, and shows you all the reasons why Stone Cold became thee man.
Last Word: Stone Cold has probably set the record for most releases for a WWE superstar, and it's with good reason. If you have The Legacy of Stone Cold, you may feel that you don't need this set, but I beg to differ. The documentary is a fantastic strong point, as we hadn't really had one about Stone Cold before. It's great to hear his views over his entire career. The match listing leaves some things desired, but gives you the greatest of the greatest hits and you didn't get from Legacy. The 4th disc wraps up this entire set and puts a bow on it with an amazing collection of the previously mentioned interviews, vignettes, & segments. Definitely a set worth having, with a final rating of ****3/4
This is Marion Cobretti, letting you know that here, in the streets, in competition, a man faces you, he is the enemy, and the enemy deserves no mercy.