Steve Austin is likely one of the first names that many old-school wrestling fans think of when they look back at the Attitude Era. In a recent interview, AEW's Mercedes Martinez revealed that she too believes the same, and shared how the legend inspired her.
Martinez is currently the reigning ROH Women's Champion. The star debuted in AEW in December 2021, around four months after being released from WWE. Mercedes embodies much of Steve Austin's aggressive in-ring persona, alluding to how deep the admiration goes.
In a recent interview with “Complex Unsanctioned”, Mercedes Martinez spoke on her reverence for the WWE legend:
“Everyone wants to love the rebel and he defied all of society’s rules,” she explained. “He said, ‘F*** you guys, I’m gonna do this sh*t my way because the way y’all are doing it ain’t right. So I’m going to come in here, I’m going to f*** up the system."
Mercedes continued, recalling Austin's attitude and how it changed wrestling as we know it today:
"I’m going to do this sh*t and you’re either going to like it or you’re not, but I don’t give a f***,’ and that’s what people needed and he changed the game. He literally changed the game," Martinez said. (H/T: WrestlingInc)
Steve Austin has undoubtedly inspired many stars in modern pro wrestling. The legend likely also paved the way for a number of names now found within AEW.
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Mercedez Martinez also briefly compared Stone Cold Steve Austin to The Rock
During the same interview, the ROH Women's Champion briefly touched on The Rock. She praised the legend, but claimed that Stone Cold Steve Austin made WWE's Attitude Era:
“Don’t get me wrong, The Rock did too, but it was Stone Cold who changed the game for that attitude era. It was because of him people loved that attitude era.” Martinez said. (H/T: WrestlingInc)
The two legends have had many clashes that have been fondly recalled by many wrestlers and fans alike. Hopefully, future wrestlers might one day look back at the many bouts within AEW and find a feud as good as Austin vs. The Rock.
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