#3 Steve Austin vs. Dude Love – Over The Edge
Vince did this by making himself the referee for the match, fast-counting for Dude Love, and adding a stipulation that Austin was not allowed to touch Vince otherwise, he’d lose the title. Then there were Vince’s stooges Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco who were at ringside, whom you knew were going to cause shenanigans. This match is one of the best examples of the Austin vs. McMahon story at play. The story here was that Dude Love was McMahon’s next handpicked champion, and Vince would do anything to ensure Austin lost the title.
These elements together created one of the best wrestling stories ever. Austin had to overcome overbearing odds but did so in a badass way. Every time Austin gained any bit of momentum, Vince changed the rules to his and Dude Love’s advantage. Yet Austin kept fighting and fighting, bringing the audience to their feet with every punch he threw.
He was the hero overcoming the odds and the fans adored him for his determination and toughness. Special thanks need to go to Jim Ross, who sold Austin’s toughness with pure joy. Jim Ross sold this match as a titanic confrontation, and the emotion in his voice made this a rollercoaster ride of a match.
In a moment where shenanigans make things better, referee Vince got hit with a chair and could no longer officiate the match. Another ref came in and got attacked by the stooges, who in turn got demolished by the Undertaker, who was acting as the ringside enforcer to make sure things were done right. Then, Austin proceeded to get some much-deserved poetic justice, lifting an unconscious McMahon’s hand to get the three-count.
It may not be a grappling classic, but damn if this isn’t an awesome and emotional story.