WWE News: Stone Cold confesses he was disappointed with WrestleMania Match
This Wrestlemania match did not live up to Steve Austin's expectation.
What's the story?
'Stone Cold' Steve Austin was one of WWE's legendary icons, and one of the key figures in the Attitude Era. He faced Shawn Michaels in 1998 at WrestleMania, in a match that changed WWE's direction at that time.
You can find the entire podcast here:
In case you didn't know...
Shawn Michaels was the face of WWE for a long time in the late 90's. Michaels and his faction, D-Generation X, paved the way for edgier material for the company.
At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, Shawn Michaels fell back first onto a casket, during a Casket Match with the Undertaker. This fall led to him herniating two of his discs and crushing one completely.
Michaels would go on to win the match, but it was quite certain that he had to drop the WWE Championship to recover from his injuries and retire from in-ring competition.
The man he would surrender his Championship to at WrestleMania was none other than Steve Austin, a star who WWE had built slowly but steadily into one of the top men in their company.
The heart of the matter
Steve Austin's match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 14 was an important one, and Mike Tyson was involved as the Special Guest Enforcer. The match drew mainstream attention and was a changing of the guard for the company.
On his podcast, Stone Cold confessed that he was not satisfied with how his career-changing match took place. He talked about the fact that Michaels had suffered an injury leading up the match, describing him as 'beat to shreds'.
Stone Cold was joined on his podcast by Vince Russo, who also recalled the match, and talked about the tension in the locker room at the time. He remarked about how at one point in the match Shawn did a 'kick-up' which awed him.
Stone Cold praised the professionalism that Michaels displayed and said that he was friends with the HBK. During that time he had regular matches with Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart where he would lose but he had fun working with them.
He said that he knew that he could have lit up the building with Shawn, but things did not go how he liked.
"It popped the building pretty good, not quite as good as I would like to."
He told Vince McMahon after the match that it was not very good. Vince consoled him by saying that things would take off from the following night on Raw.
"I said, 'God d*** it, that was not very good.' He goes, 'Don't worry about it, tomorrow on Monday Night we will be off and running.'"
He ended by saying that while not everything that had happened in that match was to his liking, he was satisfied with the 1998 WrestleMania.
You can see a clip from the match here:
Shawn Michaels overcame his back issues to come back to wrestling a changed man and had an amazing career, while Stone Cold led the company into the Attitude Era and the eventual takeover of WCW.
The two men, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold, were both top men of the company, and played a huge part to make WWE what it is today. Their contribution to the company is invaluable, and looking back, that match was a classic for what it represented.