Episode 145: Steve Austin's 1997
Do something. Wrestle. Right. That's not Adria. There's no box of Yemen. Don't deal in rumor. There. I will there. Nice here. Keo you. Hey, it's Thompson. And you're listening to something wrestle with resprayed. Bruce. What's going on, man? How are you? Absolutely wonderful. Not a whole lot new going on for same old same old. Well, it was not business as usual last week. We have a blockbuster episode here on something wrestle all about Jerry. The king Lawler was your feedback date. Mostly positive. It is crazy as many downloads is regarded as many people that two special for this one. Most of it was pretty damn positive just talking about their memories of the king and a lot of folks from the Memphis area. And Jerry Lawler was the messiah so many ways of their child. Every single ways on TV every Saturday in that Memphis market, so king the Kane. Well, and we are excited becoming a brand new topic today one we have teased and talk about talk around. And it's finally here. The biggest star of them. All stone cold Steve Austin in the hottest years, maybe in the history of the business or going to cover him starting in nineteen Ninety-seven. See how far we can get. But I need to tell everybody about our friends over at light stream company. I am very very familiar with actually use these guys to buy car a long time ago, negotiate like a car like a cash buyer. It was awesome. Couldn't have a better experience. And now, I'm here to tell you about how they can help you save some money. See the average if train on a credit card so eighteen percent APR. Have you looked year interest rate lately? Refinance your high interest credit card balances and save with a credit card consolidation loan. From livestream cure rate as low as six point one four percent APR with auto pay the rates fixed. 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And there's a ton of information out there right now about how you can come see Bruce starting tomorrow night in crown point Indiana on Saturday night that is going to be fun show. We haven't done a lot of shows that are joint with an actual wrestling card, but black label pro putting on one heck of a car with one of your favorite performers, Bruce when you were out among the living filthy, Tom Lawlor is going to be on the card coal out of other superstars gotta see including your old friend swaddled. So why not come out and see ice NC some wrestling? It's a lot of entertainment for one low price tickets on sale now Bruce pitcher dot com, and then right before the paper of you in Cleveland. I can't believe we're still able to do this. We're doing something wrestle live right there in Cleveland. And then next week he and Bruce, and well everybody's going to be on the road. Bruce will be in Australia in two weeks, which is hard to believe. And that same weekend. That's one second twenty third that whole deal. Well, Tony, and Eric are going to be in Chicago for C to e to he could find that information on their Twitter at EIB issue off is the place to go. But then or getting the band back together, Bruce, and I'm really thankful that we're able to finish out this last little row of law shows wrestlemainia weekend. He comes see versa on Saturday in New York City, and then the Monday after wrestlemainia the hottest raw of the year when in a fund joint show with Jim Ross. So why wouldn't you? Go ahead and check out tickets right now and Brigitte dot com. This is going to be a lot of fun as a numbers. Absolutely cannot wait Australia. First time ever for me to come to that country. And that's Mark's twenty seconds Sydney marks we third Melbourne and the twenty fourth in Brisbane. So I'm really looking forward to that. I'll be with all my friends at. Enes. I'll be by myself solos that's going to be a blast and coming home to New York. That's going to be a good time at the Gramercy right before wrestlemanias. Well, and then seeing JR afterwards kinda busy got a busy busy month ahead of us. Well, let's get busy talking about stone cold Steve Austin. Oh, hey. Oh, yeah. Coming into nineteen Ninety-seven Steve Austin is red hot is in the middle of the biggest push of his career. He's on the heels survivor series nineteen Ninety-six where he was involved in a match with Bret Hart, which is probably the co main event, even though he's technically a he'll he's becoming one of the more popular guys and the company, and that's really what we're going to be talking about today how organically he became a baby face. It was a mistake. I want say it was a mistake. But it was something that. Was was happening right right beneath us, and and it was an idea Chris chambers and David Sahadi had to take Austin who had been injured and do a series of kind of stylized vignettes where Steve was constantly calling out bread heart and just constantly calling him out constantly calling them out to where the vignettes were. They were he'll ish in the traditional sense of what the hell he'll did. But they were done in a way that after a while shit. I like Steve had the barking dogs and everything coming at you behind a cyclone fence Austin made him his own. And I think that was that turn that's the turn that he went from ringmaster to stone cold and people really got it at that point. Without question. People got it. But it's sort of fun to talk about how it will happen in Austin said that Brian pill mom would often tease him and say he's baby face and Steve get half hot about it. Because he considered himself a he'll, and he'd always been HALE and always wanted to be he'll do you. Remember, the talk of hey, you're going to be a baby face because it clearly doesn't seem like it was the original plan. But while was he ever a baby face. It was it wasn't the original plan. However at think there was it was to Prague to fact Steve was getting over with this promos the people like him, and they were getting sick of brat as the baby face. Brett had reached the point of hulk HOGAN. Right before Russell Manian. I were people were sick of hulkamania. They were sick of bread at this point. So you had Brenton Steve colliding in the promo Steve cut were honest, people can identify wasn't. He wasn't bullshit him. He was saying real things about Bret Hart. He was saying the things that the audience Hussein, but we still position Brett is that baby face and audience what they weren't buying it anymore. Well, what they were buying a lot of Austin three sixteen shirts. Austin three sixteen of course, was born a king of the ring ninety six which we've done an episode on in the archives, something wrestle dot com. The Austin three sixteen shirts were made very quickly AM before you know, it. It's one of the hottest selling shirts in the business. And there's an old school way of thinking that hey heels dole sell merchandise oil that was an exception came to the Austin sixteen sir was a not. It. Sure was but it was a testament to the popularity of stone cold Seve Austin. It was also a testament to the fact that most men don't wanna wear a picture of another guy in his face on their shirt. Austin three sixteen was a message. It was a sign in. And it was a slogan that people liked it was cool people on the outside that did know they liked. It was cool people to ask tells Austin three sixteen. So this was this was a departure from the normal. Koby wear shirt shot of cocoa with Frankie the bird, and what have you and Bret Hart with picture Bret Hart on the shirt. It was a statement Austin three sixteen so they were different people bought them. Well, let's get to Royal rumble nineteen Ninety-seven we've done an episode on this available in the archives. But let's touch on it very briefly here. January nineteenth the Alamodome lost and comes in number five. It's really probably his breakout performance. One of my favorite rumbles of all, Tom. Hey, eliminates Fini's. Bart Jake Owen Mero savvy. Oh, road Dogg Vader undertaker and brand heart in alternately. He becomes the winner Brent actually eliminated. But the restaurant the on the side of the ring. No, one sees it. So Steve snakes back in eliminates undertaker invader at the same time. And because Brett never saw him snake back yet Brett wads up getting eliminated as well. And that's what the referee. See an awesome has announced the winner and Branson happy goes over the commentators table choice to shake up Vince McMahon. And it's a tease of what is to come. But at the time, you probably had a different plan in mind. What was Austin gonna do at wrestlemania thirteen from the best of your recollection? God. I don't really remember that. That's the crazy thing about it. I don't remember in this funny. How win things at domino effect? You start moving into new direction. You throw the old direction out of your brain a lot of times, but the Royal rumble for those of you in the what is at the main world, what is in a gif Jif. Yeah. We'll go that see that. Yeah. You see that? Steve Austin looking sitting on the top rope looking at his wrist like he's looking at his watch waiting for the next guy to come out. That's from this Royal rumble. And it just was again, it was another chapter in the book of Steve Austin in that transition to the next chapter in his life of being a baby face. Everybody thought remember Jake Roberts, man. He's a he'll he'll and trying to push him in that direction. But the more that we push Stephen the direction of being a heel the more popular he became. Well, the next on raw in opens up with Bret Hart quitting the company over what happened around well in Austin comes out and says that ever since you've come back you've done nothing, but cry byu say, Vince, courage, Oscars, you how everybody scratchy and the bottom line is when the going gets tough hearts, get going back home. So go back to Canada because the only person he can be your wrinkled up old man in his little old basement. Great promo and really does a lot to continue to build this Steve Austin feud, when did you realize man Brett, and Steve is just fucking magic. Wow. Right. I really and truly back at survivor series because they they had they had that special spark. They they made beautiful music together. And it felt good. It felt real in. Here was the opportunity. Well, let's let's get back there. Again, the other part about it was. There's a way for a baby face to complain. There's a way for baby face to come out and say, I got screwed. Unfortunately, I think that when Brent was doing it at this time, even as a baby face. He came across whiny. He came across like, he was bitching and complaining all the time, which he was because he was getting screwed all the time. When seen pointed that out, I think again, this was that turning point in the audience, and this is where you saw a little bit more of a mature audience eight, you know, what fuck Brad Hart. All it does is whine and cry because he loses awesome. That kicks his ass says he's gonna kick his ass and then kicks his ass. So it was. Those two for whatever reason they were like peanut butter and jelly. The final four goes down on Chattanooga on the heels of Sean losing a smile now. Instead of it being the final four participants from the Royal rumble and the winner becomes the number one contender. Now, the winner becomes the world champion Brett heartlands winning the match over Steve Austin, big van Vader, and the undertaker they twenty four minutes and change one of my favorite matches ever, which is a little weird because it's a four way but even Meltzer loved at the cow four and a quarter stars Vader is bleeding like a stuck pig. What a memorable match this was what do you remember about the final four in Chattanooga? Well, I'll tell you. Why was so Bem Royal memorable as you say, I know is because you couldn't call it. Right. You had four guys that everybody believed. Well, of course, they're gonna put it on Brad as the only logical answer. But you've got under. Take her in there too. How do you beat the undertaker then Vader had his little run stolen from him for a while? It could be Vader. He deserves it. But that fucking Austin is red hot. Maybe they're going to surprise us to do something just completely out of the blue and have Austin come over to me that was the beauty of that match going into it. There wasn't a clear cut. I see what they're gonna do. Now. It was intriguing and it had people guessing, and you had different factions along the way. Big strong undertaker fans. They wanted him. You had your Bret Hart fans, but then you had that pocket swelling with Austin. And you had a section of it. The felt Vader couldn't be. So that's what I remember of it. Just the beauty of those four talents aligned at the same time and no-one being able to call what the hell we were gonna do. We weren't sure what we were going to do until the last minute on the next night on raw all changed again said be Brent for the title Austin, hit Rhett with a chair and around that time, I guess maybe early March it comes out in the observer that Austin has a partial tear of his PCL, and he's supposed to be out of action until wrestlemainia man. What could it be in where you guess concern that he wouldn't be able to make the big show? Not really it was said as a partial tear. It was something that was bothering Steve. But it was also something that could be fixed relatively quickly without a not a lot of rehab time. So the feeling was that you know, what he'll he'll make it will get him there. And Steve didn't think it was a big deal of time. Eventually Steve have issues with both knees and get everything fixed. But at this time, he was on a he was on a roll and wanted to get get some rest and just he'll up as much as he possibly could before mania. Well, what the Nance on TV while he's at home is that Brent is going to wrestle Steve than wrestlemania thirteen in a submission match. And I find the story fascinating. Because it's my favorite match of all time. And it's a lot of people's favor match. If you haven't watched you, should it's wrestlemania thirteen submission match. With stone cold Steve Austin, and Brad Hart, but that little detail about a big a submission match is something even Austin didn't know until they saw it on TV. And he's been critical of the decision. Of course, you know, it wound up working out and being defined. But he says in a submission match is hard to do especially when you don't have a submission finisher. Yeah. He will never forget that conversation. What the hell was supposed to do kit. I got us. We work into. Well, obviously, this is Brett's match it favors Brett. It puts he'll put you in a whole. But God damn what? And I think that Steve was missing the fact that we wanted him in jeopardy. We wanted the odds to be against Steve Austin. And he was just really concerned. He didn't think it would be a good match because he was a brawler Steve like to get in and kick and punch in brawl. Didn't they were gonna buy him in the submission match? Couldn't have been more wrong. On March tenth JR's interviewing hinge, shamrock and JR announces that shamrock will be the very special guest referee in the Austin Brett match wrestlemainia, which JR teases might be a title match. And of course, shamrock is saying he's going to be a fair f- ry whether or not Austin a Brent like it. He won't be intimidated, blah, blah, blah. And then Austin speaking to the video wall, interrupts shamrocks comments. Why did you think that you needed to add kin shamrock to the mix here because we had signed a deal with shamrock, and we had finally come to terms with shamrock to come in and work. It was a way of introducing that character different light by putting him in in as a special guest referee. It also was an opportunity to have the aftermath with Bret Hart where you could see Ken shamrock wasn't gonna take shit from anybody and Ken was a pr-. Pretty big name. Probably the biggest name other than Heus Gracie out of the UFC so can shamrock moving over to professional wrestling, sports, entertainment. That was a big deal in the world of sport. Because now people forgot that can shamrock before he went into the UFC was a professional wrestler. Those people are now like oh my God. Why would he leave a legitimate sport? Like USC to go to that damn WWF. This is blasphemy. So it was a way to introduce cannon a place where he was comfortable submission wrestling. He would be the referee. People knew he wasn't gonna take any shit off stone cold Steve Austin, as we found out sure would take a shit off Bret Hart, and it was a nice way to introduce Ken and get him in the mix. And it also alleviates that feeling of Lawson doesn't have a submission. He had now he had a third man in the ring. That's what the hell's he gonna do with that. The go home episode of Monday night, raw right before wrestlemania thirteen is one of my favorite episodes are all ever if you're looking for something to watch this week. I can't recommend that enough. But let's talk about wrestlemania thirteen. It's a match that we've covered before in our Cavs something wrestled dot com goes down on March twenty third nineteen Ninety-seven right there in Chicago. Brad Hart gets the win in a submission match. The best match of all time. It's five stars. In the observer as five stars. And anybody anybody's book matters. Just an unbelievable performance. We can't possibly put it over enough here on this show. When did, you know? Okay. Here's what we're doing. Because it does feel like you guys are sort of forced to reshuffle the deck. I think everybody knows the original plan was supposed to be Br and Sean wrestlemainia thirteen Sean pulls up lame with the allows Ma smile speech, and you guys are left to scramble. So the main event instead of being Brenton, Sean become sid and undertaker. What's isn't quite the main of it? Maybe you were hoping for but holy cow. Does this Bret Hart Austin match make up for it completely? Where does that ran where does that match rank in your all time as long as you were with the company where is it in the pecking order of probably in the top three ever? And the reason I say that is because it was such a great display of the proper psychology in working match. It was the perfect double switch. It turned Austin baby face intern. Brett he'll. Very clearly throughout that entire match in when we'd left that night. You had Brett as a stone cold, he'll no pun, intended pun intended. And yet Steve Austin is a stone cold baby face in the middle of that you introduced a brand new character in Ken shamrock to our world and went holy shit. He's a top guy because he's already thrown top guys around the both Brett in Steve respected shamrock throughout the match shamrock played perfectly. So to me, it was it was the perfect match in every element. Stephen out was a heel and beginning Brett baby fae shamrock was a perfect third man enforcer and throughout the course of that match. They took that audience and completely turned him in ads. Steve on the outset being the biggest baby face in the world. And Brett being the biggest. Astle and Ken shamrock being tough son of bitch. So psych, psychological Lee. That was amazing. The the work in the match just the way that it was put together the way that Brett and Austin worked together and told that story to Brandt. The ring was a canvas Brett beaner artists that was his metaphor. He liked to look at the at the mat in the ring is that was his canvas to paint his picture and on that night. He painted the Mona Lisa. Did. I mean, it's a double turn tells a great story as you said. But one of the things that you didn't mention is that Austin didn't quit a winds up passing out from blood loss. Want a twist because now you've got this anti hero who just refuses to quit. Let's fast forward. The March thirty first raw McMahon is interviewing Steve Austin. And Austin says he never quit and Brenton do a damn thing just knocked his head against a guard rail and Austin says the only passed out because his blood was pumping out of his head faster than his heart could keep up with and he's telling breath put on a plane pair of panties and come down whip your ass. Brad comes on the big screen response to Steve Austin. And Brad says he's finished with Austin. And Austin says something like you'll have to kill me to be finished with me. He talks about how he's gonna kill Brad hartness tombstone that's going to say Austin whipped my pink and black asks or something like that. Usually a wrestlemania show. Like, this is the blow off of a big angle. But you guys decide hey, man. That was awesome. Let's keep it going. Why did you make the decision to keep going with Bretton Austin after wrestlemainia it's a totally brand new match. Now, you have with them switching roles it's like having a brand new opponent. So it is starting all over again with them in the opposite. Roles Brett being the he'll Austin being the baby face and the beauty into me. I think this is just so pivotal. With Steve Austin win Steve turn baby face. And I remember using Kevin ashes an example. We didn't change him. We kept him the same. Steve Austin that he was as the ringmaster coming in and turning into stone cold Steve Austin. We didn't all of a sudden. Okay, seve's. Ow. Baby face. Let's bring him into the office and have him at the fourth of July picnic cooking hotdogs and handed out slices watermelon with a big old smile on his face. This was still that same nasty guy. Didn't we tweet his opponents? We didn't tweet him. So we just switched sides. What side of the roster? He was working with he kept his Saint promos. He kept same demeanor. He kept everything the same. So that audience the began to love him. Now, they really love him because he saying fuck the establishment. I'm not changing for anybody. I'm going to continue to be this. Same stone cold Steve Austin, in my opinion. I think that was it was a battle. But that was what made the difference in in keeping and making Steve strong of a baby face right off the bat is that we didn't change him. We let the audience just have him. It's like here you go. And they love that. Well, I think we all loved the wrestlemainia match. I hate to go back to it. But it's my favorite match ever. Let's address the rumor and innuendo because at the time. I think you guys had like an anti blood policy and here Steve Austin, just porna- gusher on the pay per view. I know we've touched on this on our wrestlemania thirteen episodes available the the Cavs. But chat me up the storyline here or the word. We've heard rather is that Britain Austin did this on their own. They did. And we did have an anti blood pal policy. And it was something that I believe Brett felt the match really needed and took it upon themselves to do it. But no one knew about it. And it was meant to look like it was a hard way with the bell and the corner which has happened. But now that was something talented on their own. So fascinating to me because that matches totally different without it. Let's get to their next mass April twentieth Rochester, but but Conrad hang on even even as you say that and we had an anti blood policy. Think of that shot Steve are conic forever. I don't know that it would have been it wouldn't have been the same. No. I agree. Any fines passed out and heat. A lot of heat. You know, Vince handle himself personally, there is a lot of heat. He was not happy. Well, we were so thank you for Buchan, the company policy this while what a what a match you guys did a rematch though on the next in your house April twentieth. Rochester, New York this time. Steve gets a win over brat by the Hugh, obviously, it's a good match. But it's nowhere near what they did at wrestlemania. There is a referee bump brag gets chair on Austin's knee. Does the figure for around the ring post, which is pretty creative spot? I mean Brett created the whole thing figure for around the ring post, right? Yeah. You know? Bret Hart is one of those guys you could go out Brett would be either be sitting in the crowd or just walking around the ringside area and just staring at the ring constantly constantly creating. And I remember I forget who the hell it was may have been Owen that he took in the ring. Suddenly try something and put the figure for autumn and it was like holy shit. It looked like it hurt like hell probably hurt Brett more than anybody. But it was so visually vicious that you N holy crap. And that was the kind of thing that in my opinion made Bret Hart so unique in that he would always constantly try to be different and create something new and Austin. Of course, you know, same thing Austin always wanted to to be different. He wanted to stand out. So you take those two heads and you put them together. And this is what you get. And I think that I can't think of a bad match the Brenton Steve had. Like, I e you look at some guy I want that one was a stinker they were off that day. No chemistry that day. But I I can't think of one well, this is sort of the forgotten match in their trilogy, a pay per view matches everybody talks about this reviver series ninety six match, and of course, wrestlemania thirteen. But this in your house one I feel like people sort of gloss over, but it was a fun match. Alternately bulldog comes in it's Austin with a chair that allows for the Hugh, but it's still fun match three and three quarter stars and breads, actually work in this match with a bad, knee and a bad wrist, and he winds up getting knee surgery on the twenty third of April, and then wrist surgery the next day, and it's written in the story line. The next night on raw where he has a confrontation with stone cold Steve Austin, raw opens with Vince interviewing Allston JR announces that Austin is scheduled face bra in a street fight and they put. A countdown on the screen and the fans countdown the final ten seconds. And Bret doesn't come out after Austin's challenge in raw says that he saw Brett and locker room in the back. So he's here. And Austin says something like I knew damn well, you didn't have the damn guts to show up. So I'm going back there to get you then appears on the screen bread. Of course is with Owen and bulldog standing by side, and he accepts the challenge, and this is a pretty famous pay per view here or show here rather and less show Allston walking around looking for brat of intially. Awesome comes back to the ring. And this is later in the show and Brad comes out in street clothes and a three on one attack happens here and Shawn Michaels comes out of the crowd and saves Austin Swain brat who ducks, but he nails Owen and bulldog this streetfight where. Where all the sudden Shawn Michaels makes the save who would have predicted that this is the way the creative would go just a few months prior. This is just seamless hot and going with it isn't not exactly in you had to that was it was also. Where we were utilizing live television. And not doing you you go back, and you look at the way that we traditionally did things we would do three weeks of television at a time sometimes four weeks, even by doing live TV and doing TV every other week it afforded you the opportunity to change in. Basically adapt on dime. So we were able to do that going along. And yeah, it's guys were getting injured. It's a way to pivot and move onto the next thing fairly quickly. So if you had something there, and you have you have Shawn Michaels available now Brett's hurt and Bret has all these issues. We've gotta get bread out of the picture for a little while while still keeping him in the picture that enable us to do it. So it was a chance to really utilize the live television aspect in the different the different way that we did television at that time to our advantage. This is the episode where you guys have Bret Hart put on a stretcher and then put an ambulance pretty memorable moment on Monday night raw. What are you? Remember about the involvement of an ambulance because as a kid, I remember this. I mean, still I remember this like it happened two weeks ago not twenty something years ago. I'll tell you, and I'll give you the analogy that was always given. I wanna see that ambulance. Like when when strongbow and they. Took him out on the on the on the stretcher loaded him in the ambulance. It's visual that you as a child you can still remember that visual that ambulance that was real to people that made it real. There was. The deal kept going back to strong. But were they took the ring steps that were wooden ring steps, they broke the ring steps apart and made a splint for strong buzz leg when Greg Valentine broke his leg. His greg. Valentine liked the break native Americans legs pantley, but they. Rat strongbow up and carrying them out. And then put him in the in the ambulance. So this was that was the visual that was letting you know Brett's fuck now, he's really hurt folks. He's going out on an ambulance, and it wasn't overused at this point. It wasn't something that you saw every other week it was special. So they knew okay this. This may have been this may have gone too far wrestling she had over there. You know? That's just entertainment that that won't real when they fight for them. Gold belts and stuff. They real. The next week April twenty eighth undertaker beats bulldog by the Hugh Austin makes the save undertaker's cleaning house, but then off the turned on undertaker heads. The stunner undertaker sits up grabs also by the throat choke slams him and eventually would Austin recovers. He goes after brat who at this point is in the wheelchair. But then he's attacked by Jim Knight heart his returning and Brett hits the crutch breaking the cry knocking Austin off the stage Austin's stretch your job as the show off the air. So the back and forth with everybody's leaving stretcher, but it's a fun way to bring back Jim nine heart as well. Hypothetically would that sound like when you found out that Jim's coming back. The bid. They get you get the writing on the. Yeah. You know, big. Stan bass Desi. Day and brat Bradaigh. They've been they've been in there and beget get the get the by get that dad. You have back together the big bastard this stag Bassett. In your house, cold day inhale as a match that sort of goes untucked about some of the forgotten oil title. And it's the undertaker painting Steve Austin in a world title match on pay per view in nineteen ninety seven and it's his first world title match on pay per view. I mean, this is a big moment. I mean, Steve Austin who's always been slotted, you know, not necessarily I hate the term underneath, but he's always been underneath. And now he's on top or can undertake who's even at this point an icon in the company. It's a three star match but auditor gets the win here. What'd you think of the match and how big of a deal is this for Steve two main of inappro- for the world title against the fuck and undertaker it had to be something? He took a lot of products. Sure, it was it was a hell of a deal. And it was also, you know, one of those you got to tread lightly. Because takers popular characters. Well, no matter what role he's in, you know, with he's playing a baby face or heel that that's a tough position to be in. But Steve Austin again to our audience, maybe he didn't main event and go for the title and a lot of pay per views. He was always in a top spot. When Steve I came into the company he went around as the ringmaster with no program. No nothing and worked with Shawn Michaels every night for the championship tore the house down. And that was one of those. That guy's got it. That guy is going to be a huge star one day. Even though vents still only saw as the ringmaster whatever you do. Don't let him talk. He can't he can't talk that damn southern accent. And. Now, you know, Steve is moved onto the pay per view for so long. Steve in the he'll roll was the perfect opponent for any baby face to help get him over and sustained had been in the top position in. How shows all almost incidated? He walked in the door. This master in particular is interesting because Ron Perlman hops the rail and the Bill rings causing some momentary confusion, the matches of instantly restarted undertaker, of course, gets the tombstone and the pin but afterwards heartfelt Dacian attacks the entertainer in Austin sees Brett by himself in the wheelchair. Knocks him off the wheelchair grabs one of the crutches hits the ring and cleans house with it. It's a three star match and segment and Steve Austin is on fire. Let's go to the may nineteenth raw Steve Austin. Shawn Michaels wound up challenging Owen Hart and Davey boy. Smith how in the world the Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels become the strangest bedfellows here. Because they were they were the hottest day of baby faces that we had at the time and. For that exact reaction. How fucked these guys coexist when you tell the back story they're both Texans. Both from the same part of Texas pretty much, and that kind of makes sense, but personality wise on air they were as opposite. As opposite. Could get Steve was the rough tough and Sean was the heartbreak kid and sexy boy if you will in real life, very similar both loved to hunt the road from Texas. In enjoy the same things. But this was. For us. It was something that may lot of sense. And it also it also now you have shawna's you can sprinkle on people in allowed Shawn to sprinkle a little bit of that charisma now. On Steve somewhat. They were to me. It was held attack. David's time. Well, the role on may twenty six opens with them doing an interview. And then they start arguing Elodie comes out. And what he no later in the same episode Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels win the TAC titles when Sean super kicks. They've. And of course, after the match the har- Dacian interfere, and we're back at it. But this is really Sean first match back after losing smile and forfeiting the world title. And these back is a tie attack champ. Who's deal was this the seems like it comes out of left field. Man. It did. But it was also wait, Sean was okay. I'm I'm better. I'm back. I'm ready to go. So get Sean in the mix. Steve was then that tied was rising. So use both of them to keep going. It was a good combination. And it was good pairing to put them together because they were the two biggest baby faces in the company at the time. It will be reported in the observer that awesome actually hurt his neck again in this match. And of course, we know that Steve Austin is going to have a series of neck issues the biggest of which or going to talk about in a little bit. But I when did you know when was it on the company's right are, hey, man. Steve my have neck thing going on. Probably right about this time because Steve was having problems with it. The the issue a lot of times, especially back, then we didn't know a whole lot about you didn't know whole lot about concussions. He didn't know a lot about a lot of things, and we didn't have a physician on the road with the boys. Fulltime we did have physicians at television tapings and pay per view, obviously. But they weren't out on the road with them full-time in the guys going out working and having nagging injuries. But they didn't want to let anybody know like I'll work through it just stiff Steph fine, and Steve had this injuring onto a doctor doesn't understand that wrestling his words, you control your bomb. She do all of these things. And he just looked at it. What he saw has man. You can't do this. Guys, dropping you on your head. This guy's doing that to you and stay I don't know that Steve wanted smart the doctor up and let him know, it's work. So I think he took the advice of of some of the early doctors as okay, I need I need some rest. Yeah. Certainly not gonna stop my career because I'm sore. And that was the attitude. Lot of times with guys we didn't. We didn't have the knowledge think that we have now and you look back got twenty five years ago. You just didn't know. The next week on raw bread announces. He's not going to be able to wrestle Shawn Michaels king of the Ray, and he actually suggests that Austin take his place, which is what happens, and we'll talk about that in a minute LSD on this episode of Monday night, raw get a win over Michael's in Austin by count when Austin, and Sean are actually brawling with each other, which is sort of interesting the story line here is these guys are tag champs, but can't get along. And they're gonna have a singles match king of the ring. But the original plan was supposed to be shown and Brandt at king of the rings that right? I am trying to remember. I believe it was. But Brett was not his time. Brett was injured. Right. So that was a little bit of the motivation behind the tag team, the unlikely tag team of Sean, Sean stone, cold, the the other thing is you look at this because Steve was read fucking hot. As a heel. We thought. All right. Well, they'll they'll be buying Steve. You know, this thing's going to move on because Sean losses smile Shawn's back. He's the pretty boy. And there's this big groundswell. And then holy fuck. You we get there. And they were happy shit to see, Sean. And kind of go on. Oh, I don't know if this was the greatest booking in the world. All right. Let's take a time out right now to remind everybody that the biggest wrestling weekend of the year is finally upon us. It's New York City, April third or April seventh, and if you can't get there man fight TV has you hooked up. They're going to be streaming twenty wrestling events, including the ring of honor and new Japan g one supercar from a sold out Madison Square Garden impact wrestling's United. We stand wrestled fro the wrestle con super show the WW in super show, house glory and more. For a limited time only the fi- fast package has over a two hundred and eighty dollars. Value is available for only one nineteen ninety nine. That's right. One nineteen ninety nine in boom here in twenty shows, man. Take advantage of this super deal right now. Go to fight not TV. Do what I do. Download the finance in your app store and take advantage of this. Unbelievable. Offer more time. It's the fight fast package. You get twenty lava events for one low. Oh price. It's valued at over two hundred eighty bucks. You can get it for less than one hundred twenty bucks. Make it happen right now and fight not TV or download the fight app in the app store. And don't forget finace FIT. That's F A T dot TV or download the final half. You're gonna love it. Let's talk about the king of the ring match showing Steve go to a double d Hugh in twenty two minutes gets four stars of the observer. It's a fun match. Does feel a little weird. There's a ref bump and. You know, it's supposed to be a Finnish. But it's not I guess, I should mention too. And this is kind of fun. He gives the referee. A stunner Tim why? But it gives the referee Stoner, and then Michael super kicks in and as a pin, but there's no are free to count the pin. What's is? A fun story. Sean gets frustrated not being able to get the pin and he had Austin down forever. So should have. But then Earl Hefner a third referee runs in and disqualifies both men for attacking the first two referees. The fans are not happy with the finish. But it does tell a good story. And it gets a great rating in the observer, especially for sort of non-finish. Would you think made? Did you guys have any idea that this is going to be as good as it was especially on? You know, you hate this term. This is kinda throw away pay per view. Is it not? No, not really. But this will this was kind of a mystery. We didn't know what we were going to have. And we really thought Steve would be the bigger baby face. We didn't expect Sean to get the kind of reaction that he got which was bigger than steph's at this time. So the audience live was taking Sean is man full fledge old fashioned baby face. Oh by God. And they there were people that were behind Steve Steve definitely had his portion of the audience. The match self excellent. And you really can't beat either one of these guys at this point. So I love the creativity of the Finnish because you kept going and kept going and both guys look good and the end of it. And sometimes you you have that type of finish where everybody's going. What the fuck you don't have winner loser. But it was damn exciting and told good story. That here you have this unlikely tag team that are now wrestling each other because they don't like each other. And in the end, it furthered that stone cold character because I know where he stuns referee and everybody comes in. And it was it wasn't too convoluted. It was pretty damn easy to follow. The next raw sees Austin wrestling broad pill, men and ends in d q win for Austin. It's notable because Austin actually breaks pill men's knows in the match after kicks cheer into his face. And these these guys are best to France going back to their run WCW. And they were the Hollywood blonds what was their relationship like here in ninety seven Austin, filming that good relationship. And this was you know, Brian had been through so much with the humvee accident and everything and he. We were looking for Brian to come in and have that program with St. for those who remembered the Hollywood blonds thought, they would really appreciate it. But also, also more importantly was if you wanted to get Brian pill over you gotta put him with the hottest guy on the roster time, which was stone cold Steve Austin in Steve really wanted to work with Brian so them coming in and then all the series of injuries that took place with Brian. It was just it was snake bit from the beginning. The socks a little bit about. Calgary stampede. We've covered this episode in great detail in the archives. We did whole show on it. But the main event is one of the most legendary matches of the year, Bret Owen Davey nine heart Hillman on one side, the heart nation taking on Steve Austin LSD can shamrock and gold us twenty four minutes. It's so over with the crowd. The camera shaking got four and a quarter stars in the observer afterwards, a huge celebration by the entire heart clan in the ring such a special moment, what can tell us about Canadian stampede obviously was very special night because the Canadian heroes if you were was their homecoming, it was a chance for the heart foundation in their home to be victorious in cocker. Those big Batum ericans, you you move one hundred mile. Miles south into the states. And you would have the exact opposite reaction where the Hart foundation would have been the heels all the way and the baby faces would have been them damn red white and blue baby faces, but this was the beginning of that that sees feeling where you were going. Holy cow. The audience was into everything they were believing everything Austin was red hot just as a character in general, Bret Hart was red hot is a character in general, and you had these two factions. It was a. Not a what's the best? Let's say hulk HOGAN versus the iron sheet clearly USA versus Iran traditional all American flag, waving baby face. This wasn't that. This was natural. This was country, pride and. Canada loving loving their their home grown sons, man, these were these they're heroes. They were one of them and America Saint fuck you Canada in your home grown sons. We want our home grown sons stone cold Steve Austin, Texas, doesn't get any better coming from Texas by God. But that whole it was us versus them without ever having to to really go there. We did go there. But in the beginning it wasn't a an America versus Canada. It was Austin versus Bret Hart foundation. But the country's took it that way in the in. The gin was another example of the audience dictating and being able to. Dictate the roles matter what country they were in. The next I rawal from Edmonton the Hart foundation's in the rain watching the trail on as the Canadian national anthem is playing often comes out from behind Texanol out with chairs and then later in the show. Awesome pens on hers Townsley and after the match. He's doing a interview and calls mankind to the ring and they wound up hugging. But he turns on mankind and hits them with the stunner. Michaels is out of action after his backstage fight with Bret Hart, and it's announce there's going to be a tournament with the winner facing off facing Austin and a partner of his choosing for the tag titles and Mancon is asking Austin to pick him was partner. Of course, Owen bulldog win the tournament on these law fourteenth, raw it's announced that Austin is going to challenge when heart for the intercontinental title at summer, slam in a kiss my ass match. It's kind of fun later in the show Austin faces owed and bulldog for the tag titles by himself. And they have a good match and they announce a partner is gonna show up after the commercial break. It turns out to be mankind. This time is dude love and Austin eases the stone around bulldog and love Pinson at ten minutes. This is the debut of dude love and. Is interesting that happened when he was tagging with Steve Austin? I think that sort of gets buried talk to me about dude love, I don't know when we'll talk about him again. Well, Steve part ler part partner lists and Steve was going out and doing all these tag matches and tag scenarios by himself Steve needed a partner. But Steve Austin is not the stereotypical gonna go out and ask anybody for help. So man kind had been trying to pick me Steve help you and Steve our age God damn hell in it was a story that had gone on and on with mankind. So what eventually happened is you have the alter ego of mankind. Mick Foley, dude. Love who decides Steve Austin needs a partner, and he also might need a little bit of love. And that would that would be where the dude came in. So. The debut of dude love coming out and helping a guy that does want help and co Steve Austin and the two of them being successful in Steve that typical this is where we realized that did matter who you were baby face. He'll man woman child. Steve Austin had to study at the end of night hulk HOGAN, most pose Steve Austin must done. Failty shirt coming on the July twenty first raw is from Halifax Nova Scotia Bret Owen Davey boy, get a win over undertaker Austin. And dude love and a flag on the pole match. The famous comes when Bron pill Mun is under the ring and knocks down the undertaker's. He tries to climb the pole to get the American flag. So of course on the opposite side Brett grabs the Canadian flag for the win. And that gets us to summer slam. We've we've touched on this before tell us the story, Steve Austin and Owen Hart here, this changes everything. Well, thought you know, you go into it was a great match up until that one point where Owen Hart delivered the reverse piledriver was Steve and man changed. The course of a wrestling change. The course of stone cold Steve Austin's career forever. I mean that one moment in the match and after hitting the powder over where Steve's head was dropped down to low and Owen hit it differently than I think Steve was expecting him to hit it. And where when you do the tombstone piledriver that Steve thought he was going to get you come down on your knees in Owen delivered it where he comes down on his ass both of which have been done. Variety of times and a lot of time safely. And I think if you were to have a one heart do the do the move a hundred times in a row he'd probably hit it. And this was unfortunately, one of the nights that. Sakes happened. And it was Steve Austin's head the got drilled into the mat leaving Steve sensually paralyzed in the middle of the rain and couldn't feel anything didn't have control of his body. And that's a scary fucking place to be and Steve somehow. Mustered enough and got back enough feeling in the ring to be able to kind of role one hard up and get the victory. As funny because you know, it would have been easy for Owen just cover Steve at that point one one-two-three three, but Steve called because the stipulation was if you lose the match Voss lost the match she'd have to kiss Owens asks. And he didn't wanna do that stipulation plus them, and that was the finish of the match Steve would win and win the intercontinental championship. But imagine the faculties Steve down there not not being able to fully control his body. I ain't gonna kiss some bitch is ass and have the wherewithal to to roll him up in the the worst roll up in wrestling history. But just because but the when you look at it the worst roll up in wrestling history. However, kind of one of the most miraculously to that he was even able to do that much when you look at how bad his neck was. He wrote about this in his book. He says they talked about the spot beforehand in the back, and he even says that he clarified not once but twice that. Oh, one was gonna fall on his knees. Not his ass. And he thought I was rigging when he said, no, he falls on his ass. And he was still upset about it talked about, you know, if you watch the videotape this directly from his book, if you watch the video tape heads about six to eight inches below is asked. I weigh two fifty two twenty five or thereabouts at the time. But with the jump up impact down man, I got spiked headfirst into the mat hardest. Hell that's one of the thing. That's going to turn you into a quadriplegic quicker than anything like what happened to Christopher Reeves is called an Axial load. It's not a whiplash thing. But a major implant impact blow to the spinal cord, boom. I remember when it happened. I was going to kick out onto and a half or two and three quarters. I was going to sell the piledriver. When I was going to kick out of it at the last second. And when my head hit the mat, it was as if a big gong went off in my body when stuff like that happens people, usually go on Khan on conscious or get groggy. But I stayed razor-sharp the whole time it was almost like I had super hearing Malek straightened up Arden's been up. My hands were frozen. I remember kind of picking my head from the man and telling the referee Earl Hefner, tell him not to fucking touch me. I can't move an early got up and told don't touch him. He can't move. And then I said tell him to buy me some time Earl told him that. So and started trying to get the crowd to chant and chanting to the crown and he's buying me time, but I needed and eventually you can actually see Earl till Owen Owen looks down at Steve and he's very concerned several times, but. They gotta find a way out of this. So he walks around the ring yelling at the crowd and a minute and a half go by and also say I finally started to get a little bit of my feeling back in my limbs, my shoulder and interior deaths were on fire. It felt like it took everything a had to been Malek's and try to get into a crawl position. But I couldn't crawl on my hands because I couldn't use my hands and all we had to get to the finish. And I had to win. So I was crawling around on my elbows told the raff roll up for the win. He told when I called and the next thing was the worst looking roll up in wrestling history because he couldn't use his limbs, and he manages to hold. Oh and on his back and get a three count. This is not a good moment in his career. And he held. A bit of a grudge for this did not. Yeah, he did. And I think Steve. Again. It's it's the. Risk. You take every time that you step into the ring you're giving someone else your body. So you trust them with your body. I don't believe for a second that own heart maliciously hurt Steve Austin. And I think it was a freak accident that happen. However, when it's you being dropped on your head being paralyzed and going through what Steve did, I think I would probably be bitter and a little pissed off as well. So is great of technician his own heart. Was this was a mistake. And this was something that unfortunately, happened ego back, and you think of the said before the the. Fact, Steve was able to regain some feeling in have the wherewithal to crawl on his elbows and get to the worst looking roll up in the history of the business that in and of itself is kinda miraculous is well when you find out after the fact, and unfortunately long after the fact how bad that injury really was. So to those of us watching in the back, you're looking at it and you're thinking oh shit. He's got a stinger. That's what you thought in those days guy gets gets his bell wrong. And he's he's hurt for a minute. And can't move any kind of loose off ailing. We call call that stinger. Just thought Steve had a stinger. He was up afterwards. And we're like, you know, let's get him some help because you could tell that once the referee's got him up the way he was holding his hands his legs, just wobbly and everything he did not have full control of his body and something was wrong. And that's those little little nuances that you can tell a guy's her and how they hold their legs how their legs go and how they hold their hands. And that was a telltale sign with Steve a was hurt. And this wasn't just a stinger. But in the flow of everything and everything's going on live and. We didn't have communication back from the referee. All you could do is of look at the the situation. China says it as best she could says he hurt the referees. Tell me. Yeah. He is hurt. All right. Well, let's let's get out of this thing. But you you have to trust the competitors in the ring at that point for them to make the right decision. I think Steve made the the only decision you know, that that he felt was right. And did what he had to do. Sucked second with hospital. The do an x Ray he doesn't remember them doing any more that night says pretty sure they didn't. But the reports that come back are negative and later he has more tests on Philadelphia, and it shows that he had a Bruce spinal cord, and he would be dealing with this for years to come Meltzer would report that Steve went in for an MRI on August, the eighth and was told by one of the leading neck specialists in the country, he should retire in that he'd be risking paralysis to continue the marash showed what's known in football as a stinger trauma to the C four and C five vertebrae since he's not going to retire. He's going to get a second opinion from Philadelphia doctor who is reputed to be the leading next specialist in the US those who've talked with Austin say he really doesn't feel that bad. Now, he has some pain, but he's ready to get back to work. That's the report from the observer fast forward a few weeks and. Meltzer would write among other injuries. Austin thirty two suffered a breeze of the spine along with his fairly significant neck problems that were combination of both the recent jar and the cumulative effect of the wear and tear his wrestling career. The injury resulted in continual tingling in his shoulders similar to one sleeps wrong on their shoulders and wakes up with their limb asleep. The feeling was that Austin would eventually be able to wrestle although the doctor that I saw in Texas recommended that he retire and warned him that the suffering of another serious injury of the type would put him at risk of paralysis due to that he'll likely have to modify his in ring style and not take certain bombs that could potentially aggravate the injury the basic prognosis was that after laying off and doing rehab for the next two months. He'd be reexamined. And at that time he'd have a better idea of winning could return to the ring. Sure man, the domino effect of this especially when he is hot as he is the biggest moment has as right in the middle of the biggest push of his entire career. And he's getting all of these reports that hey, man, something similar to this happens again, not as your career over. But she might not be able to walk. Devastating news in being in the wrestling business. You take that advice from professionals who see this every day as a grain of salt because they don't see wrestlers every day. So you take that as okay, that's for the normal guy walking down the street on athlete. I'm in good shape. And in what I can withstand is different than what you're used to seeing. So a lot of times we have the tendency to self diagnose. Steve didn't wanna hear that seved. In wanna hear this career was going to be over and hell, neither did we. We didn't want Steve's career to be over. So you seek other experts that can possibly remedy whatever the hell is going on you try and find someone that will say, okay. Yeah. You've got this injury. This is how this is what you'll need to do rehab that injury. So that you can get back to doing what you do. However because of the injury that Steve had you're not gonna be able to do all aspects of what you do you're gonna have to modify that and that that was the answer Steve was looking for. So that he continue career. He was willing to do whatever it took to get to that next step. So that he could get back into the ring and do the rehab do the work and hope that after he done the. Rehab. He was going to get a clean Bill health and the doctor would clear him to come back in. I don't think Steve was ever interested in taking any kind of piledriver anything that dropped on his head ever again after experiencing that and Steve Louis, you know, Steve was pissed. He was not happy because it was during the time that he was as hot is. He had ever been. So this was a hiccup in that run that. Ended up as funny is you look at Steve Austin's entire career. Some of the times this time being being one of those examples, but with his knees some other injuries throughout the years. Those times that he was off. And we used him in different ways would make him even hotter on the other side. And that was one of those kind of mazing enigmas you'd go well shit if got hurt again, then now that's a terrible thing to say. But for whatever reason his personality everything that he did the way that he fought back, and we would keep him on TV and keep them alive. He would be hotter on the other side. Talk to me about a win allegedly. There's. Their relationship is never the same. And. Austin contends that. Owen never called him. And he felt like that wasn't the right thing to do. And he says they were still cordial teach other. But hey, didn't find a nearly as funny as he used to did you ever conversation about sort of the aftereffects of summer, slam ninety seven we'll see Austin in regards to his relationship with Owen? Yeah. And steve. I'll say the word pissed, but I bet you that hurt would be a better adjective to describe what he was feeling. Because that could have been you know, that could have been not just the end of Steve's career that can put Stephen wheelchair for the rest of his life. The and I don't know if when, you know didn't try to call them or I have no idea what happened on that side. How're from cease side of it, Steve is always said that he didn't reach out to him in that was something that affected. Steve. That is like, hey, man. I gave you my body. I trusted you in the rain to take care of me in the ring, and in Austin's mind, and I think in any other professionals mind he betrayed that trust. It was an accident. However, I do think that if the she were on the other foot, I think Steve Steve would have been there and make sure that the guy was all right, whoever it was. And now know if it was me, I think I would have. Been there to do whatever. I could to make sure that they were. Okay. It's little things Brock listener kicked. Wall of my face. Literally broke my face shatter, my orbital Brockman nose in three places collapsed, my sinuses. And that we were in Halifax Nova Scotia, and I flew home. When I arrived home. The next day or the day after I got back from the doctor. There was the biggest box of lobsters, and crab, and shrimp and all this stuff from place that that Brock and I'd found in Seattle. With a note. You know, here's looking at you in see you later with a with an eye drawn on it. And all this stuff and Brock, you know, constantly called to make sure I was okay. So that's common courtesy to me. And again, I Owen coming from wrestling family. I don't know what the motivation would have been for him not to. I'm sure that he had a good one. I don't know. I really don't know. But if if he didn't then shame on him. And at the time Steve may not have wanted to hear it. But I'm sure that Steve would remember if if somebody reached out to him and was there, I do I mean like just my little thing with Brock Leser. It was I will never forget. That gesture and how concerned Brock was for me after the fact. Let's let's remind everybody that has a result of the injury Austin has to forfeit both the intercontinental and the tag titles. We'll talk about in your house. Ground zero supposed to ceremony here. We're dude love and Austin are going to give up the tag titles to Sargent slaughter or Stu gives his up. But Austin comes out to huge pop stars running down JR, Vincent, man. It's hard to slaughter throws his belt down, and he's calling Jim Rosso fat ass, and when Ross praises him Austin gives him the stunner which is the first time, we see something like that a big deal and the crowd chants slaughter sucks. And they're helping Ross out and. I mean, this is stealing show. And he's not even really wrestling match later in the night. There's a tournament for the finals of the tag team titles in the head bangers beat Owen and bulldog. When Brad heart. I'm sorry Owen is putting mosh in the sharpshooter in Austin runs on and gives a stunner. And then mosh scores. The pin and wins the titles. You know, this is a clearly dawn to keep him in the limelight and keep him on TV and keep him high while it can't wrestle. But if he's got an injury, and he's passing out stunners. I mean that requires you to fall on your ass and put more pressure on your spine does not. Let's go put pressure on your tail bomas can put pressure on your spine in a different way. And that impact Steve was fine with and for whatever reason, I believe the doctors were fine with it's not coming down on top of his head. It's not impacting the the spine and the skull and all that. So it's it's different bump, it's fuck up your tailbone after a while, you know, it's gonna it's gonna mess up your hips and things of that nature and lower back. But I don't know that it had a whole lot of affect on his neck, and where all that was. So this was another example of Steve not being able to work in the ring and being that defiant Antea thority figure that people loved and he just kept getting hotter and hotter. Speaking, hotter and hotter. Let's talk about September twenty second nineteen ninety seven. It's the first raw ever from Madison Square Garden and during the Owen Hart Brian pill Mun intercontinental title tournament match Austin would attack Owens and the cops come to the ring to arrest. Austin and McMahon jumps out of his chair and gives a speech about how everyone cares about Steve. And it just don't wanna see them wind up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life in Austin acts like he understands that they're really just looking out for his best interest. And then he gives McMahon a huge stone air to Gye pop and the police handcuff Steve Austin and drag him out, and this is a huge huge moment. Because the first time we've seen anybody do something like this with Vince pretty historic night. But probably the worst owner in history. What are you? Remember? Oh, gosh. It was the worst under history. I don't know the vents vents wanted to take it differently. So they look like he didn't know what the hell, you know. You know, what I mean is like the wrestlers take it a certain way and Vincent wanted to look like he was some seasoned professional bump taker which he was not. So he wanted to take it as realistically as he could. But I I think that resulted in be one of the most unrealistic centers of all time. However, man, it was the garden. It was Austin on fire. No one had ever really touched vents before at the time people proceed, Vince as an on air talent, not as the owner of the company, but in New York, they'd seen Vince their entire lives. You know, he'd been the on air commentator there for capitol wrestling championship wrestling for so long that you know, he was one of them. They knew that. He was he was New York. That was a huge fucking deal. And it was the first time Austin's escorted out with cops and all that shit. And so many of those shots from that night. Our economy is well ego back and you look at what Maidstone cold Seib Austin, special attraction that he was. The next week on raw Austin this confronted by McMahon who says you've got three choices by next week. Either. Get a doctor's release signed a waiver absolving the WBF of any liability in case, you are injured further or be fired. So they're going to keep it going. I wanna mention here. We've touched on this before in our Brown Hillman episode. Brian passes away in early October. We haven't talked a lot about is how that affected Steve is in the middle of the biggest push of his career. And now his best friend is found dead and hotel room right in the middle of it would impact. This have on say did you have a conversation with him about him? Liz in his best friend here. Yeah. I mean, it's hard. It was. I I don't want to say it was expected. It wasn't expected. But there were there were signs that Brian was having an issue. We drug tested. We we we tested him right before he passed, and he passed the flying colors, but I think Brian was in a depression. And I think. I don't know you always. As a human being, you always want to think that if you had been there, and you could have done something more to prevent it. And I think that's kinda how Steve modify. He was sad. Because one of his contemporaries, wasn't just contemporary that was his friend, and he was friends with Brian. He was friends with Brian's, family and. It was that was a hard pill to swallow. It was it was tough for him to come to grips with that. Brian was well liked pretty much by everybody. But he did have a special bond with Steve that it hurt him. And and that one probably stuck with Steve for a while. Meltzer reported at the beginning of ember that Austin returned to the ring doing short matches gift hundred Townsley and Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. And he would write he scheduled wrestle from this point forward, including the survivor series match and was also supposed to undergo another neck evaluation. The coming week. The Bruce final cord he suffered from the acts of the heart matches healed. But he still has pretty serious neck problems which back to his days playing college football and the company wants him to modifies in ring style in particular, he'll be forced to stay away from any kind of bumps on the neck. And there's a good chance that he'll never be quite the same performer that he was. Having conversations with Steve was it just about let's us get back in there. Let's just keep it going. Or was he one of those guys who was like, man? Fuck can't do it. Like, I used to that cross his mind job conversations about that. I think the egos Steve Austin is one that he wanted to be the stone cold Steve Austin that got over. He wanted to have the best match on the card. He wanted people to remember him for being you know, the best in all aspects of the game. I do remember giving Steve Austin the same same advise on the same story that I have said to Shawn Michaels that I have said to the undertaker and a few others that I would use the crusher in Milwaukee as an example, you know, crusher was up in age and crush should be sixty years old, but he would go out there, and he would punch and kick and do a few things. Let guys bump it. Fly all around him and was popular forever. Doing very little stave. All you gotta do is just. Reorganize. What it is. You do in the ring reinvent yourself. You don't have to do all that shit anymore. You're over go out. And do what you can do do it better than anybody else. And you'll be fine. Sean Michaels has in his head. If he's not gonna be the Shawn Michaels people remember in nineteen ninety than he didn't wanna do it. You know, half of Shawn Michaels a quarter of Shawn Michaels is better than you know, the best of lot of what is out there. And I'd said same thing to Steve because what he did that personality shown through and he was able to make up for what you didn't even miss it. You didn't miss Steve wasn't doing a lot of the same shit that he did before. And I think in his head. He just needed time to figure that out get in the ring and feel it and the audit again and that. The audience loved him even more because they were seeing him kicked people's asses. Let's get to survivor series ninety seven. Of course, it's finest with the Montreal screw job. But it's also Austin's I my it's back on TV challenging Omaha for the intercontinental title. He's going to get the win in a very short match, four minutes and four seconds. Not quite the match that a lot of people would hope for. But you probably just wanna get the title back on him and gift through the match. What are your member about their masters through our series short and sweet and in that was exactly the order? It was get the hell out there and don't do anything. It was the time for Steve goal and kick Owens ass for what he did to him. And it was stays triumphant return and get that win back in and move on weren't looking for a great match. I just wanted to get Austin's heat back. If you will else would ride in December. Steve Austin got reports back from two next specialist last week, Dr Joseph tour viewed a tape of his mass Madison Square Garden and having protected himself workings new style and said as long as he didn't take any bumps on his neck. He probably be okay to wrestle with no significant risk of paralysis. But a second doctor second opinion examined his neck and said what the wrong bump, permanent paralysis is still a possibility. A Meltzer would write that the second doctor's opinion kind of freaked Dawson out even though we wrestled all week usually being in short matches a couple minutes. But for the most part the injury suffered in the Owen Hart mishap, was healed. But all this residual neck damage has just cumulated too dangerous spot for him. What were some of the things you remember about Steve trying to change his in ring style little bit to protect himself? Well, Steve is very protective of bumps in particular. He was very protective anybody picking him up and throwing him down just making sure that he was gonna land flat. Steve wanted to be in control of that. And rightfully so. Because it just come off of this situation and wanna doctor says the wrong bump that's with anybody at anytime. If you've got a the strongest healthiest neck in back in the world, the wrong bumps going to paralyze you for the rest of your life. Sure. Now for someone who has already felt holy shit. Steve was fucking paralyzed in the ring for maybe a minute or so. In the original match with Owen? So this wasn't a scare thing to Steve. This was a let's go back in time and revisit what you went through. Steve. Let's go back and revisit that minute. That you spent on the apron looking up at the lights wondering fuck am. I ever gonna walk again man, that's real shit that will fuck with your head. I don't care who you are so staved now trying to figure out. Okay. He's heard this. And he knows it because he's felt it. Revamp style redo what he does in the ring in be in control of his body. And and be in control. Of who has his body and who he's gonna trust in the ring. So those are the that was kinda shit that was going through Steve's head were rightfully so he was concerned because he didn't want to be a quadriplegic, and he didn't want to end up in a wheelchair. We haven't really talked about this a lot. But I've always wanted to talk about the Owen three sixteen shirt. Of course, the most famous shirt and wrestling at this point as Austin three sixteen and of course, Austin three sixteen says, I just whipped your ass will Owen what strut around on TV wearing an Owen three sixteen shirt. And on the back. It says I just broke your neck. So you've already got sort of a strained relationship with Owen Stephen now it storyline. But still he's making money on shirt sort of mocking his gimmick. And bragging about the fact that he broke his neck any real heat over that shirt to the best ereck election to the best of my recollection recollection. No. But it was capitalizing on a real life situation. Now had Steve been out of the business. Never would have done that in a million years. However, the fact that Steve was cleared to. Come back. Steve, you know was not paralyzed. It was okay. This is a business, and this is one way to capitalize on it and get to that return match and make it mean, even more. So as far as I know, I don't know there's any heat from Steve for that shirt one way or another but had things gone. The other way never would have done that. It's a modern opera while his leg as a not, absolutely. Let's talk about in your house DX the degeneration x pay per view. It's December seventh nineteen Ninety-seven Springfield my ass and Austin is gonna pin rock him via in about five minutes to retain the title. He's got the biggest reaction on the show. They comes out driving a truck, which is kinda fun. Lots of interference year for rue the nation of domination involved. But it's really the first time we see Austin in rocky working in a pay per view. When did you guys know? Hey, man. These guys have something. Well. Probably probably right about this time because you don't really know until you see him in the ring in you can listen to the audience reaction as to are they buying this. And they were rock was hot. So it was right about this time that we started going Jesus, man. We've got something here in in the rock and the whole nation zone so forth. I believe that the original original original was to do something with Stephen Faruk. But rock man was kinda that ground swell coming up with staves. It is like I mean with a rock that is like. Slide rock in here. See how he does. So this was this was it. This was kind of the first time that they really worked together in a major program on a major stage that made you think, okay, we're going with rock, and we'll go a different direction with with Ron Simmons Faruk. Is it true? That the original idea. Here was awesome was supposed to drop the intercontinental title. But Austin didn't wanna do it. No. And I don't even think I it again. I don't even think that rock was original opponent. It was originally supposed to be through and then rock because of the way he was getting over. But no. Not to my knowledge. I don't know somebody might have said that at one point. But no. The next time on raw JR introduced us McMahon as the owner of the WWF, which is one of the first time since acknowledge on TV like this and McMahon starts talking about Austin. And the fact that he had gotten away with a lot including attacking announcers officials, and yours truly fans pop for this and McMahon said the night before Austin went too far by daydream the lives of the fans when he drove his truck into the arena down to the ring. And he said whether or not Austin knocking out the referee the night before wasn't accident. He was demanding that Austin defend the intercontinental title against Rocky Mountain via live tonight here on raw. And then awesome comes out and McMahon tells awesome. He's the Boston Austin says he doesn't care and McMahon says he's going to respect the consequences of not doing what he tells them and tells them to watch his language. And of course, awesome says he's going back stage gonna pop top on a beer and a hotdog. But really, it's the first confrontation like this between awesome. The McMahon in Vinci's sort of playing the Mr McMahon character that's a handful of months later and a really turn the time for the company. Did you guys at this point now? Hey, man, this is the real story McMahon. Awesome win. Did you know, did you know here or was it before this? Really was after this. The again, the the Mr McMahon character that was something that really evolved, the Vince fought Vince fought against God. Dammit, I don't wanna be. I wanna be a character not gonna do that. He wasn't fond of it. As it grew. Yeah. That Mr McMahon character was the hottest. He'll that we had that it was like, okay. Well, Mr McMahon would do this. But here it was here's another piece of the story. This is another chapter in the story to get Steve Austin over and if it's presented as the boss, but is also first time that you sit there and go not not in the garden when he was the announcer wearing the black and red Ross stuff. But here that's why we announced Vince as the owner of the company first time. I don't know. He was crazy about that. But this was the first time in this was the the first time that you got that feel of fuck is that character, you could get some mileage out of it. But thence, no the he's still didn't wanna do. He did want. Sure Selden wanted to full-time as a on air character. This episode of raw the reason I asked that about the pay per view was rock supposed to win. Is on the same episode. Awesome would forfeit the intercontinental title to the rock and stunning. And he does because he says he's going after the world title. Does it devalues the intercontinental title to change hands here where he just four-fifths it in why not have him just drop it the night before to to rock at the paper view because Vince felt that that would having him lose the title that that would have hurt the stone cold character song cold character, say fuck you? And he didn't Vincent feel it devalued the intercontinental championship. I think it kinda did if championships not important everybody than the championships. Not important. The feeling behind. It was sown. Call take oh, fuck yourself. And he wants the biggest in the best for stone cold to do it. It would be okay. And aid felt that by having someone beat Steve for the title would devalue Steve. Because now Steve's got to go back and Steve has to go after whoever beat him for the title for their continental title, Steve on a bigger and better things. Just again, it was a philosophical point. And that's that's what we ended up with Steve just said, you know, what fuck this. I'm gone. I got bigger fish to fry it moved on. Why moves on to the Royal rumble, and that's in nineteen ninety eight and a four Mike Tyson's there and the next night everything changes, but that's going to bring us to close here. On today's episode of something wrestle all about Steve Austin in nineteen ninety seven where he really really leveled up his career. I mean, he starts the year winning the Royal rumble and finishes the year in the middle of what's going to be the biggest feud maybe in the history of wrestling, certainly the one that turns the tide for the company Steve Austin, and Mr McMahon and forfeiting the intercontinental title because he's going after the world title and the next month. Of course. Ooh. Tyson change, everything what are year Steve Austin, nineteen ninety seven one of the most important years in company history fair to say, absolutely. And it was a turning point in. I think when you look at wrestling as whole this was that was the year of the turning point where the tides began to change. Well, we appreciate you guys not changing and sticking with us here. Something wrestle got. Some big show's coming your way, including wrestlemainia twenty Michael PSA's and much much more. Stay tuned to something to wrestle here. Friday at noon, and don't forget bigger tickets to come see us tomorrow in crown point, Indiana. That's the thing. But it is. And you get a great wrestling show, plus something wrestle lob. And then right before the paper you in Cleveland, you can come see us there. Well, Bruce, Richard dot com has your tickets on sale right now is the Saturday before wrestlemainia with Bruce and the Monday after wrestlemainia right after the biggest raw of the year late night evening show with good old JR Ambrish pictured myself tickets are on sale now and Bush, Richard dot com. And don't forget BRUCE'S coming to see Australia can't believe you really do that. It's gonna take me day to get there. Get a day to recruit then March twenty second Sydney, the twenty third Melbourne and the twenty fourth in Brisbane Australia coming in our can't wait for tickets right now, Richard dot com. If you haven't already check inside on Twitter at Pritchard show, he is at restricted, I'm a hands Conrad, and we are at shit. Conrad New York is sold out. As we are on the air. New York is sold out Pengle. Now, we got to shows in New York the Saturday sold that. Okay. All right. So you miss your chance because his the Saturday before wrestlemainia, but tickets are on sale now for right after Monday night, raw good old JR, Richard. Get your tickets now at brisk, Richard dot com. Can wrap up the show now or do you just wanna play shocking? Connor. How are we wrapping up here? I kind of did. And then you did a running just a little notice that came across my street. Why does she shot con-? We'll get out of here. Shuck?