Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time
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He s one of the most popular Superstars in the history of sports-entertainment, with a resume that includes six WWE Championship reigns, three Royal Rumble victories, a King of the Ring Championship, and an unprecedented run of raising hell throughout WWE. Stone Cold Steve Austin continues to be both popular and controversial.
With the recent success of Tough Enough, his highly anticipated appearances on WWE Raw, and his continued movie career, the Texas Rattlesnake is still a pop culture force and there has never been a comprehensive biography done until now. Stone Cold Steve Austin looks at the life and career of Austin, and includes exclusive, never-before-seen interviews with Austin and many of his in-ring rivals.
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Blu-ray packaging: Great package, they actually included an insert with this one that contains the track listing for each disc. I liked all the artwork on the package, except for the cover.
Documentary: I originally became excited for this release when I heard Austin was going to provide audio commentary for 3 matches. I didn't care for the documentary because we've seen several Steve Austin DVDs released in the past and I didn't believe they could come up with anything else new to say about his career. However, the documentary is the best thing on here! Let me say this before I go any further... this is the single best documentary WWE has produced on a wrestler's career, ever! They put a ton of work into this. For all those that have complained about the poor quality of WWE's documentaries in the past (and justifiably so), you'll be glad to know they have redeemed themselves with this one. The documentary contains all new interviews, shot in HD. This HD video looks tremendous too, it has a warm film look to it, not a flat video look to it, like in so many other WWE DVDs. What makes the documentary feature so good is the massive list of peers WWE included to help tell the story of Austin's career; they include: Mick Foley, Dutch Mantel, Percy Pringle, Jim Ross, Arn Anderson, Paul Heyman, Triple H, Michael Hayes, William Regal, Chris Jericho, Joey Styles, Vince McMahon, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Christian, John Cena, Miz, Jerry Lawler, The Rock, Bill Demott, Booker T and John Morrison. Each of these people give their own thoughts and opinions on Austin's career which adds so much more to the presentation than if it were just Austin himself telling the story. People like Mick Foley, Paul Heyman, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, McMahon and the Rock give their perspective on what it was like to work with Austin as he took off to become the greatest wrestler of all time. While CM Punk and the Miz give passionate and real thoughts from a fan perspective regarding Austin's career during his red-hot WWF run. They cover everything in the documentary, it's long too! If you felt that previous Steve Austin documentaries and interviews were lacking or didn't tell the whole story, then get ready to hear everything from Austin breaking into the business to hosting Tough Enough in 2011 and everything in between. There wasn't a lot I heard that I didn't already know, but there are a handful of things that surprised me. I wont give them away, but the main thing involved Austin laying some bitter feelings to rest that I was glad to see he's put behind him. I really can't say enough good things about this documentary feature, it's tremendous. Austin holds nothing back during the documentary. WWE allowed him to swear (it's censored) and be himself, it's as if Austin is just kicking back and telling his story directly to you. So by the end, you really feel like you know the man. I think for longtime fans it'll bring back a ton of great memories and new fans will clearly get to see what made Austin the single greatest act in professional wrestling history.
Extras: It's hard to argue with the match listing on this set, it really captures Austin at his best. My only gripe, and it's a small one, is that they only included one USWA match, one WCW matches and zero ECW matches. They almost needed one more disc of matches to truly capture the full journey of Austin's career, but like I said, this is a minor gripe. I really wanted to see more of Austin's USWA and WCW TV Tile run, since those have been virtually ignored in previous Austin WWE DVD releases. With that said, what they did include is some of his best work from WWF. I was glad to see they included Austin vs the Rock for the Intercontinental Title from In Your House DX '97. That early IC Title feud is highly underrated in my opinion and it gave all of us a glimpse into the epic feud that would follow and headline WrestleMania a record setting three times! Austin vs Bret Hart from WrestleMania XIII is included, and unlike on the WWE - Bret "Hitman" Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be DVD, the audio isn't damaged and out of synch! For those that love Austin's promos, skits and vignettes they've included (on the Blu-ray edition) an entire disc dedicated to them! These are truly classic moments in wrestling history. Austin's ECW promos are here, some of Austin's best Bret Hart promos are here, the Tyson Austin confrontation from Raw is here, all of the vehicle gags are here, the Rock's funeral for Steve Austin is here and on and on it goes! They really loaded this one up with some classic moments. Austin and Jim Ross provide alternate commentary on three key matches in Austin's career, however don't expect a lot of insider stories or new information because in these commentaries Austin and Ross simply have fun and call the matches. Austin is very entertaining and funny on commentary, so these additions help freshen up some matches that you may have seen a million times before. The three matches are: Austin vs Bret Hart from WrestleMania XIII, Austin vs Michaels from WrestleMania XIV and Austin vs Rock from WrestleMania XVII - this is not only my favorite Steve Austin match, but it's my favorite WWF/WWE match of all time! (I'm glad I own the original uncensored WrestleMania XVII DVD because the blurring used to cover the old WWF logo is very distracting here).
Blu-ray Exclusive Features: If possible, I strongly urge you to spend the extra money and pick up the Blu-ray edition of this release if you can. It contains some must see exclusives you can't get anywhere else. There are rare bonus matches like: Austin vs Undertaker vs Triple H from No Mercy '99, exclusive interview outtakes that didn't make the final cut of the documentary feature (which are excellent) and exclusive Austin moments like: A Flair for the Gold '93 and classic promos.
Bottom line on this one is that if you're a Steve Austin fan this is a must buy. This is a fitting collection and presentation of arguably the greatest wrestler in history, don't miss this one.
The documentary beings with Austin talking about growing up & how he discovered wrestling & became a fan to the point where he went to live events through college before eventually going into Chris Adams' wrestling school & his time in the USWA telling the story of how he got the name "Stunning Steve Austin" & how he ended up in a "teacher vs. student" feud with Chris Adams. His time in WCW was discussed next including his reaction to his first ring introduction, the importance of the WCW Television Championship, the rise & fall of the Hollywood Blondes, his feud with Ricky Steamboat, and how things started to go downhill eventually leading to getting fired. How Paul Heyman found out Steve got fired began to cover his time in ECW with the main point being how he had a platform to vent about his frustrations which led to his famous promos which would end up being the first look at the Stone Cold character. His early days in WWE were talked about next starting from the problems with "The Ringmaster" gimmick, how he came up with the name & character of "Stone Cold" along with the development of it leading up to the King Of The Ring & where "Austin 3:16" came from, and his feud with Bret Hart leading up to the infamous double switch at WrestleMania 13. SummerSlam '97 was heavily discussed next with the piledriver Owen gave Austin with Austin's thoughts while it was happening & Bret talking about how it changed the relationship between those two before going into how him being injured allowed him to showcase his personality as a character & on the mic while pushing the envelope with his language & middle fingers along with the impact of his stunner on Vince at Madison Square Garden. The road to Austin's WWE Championship reign was highlighted next featuring the involvement of Mike Tyson along with the media coverage it brought leading to Austin's crossover ability appearing on various TV shows. His war against Vince McMahon was discussed next such as the importance of "The Stooges" & remembering various incidents between the two that included various motor vehicles & the infamous steel bedpan before talking about his WrestleMania XV match with The Rock & the personal issues Austin had to overcome going into the match that was noticeable from the start with Austin wearing a t-shirt to the ring instead of his trademark vest. A huge highlight of this presentation came next with Austin discussing his issues with his neck causing him to take the time off & doing into details of his surgery such as who was there when he woke up from his surgery & how Austin wasn't sure if he was going to come back from it & his fear of how the fans would respond to him. Another big step in Austin's career was discussed next in regards to his heel turn at WrestleMania X-7 & what he would change about that night knowing what he knows now, how he expanded his character with the comedy skits with Kurt Angle & Vince, and the story behind where the "What?" came from. Everything that led to Austin's walkout in 2002 was discussed next from his issues going into WrestleMania & what was planned for RAW the night he went home followed by the story of his return in 2003 leading to WrestleMania XIX against The Rock with Austin's health issues the day before & the aftermath of the match that Austin himself got very emotional when talking about it. Austin's run as co-General Manager & the Sheriff of RAW, his interaction with the fans after the show, his involvement in the movie "The Condemned" & hosting Tough Enough, his Hall Of Fame induction, and reflections on Austin round out the documentary.
DVD extras include bonus stories from Austin about him giving out autographs before he even started training, possibly joining the Hair Club For Men, where his "Rattlesnake" nickname came from, Triple H telling a funny story behind an incident at SummerSlam '99, C.M. Punk talking about the first times he met Austin, a music video, various people telling their memories of the Stone Cold Stunner with Austin revealing who told him about the move, and an entire disc of promos & moments. Bonus stories on the Blu-Ray include Austin talking about his memories of the Sportatorium & the story behind his first t-shirt (along with what Undertaker had to do with it). Other Blu-Ray extras include bonus matches, Austin answering questions asked by his Twitter followers, a tour of the "Broken Skull Ranch", his Hall Of Fame induction & appearance at WrestleMania the next night, and extra promos & moments.
vs. Gentleman Chris Adams - This match was a pretty short brawl that was pretty much about how Austin had to keep depending on his valet Jeannie (Austin's real life wife & Adams' ex) to help him get an advantage.
"USWA" May '90
w/Ric Flair vs. Sting & Ricky Steamboat - Both teams just worked together perfectly as if they were long term teams with Austin & Flair using anything to their advantage as heels with Sherri getting involved along with double teaming whenever possible. The action got out of control at one point where the announcers & even the referee was confused on who is the legal man. There was fighting in & out of the ring along with the action being very fast paced in a main event quality match on free television.
"WCW Saturday Night" July '94
vs. Jake Roberts - This was the final match of the annual King Of The Ring tournament with Jake going into the match with ribs that were heavily injured by Vader earlier in the night while Austin's lip was patched up from being busted open earlier in the night. Austin was completely ruthless here & the perfect heel against Jake who refused to quit & was after his own "Cinderella" story as Austin kept focusing on Jake's ribs. When all was said & done, Austin 3:16 was born.
King Of The Ring '96
[Jake Roberts: Pick Your Poision; Best Of King Of The Ring]
Submission Match w/Ken Shamrock as the referee vs. Bret Hart - Just knowing how physical & intense this feud was for the previous months, you got exactly what you expected here in that this was just an all out brawl that went from in the ring to ringside & through the crowd with these men using anything they can get their hands on (ringpost & guardrail & steel steps & ringbell & cables) to just beat the living hell out of each other to the point where Austin was heavily bleeding. Bret Hart did try to focus on Austin's knee with moves like the figure four on the post while other submissions were tried like a combination of a arm bar & head scissors, and boston crab. This match is a classic & memorable for so many things such as it launched Austin that launched Austin from a superstar to a main event talent, the beginning of the most unique heel turn in wrestling history with Bret Hart, and the highlight image of Austin fighting out of the Sharpshooter with the blood just pouring down from his face.
[Cause Stone Cold Said So; Bret Hart: The Best There Is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be]
(Alternate Commentary By Steve Austin & Jim Ross)
Intercontinental Championship Match vs. Rocky Maivia - This was a glorified handicap match were as it was the Rocky & the Nation Of Domination vs. Stone Cold & his pickup truck. This match was so out of control to the point where even the referee got knocked out at one point & Austin wasn't able to take his vest off until the match was over.
"In Your House: DeGeneration X" Dec. '97
[History Of The Intercontinental Championship]
vs. WWE Champion Shawn Michaels - Mike Tyson was the special outside enforcer for this match but already had his issues with Austin leading to him joining Shawn's group of D-Generation X weeks earlier while it should also be noted that Shawn Michaels came out to the DX band performing him to the ring while Shawn had been nursing a back injury that caused him to be out of action since the Royal Rumble in January. Shawn kept throwing jabs early causing Austin to retaliate with a clothesline & punches while making an ass out of Shawn. Triple H & Chyna got involved causing them to be sent to the back while Austin & HBK brawled from the ring to the stage to ringside with Austin backdropped over the railing at one point. Shawn remained in control working over Austin's legs while continued to taunt him. The big moment came with the referee being knocked out before Austin caught Sweet Chin Music into a stunner causing Tyson to get involved how nobody expected him to going into the match with Tyson delivering the final "blow" to Shawn Michaels.
[History Of The WWE Championship]
(Alternate Commentary By Steve Austin & Jim Ross)
Falls Count Anywhere Match vs. Dude Love w/special guest referee Mr. McMahon - Mr. McMahon had the odds heavily stacked against Austin here with himself as the special referee, Gerald Brisco as the time keeper, and Pat Patterson as the ring announcer who refused to even announce Austin but Undertaker volunteered himself to be the special outside enforcer to make sure Vince called the match fairly. This started off as a normal match with Vince already showing his bias by attempting to quick count Austin early which Austin responded to by knocking Dude Love's new false teeth out of his mouth & stomped on them. They took it to the floor with Austin being thrown into the steps with Vince refusing to countout Austin since Dude wasn't able to win the title that way only for Dude to continue to attack Austin on the floor causing Vince to change the match to a "No Disqualification Match." Austin was able to recover & clothesline Dude over the guardrail & took out Brisco in the process before both men brawled down the isle leading to the match becoming a "Falls Count Anywhere Match." The brawled on the cars setup on the stage including one moment where Austin went for a stunner but shoved off the hood of one car onto the hood of another car causing Austin to bleed. The fought back to the ring with a chair getting involved with Dude executing a double DDT & Austin later knocking out Dude with a chairshot to the head with Vince refusing to count only to later pay for it when Vince himself got knocked out with a chair. Chaos followed resulting in Patterson & Brisco getting involved with Taker making each one of them pay for it. This was one of the craziest main events during this time but definitely quality.
Over The Edge '98
[Mick Foley: Hard Knocks & Cheap Pops; Mick Foley's Greatest Hits & Misses]
WWE Championship Match vs. Undertaker - This was the conclusion of the months long build between Austin & Undertaker at SummerSlam that was dubbed "The Highway To Hell" (complete with the AC/DC song of the same name). Both men came aggressive at each other in the beginning with Austin getting knocked out early in the match due to hit accidentally butting heads with Undertaker. From there, you got all the elements you expected in this match as you had the brawling through the crowd & both men putting on a quality match in the ring with both men pulling out some surprises like Taker doing a legdrop off the top rope onto Austin on the outside announce table while Austin tried doing move wrestling moves like the drop toehold he executed early in the match. A high quality performance from both men here.
[Greatest Wrestling Stars Of The 90's]
vs. Big Show - This was right before WrestleMania XV with Mankind as the special referee, The Rock doing commentary, and Vince sitting at ringside. Show had the clear power advantage as he was able to keep counter Austin's attacks & block the stunner numerous times with Show also being was very defiant of Mankind causing him to take matters into his own hands at times as the referee. This match really put Show over as a threat since he had to take numerous non-stop chair shots to the head to finally be put down.
"RAW" Mar. '99
[Big Show: A Giant's World]
No Disqualification Match vs. WWE Champion The Rock - Austin came out in a t-shirt instead of his usual vest & took the fight to The Rock quickly as they brawled through the crowd to the stage area back to ringside with Austin dropping two elbow drops on Rock through the spanish table. A chair was put into play that caused the referee to accidentally get hit while Rock later used the chair to attack Austin all over his body before another referee was taken out. With Vince McMahon making his way to ringside along with the original special guest referee for this match, this was a match that lived up to the hype.
[The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment]
No Disqualification Match vs. WWE Champion The Rock - You could feel the tension between both men for weeks & it exploded right from the start when Austin attacked Rock during his entrance with both men blocking each others signature moves early with even Rock attempting Austin's own stunner. Both men brawled on the outside with Austin hit the Rock with the ringbell busting him open right away before they took it back into the ring with them trading momentum as Rock returned the favor to Austin with the ringbell causing him to bleed. Both men pulled out all stops using the ringpost & monitor while both attempted the moves like a sharpshooter, the "Million $ Dream" that we hadn't seen in years, and Rock delivering Austin's own stunner. However what this match is most memorable for happened when Vince McMahon appeared & his involvement showing how someone would "sell their soul" to become the champion. Jim Ross described this match best on commentary, "Off The Page Intense!"
[The Legacy Of Stone Cold Steve Austin]
(Alternate Commentary By Steve Austin & Jim Ross)
(Blu-Ray) WWE Championship/No Holds Barred Match vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H - Both Triple H & Undertaker were members of the Corporate Ministry at this time & Triple H started out the match fighting Austin in the isleway before Taker came from behind to assist & used the title on Austin. This was a glorified handicap match as both Taker & Triple H kept working as a team on Austin throughout the match with Austin having to resort to using a chair in order to try to get some momentum in his direction. However things started to turn when Triple H & Taker started to fight over who gets the win (and the championship) causing them to break up each others pin attempts & have it be every man for himself leading to Austin & Triple H working together at one point to take out Taker. The Corporate Ministry got involved while everyone that they had an issue with earlier in the night came out as well leading to absolute chaos including Chyna getting a stunner for her troubles.
No Mercy '99 (U.K. PPV)
(Blu-Ray) vs. WWE Champion Kurt Angle - This was Austin's first television appearance since losing the title to Kurt Angle at the previous Unforgiven PPV with WWE Commissioner Regal at ringside to ensure there was no foul play. Both started being very intense & fast paced with both brawling on the floor with Austin's head bouncing off the announce table resorting to him trying to use a chair before Regal took it away. Austin tried to beat Kurt at his own game with various submissions like the boston crab before trying to use the championship belt with Regal once again getting involved taking the title away from Austin...and hitting Angle with it allowing Austin to regain the WWE Championship in what would be Austin's last title reign.
"RAW" Oct. '01
(Blu-Ray) WWE Championship Match vs. Kurt Angle vs. Rob Van Dam - Kurt Angle walked into this match representing the WWE while Austin was representing the WCW/ECW Alliance but the major wildcard here was Rob Van Dam who also a member of the Alliance with Austin but was recently seen talking with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon & delivered frog splashes to both Austin & Angle in the past week so nobody was sure where his allegiance lied. This was a great triple threat match that had it's moments of two men working together over one guy while it was still every man for himself with one moment where RVD was going for the frog splash but both Austin & Angle moved causing RVD to crash & burn with nobody knowing who he was going to hit. The main story here was the appearance of Vince McMahon at ringside who not only took out his own son Shane at ringside but also delivered a chairshot to Austin that busted him open from the back of his head. This was a fun triple threat match that played into all the stories going into the match.
No Mercy '01
(Blu-Ray) vs. The Rock - These two faced off at WrestleMania for the third time & began trading blows early before brawling in the isleway back to ringside with The Rock thrown into the steps. The Rock targeted Austin's bad legs by clipping them twice & ramming his knee into the announce table & ring post followed by a sharpshooter. Rock started to get more cocky & wore Austin's vest only for it to bring him bad luck with Austin regaining the advantage before both men were able to apply each others finishers on each other before Rock was able to regain control hitting the people's elbow followed by three different Rock Bottom's to finally gain his victory over Austin at WrestleMania...in what we would later find out to be Austin's last match.
[The Rock: The Most Electrifying Man In Sports Entertainment]
In the end, the documentary alone is worth the price of this as we've gotten different documentaries on Austin throughout his career on his DVD sets but this is the most complete one of Austin that not only covers his career from start to finish but also we hear from people who we rarely hear from in these presentations. I have my reservations of the match selection as there are a bunch of repeats on here that we've seen on other sets including Austin's last set but the alternative commentary is a bonus on the WrestleMania matches while Austin made it clear that some of these matches were important to his career which I can't disagree with but I don't see how some selections like the Big Show match is important to the career instead of the Hollywood Blondes winning the tag team titles which still hasn't been released to a DVD to this day. In the end, an Austin fan is going to have this in their collection but for those newer fans just starting out their Austin collection this I would definitely recommend this before anything previous collect & go out of your way to get the Blu-Ray for all the bonus moments & outtakes alone. Although this is suppose to be the last set dedicated to Austin, I can only hope in the future we get another Austin set similar to the one we got for Hulk Hogan in that it's an unreleased/rare match collection as so many Austin matches from his days in WCW, USWA, and WWE that have still yet to see the light of day.
I would've hoped for more In Your House and Unforgiven type of matches rather than duplicates of the WrestleMania and SummerSlam matches that have been previously released on DVD. Diehard fans of Austin it's a must buy, everyone else the documentary is a rental or worth waiting for when it comes to WWE Classics on Demand in about 6 months. And the sidebar thing is another big minus for newer DVD sets.
Most recent customer reviews
Find, Because Stone Cold Said So. It's one from way back. A lot better than this garbage