Stone Cold Steve Austin returns to WWE at WrestleMania 38 to meet Kevin Owens, but where will it fit in the long list of the best moment of the Attitude Era's most iconic superstar?
Stone Cold had many incredible moments throughout his career, and so many wrestling fans can instantly recall so many of them.
Even though he last fought in a WWE ring, they remain some of the great moments of any era, especially considering they came in the Attitude Era, when wrestling was at its hottest.
On Saturday night, in night one of this year's 'Showcase of the Immortals,' Austin is due to face Owens in a segment of the KO Show, though some rumours have suggested it could still be an actual match between the pair.
If that were the case, nearly 19 years after his final match, at WrestleMania 19, it would instantly be added to some of the greatest 'Mania Moments.'
But where would it end up on a list of Austin's own greatest moments? Well here's our top 14 of his career so far.
14. Crucified by the Undertaker - Raw, December 1998 - Stone Cold's rivalry with the Undertaker is amongst one of his greatest. This iconic moment from the Ministry of Darkness angle saw Austin hoisted onto a crucifix live on Raw. It caused controversy but it's undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments from the feud.
13. Returning to beat up the Alliance - Raw, July 2001 - The Rattlesnake had been absent during the beginning of the Invasion angle, when WCW and ECW came to WWE. With the Alliance running roughshod on Raw, the crowd chanted for their hero and the place exploded when his music hit. He headed to the ring and cleared house with stunner after stunner.
12. Austin vs The Rock - WrestleMania 19, 2003 - The third Mania installment between Stone Cold and arguably his greatest rival, the Rock. There's rarely been a more fitting way to end an in ring career than getting the two most celebrated wrestlers of a generation together for one final time.
11. WrestleMania 30 opening segment - 2014 - What's better than two of the most celebrated wrestlers? How about three? The 30th edition of 'the granddaddy of them all' is one of the best of the modern era and finished in perfect fashion, with Daniel Bryan becoming champion, but it also started in the perfect way as Austin, the Rock and Hulk Hogan entertained the crowd before the opening match, and of course shared a brewski together,
10. Brawling with Booker T - Smackdown, December 2001 - Austin might have been the 'toughest S.O.B' but he could also do comedy, as some of his stuff with Kurt Angle also showed. His greatest moment of laughs came still whilst beating someone up, as he and Booker T brawled throughout a supermarket, it was genius.
9. Returning at Backlash 2000 - The crowd were expecting Austin to return to clear the Alliance but it wasn't the case in 2000. Just a month after The Rock was screwed out of winning the title at Mania 2000 it looked like Vince McMahon and Triple H were about to do the same again, then the glass smashed and Austin returned to the first time since Survivor Series 1999, the crowd went wild and Stone Cold nailed everyone with a chair, helping Rock win back the title.
8. First Stunner on Vince McMahon - Raw, September 1997 - The Mr McMahon character wasn't born until Survivor Series 1997 in November, screwing over Bret Hart, but we got a taste of things to come a few months before. Vince came off commentary to tell Austin he wasn't fit to compete, ate a stunner for his troubles and gave us a sign of things to come.
7. Beer shower the Rock and the Corporation - Raw, March 1999 - The Ministry gave way to the Corporation, as Vince was proved to be the 'Higher Power' and the Rock was Corporate Champion. The Texas Rattlesnake found the perfect way to embarrass Vince and the WWE Champion, dousing them in a huge beer shower.
6. First WWE Championship - WrestleMania 14, March 1998 - Shawn Michaels was the champion but he would soon be out of WWE for a few years due to an injury. After winning the Royal Rumble, Austin was the challenger and, with Mike Tyson making the count, he became champion of the world for the first time. The Austin Era had begun.
5. Tormenting Vince - Raw September and October 1998 - There's a run of several weeks around this time where so many iconic moments happen week after week. Attacking the WWE chairman after driving a zamboni into the arena, cementing the boss' car, kidnapping Vince and 'shooting' him with the fake gun that just said the word 'bang' and of course Dr Austin, attacking Vince at the hospital. So many great moments between the pair over the years but this run of moments if particularly special.
4. Tyson and Austin - Raw, January 1998 - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson was suspended from boxing so WWE brought him in to help boost numbers in the Monday Night Wars. The moment they got into a scrap on Raw was utterly explosive television. Good Ol' Jim Ross on commentary was on perfect form 'Tyson and Austin, Tyson and Austin!'
3. "Austin 3:16" is born - King of the Ring, June 1996 - Winning King of the Ring suggested the Texan was always on the way to big things, but his post victory speech made it impossible to ignore the inevitability that he was about to become the biggest wrestler in the world. With Jake the Snake Roberts still in the ring, King Austin took to his throne and first uttered the phrase that would become his catchphrase, 'Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass.' The 'Austin 3:16' t-shirts broke sales records and the future was written.
2. Deal with satan himself - WrestleMania X-Seven, April 2001 - Mania 17 might be the most memorable and best for many reasons and it finished in the most shocking way possible. After years of Austin and McMahon being the number one feud everyone expected the boss to be coming to the ring to screw over his rival once more. Instead he helped Austin win the title by handing over a chair and watch Austin administer several chair shots. In one of the single most shocking moments in WrestleMania history the pair shook hands and whilst there's many questions about if it was the right thing to do or if it ultimately worked, it was done to perfection. JR and Paul Heyman on commentary make this moment all the better, with Heyman coining the 'Stone Cold has sold his soul to Satan himself,' and JR brilliantly asking 'why Austin why?'
- Stone Cold Steve Austin qui “vend son âme” à Vince McMahon, pour gagner le titre de la WWE face au Rock.— ™️ (@Kevininhooooo) March 26, 2022
(WrestleMania X-Seven, 2001) pic.twitter.com/c91fDfNsG8
1. Bret Hart submission match - WrestleMania 13, March 1997 - Easily one of the greatest matches in the history of the Show of Shows. Hart and Austin had a great match at Survivor Series a few months before but at Mania they would take it to a new level. Amidst WWE losing the war to WCW, Austin had a near perfect submission match with Hart that only cemented what had been learnt at King of the Ring, Austin would be the man to take the company forward.
The rare double turn was pulled off brilliantly and now the Texan was a fan favourite. He lost the match, passing out whilst bleeding, in an iconic shot, but he came out as the real winner. The Austin Era began one year later but it never would have truly begun without the match with Hart.
Featured Image Credit: WWE.com
- Stone Cold Steve Austin Confirms He'll Be At WrestleMania 38
- Stone Cold and Undertaker tasting WWE-themed wine is the best thing you'll watch today
- 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin Makes Sensational WWE Comeback At WrestleMania In Wild Match
- The Pop When Stone Cold Steve Austin's Glass Shattered At Wrestlemania 38 Was Off The Charts