Truth be told, my wrestling opinion should be taken as serious as a code of ethics book written by Penn State officials during the early 2000s. I haven’t watched in over 11 years and counting. That still doesn’t erase the fact Stone Cold Steve Austin has a permanent place on my First Team All ’90s squad.* How I came across this clip of wrestling nostalgia, I’ll never know. I’m just glad I did though. And since we’re already here, allow me to break the video and whatever other random memories I have into five separate points.
1. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the white Tupac in my young eyes. Both hated the establishment. Both got faded any chance they could get. Both weren’t scared of anybody. Both were always ready to fight. And both were two of the greatest orators their respective sports have ever seen.
2. The Stone Cold/Vince McMahaon beef was the the ’90s best not named Tupac/Biggie or Reggie Miller/New York. David can probably go into more depth than I could, but the Austin/Vince feud may have been the best thing to happen to the WWF. The fact that it went on for over a year was a testament to not only the believability of the angle, but how polarizing both Stone Cold and Vinnie Mac were. Plus, who couldn’t relate to the disgruntled employee/asshole boss narrative?
3. That’s another thing, I refuse to call it “WWE.” I grew up on “WWF” and for as long as I shall live, that’s what it’s going to be.
4. 1998 was a transitional year for yours truly. Michael Jordan and the Bulls won their last ring. The NBA locked itself out and the Cowboys were in the early stages of a drought still running to this day. Plus, there were serious family issues my 12-year-old self was dealing with at the time. Wrestling was a great escape in the fall of my seventh grade year and a period where arguably the funniest moment on live TV of the decade happened.
5. Ok, maybe not “the funniest,” but coming across this clip of Austin beating the holy hell out of Vince in the hospital transported me back to the days when begging my mom to let me stay up to 11 p.m. to watch wrestling was a weekly staple. I’ll go out on a limb and say you won’t have a better laugh today than the one you’ll get seeing Stone Cold clock McMahon over the head with the bedpan.
Long live Stone Cold Steve Austin. He beat the hell out of his boss for over a year, lived to tell about it and got paid to do so. The man is an American icon. Even if I haven’t heard from the guy in years.
* – Other members include Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Tupac, Michael Jordan, Martin Lawrence, Jimmy Johnson, Will Smith, Ken Griffey, Jr., Jim Carey, Deion Sanders, Troy Aikman and the entire cast of Friday. Maybe I’ll make an entire article out of this one day. Yeah, I think I will.