After many years of WWE fans’ desperate pleas for Stone Cold Steve Austin to return to the ring, at WrestleMania 38, finally, the Texas Rattlesnake ended a 19-year absence from the squared circled as he faced Kevin Owens in Dallas.
Initially billed as a special episode of the ‘KO Show’, months of Owens driving the Lone Star State’s name into the ground finally built to a crescendo as the two faced off with Owens then challenging Austin to a No Holds Barred Match in his home state.
In Stone Cold’s first match since WrestleMania XIX, the duo put on one of the highlights of the two-night event in Arlington with Austin also making his first ‘Mania appearance in six years – also held at AT&T Stadium.
Also making a typically impromptu appearance on night two during Pat McAfee’s bout with Austin Theory, it was Austin himself who got involved as Vince McMahon attempted a classic ‘Mania screw job over the SmackDown announcer against his protege.
Cue the broken glass once more.
Hitting both Theory and the Chairman with Stunners – the latter of which could go down as the worst one in history – Stone Cold then put the victorious McAfee also in his place in a pool of beer. It was vintage Stone Cold.
So what better time than to take a trip down memory lane back to the company’s iconic Attitude Era?
As we mentioned, Austin’s last match before being forced to retire due to a neck injury was against one of the WWE’s other main attractions at the time, The Rock, as the two biggest draws battled in the main event for the second time in three years, after X-Seven’s infamous Austin heel turn.
In the same contest in 2003, ‘Rocky’ used the Stone Cold Stunner on his opponent before hitting a total of three Rock Bottoms for the win in Seattle.
But just how many times has The Rock taken one himself?
Thanks to one devoted fan – perhaps with a little too much time on their hands – we now have the definitive truth in video form.
A die-hard wrestling fan on social media platform Reddit, user Anatosu posted a short but nevertheless painstaking compendium of every single stunner The People’s Champ took down the years.
In 56 glorious seconds of back-to-back mayhem, for WWE fans who still yearn for its halcyon days, it is a welcome hit of nostalgia.
With WM38 likely to be Austin’s final in-ring activity, Triple H hanging up his boots with The Undertaker already having called time on his career it is a poignant moment, as the embers of a truly classic era begin to fizzle out.
Thanks goodness then, for social media. For WWE fans both old and new, this one minute of mayhem may be the best thing you see.