Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the most famous and most successful professional wrestlers of all-time.
The Texas Rattlesnake took the WWE to unprecedented levels of success during his heyday in the late 1990s and early 2000s and he enjoyed six runs as the WWE champion.
It could have been very different for the Bionic Redneck, though. One particular event changed the course of Austin's career forever, and he wasn't even a part of it.
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The infamous 'Curtain Call' saw wrestlers in the WWE break kayfabe - character - for the very first time ever as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac - collectively known as The Kliq - embraced each other at Madison Square Garden at the climax of the show despite being a mixture of good guys and bad guys.
That was a groundbreaking moment in this history of wrestling, especially what the repercussions meant for the, at the time, midcard talent named Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Austin recalled on episode 366 of his podcast, The Steve Austin Show, how that night at MSG changed his life forever.
"I'm glad about 'The Curtain Call' now, but I remember being very confused watching it all go down because I was right there, behind the curtain watching it all and I couldn't believe these guys were breaking kayfabe."
Austin continued: "Vince [McMahon] wasn't going to screw Shawn Michaels because Shawn was already cantankerous. He was his World Champion and he needed him happy, so he had to punish somebody and he punished Triple H. And he told me, two weeks going in the event I was going to win King Of The Ring. Had I had not won that event, Austin 3:16 would never have happened. 'Cause Stone Cold Said So' would never have happened organically, so I don't know what would have happened. I might have been a midcard guy my whole career. And that's the bottom line. Who knows what would have happened? I'm just glad it did and I'm glad I got the opportunity."
Austin went on to become, arguably, the most popular superstar of all-time and played a key role in helping the WWE outlast and then buy their main rivals, WCW.
The Hall of Famer benefitted from Triple H's punishment and who knows where he would have ended up otherwise. He was fired from WCW once upon a time, his WWE run may have potentially gone the same way?
Of course, the cream usually rises to the top so one would think Austin would have made his way to the main event one way or another.
Do you think Austin would have been the star he was without the 'Curtain Call'? Let us know in the comments below.
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