Like any other wrestler, there were people who liked Stone Cold Steve Austin and vice versa. Backstage politics can cause heat in a locker room filled with huge personalities and competitors. Everyone wants to reach the top of the wrestling mountain in an attempt to become the next face of the business. So considering the success Stone Cold Steve Austin was able to endure during his career it should come as no surprise that he developed his fair share of beef with fellow wrestlers. From his time in the independent circuit just starting out, through his WCW days and into the superstardom he found with the WWE, Austin has doing what he had to do to get to the top of the business and then keep his spot there.
Traveling around the country and now world is part of the professional wrestling business. Guys develop close bonds and learn a lot by having certain traveling partners and just simply hanging out when it is not time to be in the spot light. Austin was able to form bonds early on in his career and continued to develop relationships with fellow wrestlers even after his in ring days were over.
That said, there are a few relationships that Stone Cold had with other figures in the wrestling business that we may not consider wrestlers, so for the sake of this article they were left off the list. Maybe his best friend in the business and biggest supporter through it all was Jim Ross. The two are still close friends today. Of course there's Vince McMahon. He and Austin had perhaps the greatest feud in WWE history, and praise each other for all they have done for each other. Then there's Eric Bischoff who probably lands on the flip side of the article, being that he fired Austin from WCW over the phone rather than professionally in a face to face manner.
This list, however, deals with eight wrestlers Steve Austin loved, and seven others whom he didn't quite get along with. Let's take a look at them.
15 Loved - Kevin Nash
Steve Austin and Kevin Nash's friendship dates back to when they got started in WCW. Back when Nash was still finding a gimmick and was sporting out the likes of Vinnie Vegas, the two would travel together and become good friends in the process.
According to Austin's book The Stone Cold Truth, Nash was party or even mostly responsible for bringing Austin to WWE after being fired from WCW and spending some time cutting promos for ECW. Austin mentions that Nash would often ask Vince McMahon what they were going to do about Steve Austin being a free agent, and when Vince finally gave in, Stone Cold was eventually born.
14 Hated - Road Dogg
Most of Road Dogg's resentment towards Stone Cold seemed to be triggered by jealousy, but to this day Road Dogg has still made some controversial statements regarding Austin. He once mentioned that wrestlers those days "made" a limited Steve Austin into the star he became. The two also had an issue when Stone Cold refused to work with Jeff Jarrett, citing a personal issue, but Road Dogg openly discussed that he felt Austin put himself higher than the locker room. It became personal when Road Dogg decided to confront Austin himself about the Jarrett situation.
Austin doesn't express resentment too much and this one probably falls in to the fact that Road Dogg was at his peak as a tag team partner and nothing more.
13 Loved - Rick Rude
Rick Rude was someone Austin looked up to while he was coming through the ranks of WCW, and later the two became traveling buddies as well. Austin gives much credit to Rude as being one of the best workers and heels he has ever seen in the business, and that being around Rude had made him a better worker. In his autobiography, Austin expressed how he could just sit, watch and learn from watching the likes of Rude and Ric Flair.
Austin has shared stories about his carpools with Rude, this one of a time where he was swearing just a bit too much in front of "Ravishing" Rick is one that could sum up their relationship.
12 Hated - Owen Hart
Now I know Austin never expressed any ill feelings towards Owen, following the botched Tombstone Piledriver that altered not only Austin's career, but his life forever. But one thing he did mention is that after the incident, he never did get a call from Owen, either discussing the situation or to apologize. Stone Cold has stated that the two would see each other at shows, but the conversation still never took place and each meeting was as awkward as the last.
Austin may have never said he downright didn't like Owen, but has stated that he asked Owen multiple times if he was dropping to his knees to perform the pile driver and for some reason Owen didn't. The worst part of this scenario was when Owen Hart marketed the phrase "Owen 3:16 says I just broke your neck."
11 Loved - Raven
Back when he was Scotty Flamingo in the WCW, Raven and Stone Cold met through another close friend of Austin's, Brian Pillman. The three were traveling partners and gained a reputation of being the comedy trio, always keeping each other and the rest of the locker room laughing. The then-Scotty Flamingo was actually poised to team up with Pillman to form a tag team but gave way to Austin, which is when Pillman and Austin formed the Hollywood Blondes.
The careers of the two went in different directions, Raven first moving to WWE as Johnny Polo, then followed by stints in ECW and back in WCW where he took on the Raven character. Austin was fired from WCW before Raven returned and we all know the story of Austin and his WWE run.
10 Hated - Hulk Hogan
It probably all started when Austin cut a promo in ECW imitating Hulk Hogan, in an effort to express his distaste and distrust with the WCW upon his firing. These two were atop of the WWE during their two most successful eras. Hogan played the superhero every child looked up to and Austin went a route of pleasing the everyday man by beating up his boss on a weekly basis. There was always talks talk of a dream match between Hogan and Stone Cold, but Austin felt like the execution of the match would not have been what fans should have paid to see, sitting through Hogan's limits in the ring especially at an older age. Many feel that it was more factored by Austin wanting a big time feud with Hogan back in the WCW days and the fact that Austin's demands were continuously shut down.
9 Loved - Bret Hart
Bret Hart essentially made Stone Cold Steve Austin into the biggest draw in WWE history. The two put on some of the best feuds in wrestling history and for that Austin was always thankful. Austin always cited Bret Hart as one of the best workers in the business and when they got their chance to work with each other in the ring the mutual respect showed. Their WrestleMania 13 match is still widely regarded as one of the best matches and most career-defining matches in the history of wrestling.
After the piledriver incident between Owen Hart and Steve Austin, Bret insisted Owen call and talk to Stone Cold in efforts to squash whatever hard feelings may have been there. Regardless, Bret put Stone Cold over and the paved the way for the legend that was Stone Cold Steve Austin.
8 Hated - Brock Lesnar
Lesnar was another wrestler Stone Cold refused to work with, and maybe this was at first more of a beef with the WWE creative team rather than with Brock himself. And in the end, it turned out to be what led to Austin walking out on the company in 2002, as the WWE creative team wanted Austin to lose to Brock Lesnar in a non-PPV match.
In an interview, Brock openly took a shot at Stone Cold, citing him as "the guy that walked out on me" when asked who he would want to get in the ring with upon his WWE return. Austin took to Twitter to express his feelings about the comments and admitted Brock's interview had him a little restless. Austin admits to being hard to work with at times, and that if he didn't like a finish he would walk out of the room, but this incident made him walk out of the business.
7 Loved - Mick Foley
Foley and Austin were two of the biggest draws that helped the WWE win the Monday Night Wars over WCW. The two had similar career paths, both being fired from WCW and ending up with stays in ECW, then finding superstardom in the WWE. Like most of the guys on this list, Foley was a traveling buddy of Austin's and the two shared in each other's humor. The two teamed up to become Tag Team Champions while at their peak with the WWE, and continue to be close friends to this day. Foley has been a frequent guest on Stone Cold's podcast and have both expressed how much they loved working together, admitting they always gave it their all when they got the chance to get in the ring together.
6 Hated - Jeff Jarrett
We touched on this a bit earlier with Road Dogg. Jarrett and Austin were set up for a feud in 1999, and Austin shot down the idea and flat-out refused to work with Double J. Their bad blood goes back to before their WWE stardom, starting off back in the days they wrestled in Memphis. The biggest reason for the dislike and refusal to work with Jeff Jarrett was the promo Jarrett cut on Austin's 3:16 moniker, citing it as blasphemous and calling it a money grab in front of the audience. Of course the business is about making money, but it was uncalled for to bring that up while cutting a professional promo. The bad blood even carried into a physical altercation where Vince Russo claimed Austin was about ready to kill Jarrett and anyone else who got in the way.
5 Loved - The Rock
The Rock and Stone Cold took each other's wrestling and personas to the next level during the WWE's Attitude Era. The two headlined three WrestleManias together among many other matches and promos. And their most memorable match came at WrestleMania XIX when the Rock pinned Austin in his retirement match and the two shared a brief moment following Austin's last moments in the ring. The referee actually tried to raise the Rock's hand in victory, but instead the Rock shoved the ref away and embraced Austin, thanking him for all he had done for his career.
The two remain close friends and as fans we can only be grateful the two were able to work together so well.
4 Hated - Lex Luger
Stone Cold has stated in his book and other media that upon his arrival in WCW, he watched and learned from many wrestlers. Lex Luger was not one of them. Probably in the right, Austin felt Luger was given all of his pushes due to his physique and not much more than that. Furthermore, Austin was set to be managed by legend Harley Race, but when Race was injured and returned after some time off, he instead became Lex Luger's manager. In no time, Luger had made his way into the Heavyweight Championship scene, where Austin always was pushing to be.
Austin felt Luger didn't commit and didn't know the business but that his look was enough for him to get put over in place of the hard-working wrestlers like himself.
3 Loved - Goldberg
Both sported bald heads and wore black trunks to the ring during the Monday Night Wars. One carried WCW and the other WWE. Both share mutual respect for each other's dedication to the business and how they were able to help each other get better either directly or indirectly. Austin even performed as the special guest referee during Goldberg's last match in the WWE prior to his current return and run. The two are still close and have told stories of their casual friendship that involves, of course, drinking plenty of beer and just hanging out.
We never did get the dream match of Goldberg vs Stone Cold Steve Austin but it is cool to know the two who battled it out on the Monday Night Wars still share a friendship.
2 Hated - Chris Adams
One of the lesser-known wrestlers on our list, Chris Adams was a promoter and wrestler back when Austin, then known by his real name Steve Williams, was just getting into the business. Although he did train Stone Cold, and Austin expresses his thanks in that department, he has talked numerous times about his distrust for Chris Adams. The main example is a time Austin was booked to do a show with another promotion and Adams called up and said he need him for a show and that he would double whatever he was going to make elsewhere. So Austin, feeling that he owed Chris a bit, did do Adams' show and when the payday came it was exactly the amount he was going to make from the other promotion. When he called Adams up to find out what was going on, Adams promptly hung up on Stone Cold and issued no response, and didn't fix the pay problem either.
1 Loved - Brian Pillman
During a time when Austin was looking for a big singles push, Dusty Rhodes of WCW decided to put Austin and Brian Pillman together as a tag team which would become known as the Hollywood Blondes. The two were great together and never got the push as a tag team they deserved, but they were able to form a deep bond from their time together. Austin always praised the way Pillman was able to deliver a promo and the deep vocabulary he was able to possess. So the respect was there professionally in WCW and they carried it into a feud during the WWE times as well.
If you look back and notice that chain that Austin always is sporting around his neck, there is a deep meaning to it. Pillman gave Austin that chain, and upon Pillman's untimely death in 1997, Austin chose to always carry his friend with him.