"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is one of the most decorated wrestlers in WWE history. The man helped the company transition into the Attitude Era, which helped them essentially win the Monday Night War. His beer drinking and rule-breaking with Mr. McMahon made him the company's most valued Superstar. Austin was an afterthought in ECW and WCW, but once he came to WWE, the history of sports entertainment changed for the better.
Everyone loved "The Texas Rattlesnake." He provided a charisma and character never seen before in the history of wrestling. Austin accomplished a ton during his career, facing off against legends like Triple H, The Undertaker, and The Rock. But there is a lot from Austin we never saw, which could have made his incredible legacy even better.
15 15. Faced Goldberg
The closest we got to seeing this match happen was at WrestleMania XX, when Austin was the special guest referee in a forgetful match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. Still, seeing these two guys face off would have been epic. And it's not because they're doppelgangers to one another.
Though many weren't fond of Goldberg's in-ring performance, he and Austin were difference makers in the Monday Night War. Goldberg was one of WCW's rare homegrown talents and his undefeated streak was putting Ted Turner ahead of Vince McMahon in the ratings war. But then Stone Cold Steve Austin came into the picture. Before you knew it, WWE was running away with it.
You'd have the biggest face of each company facing off. Austin and Goldberg would have been one match for the ages. But there was never the right time to have them fight, and the match never took place.
14 14. Faced CM Punk
Ever since he walked out of the company, there have been countless rumors about Austin fighting one of the modern-day Superstars. With CM Punk at the top of his game back in 2011-2012, many thought The Texas Rattlesnake would come out to fight one of the WWE's best wrestlers.
Austin and Punk had an epic backstage promo that hinted at a showdown on Monday Night Raw in 2011. When Punk cut his promo to John Cena where he ranted about the company, he was even wearing an Austin shirt. Everything seemed to line up for these two guys to show down in a main event, but it never happened.
As usual, any potential Austin return didn't work out. In 2014, Punk and the WWE had a bitter breakup, and there's no question that he's never going to return to the company at this moment. So the fans can keep dreaming, but Austin ain't gonna face this man. Ever.
13 13. Win United States Championship in WWE
Austin actually won this championship during his forgetful days in WCW. He defeated Dusty Rhodes in a Two-Out-of-Three Falls match to capture the title. Austin would later lose it to Ricky Steamboat. It was arguably Austin's finest moment in WCW, to win one of their minor championships.
When Austin came to WWE, he didn't need long to become one of the top stars, engaging in memorable feuds with the McMahon family (namely Vince), The Rock, Triple H, and The Undertaker. Because of his main event status, Austin never had to be much of a mid-card wrestler. Therefore, he didn't get the chance to win the United States Championship in the WWE. He was often vying for the WWE Championship.
Austin, by far the WWE's most accomplished wrestler ever, still remains on the list with Chris Jericho as another legend who lacked the WWE United States Championship.
12 12. Won Tag-Team Match at Survivor Series
The Invasion storyline never lived up to its hype, but at least we got to see something good out of it: The 2001 Survivor Series main event featured Team WWE against The Alliance, a team of former WCW Superstars that Austin chose to join up forces with while working as a heel.
Austin's side featured Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Kurt Angle, and Shane McMahon in an epic Elimination Tag Team match that lasted just under 45 minutes. But Austin's team lost after The Rock pinned him last to end the match. This ensured that The Texas Rattlesnake failed to win on a team at Survivor Series. All of the WWE legends he took down, but when it came to working as teams, Austin wasn't able to win when it mattered most. Years later, Austin would assemble a team (with his job as co-GM on the line) to take on a team put together by Eric Bischoff. Once again, Austin's team lost.
11 11. Win The Hardcore Championship
To be fair to Austin, this championship was short-lived. It was only active from 1998-2002, so he didn't have much of a window to take the championship. But again, it's a significant thing that Austin never won. If Jericho wins the United States Championship, he's suddenly the GOAT, just like his speedo says!
A handful of wrestlers like Mick Foley, Crash Holly, Maven, and The Undertaker held the championship at some point. But Austin never came close to it. In 2002, the WWE unified it with the Intercontinental Championship, ruining any chance Austin had of adding to his trophy room.
But again, Austin was too busy headlining countless pay-per-views and feuds. In his fairness, there was never the right time to put him in a Hardcore Championship feuds. Other guys like RVD needed it more to get over. Austin was already over by the time the title was introduced.
10 10. Win a Ladder Match
Austin was already so great as a character and in-ring performer, he didn't need to compete in Ladder matches. During the days when they were a significant part of the company's entertainment, it was usually tag teams like The Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz and Edge and Christian that competed in them.
Because of this, Austin never got the most of opportunities. In fact, he was only in one ladder match; a 2-on-1 Handicap match against Shane and Vince McMahon. This took place at King of the Ring, 1999. Austin would lose that match where the winner got "entire ownership of the WWF."
Austin would never wrestle in another ladder match. A reason for this was probably because of the neck injuries he was suffering. WWE couldn't risk it. But it still would have been awesome to see Austin do a Stone Cold Stunner to someone off the top of a ladder. One can dream...
9 9. Win a Title in ECW
One man's trash is another man's treasure.
That's what we learned with ECW and WCW making virtually nothing out of Austin. Well, at least WCW made him the United States Championship. Austin had a brief run with ECW but never got the chance to win any of its gold. What you may not know, however, is that Paul Heyman actually wanted to make Austin his ECW Champion, but the Texas Rattlesnake didn't think it was a good idea.
At December to Disremember in 1995, Austin lost a Triple Threat match for the championship. According to Heyman, Austin wanted to be "the hunter, rather than the hunted." Ah, how things could have changed if Austin accepted the ECW Championship. Shortly after his departure, Austin would join WWE. And the rest, as they say, is history.
8 8. Compete in a Singles Hell in a Cell Match
While guys like Triple H and The Undertaker made the Hell in a Cell matches part of their respective legacies, it was something to forget for Austin. He only competed in two Hell in a Cell matches, but none of them were singles matches.
The first Tag Team match featured him and The Undertaker against Mankind and Kane during Raw is War on June 15, 1998. Austin and Undertaker would win a match. By the way, it was really, really awesome.
The next match featured a six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2000, with the WWE Championship on the line. Kurt Angle would remain victorious in what was an epic match, for the most part. It was the last Hell in a Cell bout Austin was involved in. We never got to see a one-on-one showdown inside the structure.
7 7. Win the WCW Championship
Austin was in WCW for a short period, but as we've pointed out many times, he never got over and was one of the many future WWE Superstars who never got his chance. Thanks to Eric Bischoff's obsession with the nWo and undermining the mid-card and Cruiserweight division, Austin never got his chance to win the WCW Championship.
But here's the thing, when Vince McMahon bought out his competition, the WCW Championship came over to WWE, before it was unified with the WWE Championship. Kurt Angle was the first one to win it in WWE on a 2001 edition of SmackDown!
Booker T, The Rock, and Chris Jericho also held the WCW Championship. Y2J actually beat Rock and Austin at Vengeance to become the first Undisputed Champion. This ensured that Austin never held WCW's most prestigious championship.
6 6. Face John Cena
Though John Cena was the WWE's top face by 2009, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the leader of Cenation created one of the most epic moments in WWE history. After Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009, he passed a torch to Cena, ensuring that the latter was the new face of the company once and for all.
We got to see The Rock face Hulk Hogan. We saw John Cena face The Rock. We saw The Undertaker face Brock Lesnar. We'll see many more old vs. new bouts down the road, but we really missed out on a chance to see Cena face Austin. How epic that could have been.
You have arguably the two biggest babyfaces in the history of WWE. Cena was barely known by the time Austin had walked out of the company. Austin didn't perform in many dream matches, but having these guys face off would have been the match of a lifetime.
5 5. Face Triple H at WrestleMania
The Undertaker cemented his legacy by winning his first 21 WrestleMania matches. Shawn Michaels is known as Mr. WrestleMania. But Triple H has had arguably the most epic career when it comes to the Grandest Stage of them All, given every incredibly awesome match he's put on against a large amount of WWE legends.
From The Undertaker to Randy Orton to Daniel Bryan to Sting, The Game has put on countless WrestleMania moments. Sadly, his best WrestleMania moment could have been the one that never happened: A match against Steve Austin.
You see, it really would have happened if Austin avoided his neck injury and didn't leave the company on a bitter note. He and Triple H would have surely headlined WrestleMania at some point, but we never got to see it. Both guys, during their years together, were booked into other epic feuds. So we never saw this one come to light at WrestleMania.
4 4. Face The Undertaker at WrestleMania
There aren't many WWE legends that The Undertaker didn't face when it came to putting his streak on the line. He faced Kane, Ric Flair, Triple H, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, Edge, Batista, Shawn Michaels, and others. If there was one dream WrestleMania match we didn't get to see for The Phenom, it was a showdown with The Texas Rattlesnake.
Perhaps if Austin was willing to come back to the company for one more match, a showdown with The Undertaker would have made plenty of sense. The Undertaker and Austin didn't cross paths much in the Attitude Era. Austin kept feuding with the McMahons, while Undertaker kept finding new rivalries.
We shouldn't complain too much. The Undertaker's WrestleMania matches since 2000 have always been great bouts, but we can't help but wish this one with Austin happened.
3 3. Face Brock Lesnar
As pointed out earlier, Austin was the special guest referee for Lesnar vs. Goldberg at WrestleMania XX. Too bad it was a poor match, since the fans were taunting both guys who were on their way out of the WWE. The highlight of that match was having Austin give both men a Stone Cold Stunner.
Austin and Lesnar crossed paths a few times in the WWE, but no showdown came out of it. Vince McMahon wanted Austin and Lesnar to face off on an episode of Raw in 2002, but this was around the time the former was getting fed up with the company. It was around this time he walked out.
Austin has since expressed his regret for not facing Lesnar. He's claimed that they were close friends and wanted to work with him, but he thought it was a bad business decision. So we were close on seeing this one, but Austin just wasn't willing to do it.
2 2. Have the Proper Send-Off
Ric Flair's final match with WWE couldn't have ended any better: The match of the year against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV. The Heartbreak Kid lost to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXVI before hanging up his wrestling boots. That was probably the best send-off in WWE history.
We know The Undertaker's last battle will be one of the best. Same with The Rock, whenever that comes. But for Austin, he deserved one more epic match. But it was never meant to be.
In 2002, Austin left the company because he was frustrated with the company's plans for him. In 2003 (back with the company) his doctors advised him to retire for his own health. Austin has since made countless appearances with the WWE, but none of them have been matches. He's mainly been a special guest referee or host.
Given how Vince McMahon and Jim Ross think he's the company's best wrestler ever, he absolutely deserved a proper send-off. He's stated numerous times he's not fighting again, so he'll never have chance to receive the Flair or Michaels type of sendoff.
1 1. Face Hulk Hogan
WWE.com lists this as their number one fantasy match that we never got to see. We agree with them. However, Austin and Hogan was going to happen, but the former refused to do business with him.
With WCW bought out, the nWo reformed in WWE. Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall went after The Rock and Steve Austin on numerous occasions. They had a Three-on-Two Tag Team match, with the nWo winning. The Rock faced Hogan at WrestleMania X8 in a winning effort. Austin defeated Hall in a very underrated match. But McMahon wanted Austin vs. Hogan instead of Rock vs. Hogan. But Austin has said numerous times that even though the hype was there, he thought it'd be a terrible match. He wanted to do what was best and avoid the bout with Hogan altogether.
You can make a case that these are the two biggest Superstars in company history. Though Rock vs. Hogan isn't something we'll complain about (it was a great match), we didn't see Austin vs. Hogan. How epic that would have been.
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