Looking back at his colorful career, Steve Austin is still arguably the greatest superstar in WWE history. His feuds with Vince McMahon, The Rock and Bret Hart changed the wrestling industry for the better. Austin was the star most pivotal for WWE’s turnaround in the Attitude Era that helped the company surpass WCW to win the ratings war. Classic matches against Triple H, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels also showed how great he was as a worker outside of the character work.
Despite having an all-around great skill set, Austin had his fair share of disappointing moments. We will look at some of the storylines, matches and other memories that stand out among his worst moments in the ring. out what showed that not even Stone Cold is flawless as a performer. These are the top 10 worst things that Steve Austin did in the wrestling business.
10 The Disappointing WrestleMania 18 Fight Against Scott Hall
Steve Austin had classic WrestleMania matches against The Rock and Bret Hart to help add to his overall legacy. Unfortunately, one of the few negatives from his WrestleMania days featured a disappointing bout against Scott Hall.
The New World Order joining the WWE led to Hall entering a singles program with Austin as the third biggest match on WrestleMania 18’s card. Austin and Hall had little chemistry and failed to make any magic together. Hall was not in the best shape mentally or physically, which hurt the match's overall appeal.
9 Dropping A Car Upside Down With Triple H In It
The feud between Triple H and Steve Austin in 2000-2001 created compelling television for WWE. Austin delivered one of his dastardly moves in storyline to Triple H as revenge. Triple H orchestrated a hit and run on Austin with Rikishi as the driver.
Austin returned almost a year later and looked to get his payback. Survivor Series 2000 featured the main event of Triple H vs Austin ending in a no contest. They fought into the parking lot where Austin trapped Triple H in his car and used a forklift to lift and drop it in controversial fashion.
8 Unintentionally Hurting Dean Ambrose's Career With His Podcast
Dean Ambrose’s WWE Championship reign started losing momentum after his appearance on the Steve Austin podcast show on WWE Network in 2016. The hope was that Austin would have an entertaining show with Ambrose getting a higher profile.
They had little chemistry and Austin looked visibly upset at Ambrose’s lack of interest in his questions. WWE took the title off of Ambrose once AJ Styles got hot and moved him back into the mid-card. Both Ambrose and Austin have admitted regret over the interview and want to record another podcast soon.
7 Refusing To Work Against Chyna
One of the worst things Steve Austin did backstage was erase the chances of a strange dream match. Chyna was among the most popular stars in WWE around 1999. The incredible support behind her had fans buying her as a serious threat to the male main eventers.
Chyna was slotted to face Austin for the WWE Championship at Summerslam 1999 after winning the #1 contender’s spot. Austin reportedly didn’t want to wrestle a woman, which led to the match changing to a triple threat against Triple H and Mankind. The match with Chyna may or may not have been an instant classic, but it would have created some must-see television.
6 Heel Turn And Joining The WCW/ECW Alliance
WWE’s momentum of greatness started to end in 2001, as the Invasion storyline created many issues. The story of WWE vs WCW and ECW seemed to get on the right track when Austin’s prior heel run ended with him saving team WWE and hitting Stone Cold Stunners on all the Alliance wrestlers.
This great moment was wasted as Austin turned on WWE just a few days later to become the new leader of the Alliance. There were some great matches and comedic moments during this chapter of his career, but a strong run of Austin’s prime was wasted in the lackluster overall role.
5 Turning Down A Match Against Brock Lesnar
The most controversial moment of Steve Austin’s career came when he left the company in 2002 after refusing to work a match with Brock Lesnar. Austin had valid reasons of not wanting to waste a money match on an episode of Raw with no hype behind it.
Vince McMahon was starting to slow down Austin’s momentum by pushing others above him and it led to him walking out. Austin returned to WWE a few months later, but we would never get a match with him facing Lesnar, which was a dream match.
4 The Ringmaster Gimmick
Steve Austin’s start to his WWE career is forgotten in terms of how disappointing it was. WWE paired Austin with Ted DiBiase as his manager and a name of The Ringmaster. Austin was awarded DiBiase’s Million Dollar Championships, but fans did not care one bit.
DiBiase leaving for WCW ended this pair and gave Austin a real chance to break out. The King of the Ring win and promo showed the future of his character. Austin did a great job once he gained freedom, which luckily erased the negative stigma of the Ringmaster era of his career.
3 Attacking Lita With A Chair
The most ruthless moment from Steve Austin’s wrestling character in WWE came following his heel turn in 2001. Austin and Triple H put their differences aside to become a powerful duo with Vince McMahon backing them as the top stars of the company.
Matt and Jeff Hardy were two of the first targets of these heels. Austin especially destroyed them with chairs and even went after their manager Lita. The segment of Austin hitting Lita with a chair in the back multiple times was one of the most brutal instances of intergender wrestling in WWE.
2 His Feud With Ric Flair
WWE tried to replicate the magic of Steve Austin’s feud with Vince McMahon when Ric Flair was the one running Raw after the brand split. Flair wanted to be friends with Austin, which the anti-authority face was adamantly against.
A heel turn for Flair started the feud that was absolutely atrocious to watch every week. One of the worst segments from this angle featured Austin apparently urinating on Arn Anderson to upset Flair. The matches were awful and delivered some of the worst times from Austin’s WWE career.
1 Refusing To Wrestle Hulk Hogan In A Dream Match
The dream match between Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin remains one of the biggest missed opportunities in WWE history. WWE wanted to have both Rock and Austin feud with Hogan during Hogan’s return to the company in 2002 as part of the New World Order.
Rock and Hogan stole the show at WrestleMania 18, but Austin had no interest in working with Hulk. Bad blood from WCW along with Hogan’s reputation of wanting to sabotage any stars of equal popularity led to Austin refusing the match. WWE missed out on arguably the biggest blockbuster match in wrestling history due to Austin’s inability to trust Hogan.