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Superstar Sleeze

[2003-03-30-WWE-Wrestlemania XIX] Steve Austin vs The Rock

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Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock - WrestleMania XIX

 

Fantastic Greatest Hits match! Reminds me a lot of Misawa vs Kawada from the Dome 2005. Great rivalry that now is really just a great nostalgia experience. Kinda crazy this match took place in 2003 and has that feel given that their 2001 match is the apex of the Attitude Era. A lot changed 2 years and yet it does not feel like much has changed since then.

 

The first half of this match is actually incredible in fact if they stuck with it, they could have a legitimate match of the year contender. Austin looked fantastic in his shine. Tons of energy and urgency. Lots of movement. Rock was great bumping and selling for him. Some really great clotheslines from Austin. Austin was kicking so much ass the Hebner pulls him off, Austin never one to let a chance to jaw with the ref indulges him and Rock chopblocks the knee. Rock absolutely destroys that knee in a great heat segment and he is fucking excellent at taunting the crowd. Awesome heat segment. Austin just had no desire to sell the knee. Rock puts on Stone Cold's vest to taunt him. The match then becomes a Greatest Hits package. It is super hot and really engaging. It is the type of match that needs mega-stars and a long history so Hogan/Savage, Flair/Steamboat, Misawa/Kawada to do. There is finisher trading at the outset, but what I enjoy is that does not go all the way to the end. What you see if Rock gradually gain more and more control after the low blow. The low blow is so crucial. He had just eaten the Stunner and one more and it would be over. After the low blow, he goes for People's Elbow, but needs a spinebuster to set that up. Then it takes three Rock Bottoms. You see Austin's fight is slowly sapped with each Rock Bottom before he succumbs to the third one. There are no Stunners in between the Rock Bottoms, there is no shocking moves just a gradual progression to the end. That's what separates this from these finisher spamming matches of the 2010s.

 

Super fun summer Hollywood action blockbuster. Pretty much no selling until the end. Awesome fired up Austin performance and great heel Rock. ****

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What a last match to out on. There was some awesome old school AE style brawling in the beginning before they got in the ring and had a good old fashioned back and forth battle. Rock being uber heel, stealing Austin’s moves and his jackets, Austin doing it right back. The finisher kick outs, whilst in excess, perfectly acceptable here and it made the match all the more better. ****1/4

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I've always love the staredown that starts the match off; it's intense, and you can feel something special is about to go down. It's one helluva brawl & bombfest - Rock was awesome with his heel work bell to bell, and Austin sure went out with a very strong performance. Superb atmosphere & energy too, but that goes without saying as it's Austin vs. Rock. A very fitting finale to their rivalry & the in-ring career of Stone Cold Steve Austin. ****

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