Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line Review (Disc 1 and 2)

I had this DVD
shipped to me free of charge (yay me!). I was rather enthusiastic about it,
because I have only seen the documentary. When I find
the time, the next DVD I will review is either CM Punk or Bret Hart, depending
on which one arrives here first.


Stone Cold Steve Austin:
The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time 
Disc One – Documentary
This documentary is
articulated generally through Steve Austin’s point of view, and it is a
comprehensive look at his entire career. Austin augments in some interesting
and distinctive insights of his greatest and poorest moments. The others who
were involved provided a fine effort as well. They all supplement their
assessments on specific moments in Austin’s journey, which makes the DVD feel
more balanced. Austin pulls no punches, as he tells stories exactly
how he witnessed it (although he is less angry towards with those who
mistreated him this time around). 
It is, however,
still visible that he has a lot of passion for the business, as
his emotions come forth when he talks about moments in
his career. I personally appreciated the early parts of the DVD more
than anything else. That is because I was not fully educated on all of small
details from that era, thus I found the backstories from that time more
interesting.
There is no question
about it: WWE know how to impressively format and edit their documentaries, but
this one just exceeds essentially every documentary they have ever produced.
That is merely because of Austin’s capabilities to narrate his
journey in an exhaustive manner.
Disc Two—USWA, WCW, and WWF
These are all handpicked
from Stone Cold Steve Austin. Three of them include alternative commentary done
by Jim Ross.
Chris Adams vs. Steve
Austin (w/Jeannie – 5/90)
This is from USWA.
Austin was frustrated with Adams holding him back, so he turned on him. To add
insult to injury, Austin stole his wife. Even though it is tempting, I’ll take
the high road by skipping over a Chris Benoit joke. Adams attacks Austin from
behind, although Austin powers him and puts a beat down on him. Adams fights
back with a superkick. He goes for a suplex, but Jeannie grabs his legs. That
drops Austin on top for the win @ 4:25. Afterwards,
Jeannie sprays her hairspray in Adams eyes. They try to beat him down, but
Adams fights back and then chases them off. Not much to say about this
one. * 
Sting & Ricky
Steamboat vs. Ric Flair & Steve Austin (w/Sensuous Sherri – 07/30/94).
Flair and Steamboat
start this off. Ricky smacks and tosses him around. Sting comes in and beats
Flair up some more. Outside, Flair cowardly hides behind Sherri. Sting doesn’t
want to hit a woman, and that allows Flair to rake his eyes. Flair was just the
best at portraying a coward. Back in, Austin and Sting are now
the legal men. Sting tosses Austin around and locks in an armbar. Steamboat
tags in and hits Austin with a crossbody off the top. Everyone jumps in the
ring, forcing the referee to establish some law and order. Back from
commercial, Austin hits Steamboat with the Stunner to get out of a chinlock,
although it’s not even a signature move yet. Steamboat blocks a hiptoss into a
backslide. He cannot fully execute it, though, so he pushes off the turnbuckles
to flip back over Austin. He gives Austin a superplex for a two count. Sting
receives a tag and goes up to the top splash, but Austin gets his knees up.
Flair tags in and hits a suplex, but Sting is a no-selling bastard. 
Sting grabs Flair in
an inside cradle that picks up a two. Flair retreats and heads to the floor to
regroup. Back in, Sting ducks a double-team clothesline and comes back with one
of his own. Austin tries to pick up a quick win with a few rollups, but Sting
gives Austin a press slam. He goes for another, but Austin gives him a low blow
behind the referee’s back. Flair comes in and tosses Sting over the top.
Sherri puts a beat down on him outside. Back from commercial, Flair and Austin
work over Sting. Austin tries a forearm smash off the second rope, but Sting
gets his knees up. Sting makes the hot-tag to Steamboat. He hits both Austin
and Flair with a ton of chops. Austin catches him with a back body drop and
kicks him in the mouth.
Austin locks in
abdominal stretch and cheats by grabbing the ropes. Flair comes in and corners
Steamboat with some right hands and chops. Steamboat attempts to squirm out of
the heel corner to make the tag to Sting, but Austin cuts off the tag just in
time. It was a smart time to do a false tag. Austin locks in a chinlock.
Steamboat fights out and hits a chop that sends him to the floor. Sting comes
in the ring and goes crazy on Flair. He hits a Stinger Splash and then locks in
the Scorpion Deathlock, but neither man is legal. Sherri jumps on Sting from
the top to break up the hold. Sting catches her and tosses her on top of Flair.
Elsewhere in the ring, Austin rolls Sting up with a handful of tights for the
win @ 23:40. This awesome match had wall-to-wall action throughout.
They worked from the base and built this akin to a pyramid. They did this
by putting the correct layers conjointly in place until it reaches
its crescendo, with most of it being built on the crowd’s
reactions. Kindred to most critically acclaimed matches, the
wrestlers brought the fans on a dramatic roller coaster excursion.
What honestly made the old WCW tag matches a cut above the rest was that they
would build to a variety of sub-climaxes. In simpler terms, the action
didn’t repeatedly build without any letup; they knew when to turn
up the action and when to turn it back down. **** 1/4
King of the Ring
Finals: Steve Austin vs. Jake Roberts (06/23/96).
Stone Cold had to go
to the hospital to get his lip stitched from his semifinal match with Marc
Mero. Austin never had the best of luck wrestling Mero. Soon after this, they
worked together again and the arena’s lights went out. Meanwhile, Roberts was
still selling his internal injuries not from drinking, but instead because of
Vader. Austin attacks Jake’s ribs with no mercy. Gorilla Monsoon threatens to
stop this for Jake’s health. Jake waves him off and then sucker punches Austin.
Jake goes for the DDT, but Austin throws him into the corner. He proceeds to
ram his ribs into the corner repeatedly. Austin picks him up and hits the Stunner @
4:30
. The purpose was to get Austin over as a callous son of a bitch, and
this was rather successful in doing so. From a workrate perspective, this
wasn’t very good, and that was mostly a result of Jake being past his prime.
His reaction time was delayed, especially when it came to selling
some of Austin’s offense. The most important part of this whole
thing occurred afterwards, though. Austin cut his famous improvised
promo that commenced the 3:16 era. 
It is one of the greatest promos ever,
as everything he said was heartfelt, assertive and defiant.
Needless to say, this would not have come across as realistic if a writer
composed it for him. * for the match, ***** for the promo.
Submission Match: Bret
Hart vs. Steve Austin (03/23/97).
These two were both
incredibly gifted wrestlers that just clicked with each other. On an otherwise
uninspiring WrestleMania card, both of these ring magicians defined the
suspension of disbelief. This had nuclear heat, giving off a notion that
they sincerely wanted to annihilate each other. Right off the bat, this turns into
a vehement brawl. Bret hits Austin with a swinging neckbreaker.
Bret tries to lock in the Sharpshooter, but Austin fights it off and gets back
on his feet. Austin hits Bret with a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin cannot
capitalize, though, so Bret kicks him in the leg and then debuts the Ringpost
Figure-Four Lock. Bret goes to work on Austin’s leg, although Austin fights
back and crushes Bret with a chair shot. Austin hits a suplex and then hits the
Vertical Flying Elbow. Austin hits a Russian legsweep and then locks in the
Koji Clutch. Bret tries to fight out, causing Austin to lock in a Boston Crab
instead. Bret makes it to the ropes, though. Austin tries to lock in the
Sharpshooter, but Bret rakes his eyes. Bret tries to mount a comeback, but
Austin tosses him to the outside.
Outside, Bret reverses
an Irish whip and it sends Austin over the timekeeper’s table. Austin is
bleeding from hitting his head on the guardrail. Bret smashes his face off
everything around ringside, causing Austin to bleed like a stuck pig. Back
inside, Bret hits a backbreaker and then the Vertical Elbow drop. He grabs
a chair and goes to work on Austin’s knee. Hart tries to lock in the
Sharpshooter, but Austin kicks him in the nuts. Austin starts stomping a
mudhole into Hart. He hits a superplex and then goes outside to grab an
extension cord from ringside. He tries to lynch Bret on the apron, but Bret
knocks Austin in the face with the ringbell. Awesome, stiff spot that came out
of nowhere. Bret locks in the Sharpshooter. Austin will not quit, though, but
he ends up passing out because of the pain @ 22:05. Afterwards,
Hart keeps attacking Austin, causing Shamrock to pick Bret up and slam him to
get him to stop. This had everything you could want in brawl:
intensity, abhorrence, psychology, storytelling, color, conceivable selling,
facial expressions that help articulate the narrative, an incredible
atmosphere, and some truly elegant booking. They pulled off exactly
what McMahon wanted them to do: a double-turn. Hart turned into a narcissist
heel that only was concerned about winning, and Austin turned into a
venerated babyface.  
Even though Austin wasn’t a conventional babyface,
this ended up revealing some of his inner face-like qualities,
like his resiliency and perseverance. The finish exemplified
those two exact things, since he refused to tap out to the Sharpshooter,
causing him to pass out from the pain. This was significant, historic, and just flat-out tremendous. I cannot
think of a match that was better than this one in WWE’s history. *****
Intercontinental Title:
Steve Austin vs. The Rock (w/the Nation – 12/06/97).
Austin drives in with
his black 3:16 truck. He jumps off and lands right on Rock. The Nation jumps in
ring and tries to put a beatdown on him, but Austin fights them all off. D-Lo
takes a backdrop on the windshield of the truck and then takes a Stunner on the
top. The bell finally rings. Austin hits the Thesz Press and starts punching
Rocky in the face. Rock fights back and sends Austin to the floor. Kama tries
to hit Austin with a chair shot, but he ends up knocking Faarooq out cold with
it. Rock hits Austin with a low blow when the referee was distracted. The
Rock hits the People’s Elbow, but it only gets a two. He goes for it again, but
Austin avoids it. Austin goes for the Stunner, but Kama jumps on the apron. He
goes to attack him, but the referee stops him. Austin ends up giving the
referee a Stunner. Rock grabs some brass knuckles, but is met with a Stunner. A
new referee comes in and counts to three. Austin retains the IC championship @
5:34. This was a brief illustration of things to come in WWF’s main event
scene: a lot of all over the arena bar-fight brawling, although a complete lack
of application of the rules, with kudos to Vince Russo.** ½
WWF Heavyweight Title:
Shawn Michaels (w/DX) vs. Steve Austin (3/29/98).
This reminds me of Miz
vs. John Cena from Wrestlemania 27, because everyone was more concern about
what would happen with Tyson and Austin. And that ended up causing Shawn
Michaels’ and Austin’s saga to take a back seat. Obviously, HBK desperately
needed surgery and time off to repair his back due to the bump he took on the
casket when he was working with Undertaker. Rumor has it that he still did not
want to job to Austin, but Undertaker sat him down and told him that he had to
do what was right for business. Take it for what it’s worth. Austin pulls down
HBK’s tights, exposing his buttocks to the crowd. I bet that is HBK’s favorite spot.
Austin backdrops Shawn right on DX. Outside, Hunter tosses Austin into the
barricade, although that gets Hunter and Chyna thrown out from ringside. Back
in, Austin goes for a Stunner, but Shawn ducks to the apron and is knocked face
first into the announce table. Ouch. 
They brawl outside,
where Shawn takes over. He beats Austin down and then taunts the crowd. The
pace slows down when Shawn works over Austin’s knee. HBK locks in the
figure-four. Austin fights out and shoots Michaels into the buckle for a
nearfall. HBK puts in a sleeper, but Austin backs him right into the referee.
Austin stomps a mudhole into HBK’s chest. Shawn fights back with a
“flying” forearm. That sets up Sweet Chin Music, but Austin catches
Shawn’s boot and goes for the Stunner. Shawn counters and goes for another
attempt at Sweet Chin Music. Austin spins him around and gives him the Stunner.
There is no referee, though, so Tyson jumps in and makes a quick three
count @ 20:01.  I’d assume Tyson was just a bit overzealous
and that’s why he did a fast count. It’s surprising to me that not many people
bring up the fast count, though. Afterwards, HBK shoves Tyson, who retaliates
by delivering a knockout punch. Both Tyson and Austin celebrate. There is
nothing wrong with this. It had solid pacing and timing throughout, although it
was disappointing due to the amount of talent they both had. They
honestly could have wrestled a better match in their sleep if HBK was
healthy. After all, their contest at King of the Ring ’97 was better, in spite
of having minimal build. The counter-for-counter ending was a gut-wrenching
sequence, though. *** ¼
Final Verdict on Disc
2: 
This was a very good
disc, although I believe some
of his significant work was missing. He noted that he was able to handpick
everything, even if they were on other DVDs. With that in mind, where is the
Austin/Pillman vs. Ricky Steamboat/Shane Douglas contest that displayed the
Hollywood Blondes as a dynamic and cohesive tag team? Where is one of the
Steamboat ones that proved he could hang with one the greatest in-ring workers
ever without missing a beat? And where is his outing with Bret Hart from
Survivor Series ’96 that displayed how impeccably scientific and mechanical he
was at his peak? I fully understand that all these matches were important to
him, but I just wish that at least one of those were on this disc, if not all
of them.
Although, there is no
question that there was some great content on this disc. From his big win over
the icon Sting, to his five-star brawl with Bret Hart that ended up redefining
the business, all the way to his world title win that propelled him as the biggest
commodity in wrestling since Hulk Hogan. And there is more to come. Disc 3 is
all about Austin’s career on top of the wrestling world.