Okay, so normally I would never bother you with stuff going on at another site, but right now cageside seats is having their wrestler tourney to decide the best of all time. And in the first round it's 1 seeded Steve Austin versus 16 seeded Daniel Bryan. And Austin is winning, but people have actually voted for Bryan claiming he's been the best worker for 10 years or was a better worker…
Okay, this bothers me. Wasn't Austin a better worker, both pre and post neck injury, than Bryan? I get it, Bryan has great matches and has had some really great stuff. But has he even done something that would rank with austin's top five matches? The match with Bret at survivor series and WM, the match with foley (with the rules ever changing and undertaker being the enforcer), the 2/3 falls match with HHH, the main event with Rocky at WM 17 are all matches I would EASILY put above anything DB ever did. That's excluding the stuff he did with Angle, the tag match with hunter/benoit/jericho, other matches with Rocky, Canadian Stampede (where Austin quickly went heel unlike Shamrock, to the match's benefit), underrated matches with Shawn (both of them), etc.
I guess my point is, have we accepted Austin pop culture phenom so much that we forget he's like one of the 10 best workers ever. Or have I overrated him?
Well, it's not like there's any objective criteria for this sort of thing. If you think Austin's the best, you can pretty much back it up with whatever you want and be "right". I think it's apples and oranges anyway, because Austin worked two totally different styles pre and post injury. I will say that he became one of the smartest workers in history after the injury, but could still do a great "normal" match when he had to (like the Angle series in 2001). If you're just talking pure technical skill, Daniels is probably better, but Austin delivered in the clutch.
If you want to compare apples to apples, you could always judge their 18 second title losses against each other. Because at least Daniels got to lose to Sheamus, whereas Austin had to get squashed by Jim Duggan.