Steve Austin Explains Why He Hated WrestleMania 14 Match
The first time “Stone Cold” Steve Austin won the WWE World Title was at WrestleMania 14 match, but the Rattlesnake has revealed why he hated that match.
Going into WrestleMania 14 in 1998, which took place 25 years ago, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was an ascending WWE superstar that was as hot as can be.
Steve Austin won the 1998 Royal Rumble, which seemed very obvious since he was gaining a lot of momentum as a babyface and there were no other good choices to win that Rumble that win. It may be the most obvious Royal Rumble win of all time.
Shawn Michaels was the WWE Champion going into WrestleMania 14. However, Michaels was coming into the match with a serious back injury after taking a bump on his lower back on a casket during a Casket Match with The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. Michaels was unable to wrestle for nearly two months going into WrestleMania 14 due to the injury. Michaels also had a reputation for being selfish and there were rumors that he didn’t want to lose the WWE Title that day.
In addition to that, WWE brought in boxing legend Mike Tyson into the mix as the outside enforcer for the match. In the build to WrestleMania 14, Steve Austin and Tyson got into a shoving match with Tyson while Tyson also joined Shawn’s D-Generation X group (with Triple H & Chyna) ahead of WrestleMania 14 as well, so it seemed like the deck was stacked against Austin.
At the time of WrestleMania 14 in 1998, Tyson was suspended as a boxer due to biting Evander Holyfield’s ear during a Heavyweight Title fight so there were people that thought Tyson was legitimately a madman, which made him perfect for WWE’s Attitude Era in many ways.
Steve Austin was at the Up Up Down Down WWE 2K23 video game launch event that aired on YouTube and he talked to the guys about WrestleMania 14 with Stone Cold admitting that he hated the match.
“That was a big deal for me as it is for everybody. The match, on a one to five, is a two. I mean, Shawn, I consider from bell to bell, when the bell rings from the beginning to the end, I consider Shawn to have no peers. Now, Bret as far as realism, you can’t top him. Flair is my traveling World Champion. I mean, he’s the man. But from bell to bell talent wise, no one can lace Shawn Michaels boots.”
“So to go out there and have a lackluster match with him and in the biggest show of the year, WrestleMania, and that was a sold out show and it’s a small building compared to nowadays, that was a big deal. We had Mike Tyson there. I remember when Vince told me one time he said, ‘You know, I’m thinking about bringing Mike Tyson in.’ I said, ‘Why are you going to bring in Mike? He’s like, ‘Why am I going to bring in Mike? Because he’s really, really over.’”
As he continued, Steve Austin would go on to say that he got along great with Tyson, but he didn’t like when the referee was knocked out and Tyson took over leading to Tyson counting really fast instead of doing a slower, more natural count.
“When Mike came in, me and Mike hit it off, and he was over. He brought a lot to it, so it was cool being out there with Mike. Me and Shawn could have had a way better match, but he was in a bad place. He was injured. I was just red hot. When I got the stunner on him, Mike quick-counted me. He didn’t give me that slow championship pace.”
“But to answer your question, I hated that match. I love Shawn. I have the utmost respect for him, but I don’t consider that to be a good match at all.”
The video with Steve Austin talking WWE 2K23 can be sen below.