Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Match of the Week: Steve Austin vs Rock (Backlash 99)

 Match of the Week: Steve Austin vs Rock (Backlash 99)
This match is one forgotten gems they had together. In my opinion, this match is far superior than their Wrestlemania 15 encounter. Going into the match the following happened:

- while Rock got his rematch, Steve Austin wanted his custom smoking skull world heavyweight belt back
- McMahons stacked the odds against Austin with Shane McMahon as referee of the match. Stipulations tacked on if Austin touched him he would be DQ'd and lose the belt
- Vince and Shane McMahon now at each other throats over power
- Rock and Austin battle on the bridge which Rock threw Austin over and into the river along with the "title"
- turns out Rock didn't toss smoking skull belt. He was wearing it and held mock funeral for the belt. Austin gained revenge steamrolling Rock's car. Both fought which Austin sent Rock down to the grave. Shane McMahon bashed Austin from behind with a shovel and is left as the last visual of holding smoking skull belt high in the air over Austin and Rock going to the show.
- before the show started match is made into no holds barred.

At least Austin and Rock made sense while McMahons feuding bit confusing. Then again its Russo style booking.

As for the match both took no hold barred rule seriously at they brawled and tore everything down in their path from fencing, equipment, and announce tables. One of my favorite visual moments when Rock got hold of camera mocking Austin only eat a stunner on top of announce table. The overbooking kicked in trying screw Austin few times. Vince would enter the foray sending one of Hebners as referee of the match and KO'ing Shane with a belt. Steve Austin gave Rock another stunner then a belt shot to retain the title and is shown holding both winged and smoking skull belt at same time.

Another wild fun brawl between the two and would get to pinnacle of it few years later.

The next night on RAW Rock would turn full blown face again leaving The Corporation while Steve Austin save Stephanie McMahon from clutches of The Undertaker whom he kidnapped at end of Backlash.

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