The Rock has been doing numerous Q&As with fans, talking at length about different topics. In the video below, Rock spoke about "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's influence on his life and their three big matches at WrestleMania.
Rock said he's had a lot of feuds in his career, but the one with Austin was at the very top. Before getting to their WrestleMania matches, Rock talked about their very first meeting when Rock was still in the Nation of Domination.
"We had a night, we had a first night to see if there was any heat or attraction between 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and myself," Rock recalled. "We come out live on RAW, and we come out at the top of the ramp ... we come out and Stone Cold basically says, 'Bring it, I don't give a s--- who you are, what color you are, one of you, all four of you come on down to the ring and get some of this.'"
The group talked and Rock said he'd go to the ring. As he ran down, he said the crowd really fired up as Rock said he was the top heel at the time and Austin was the top babyface. Austin would end up giving Rock a stunner once he got in the ring. Afterwards in the back, the two met with WWE officials to talk about if there was indeed something there between them.
"We get to the back that night, I see Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, and some of the agents backstage," Rock said. "Everyone collectively felt like ... there's something special between [myself] and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin."
Rock then moved on to WrestleMania 15 when he took on Austin in Philadelphia, noting this was after Austin broke his neck. Rock said Austin only trusted a handful of guys in the ring and he was honored to be one of them. Austin beat Rock in the middle of the ring that night.
"Steve had broken his neck and he'd come back from a broken neck, so he was very particular with who he wrestled with," Rock recalled. "He trusted me and there were only a handful of guys he trusted with at that time."
WrestleMania 17—often considered one of the best WrestleMania PPVs—went down in Houston with the two Superstars. Rock noted that they had to adlib a lot of their matches, depending on how Austin's neck felt in that moment.
"So much of our stuff had to be adlibbed because Steve was working with a broken neck," Rock stated. "Every night was a different match—we knew the finish, whether he would win or I would win, but we had to call everything out in the ring. Basically, based on how he would feel. ... We have a phenomenal match. The night before we went out for a steak dinner, myself, Austin, Pat Patterson. We were talking about the match, it was a nice quiet before the storm because who knows what would happen the next day."
Rock lost the rematch, but then finally got his big win at WrestleMania 19 in Seattle, which was also Austin's final match.
"I hit him with three Rock Bottom—I believe it was three Rock Bottoms—appropriately that's what you need to beat 'The Rattlesnake,'" Rock said. "You can actually see me as I sit up and he's laying there—in front of everybody—and I whisper to him, 'I thank you so much for everything that you have done for me.' And I said, 'I love you,' and I heard him say, 'I love you, too.'"
Rock then said Austin very much influenced him years later when Rock went back-to-back WrestleMania PPVs against John Cena in 2012 and 2013. Rock won the first one, but had Cena win the second match.
"In New York is where I did for John what Steve did for me, which was do right by the business that we love—professional wrestling—and that's the way you go out," Rock said. "That's the way you end your career, it doesn't matter how big of a star you are, you go out on your shield and on your back: one, two, three."
You can check out Rock's full comments in the video below.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Rock and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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Great question from you guys on how did I feel headlining a record three WrestleManias with @steveaustinbsr and how he influenced my career. It's so simple ~ I love and respect that man and was truly TRULY my honor to share the ring and make history with him and create "magic" that will never be duplicated. Love you brother and as always, "thank you for the house" ?? ??