Hulk Hogan was the biggest star in professional wrestling from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was arguably the biggest star of the sport from the mid-1990s until the early 2000s.
For many reasons, the two superstars never faced off against one another in the ring. Hogan was the king of the mountain in WCW and the leader of the NWO while Austin was the poster boy for the “Attitude Era” in the WWE. Working for two different companies makes working together difficult.
In 2002, after WCW crumbled and Hogan returned to the WWE, a match against “Stone Cold” was possible. Instead, Hogan and “The Rock” faced off in their epic WrestleMania X-8 contest.
Austin ended up walking out of the company that same year, so a match against Hogan never came to fruition.
People have speculated over the years as to why Austin vs. Hogan never happened. Jim Ross, working for the WWE in talent relations at the time, has first-hand knowledge as to why the Hulkster and the Texas Rattlesnake never met face-to-face.
“Austin never had the confidence that he and Hogan would have enough chemistry to live up to the hype,” explained JR in a recent episode of Grilling JR.
Ross explained that while the match would have done legendary revenue, Austin possibly worried that the end result would be a stinker of a contest, and shot down the idea that Austin didn’t want to work with Hogan for personal reasons.
“It would’ve been interesting to see. You have two of the most amazing attractions in the history of pro wrestling, so I’m sure it would have been a success financially. However, artistically? Maybe, not so much.
There’s always been the stories that Austin didn’t like Hogan, he didn’t want to work with Hogan, which is great for the internet gossip and chatter but I just think the styles clash was more than what Steve wanted to attempt.
I don’t think it had anything to do personally with Hogan.”
Ross speculated that the different styles of each performer just wouldn’t have gelled in the ring.
“Steve’s issue was just that Steve had a very high pace. Intense, aggressive, somewhat snug, high pace.
That just may not have fit Hogan’s styles at the time because of his back [issues]. It would’ve been an interesting attraction.
It would’ve been a great poster, a great promo, it would’ve made money.
But I don’t think the match had a chance in hell of living up to the hype of the two stars.”
Without good chemistry between two wrestlers, it’s hard for anyone to have a solid match, and it’s way more fun for fans to wonder “what if?” than to point to a forgettable match until the end of time.
That said, the promos leading to the match would have been epic.
[via Grilling JR]