March 29, 2018 marked the 20th anniversary since WWE legends and Hall of Famers, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels battled each other at the main event of WrestleMania XIV with boxing maestro, Mike Tyson as the special ringside enforcer. Austin would go on to defeat Mr. WrestleMania thereby capturing his first WWE Title on that glorious night.
In a recent interview with WWE, The Texas Rattlesnake revealed that time flies as it feels like it hasn’t been 20 years since his first WWE Championship victory.
“We were in Boston at the Fleet Center. I wrestled the one and only Shawn Michaels. We didn’t know if Shawn was going to get in the ring. He wasn’t really in a good place at that time. In his head, in his back, he was beat up, battered. I was on fire,” Austin recalled. “Tyson came in, he was the X-factor. A lot of outside eyeballs coming into the product. I mean he really brought a lot of attention with him and we were able to capitalize on that but the bottom line was, was the match even going to happen?”
Austin recalled how Vince McMahon first mentioned the idea of Austin doing something in the ring with The Baddest Man on the Planet.
“Hey man, I was ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, alright? This was way back in the day. When I’m ‘Stone Cold” Steve Austin I’m in 150%. I was smart enough to know my place,” Austin said. “My role is in a WWE 20×20, I got no business going up against Mike Tyson and killing everything that I built up by him knocking my ass out within 20 seconds of the bell ringing.”
Stone Cold also talked about the pre-WrestleMania public workout in Boston, where he suffered a beatdown by DX and kissed on the forehead by Tyson and Michaels, and how this was just another stunt to draw attention to the match.
“That’s what I’ve always loved and respected about Vince, he knows how to promote something,” Austin said. “You can have the greatest thing in the world but if you don’t promote it, if not enough people know about it, it ain’t going to be a success.”
As for the match itself, Austin discussed Tyson’s performance and said the only gripe he had was the 3 count being too quick.
“I thought the three count was a little too quick. You want to win that title with a slow, deliberate count of the proper cadence. He hit the mat too fast three times. That would be my only knock about what Mike Tyson did,” Austin said. “We didn’t get the chance to pull out all the stops. I didn’t get the best out of Shawn Michaels and he didn’t get the best out of me. I walked right back past the blue curtains and there was Vince. I looked at him and I said, ‘Man, that match sucked.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it all starts fresh tomorrow.’ And the next day, that’s where we started that campaign, the kind of Stone Cold thing with Vince McMahon, the corporate thing, and it all started working, all the pieces started falling into place. You always want to knock a grand slam every time you go out there. We didn’t but things happened after that and that’s what you do to move forward. You look past the match, put it behind us, I now have a championship, focus on things and move forward. That’s what we did.”