Wrestlemania Moments: The Austin Era Begins

The main event of Wrestlemania is always remembered, whether good or bad. Wrestling fans will always look back on it.

Today’s Wrestlemania Moments: I will discuss the main event of Wrestlemania 14, the match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels.

The WWE, then formerly known as WWF, was on fire in the late 1990s, and Stone Cold Steve Austin became the company’s most famous wrestler.

Stone Cold won the 1998 Royal Rumble, getting a title shot at Wrestlemania 14 against Shawn Michaels. The build-up to this match had the world talking as Vince McMahon announced that he would bring in “Iron” Mike Tyson to participate in Wrestlemania 14.

Stone Cold interrupted him before Vince McMahon announced Tyson’s role at Wrestlemania. Austin told Tyson he was in Stone Cold’s ring, and he didn’t appreciate that; Stone Cold flipped off Tyson. Mike Tyson didn’t take too kindly to that and shoved Austin. All hell broke loose.

Eventually, Mike Tyson was announced as the special enforcer for the match between Michaels and Stone Cold. Tyson became a member of DX after being recruited to Michaels, which would cause more problems for Austin as he wouldn’t only have to worry about HBK.

The crowd was electric, heading into Wrestlemania 14. The roof was set to come down when Stone Cold’s glass shattered.

Before coming down to the ring, the camera cuts backstage to Michaels, Chyna, and Triple H coming to the ring. Shawn looks at the camera and says, “This one’s for you, Earl.” That was for Earl Hebner, WWF’s senior official at the time, who had been unwell.

Michaels, Triple H, and Chyna came down to the ring with the DX band playing their theme song.

As I mentioned, the crowd was loud and chanting for Austin. The match began with a back-and-forth effort from both men. Unsurprisingly, Triple H attacked Stone Cold, but referee Mike Chioda wasn’t having it and banned Triple H and Chyna from the ringside.

After its fast-paced opening, the match slowed down. Shawn worked Austin’s legs, getting him into a sleeper hold. Austin tried breaking free by slamming HBK into the turnbuckle, but he hit the referee instead.

With the referee out, Tyson watched on from ringside. Michaels went for Sweet Chin Music, but Stone Cold countered it. Austin went for the Stunner, and Michaels reversed it. With one last try, Michaels went for Sweet Chin Music again. Austin countered by catching Michaels’s foot and spinning him around to hit the Stone Cold Stunner. Austin went for the cover, and Mike Tyson slid into the ring and made the one, two, three count.

The crowd cheered, and Jim Ross, on commentary, yelled, “Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!”

After the match, Michaels got in Tyson’s face. He tried to punch Tyson, but Tyson blocked him and dropped HBK with a right hand. This loss would be Michael’s last match until 2002 due to a herniated disc in his back.

Wrestlemania 14 left fans with this memorable quote by Jim Ross: “The Austin era has begun.”

Photo Credits: WWE

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