Stone Cold - Steve Austin
They don’t come any more “BA” than Stone Cold. He’s the loud mouth, trash talking, middle finger waving, beer drinking S.O.B. that dominated the world of the WWE and broke out as a pop culture icon. In the midst of all that face-rocking, he also won nineteen championships throughout his wrestling career. Though he was forced into retirement due to injury, he has since continued to “open cans of whoop-ass” in the movies where violence is always welcome.
Steve Austin is the best example of poor marketing by a company who simply didn’t know what they had. Although he achieved some moderate success in WCW, “Stunning” Steve Austin was far removed from any traces of his true potential.
Things went from bad to worse for Steve when his gimmick devolved into a tag-team role as a “Hollywood Blonde”, a persona 180 degrees from anything native to the rough and rugged Texan.
It should be noted that despite Steve’s ultimate success in the WWE, they also stumbled with him out the gate as well. He debuted in the federation (minus any hint of an actual personality) as “The Ring Master” which is quite possibly the most hideous name in existence for a wrestler.
The Rock - Dwayne Johnson
Number one on our list in someone who broke out of the sweaty wrestling mold and into the cocaine paved world of Hollywood to become a house-hold name. As a WWE superstar, “The Rock” entertained millions with his cocky persona and his sarcastic sense of humor which he cleverly incorporated into his character. He commanded a presence that no one in the wrestling business has since touched.
In 1996, a bright-eyed and excessively grinning Rocky Maivia, a.k.a. “The Blue Chipper”, debuted in the WWE. The company played up his connection to his father and grandfather, (also wrestlers) calling him the company's first “third-generation wrestler”. That is sadly all the youngster had to work with. It was a cheese-fest to say the least.
Many fans felt that the unproven rookie was being shoved down their throats by the WWE. Almost instantly people grew nauseous of the one-dimensional baby-face and eventually during his matches began venomously chanting "Die Rocky Die!" The company did their best to work their magic in editing but eventually grew tired of blurring out the numerous signs at ringside which repeated fans angry sentiments (many written in their own blood). Had the Rock not made some much needed changes; surely the growing angry mob was willing and able to help him along.
Do you have evidence of some even darker times for popular wrestlers, or even pictures of the Rock from high school? We want to hear about it! Post in the comments below!
- - Triple H: http://i42.tinypic.com/14ih4l5.jpg http://i40.tinypic.com/4ihc44.jpg http://i42.tinypic.com/24ca51v.jpg http://i41.tinypic.com/9qkzyq.jpg
- - Hulk Hogan: http://i40.tinypic.com/16kuosi.jpg http://i40.tinypic.com/a4yh6f.jpg http://i40.tinypic.com/25k0hw6.jpg
- - Kevin Nash: http://i41.tinypic.com/107ujrr.jpg http://i44.tinypic.com/2zdnhgj.jpg http://i40.tinypic.com/rkn19l.jpg http://i42.tinypic.com/2d0m7hd.jpg http://i40.tinypic.com/1fbypd.jpg
- - Stone Cold - Steve Austin: http://i42.tinypic.com/2vbo4te.jpg http://i39.tinypic.com/33a6ij6.jpg http://i42.tinypic.com/28it5di.jpg http://i42.tinypic.com/20s7sbd.jpg http://i43.tinypic.com/13ymow1.jpg
- - The Rock - Dwayne Johnson: http://i40.tinypic.com/96wa5y.jpg http://i42.tinypic.com/novyoj.jpg http://i44.tinypic.com/2lxjnlh.jpg http://i44.tinypic.com/9u53x4.jpg