WWE: Hulk Hogan vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin: Once-in-a-Lifetime Dream Match
It's a match that has been on fans wish list for years now.
The Immortal Hulk Hogan vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. The biggest star of the 1980s vs. the biggest star of the 1990s. Two global icons colliding at a huge WrestleMania event.
Fans have always wanted to see these two titans clash, but unfortunately never have, and likely never will.
It's not that often that a professional wrestler becomes a household name, but Austin and Hogan have done just that.
Hogan was undeniably the biggest star of professional wrestling in the 1980s, as the leader of the powerhouse brand known as Hulkamania. He was also a very integral part of the 1990s with the New World Order, and also played a big role in the 2000s with his legendary match against The Rock at WrestleMania 18.
Austin rose to super-stardom as leader of the WWF Attitude Era in the late 1990s, and is credited for much of that era's success.
It was Hogan's ability to keep himself relevant, and a big-name player, that made fans still want to see him clash with Austin when Hogan returned to World Wrestling Entertainment back in 2002.
To Hogan's credit, he always wanted the match. To Vince McMahon's credit, he tried to make the match happen, but Austin wanted no part of it.
Austin explained plenty of times that he never thought the match would be any good, and didn't want to disappoint the fans with a subpar performance.
I've watched enough Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin matches over the years to know that if the two would have wrestled each other, it wouldn't have been a Malenko vs. Guerrero technical classic, but that's not what fans expected or wanted from the match.
Fans wanted to see generations collide, much like they did at WrestleMania 18, when The Rock did battle against Hulk Hogan in a match that will go down in history as one of the biggest of all time.
That night, Rock and Hogan, did not put on a technical masterpiece—they didn't need to.
The crowd was filled with sheer emotion with every move as fans looked on in shock and amazement at two of the greatest of all time, putting on a match that will go down in history as one of the best.
Austin vs. Hogan would have delivered that same excitement, that same electricity, that once-in-a-lifetime feeling that fans look forward to and pay big money to see.
Looking back, the best time for this match to take place, likely would have been at WrestleMania 20, in Madison Square Garden.
Hogan, who became a legend in MSG, and Austin, who was very well respected among the vocal and opinionated New York City audience, would have provided a WrestleMania moment that fans would never have forgotten.
It would have been interesting to see who the crowd would have cheered for, since both men were always well respected at The Garden.
Back at WrestleMania 18, Hogan went into the match as a heel, and was wildly cheered against The Rock. Hulkamania was reborn on that night.
Would the MSG crowd favorite the original icon from the 1980s, or would they instead cheer for the leader of the Attitude Era? The atmosphere would have been electric.
Hulk Hogan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. During his acceptance speech, fans were chanting "One more match." Hogan then looked down at the front row and right at Stone Cold, as if to say "How about it?"
A few months later, Monday Night Raw had what was called WWE Homecoming. It featured stars of the past, as WWE celebrated its return to the USA Network, and both Hogan and Austin were on the show.
On that night, Hulk Hogan did something he never did publicly. He sent out a indirect verbal challenge to Stone Cold, much to the approval of the fans in attendance.
"What would all these Hulkamaniacs do, if Hulk Hogan climbed in the ring, with that rattlesnake, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin," said Hogan, as the crowd in attendance roared in approval.
About six months later at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Austin was getting ready to induct Bret Hart, but before he made his speech he addressed the "Austin-Hogan" chants in the crowd, and fired back at Hogan with a indirect challenge of his own.
"I was going through my bag in the back, and I found a can of 'Whoop Ass' with Hulk Hogan's name on it."
Naturally, the crowd was ecstatic, but when the camera zoomed in on Hulk Hogan, who was also in attendance that night, Hogan didn't look too thrilled with Austin's remark. Perhaps because Hogan and Vince McMahon tried to make the match a reality, but Austin wasn't interested.
Still, the fact that Hogan and Austin were sending out these indirect challenges to each other, on WWE TV no less, had fans rightfully assuming a match was eventually going to take place.
Unfortunately that never happened, and probably never will.
Hogan, who has been plagued by multiple injuries over the years, has likely wrestled his last match, or at least his last match that fans would consider a really good one. Austin, to this day, has no interest in wrestling Hogan.
Thankfully at this past WrestleMania, WWE fans were treated to a record-setting dream match when The Rock went up against John Cena.
The match and build-up was fantastic, and all fans should be grateful that we were able to witness such a dream match, because quite frankly there aren't that many left.
But as a fan, I will always wonder just how big and exciting an Austin vs. Hogan match could have been.
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