Hulk Hogan vs. Steve Austin has a nice ring to it, no?
As two of the biggest legends in WWE history and stars who defined their respective eras, Hogan vs. Austin is often the topic of dream booking by fans both young and old, a debate that spans decades.
Hogan has heard recent comments from Austin in regards to who left behind the better legacy. As one could have predicted, the Hulkster threw a verbal counterpunch and even suggests a date in the ring to sort things out, as captured by Yahoo.com's Marcus Vanderberg:
I think that’s in his own mind. My career was twice as long as his. I’ve been a main eventer since 1978 when we sold out Shea Stadium. I just totally disagree with him. I know he had a good run when he was in the Attitude Era. I don’t know how long the Attitude Era was — four years, eight years — I don’t know how long it was. That’s where we totally disagree. Maybe he and I should lock up and figure this thing out. That would be a nice match.
The strong retort comes after Austin offered his opinion when asked who the bigger legend was. Speaking on Shan & RJ of Texas' 105.3 The Fan, Austin had this to say (via Alex Giardini of Wrestlinginc.com):
If you're talking to me, it's going to be Stone Cold Steve Austin. If you guys are talking to Hulk, it's going to be him. I respect Hulk Hogan because his career lasted some 30 odd years. I think I lasted about 15, but during my peak years, I took the business to a height it never seen before.
Don't laugh about a potential matchup—Hogan is now 61 years old and seems to be in fine shape. He even notes in the interview with Vanderberg that the "the back is cool," although he wants to wrestle John Cena if forced to pick from superstars on the current roster.
Austin is 49 years old, the same age as The Undertaker, and still young enough to compete in wrestling if he truly wanted to lace up the boots for one more match.
But really, the debate will more than likely be settled by fans. As Austin humorously noted, both men are the biggest in their own minds.
Hulk Hogan is a global brand that transcends the sport after putting it on his back for decades, winning a plethora of titles and forming the infamous nWo before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Austin ran roughshod through the WWE in the 1990s and helped rejuvenate a brand in desperate need of a change. The face of the Attitude Era was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.
The public spat between Hogan and Austin is nowhere near over, as both men are close to the hearts of wrestling fans around the globe. Those fans will surely pick sides, although it really comes down to a matter of preference.
Do fans pick the man who found success at the top of more than one promotion and is a global force, or the man who uplifted WWE during its war with WCW and gave them the most memorable era in wrestling history?
Neither seems a bad choice.