In honor of today being St. Stone Cold's Day (the next great American holiday), I figured we could look back and rank the top 10 appearances for the toughest SOB the WWF/E has ever seen.
After going back and watching the past 15 WrestleManias in preparation for my trip to Atlanta for this year's event, I was surprised to see that Austin only wrestled in seven WrestleManias. Yet, he obviously had some of the most memorable WrestleMania moments of all time.
So sit back, crack open a Steveweiser and enjoy St. Stone Cold's day with your friends, and maybe give your boss a Stunner if he pisses you off today.
Honestly speaking, I forgot that Stone Cold was even involved in WrestleMania 21.
After rewatching WrestleMania 21, I was reminded of Austin confronting Roddy Piper in Piper's Pit, only to be interrupted by Carlito.
Carlito got the Stunner he deserved, and then Austin shared a beer with Piper before delivering a Stunner to him as well.
While it involved two legendary competitors, this was Austin's least memorable appearance at WrestleMania. And that's all I got to say about that.
Three months before the birth of Austin 3:16, we had the Ringmaster, with the Million Dollar Man, facing Savio Vega.
First off, it is amazing to remember that Savio Vega used to be in high enough status in the WWF that he would compete at WrestleMania (this is around the time he was brought in as Razor Ramon's Puerto Rican ally).
Secondly, it is amazing to see how dramatically different Austin's style is in the ring. At one point in the match, he even goes to the top rope to deliver a dropkick. Also, he obviously never uses the Stunner because this was before the King of the Ring.
You could clearly see that Austin had flashes of greatness in him, but based on this match alone, you would have never thought that he would grow into the Icon that he became.
Being at WrestleMania 23 in person at Ford Field in Detroit was awesome. One of the most memorable moments was when the glass shattered, and Stone Cold rode his ATV to the ring. It was the closest thing to the Attitude Era we were going to get at the time.
This match will be remembered for the media circus surrounding the involvement of Donald Trump, but who among us honestly thought that Trump would lose the match and shave his head?
It was pretty funny to see Vince McMahon get his head shaved by Austin, given all that they had been through during the past 10 years.
While Austin wasn't technically a participant in the match, he still made his presence felt, making this a more memorable moment than the previous two appearances.
This match (and every other match on the card for that matter) was overshadowed by the Rock vs. Hollywood Hogan, so it is rather forgetful.
Also, this was Austin's first match since WrestleMania 13 that he was not fighting for the WWF Title.
Still, this was a dream matchup many people had been waiting to see for years (not necessarily Hall vs. Austin, but the NWO vs. Austin).
Clearly, Scott Hall was not in the greatest mental condition during his time in the WWE, but the name appeal still makes this one of Stone Cold's more memorable WrestleMania appearances.
What started as one of the most hyped matches of all time slowly developed into one of the worst WrestleMania matches of all time.
Just think of the magnitude of having Austin, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg in the ring at the same time. It was like a match made by God himself.
Via the Internet, fans at Madison Square Garden became aware that this would be both Lesnar and Goldberg's last matches in the WWE.
Lesnar failed to make the Minnesota Vikings before becoming a dominant force in UFC, until Cain Velasquez dominated him.
Goldberg has not been seen in major wrestling since.
Stone Cold really salvaged this match though, giving the crowd what they wanted with multiple middle fingers and Stunners.
It really says something about Stone Cold's WrestleMania career that his last match to date comes in at number five on this list.
This personally is one of my favorite matches of all time. The chemistry between the Rock and Austin really comes out in this match. The amount of near falls made it dramatic to watch, and to see them use each other's finishing moves always adds to the excitement.
Stone Cold was clearly on his last legs (or knees), but he was still able to move around well enough that he put on a great match.
Had Austin defeated the Rock, this may have been higher on the list, but also give credit to Austin for allowing the Rock to win his final match.
Again, another phenomenal match between the Rock and Stone Cold, which gets upgraded both for the WWF Title being on the line and Stone Cold actually coming out on top.
The odds seemed stacked against Austin. The Rock had Vince McMahon in his corner at the end of the match, until Mankind came out and stopped McMahon from getting further involved.
The match featured an epic finish, where the Rock blocked the Stunner, Austin blocked the Rock Bottom and then Austin finished off the Rock with a Stunner.
This was the first WrestleMania match in the epic saga that made wrestling into the monster it once was.
Who saw Stone Cold joining forces with arch-nemesis Vince McMahon after years of confrontation? I can truly say that this was one of the most shocking moments in WWF/E history in my mind.
This match is extremely memorable for that reason, but the reason it is not higher on this list is because, in my opinion, the WWE made the wrong decision in turning Austin heel and aligning him with McMahon. It turned Austin into an awkward character, where he didn't seem to have the same appeal as he once did.
His attitude didn't really change, but now he was supposed to be a heel, instead of the anti-hero face. Then, there were the appearances where Creative had him be a McMahon sympathizer and play the guitar. It was now laughable to think that Austin was the toughest SOB on the planet at one time.
Clearly, Vince realized that he made a mistake when he determined that he needed to bring back the old Austin to battle with the Alliance, until Austin turned on McMahon and joined up with them.
It was a very interesting time in wrestling history, and this match started it all.
The infamous double turn that led to Austin becoming the face of the WWF, and Bret Hart leaving altogether.
Who can forget the iconic image of Austin refusing to tap out with blood pouring down his face, as the Hitman had him in the Sharpshooter?
This was Austin's first major feud in the WWF after years of busting his ass in WCW and ECW, and up until this point the crowd did not really appreciate him fully. But everyone would remember Austin after this.
This was the birth of the anti-hero gimmick in the WWF (something you see regularly now with people like Randy Orton), which gives it a very important place in WWF/E history.
I don't think, to this day, that I have been this excited to see someone win a match. In the days before the wide usage of the internet, it wasn't really known that this would be Shawn Michaels last match. If this match happened today, I don't know if it would have been as big a deal because someone would have leaked that HBK was done.
The odds seemed stacked against Austin when Mike Tyson aligned himself with HBK and D-X, seemingly making it impossible for Austin to win the title.
The lead up to this match was epic, even though Michaels couldn't be physically involved. From Stone Cold getting arrested nearly every week, to the speculation as to whether Michaels would be involved at No Way Out in the eight man tag match, to would Tyson knock out Austin. Truly one of the greatest roads to Wrestlemania ever.
When Austin blocked Sweet Chin Music, and spun HBK around into the Stunner, I remember jumping out of my chair and celebrating with the fifteen or so kids I was watching it with (I was in fourth grade at the time).
I was shocked that Tyson ran into the ring to make the three count.
I was shocked to see Tyson knock HBK out.
I was shocked that Austin had just overcome all of the odds to be the champion.
One thing was certain though, the torch had clearly been passed to Austin, and the most successful era of wrestling had begun.
Well that is the it for Stone Cold's Wrestlemania appearances. Let me know if you agree or disagree with the rankings. Time will tell how memorable Austin being the referee at this year Wrestlemania will be. Make sure you celebrate 3/16 in style though.
Crack open a Steveweiser.
Give someone the finger
Give someone the Stunner
Drink a beer
Follow me on Twitter @BFlow82