WrestleMania 19: Steve Austin Ultimate Sacrifice
WrestleMania 19 would continue the venue stadium run by being held at SafeCo Field in Seattle, Washington. Booking WrestleMania 19 would result into a fan boys/girls dream as this was arguably the best card ever assembled. From the opening match for the WWE Cruiserweight championship Matt Hardy vs Rey Mysterio, to the headlining main event for the WWE Championship Kurt Angle vs Brock Lesnar. The rest of the card was 7 matches of pure goodness which brought satisfaction to every fan in attendance in addition to the millions around the world. Unbeknownst to the audience, there would be one main event match that was so very close from not happening and that would be The Rock vs Stone Cold Steve Austin part 3.
This match being booked says a great deal about the chemistry between The Rock and Austin, since it would be a stretch to be able to name two other wrestlers who could main event three WrestleManias. With this match being on the card, every fan was itching to relive the moments that they once lived from WrestleMania 15 and 17. However the night before 19, Austin would be rushed to the hospital due to some severe dizziness that he was experiencing in his hotel. Austin had been battling a threatening on again and off again neck injury, and all of the times he was putting off of treatment and surgery finally caught up with him. This risk and result would have the doctors highly recommend that he would not compete the next day due to high risk of paralysis.
Austin would decide to go against doctors’ orders and felt that he not only owed it to the fans, but he owed it to The Rock that the match would go on. Austin would essentially risk his life going into the ring with The Rock to have the match. With this knowledge, The Rock promised that he would take care of Austin. The two went out there and had a fantastic match. Even with Austin not visibly being himself during the bout, they still put on a stellar performance. If you look closely, after The Rock gets the win, you can clearly see Rock telling Austin, “Thank you for the match. I love you.” I’m sure The Rock was speaking for the WWE Universe who just witnessed that classic encounter.
Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer for Rant Sports