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Why Stone Cold vs. Hulk Hogan never happened

WWE Network

It’s got to be up there with Undertaker vs. Sting as one of the biggest possible drawing matches that conceivably could have happened, but never did. So why did we never get a Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan match, despite the fact the two men worked for the same company at two different times during their active in-ring careers?

The two legends got into when Hogan was on the most recent edition of Stone Cold’s podcast. Austin calls it a huge regret, and largely blames himself:

“Okay, here comes the top attraction in the world, he’s coming to WCW - I was fine when you were in WWF, but then you come down there and now I’m another notch down the ladder. And I always had this grudge against you because, now - you were the guy. Now how am I going to overtake this when I can’t even get past three-quarter midcard status? So there was always that grudge, and it was a competitive. I was like ‘why is this guy here now?’ Well I know why you were here now in retrospect, when I look back, but when you’re in the trenches and you’re in the ring every night, there’s that competitive part...

Anyway, it was always this thing and then all of a sudden I turn into Stone Cold and then you come back from WCW - I got squashed down another notch. But I think if we’d have ever got into a room and had just a chill conversation, we probably could have done business together. And that’d probably be, I guess it is one of the biggest regrets off my career, other than not, you know, jobbing for Brock - I never would have done the job, but I wish I would have showed up. But I would have loved to have worked a program with you. Especially now in my post-prime looking back at all the stuff that you did, and I was a fan from day one anyway. But you know what I mean, when you get caught up in the inner workings? I guess I was my head, and I guess I worked myself into a shoot, and I guess it was just a dumb thing for me to do.”

Hogan, who’s been known to be a little self-centered at times, said he understood:

“I went down to WCW and I had some personal stuff at home that I would walk down the hallway and there would be 20 people in the hallway and I wouldn’t see anybody. I was out of my mind, I was so worried about my home life and the problems I had at home that, you know...

So I went to the WWE and I knew I was working with Rock. I’m all about making the money, brother, and as a heel, I could put anybody over and go back the next week and say, ‘Stone Cold never beat me, brother.’ I could lie my ass off. And so when I got the reaction I had with The Rock, my sights were set on you, because I thought it was gonna be you first. But Vince {McMahon] asked me to work with The Rock and I said sure. But I was trying to get to you, and I understand you had a bunch of physical stuff and maybe mentally, so I get it, brother. I totally get it. We’d all like to wind the clock back, but I’ve been there...”

At this point, obviously, it’s a match we’ll never see because of age and the wear & tear on both men. But Austin insists it could have happened in WWE, despite his in-ring career being almost over at that point:

“It wasn’t the physicality thing because I could have still gone... it was just because I was so on a different page. I guess I was pissed off... I was getting fizzled out and, dude, I was running hard.”

So that’s why it will remain a “what if?” At least we’ll always have video games...

Check out the rest of this conversation between two of the best to ever do it right here.

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