Courtesy of WWE Home Video, Matthew Roberts takes a look at Austin 3:16, the latest compilation of moments and matches from Stone Cold Steve Austin.
If we’re being honest, there’s probably not a need for another Steve Austin DVD. His career has been gone over a number of times on previous releases, some of which cannot be surpassed in 2022 by a one-disc set of chosen highlights from his WWE career. Yet taken on its own merits there are certainly a LOT of entertaining and memorable matches and moments on this set.
After a short introduction from the man himself (he also pops up in a couple of other places in little clips taken from the WWE Network) we get to see the famous birth of the Austin 3:16 slogan at King of the Ring 1996. It’s still an incendiary promo to this day. Of course as this is a collection that is merely bringing together moments in one package we don’t get told that a couple of months later Austin is stuck on the Summerslam pre-show or anything like that.
Next up is the WrestleMania 13 match with Bret “The Hitman” Hart. It’s one of THE best matches in WWE history. And if you haven’t yet seen it I’m not sure what you are doing reading content on a wrestling site. The moment from September 1997 when Vince McMahon first tastes the Stunner is next before we get extended highlights of his 1998 Royal Rumble win. This is followed by the WrestleMania XIV match against Shawn Michaels that cemented Austin’s place at the very top of the profession. It’s very good, all the more so considering HBK wasn’t in any condition to perform (injuries, none of that “other” stuff). And that he was very reluctantly “passing the torch”.
Skits follow, including Austin apparently going corporate, an incident with a bedpan and a beer bath. The next match is WrestleMania XV where he takes on The Rock in perhaps the least best, if that makes sense, of their WM trilogy. Still it’s a good match. The ever hilarious “Price Check” supermarket brawl with Booker T from 2001 is sandwiched between that last match and Austin and Rock’s WrestleMania XIX match. It doesn’t have the cache of the (missing from this set) WM 17 match but, I whisper this quietly, it is arguably the best in-ring match from their trilogy. And I’m not just saying that because I was there in Seattle that night.
We wrap up with a WrestleMania 32 segment when Austin picks up some help from Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels to see of the League of Nations and one of his many sporadic returns to WWE TV, this time from January 2018.
So whilst this release cannot be said to be anywhere near the definitive chronicle of Austin’s career there is no doubt that it’s an entertaining watch, however familiar some of the footage now is. All in all, a satisfying walk down memory lane.