One of the reasons why the Attitude Era is still remembered fondly by the WWE Universe is because of the heated on-stage rivalry between The Rock and Steve Austin. Among their numerous fights, Stone Cold and The People Champion's three WrestleMania matches were the big ones.
However, what made their feud really interesting was that they were also competitors backstage. Bruce Prichard, in a recent interview with The Sun, revealed that their backstage rivalry kicked off after The Rock, whose real name is Dwayne Johnson, gained momentum in the WWE in 1998.
"They [The Rock and Steven Austin] were competitive. Here's [Steve] Austin – your top dog – and you've got a young kid nipping at his heels. Man, they're going to be competitive," Prichard said.
"I always used to say, somebody was getting over whoever the top dog was – Hogan, Austin, Rock, or Triple H – would start not complaining, but noticing them."
"I remember Austin saying about Rock, 'I don't think lifting his eyebrow and a couple of cute sayings is really going to get you over.' But it did," he said.
"People said that about John Cena too. 'That rapping is stupid– that's never going to work'."
While the feud between the two was great for pushing the WWE to the next level, it might not have been possible without the duo's on-screen antics, especially The Rock's ability to comically sell Austin's finishing move, the Stone Cold Stunner.
Actor-cum-comedian Hannibal Buress and DJ/producer Tony Trimm spoke about how The Rock sold the move on the recent Handsome Rambler podcast. Buress later posted a short clip to their conversation on social media. As soon as the video was shared on Twitter, The Rock quickly responded as to why he sold the Stone Cold Stunner so hard during their fights.
"My dude. Appreciate it HB. Me and @steveaustinBSR used to bet cases of beer on how crazy I could get with my "sell" of his famous Stunner," The Rock replied.