As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famers Steve Austin and Bret Hart were recently guests on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness. The pro wrestling legends discussed their exemplary WrrestleMania 13 submission match in great detail. Specifically, Austin and Hart talked about thinking the match would be a dud. Austin and Hart agreed that the match was easy to wrestle. Also, Austin rightly declared that the match stands up even today.
According to Austin, he was upset upon hearing that he would be facing Hart in a submission match at WrestleMania 13, not recognizing that an unfavorable match stipulation would put 'Stone Cold' in a position of sympathy with the audience.
"I'll never forget before WrestleMania 13 happened, it was two weeks before the match, I believe," Austin recalled. "I'm in San Antonio [Texas] watching Monday Night RAW, and, all-of-a-sudden, I see it announced that it's going to be Bret 'Hitman' Hart versus 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin in a submission match and I was livid because I am not a submission-style wrestler. I got dropped on my head and I turned into a brawler. I was starting to become somewhat hot as a [babyface], but prided myself on being a heel. All-of-a-sudden, I'm going into this match with Bret 'Hitman' Hart, which I loved that, but the submission part, totally threw me. And I voiced my concerns to Vince McMahon because I truly thought they were putting me in a compromising position because I'm not a submission wrestler. Everybody knows I hold had three or four moves and the rest were racking the eyes, ball shots, and stuff like that, so this match was not going to be catered to me."
Austin admitted that he thought it was going to be a bad match.
"I thought we were going to stink the joint out, I truly did. And we did everything but that. We ripped it apart with a five-star performance."
While Austin worried that the submission stipulation would not play to his strengths as a performer, Hart was concerned with the limiting nature of submission matches in general.
"I think we have to give Vince [McMahon] credit for the vision of the submission match." Hart continued, "I was like Steve. I thought it was really going to be a bad, bad match for us to showcase our talents. If anything it should have just been a rematch period. A submission match limited us or at least I thought. And I felt the same way as Steve, but I also knew going in there that Vince started to want to turn me heel. And I could tell even going into that over the last few months. That's when the fans started to take to the heels a lot more. I don't know if it was ECW or what, but I remember the heels started to get over and they started to cheer Steve a lot because he was sort of a cool heel to take a liking to."
Hart gained the negative perspective on submission matches from firsthand experience. Hart claimed that his 'I Quit' bout with fellow WWE Hall Of Famer Bob Backlund was not so excellently executed.
"Going into WrestleMania, I knew from my own experience with Bob Backlund, I think I had an 'I Quit' match with him at WrestleMania 11, which was probably my worst pay-per-view match I ever had, no offense to Bob." Hart explained, "it wasn't Bob's fault either. Submission matches are a death sentence. You take out half of the fun of false finishes with pinfalls. I mean, that's why more spots you can do. It cuts your match in half as far as what you can do."
Hart went on to say that his WrestleMania 13 match with Austin was one of the easiest matches he has had in his pro wrestling career.
"It was one of the easiest matches I ever had in my life. There was just absolutely great work. Everything. And I always tell people, 'this is the greatest match I had in the sense that no animals were harmed in the making of this movie.' I mean, really, the only potato I gave myself was when Steve threw me into the hockey board. That hurt like hell."
Austin agreed with Hart's assessment that the match was easy to work.
"The match was so easy because you'll see a call here or there, heads are down, you'll never see any mouths move." Austin added, "when Bret and I talked about this match, there were maybe five to seven things that we knew were going to happen. The rest was called on the fly in the ring and that's a shoot."
Additionally, during the interview, Austin stated that the submission match holds up today because of its realness and intensity.
"With all the flip, flop, and flying going on now, this match, although it was done at WrestleMania 13... all these years later, this match still holds up whether it was back then, right now, or in the future because of the physicality, because of the intensity," Austin said. "There's nothing crazy that goes on in this match, but because it's so real, it will hold up to the test of time."
What? If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness