The Rock and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin are two names that have transcended the wrestling industry.
Austin and Rock were both two of the top WWE stars during the Attitude Era in WWE, a time where they went with a TV-14 rating while going against WCW in the Monday Night Wars. Current AEW wrestler and former NXT Women’s Champion Athena revealed on “Complex Unsanctioned” whether she thought Austin or Rock had the greatest cultural impact.
“If you go cultural, which is outside of wrestling, you hands down have to say The Rock,” Athena stated. “… If you’re talking about wrestling, I think they’re both equal because I don’t think you could have Stone Cold without The Rock. If you’re talking about outside of wrestling, hands down, The Rock. That’s not even like, a real question.”
Austin is a former six-time WWE Champion, holding the championship for a combined 529 days across all reigns. Austin recently came out of retirement after 19 years to take on Kevin Owens in the main event of night one of “WrestleMania 38”. Austin won after the Texas Rattlesnake defeated Owens in a No Holds Barred match. This marked Austin’s first wrestling match since “WrestleMania 19” in 2003 where he lost to The Rock.
Not only does Athena believe Rock had more of a cultural impact, but Rock also has Austin beat when it comes to World Title reigns, notching ten total. Rock’s most recent title reign came in 2013 when he defeated CM Punk at the Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship. Rock went on to the main event of “WrestleMania 29” where he lost the title to John Cena.
The Rock has not wrestled since 2016 at “WrestleMania 32” where he defeated Rowan in a matter of seconds with a Rock Bottom. Roman Reigns, the current Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion has made it quite clear that if The Rock returns, the Tribal Chief will definitely be facing him.
Athena recently signed with All Elite Wrestling and debuted at “Double or Nothing”. The ‘Fallen Goddess’ made her in-ring debut on Rampage against Kiera Hogan, whom she defeated. Athena was released from NXT on November 4, 2021. Also on that same day, WWE released other notable talents such as Keith Lee and Karrion Kross.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit “Complex Unsanctioned” with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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