A Legendary Match: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart at WWE WrestleMania XIII

Stone Cold Steve Austin Faces Off Against Bret Hart at WWE WrestleMania XIII

The feud between Stone Cold and Bret Hart had been building for months, with Austin’s rebellious attitude clashing against Hart’s traditional values. Bret, a multi-time world champion and one of the most technically gifted wrestlers of all time, had taken a hiatus after losing the WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII. Meanwhile, Austin, a brash and outspoken anti-hero, had risen to prominence with his “Stone Cold” persona and a series of memorable performances.

The two first clashed at the 1996 Survivor Series, where Bret emerged victorious in a hard-fought contest. However, their rivalry was far from over. As the months passed, Austin’s popularity continued to soar, and fans began to rally behind the rebellious Texan.

The match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart at WrestleMania XIII took place on March 23, 1997, at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, with the stipulation being that the only way to win was to make your opponent tap out or submit. The match was a grueling, intense battle that showcased the technical prowess and in-ring psychology of both competitors.

While the main focus of the match was undoubtedly Austin and Hart, Ken Shamrock’s presence as the special guest referee added a layer of intrigue and unpredictability. His UFC championship pedigree and reputation for brutality promised something different, a referee who wouldn’t shy away from enforcing the rules.

From the opening bell, Bret and Austin traded holds and strikes, each man determined to make the other submit. As the match progressed, the action spilled outside the ring, with both men utilizing the environment to inflict punishment on each other.

In the closing moments of the match, Bret Hart locked in his signature submission hold, the Sharpshooter. Austin, bloodied and battered, refused to submit. Austin, bleeding from his head, passed out from the pain and the Ken Shamrock called for the bell with Bret the winner. However, the story did not end there. Bret continued to attack Austin after the match, prompting special guest referee Ken Shamrock to intervene.

This match marked a significant turning point in the careers of both men, as Bret Hart’s actions solidified his status as a heel, while Austin’s refusal to submit garnered the respect and of the fans, transforming him into the beloved anti-hero we know him today. The match propelled Stone Cold Steve Austin to superstardom and set the stage for his legendary feud with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Bret Hart, on the other hand, would leave the company in 1997, but his performance at WrestleMania XIII cemented his legacy as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.

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