The rivalry between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon is often considered the greatest in WWE history for good reason. Austin became the hottest name in the industry when he won the WWE Championship and feuded with the boss. The fans were already against Vince after the Montreal Screwjob for the timing to be perfect.
There were plenty of twists and turns of the rivalry to make fans overlook or forget things about the story. WWE wanted to find new ways to highlight Austin and found a real-life boss dream badass persona coming to life to make this feud relevant for many years to come. However, fans often get the following things wrong about their time working against each other.
10 Steve Austin was always right
The fan base that loved Steve Austin and hated Vince McMahon made it seem like Austin was always right. However, that is not true at all looking back on how often Austin loved to make a fuss and cause trouble for McMahon.
There were moments like Austin trying to screw up the deal with Mike Tyson or even threatening to shoot Vince with a gun all night before revealing it was a joke. Austin crossed the line many times, but the public that loved him so much made it easier to rally behind him.
9 Vince McMahon’s heel turn started his hostility
Mr. McMahon’s character began feuding with Steve Austin after he won the WWE Championship in WrestleMania 14 Become the face of the company. Fans often forget that the two had some tense moments before they sparked the feud.
Austin stunned Vince during an infamous segment at Madison Square Garden when Stone Cold was not cleared by WWE to wrestle through an injury. Mike Tyson’s involvement in Austin nearly ruining McMahon’s big signing showed that the feud was starting before Vince even started playing the badass character.
8 Big Show never had a big fight with Steve Austin after debuting
Most Attitude Era fans remember that Big Show debuted for WWE during a steel cage match between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon. Big Show’s shocking moment coming out from under the ring and throwing Austin into the cage to open it gave him the win.
Everyone assumed WWE had been eyeing a match between Big Show and Austin ever since Stone Cold went straight to his WWE Championship match with The Rock. Austin actually defeated Big Show on Raw during the build of WrestleMania 14 with Mick Foley as guest referee.
7 The Undertaker and Kane made Vince McMahon’s offer against Steve Austin
Steve Austin’s first year as WWE Champion featured The Undertaker and Kane teaming up against him for the first time to increase the odds in his favor. Vince McMahon booking Austin in tough matches against the Brothers of Destruction made fans remember them following his orders.
However, Undertaker and Kane were on their own and only wanted the WWE Championship. McMahon was even attacked by the Brothers of Destruction for disrespecting him after they failed to get the job done to his liking.
6 Steve Austin had a traditional post-invasion makeover to win back the feud
Steve Austin spent most of 2001 playing heel after two betrayals. The first came when Austin aligned himself with Vince McMahon to defeat The Rock and turn heel by making a deal with the wrestling fiend. However, Austin also betrayed Vince to leave WWE for WCW and ECW Alliance during the Invasion.
Most fans assume or misremember that Austin had an official face change the following night. It was actually quite the opposite with Vince turning heel after the short face run of him stopping The Alliance. Fans began to cheer Austin for his attack on McMahon and his cronies without any explanation or remorse for his rude actions.
5 WrestleMania 17 Alliance was the first time they joined
The shocking moment where Steve Austin turned heel with the help of Vince McMahon felt like the first time they were on the same page. WWE had them as allies and even teammates for short runs prior to this detour.
Austin and McMahon first teamed up in 1998 to take on members of the Domination Nation. Vince, who switched faces in 1999, reluctantly saw them on the same page against mutual enemies. Although McMahon ultimately always betrayed Austin, they were united on some fronts prior to 2001.
4 History of the first major authority figure
Vince McMahon’s massive success as a badass authority figure and the fight with Steve Austin worked so well that many fans saw him as the first of his kind. WWE rarely got their authority figures involved in storylines, but it happened before McMahon vs. Austin.
Vader launching a vicious attack on the old Gorilla Monsoon was a truly shocking moment some two years earlier. Roddy Piper also had an authority figure role when he feuded with Goldust. WCW even had their own version of this with Eric Bischoff joining the New World Order before Vince’s turn.
3 The Corporation was booked strong against Steve Austin
Vince McMahon, who wasn’t a wrestler himself, saw that it made a lot of sense when he formed The Corporation faction. Credible names or rising stars like Ken Shamrock, Test, and The Big Boss Man were tasked with trying to stop Austin.
The Corporation was successful enough to make fans think they were heavily booked. Only the rare main events or established names like The Rock, Triple H, Vince McMahon, and The Undertaker were heavily booked. Basically, other members of the group were fed to Austin every week, so he had some heels to get the best of them while Vince hid from afar.
2 They always hit it off behind the scenes
Steve Austin developed a close bond with Vince McMahon that makes them still get along very well today. However, the notion that they always hit it off wasn’t always true, as their relationship soured in 2002 before the Austin strike.
There were critical comments from Austin in various interviews about how he was hired throughout the year. Everyone remembers that Austin left after refusing to lose an unannounced televised match against Brock Lesnar. It is overlooked that McMahon tried to humiliate Austin with some shocking losses that year to set the momentum for the strike.
1 Higher Power’s story failed due to their enmity
Many longtime fans would name the Higher Power storyline the biggest failure of the Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon feud. The angle featured a mysterious person guiding Undertaker to make life miserable for both the McMahon family and Austin.
Austin even helped save Stephanie McMahon from Undertaker trying to force her to get married. The horrifying revelation saw Vince pulling all the strings and putting his family in danger just to spite Austin. Although this was a horrible idea, the angle fell through because WWE backed into a corner and never had a name in mind for the role.