The eight-part A&E Biography series on WWE Legends has been excellent. This coming Sunday is the final documentary in this series: Bret Hart. And, it all started on Sunday, April 18 with one of Bret Hart’s greatest rivals: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Considering there have been so many “Stone Cold” Steve Austin documentaries over the years, is this one worth watching? Read on for my thoughts.
I grew up watching the WWF in the 1990s, including the New Generation and Attitude eras. The literal attitude that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin embodied ushered in the fabled Attitude Era that so many fans talk about with great fondness. It was a time when professional wrestling was red hot. I remember seeing kids wearing Austin 3:16 shirts, and many of us would talk in school about what happened on Monday Night Raw. Hell, I even dressed up as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for Halloween one year, replete with my own Austin 3:26 t-shirt and a rubber mask. I threw on some denim shorts and boots, and I was good to go!
Heading into this A&E Biography of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, I didn’t expect to learn anything new about him, and I didn’t. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t highly enjoyable. This documentary includes all of the well-known highlights from Steve’s career, as well as his athletic upbringing. Hearing about the toll that wrestling took on “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s body and his personal life, was enlightening and sobering. Pro wrestling is not an easy business, especially if you have a family.
The “Stone Cold” Steve Austin A&E Biography gave me everything I expected and nothing more. It was great hearing from Steve, Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, The Rock, The Undertaker, and others who worked with “Stone Cold” or were close with him in his personal life, including family members and friends. The inclusion of Mike Johnson, a dirt-sheet writer, is odd. Rather than rely so heavily on commentary from a random person who runs a professional wrestling website, A&E should have included Brian Solomon and Keith Elliot Greenberg — two former WWE employees who worked for the company while Steve was there, and highly respected authors who are legitimate professional wrestling historians. Having questionable talking heads in these documentaries is a recurring issue in the A&E Biography documentaries, so this is indicative of what is to come in future entries in this series.
I really liked the “Stone Cold” Steve Austin A&E Biography because it does a wonderful job of encapsulating the tremendous roller coaster ride of a career he experienced. As a fan who grew up watching “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, this was a wonderful exercise in nostalgia. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Steve; he did things his way, made countless sacrifices, and he got out of the business before causing irreparable harm to his body. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is one of the smartest and most successful superstars in professional wrestling history. His passion and dedication to his craft is unmistakable, and I’m happy that I had the opportunity to watch “Stone Cold” Steve Austin drink beer and raise hell for the entirety of his storied career. He’s the epitome of a WWE legend and the perfect person to kick off this high-quality series of A&E documentaries.