Coffee Talk #642: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan

One of the most frequent arguments I’ve heard between wrestling fans is about “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan. Both are cited as the biggest WWE Superstar of all time and there are compelling arguments for both wrestlers. Naturally, I want to hear your opinion on the matter. Several of you are longtime smarks and I’m sure that you’ll make excellent cases for both WWE Superstars. Before you make your pick, let’s take a closer look at the Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan issue.

Fans that pick Austin as the greatest WWE Superstar of all time point to the fact that he was the top guy during the most popular era in the business. He has sold more merchandise than any other pro-wrestler. Working a program with boxing great “Iron” Mike Tyson, Austin was part of the biggest crossover angle in wrestling history and garnered a ton of mainstream coverage. He has had all-time great matches with Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, The Rock, and more. His mic work and sketches are some of the best in WWE history. I’ll never forget the awesome sight and sound of Steve Austin smashing a bedpan on Vince McMahon’s head.

On the downside, Austin’s career was cut short due to a number of injuries. In addition to having knees that were beat up to hell, he suffered a serious neck injury from a botched piledriver delivered by Owen Hart. While the injury helped Austin develop his character on the mic and through sketches, it probably shaved of a decade or so from his in-ring work.

Hulk Hogan supporters point to the fact that the man took wrestling to the mainstream. He was the top guy for a ridiculously long time and paved the way for future WWE Superstars. He’s had dozens of iconic moments, perhaps none bigger than when he bodyslammed Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III. His interviews were legendary and he was a master at getting fans charged up. Unlike Austin, Hogan was a main-event guy in both WWE and WCW, selling out arenas around the world for both companies.

Hogan detractors point to the fact that he was never all that good in the ring. His work in TNA Wrestling (arguably) tarnished his legacy. While Austin’s in-ring work had to stop because of injury, Hogan kept on going…and that resulted in some really ugly matches. Austin fans say that Hogan never achieved the merch and ratings numbers that Stone Cold did.

Now it’s your turn! Kindly vote in the poll below and make your case in the comments section. It’s Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan time — fight!!!

[poll id=”194″]

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Author: RPadTV

3 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #642: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan”

  1. This is actually tough.

    See, Hogan is the guy that brought wrestling to the masses. He created a legacy that the footsteps of have been pursued ever since. He was the unrivaled top guy for many years until Macho Man stepped up. Merch sales weren’t really as much of a factor then as they were in Austin’s era, so that’s kinda like saying Justin Bieber is bigger than Elvis because he has more Twitter followers than The King did. It’s not a comparable stat.

    Austin however, changed the game. He wasn’t a cartoon of himself as much as he was an exaggeration of himself. He took the Hogan legacy and kicked it up a few notches. His interview prowess grew from discontent of the way WCW had treated him (he was a Paul Heyman guy). He actually went head to head with Hogan (though Hulk was out of his prime) and won. He also wasn’t the only viable candidate to be the top guy when he was the top guy, but still ended up on top. But the biggest factor of all in my opinion… is he was just generally more entertaining.

    So… the name of the game is entertainment. So I have to say that Hogan was more iconic, but Austin had a more entertaining and therefore bigger career.

    1. That is a well-reasoned argument, Sir! I agree that when Hogan was in his prime, he didn’t have a lot of competition for the top spot, whereas Austin had a number of people to contend with. I also agree about the entertainment factor. Austin delivered on more levels than Hogan did — in the ring (no contest) and on the mic (Austin wins for versatility).

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