Stone Cold Steve Austin is amongst the most important wrestlers ever.
While his early career showed flashes of promise, few could have predicted the monumental impact that the Texan would have on the wrestling world, being WWE's ace in their win over WCW in the Monday Night Wars. From 1997 to 2001, he was the WWE's trump card: a dirty, gritty, S.O.B who spoke his mind and never cared what his boss thought, becoming the power fantasy so many working-class men wanted to one day become.
What makes Stone Cold's rise to prominence even more spectacular is how many factors hung in the balance. So many split-second decisions shaped what would be Austin's WWE run. Some decisions could have led to tragedy, while others could have easily bolstered his time with the company. One thing is for certain though: for as much as Austin was able to do, fans are still left wondering what could have been at a lot of different key junctures in his career, giving fantasy bookers plenty to write about.
For as great as Austin's career was, there are still plenty of questions that all start with "What if" surrounding him. This list won't just ask those questions, but take a serious look at where things could have gone, for better, or for much, much worse...
10. What If The Hogan Match Happened?
It's the image that defined Wrestlemania X8, The Rock, WWE's iconic heel, staring down Hollywood Hulk Hogan the leader of the WCW's villainous faction, the NWO. For as great as an image as it was though, it wasn't quite right. Many fans, even those caught up in the euphoria of Toronto's Skydome knew what the match should have been, the face of WWE through the late 90s, versus WCW's signature heel, Stone Cold vs Hulk Hogan.
Thematically it could not have been more appropriate, but WWE and WCW's respective war heroes simply could not agree on an outcome, leaving Hogan to instead work with The Rock, while Austin settled for Scott Hall.
While the match that fans got was brilliant and show-stealing, leading to a famous double-turn with Hogan embracing the love and Rocky going back to heel-mode, could it have been even better?
Perhaps Austin's overpowering face energy would have prevented the double-turn from happening altogether. Even more intriguing is where the Rock goes, who could face Scott Hall, but also was a big enough star to be involved in X8's main event.
Unfortunately though, thanks to Austin's persistent neck issues and Hogan's age, this match will stay a dream to many fans.