10 Times WWE Threw Money Down The Drain

9. Austin Goes Home - We Never See Austin vs Hogan or Austin vs Lesnar

Stone Cold Vs Hulk Hogan At the beginning of 2002, Stone Cold Steve Austin was still one of the biggest stars in the WWE but when Vince McMahon brought back Hulk Hogan to the company for a huge WrestleMania payday, it reportedly upset the €œTexas Rattlesnake.€ WrestleMania 18 was hoped to be the night that Austin and Hogan, the two biggest superstars of their respective eras and the biggest box office draws in the history of this business, finally faced each other, but reportedly neither wanted to lose to the other. In a move similar to WrestleMania 8, Hogan instead fought The Rock, getting the marquee match, while Austin faced Scott Hall in the third main event of the night behind Triple H vs Chris Jericho (and possibly even fourth main event as The Undertaker vs Ric Flair was promoted and booked better). The night after, Austin didn€™t show up for Raw and took a week off claiming to be burnt out from the road. When he did return, he came back to an underwhelming feud with the n.W.o and Ric Flair. In a strange outburst on Raw via phone, Austin claimed he didn€™t like the direction in which the company was heading. He had a short feud with Eddie Guerrero before being asked to put over up-and-coming wrestler Brock Lesnar, which Austin said he wanted no point of. He felt that losing to an up-and-comer like Brock would harm his career and also didn€™t give Brock the right stage that a win over a huge star like Austin should. Austin no showed another Raw, and left the company. In the coming weeks, Vince McMahon buried Austin on TV claiming that he €œtook his ball and went home.€
It's understandable why Austin didn€™t want to lose to Hulk Hogan. He was rightfully bitter that years earlier, Hogan had brought his friends over to WCW and as a result, the company had to let Austin go. The rest we know, as Austin became the biggest star of the 90s in the WWE. Hogan pinning Austin in 2002 would not have benefited Hulk€™s career, but at the time Austin was still relatively healthy and had quite a few more matches in him. Again, ego got in the way of a wrestling company possibly making a huge amount of money. The Rock vs. Hogan became one of the most iconic moments in WrestleMania history, and Hogan vs. Austin never happened. The Brock Lesnar situation was a bit different. Brock made a name for himself in the beginning by destroying the Hardy Boyz and other smaller wrestlers but the company knew that they had huge plans for Brock. While Austin is right that he vs. Brock should have taken place on a grander stage, his refusal to lose to him was questionable, especially when Brock eventually had effective big wins over RVD, Hulk Hogan and The Rock on his way to becoming the youngest champion ever.
Brock got over faster than anyone could have predicted, and moved straight onto The Undertaker after The Rock. When Austin eventually did come back to the WWE in 2003, his one and only feud before retiring from the active roster was against the Rock. Fans had to settle for a short feud without a match between Austin and Brock just before Lesnar left the company in 2004. Stone Cold vs. Brock Lesnar would have been a massive attraction, making that two huge potential feuds that the WWE missed out on with their biggest star in 2002.

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