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Shane McMahon reveals how Vince McMahon felt when Stone Cold Steve Austin quit WWE in 2002

Stone Cold Steve Austin Vince McMahon

The SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon recently appeared on The Steve Austin Show and talked about many things, including how Vince McMahon felt at the time when Austin refused to job to Brock Lesnar and quit WWE. below are some of the highlights of the interview:

On Kurt Angle hurting himself during King Of The Ring 2001 in the brutal match with Shane:

“Kurt was calling for a suplex and I called it off. It was in the middle aisle. It was just cement. He says, ‘no suplex, suplex.’ I was like, ‘no, Kurt.’ He says, ‘go, go.’ And he did something to me and I didn’t have much of a choice. I’m like, ‘alright, suplex.’ So as we did it, he hit and he went, ‘oh my God!’ He cracked his tailbone.”

On the backstage reaction after the match:

“Kurt and I come back through [the curtain] and it was one of the first-ever standing ovations because that wasn’t given back in the day. And I’m not saying that to brag. I’m saying it because of how appreciative I was and how appreciate the fans were that we put ourselves through that. And it was like, ‘oh my God, that was awesome.’ We get through gorilla, [and] it’s like a morgue. I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on here.’ So Kurt and I keep going. I mean, it was silent. My dad was nowhere to be seen. He was so fuming.”

On his wife being angry with him because of the brutality of the bout:

“As we get through the back, there was a whole line of guys, all the boys were applauding. As I turn around the corner on my way to the trainer’s room before we go to the hospital, and then, here comes Marissa, just eyes bawling. She has no idea because I didn’t tell her anything. That’s the one I got huge heat for.”

On Vince McMahon’s reaction when Austin refused to job to Lesnar and how Steve let a lot of people down:

“[Austin was] the guy that was drawing the houses and everything was built around [Austin]. So when you have that much equity at stake and you have your number one player in there and that’s the one who draws money all of a sudden say, ‘I’m out,’ well, it’s very devastating, obviously, to everyone else underneath and everyone felt it, just like, ‘wow’, so [Austin] specifically, you let a lot of people down.”

On how the Boss was hurt with Austin’s decision when he quit:

“Vince was hurt professionally and personally because you guys had been building a good relationship. If you guys did have a disagreement, you’d settle it quickly and talk about it. But at the end of the day when it got down to ‘alright, this is the vision we’re going with when I said we’d paint the room blue, well, you didn’t want to paint the room blue at that time, so you took your paint and went somewhere else.’ So that was a big blow personally as well because, again, it’s the machine and we all put effort into building ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, and the company, and everything else around it. And when that cog leaves, it’s like, ‘oh wow! Jeez, that didn’t feel good!’ It didn’t make any of us feel good. [Austin] let us down, man.”

It’s worth noticing that back in 2002; WWE had plans for Austin to lose to Brock Lesnar. Though apparently, Stone Cold didn’t want to job to Lesnar and the heat between him and WWE Officials over this issue resulted in Austin quitting the company.


  • TheFizPop

    Thank god for the many 50/50 bookings we see today! Anyone decides to leave? doesn’t matter, we will still get the same siht at the same talent level! Nobody wins or loses! 😀 Instead a triggering company for easily triggered viewers!

  • D2K

    The real reason all this happened is because Austin had done a interview in which he severely-criticized the creative department. So to get back at him they decided to make him fodder for Lesnar.

    There is absolutely no reason for a former KOTR winner to be in the tournament to start with, be in a “qualifying” match, and lose in the first round. It hurts Austin and it doesn’t help Lesnar. It would have made far more sense for Austin to get the title back at some point and then drop it to Lesnar at SummerSlam.

    He saw their BS coming a mile away and wanted no parts of it and I don’t blame him. They love to spin the narrative of how this was SO BAD for Austin to no-show. Is it bad to not show up to a televised-event you were advertised and people paid their money? Absolutely. WWE needs to take dual responsibility for that happening however. There is no way Vince would be so dilapidated to think Austin would go for that. He had every right to leave.

    Some bells can’t be un-rung and as a independent contractor YOU have to protect YOUR own brand. They can talk all they want about how it was a team effort, but only one guy has to bare the consequences if fans all of a sudden decide “We don’t like SCSA anymore.” They would just kick him to the curb and replace him with someone else (which is what they did anyway.) What’s he supposed to do? All the “teamwork” goes flying out the window.

  • pitfallharry219

    Let’s not forget his leaving also killed the Austin/Eddie Guerrero feud that had just started.

  • nick-hulk

    Exactly. Was just about to say this. He said on the Brock cast that Brock deserved the rub but on ppv. It wasn’t to spite lesnar but reacting to booking and he was in a bad place at the time

  • Kristopher Robinson

    It wasn’t that he wouldn’t job to Lesnar, Austin said it himself that he was pisset off by how it was supposedly to go down. It was scheduled on a RAW and Austin felt that it was a bigger draw and should have been done of a PPV with some build up, which I agree. I am pretty sure they only announced it like, less than a week before that RAW too. Plus Austin was busted up and tired anyways lol.