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Jim Ross On Why Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock Didn’t Main Event WrestleMania 19

WrestleMania 15 - Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock for the WWF Championship

• On This Day In Pro Wrestling History (February 23, 1990) – WWF The Main Event 3

On this day in Pro Wrestling history on February 23, 1990, the World Wrestling Federation aired ‘WWF The Main Event 3’ LIVE on NBC.

Buster Douglas replaced the originally scheduled guest referee Mike Tyson in the WWF World Title match, after Douglas k.o.’d Tyson in a boxing fight 12 days earlier.

The results of the show were:

WWF World Heavyweight Championship: Hulk Hogan (c) defeated Randy Savage

WWF Intercontinental Championship: The Ultimate Warrior (c) defeated Dino Bravo

• Jim Ross On Why Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock Didn’t Main Event WrestleMania 19

During a recent Q&A session on his Grillin’ JR podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross answered some questions about WrestleMania 18 & 19.

Below are the highlights:

On Triple H vs. Chris Jericho main eventing WrestleMania 18 over Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock:

“Jericho and Triple H had to close the show and follow Rock and Hogan, and that was no favor to those guys.

You know Triple H is going to raise hell if you don’t close the show with the title, Jericho the same, we deserve to close the show with the title, it’s the top match, and you do, I’m not going to argue that point. But on this night, the special night with Hogan and Rock, you have to use a different logic.

As much as I respect and appreciate Paul Levesque and Chris Jericho, they were put into an unwinnable situation. It was the first time I can recall, before or since I was having a hard time getting up for the main event of WrestleMania, because I just seen the WrestleMania main event. It was Hogan and Rock.

Lawler and I knew that the nWo and Hogan as the villain wasn’t going to be the guy we had in the ring tonight. I said to somebody after the show, it was like the return of The Eagles, all intact and the first song they sung was Hotel California. Everybody knew the words, everybody knew the beat, they knew everything. They had felt it, they heard it before and now we’re seeing our version of The Eagles in Hogan against the new guy, who’s bigger than life.

So we changed the roles. I admire the talent for steering the course, they didn’t do a lot of things differently, the subtle things they did were beautiful and then Lawler and I just went with it. Vince said just go with your instincts, so that’s what we did. We called what we saw.”

On if WWF could’ve booked Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 18 and why Austin vs. Rock didn’t main event WrestleMania 19:

“I don’t think so, it was a little early, but eventually that was the match we wanted to have.

Brock Lesnar vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. Both healthy as they could be, and with a great build, but again Brock wasn’t ready yet. He was ready physically, he was ready physically when he was in the 9th grade, he’s a freak.

To show how much we appreciated his work, him and Kurt Angle closed the show at WrestleMania 19, it wasn’t Rock and Austin.

The reason for that was Steve was in the hospital the night before, got out on Sunday and we didn’t know what we were going to have there.

Was he going to be fatigued, dehydrated, what’s the deal? The eventual match, no doubt about it, was Austin and Lesnar, and that’s the thing that drove Steve home. He was booked to wrestle Lesnar and not even advertise it, it just happens, and that was so stupid and near sighted.

A lot of us felt that way but nobody demonstrated their feelings better or more than Steve. He just said ‘F*ck it, I’m going home.’ He didn’t mind putting Brock over, it was never an issue, but why are we wasting this?”

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