WNZ Open Season: Finding Austin 2.0 - Wrestle Newz twitter google

WNZ Open Season: Finding Austin 2.0

Let’s put this out there right now: Under Steve Austin (and a few other guys, like The Rock, HBK and Hunter), during the Attitude Era, WWE enjoyed success like no one thought possible in that time. And, try as they might (and Lord knows, they’ve tried), WWE has been unable to repeat that success. Not the ratings, not the merchandise, and not with a single star so over it’s insane.

I mean, think about this guy’s impact. Taking nothing away from his Attitude Era peers, think about things that you still get today. The “what?” chants are Austin’s doing.Every time you hear one, you have to think of Austin.

Austin made being anti-establishment cool. He disliked authority, and probably would feel the same about The Authority. You don’t see the kinds of things he used to do, anymore. No beer trucks down to the ring. No brawls from the middle of the ring and out to the city’s waterfront. No flinging of Championship belts into a body of water. No really cool custom championship belts, either.

Nowadays? No one would dare go that far (and yes, I know McMahon has final approval on scripts and such, but you don’t see it happening, do you?). Creative is in full control, like it or not. Either we’ve got control freaks running things, or there just isn’t a talent on the roster that deserves the carte blanche that so many Attitude Era stars had.

So can there be, is there, an Austin 2.0?

Yes, and no.

Yes, because I think some on the roster are capable of that. No, because no one needs to be someone else. Don’t want to be the next Austin. Be the first you.

So, who on the roster could be in that mold?

I see five guys who I think really lend themselves to that. Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt and Finn Balor. You might be able to make a case for AJ Styles or others, but I think the five I’ve listed have shown signs of being able to come up with things on their own. To ad-lib. To push the envelope. And, most importantly, to draw. As much as some might not have liked Rollins, the PPV he headlined were among the most fiscally strong for WWE last year. Was that all on Rollins? No. But let’s not diminish his role, either.

If you are Vince, and you see yourself building this next era on those five, much like the Attitude Era was built on the backs of Austin, Rock, DX and others? I think things compare favorably.

But who is Austin of that group? Who comes closest? I see that as either Rollins, or possibly Owens. I think both men could play either face or heel perfectly, and they both have an edge to them. There won’t ever be another Austin, but I think those two could be the Austin of their generation.

WNZ readers, who do you like in that role?

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  • MikeLo #NewNation

    Cm Punk was the only person close to a Austin 2.0

    • MEH

      You beat me to it!

  • Zohaib Hassan

    I will go for Dean Ambrose. He really reminds me of Austin in his promo, and I will agree with Mike here, Punk was real close to being Austin 2.0

    • jcice13

      I’ve said it time and again, Ambrose is Pillman 2.0, and no offense but trying to compare him to Austin is not close

    • Mike

      I’m with you. Ambrose for me. But nobody is too similar.

  • jcice13

    Timing….the time was right for the attitude era, Vince stole Heyman’s ECW concept and used it on a larger broader scale…for whatever reason wrestling at that time was big…if you took the numbers that Nitro and RAW were getting at that time they were huge…now??? the WWE has settled into this 3.5-4 mil for RAW which is fine but no where near what they were and to show that wrestling isn’t anywhere near as popular as it was they can’t even get a second promotion to get any numbers at all, TNA and ROH get zip…whatever the reasons are it doesn’t matter, speculate all you want but the fact remains they caught lightning in a bottle and to try and do it again will be difficult, maybe in 20 years it can happen again but I doubt in my lifetime I’ll ever see anything like that again

  • Mean Dean

    If I were to give some stars a attitude era twin, Ambrose would definitely be more of a Austin 2.0, Rollins a less used up Shawn Michaels, bray Wyatt more like Gangrel, Kevin Owens more a big boss man , aj styles and Finn balor I haven’t been able to draw an opinion to yet

  • MEH

    I think Big E could be a big star solo but not Austin-esq but I’ve been impressed by him over the last few months. However, ive never seen a black WWE champion so that may not work work work work work

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