Top 20 WrestleMania moments: No. 10
Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WrestleMania XIII, 1997)
The climate in wrestling was changing when this match took place. Fans were turning against traditional babyfaces and getting behind no-nonsense, vicious heels, and Hart versus Austin was a microcosm of this shift. In a no-disqualification submission match, “The Hitman” and “Stone Cold” engaged in an intense brawl that had one of the most dramatic finishes in WrestleMania history.
With Austin bleeding profusely, Hart locked on the Sharpshooter for what seemed like forever. While Hart’s opponents usually submitted quickly to the move, Austin, screaming in pain as blood poured down his face, refused to give up. Eventually, Austin passed out and special referee Ken Shamrock stopped the match.
The double turn was complete after Hart continued to attack Austin after the match before Shamrock stepped in and Hart backed down. When Austin regained consciousness, he refused any assistance as he limped out of the ring and headed back up the aisle while the fans chanted his name. WWE’s “Attitude Era” was officially underway, and Austin was its poster boy.