What The Rock privately said to Stone Cold Steve Austin in the ring after retiring him at WrestleMania 19

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Is there a rivalry in WWE history more iconic than The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin?

They headlined both WrestleMania 15 and 17 before completing their trilogy at WrestleMania 19 and it’s one of not only the highest grossing feuds of all-time, but both men would appear on most peoples wrestling Mount Rushmore, too.

The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin are two of the greatest draws in wrestling history

WWE.com

The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin are two of the greatest draws in wrestling history

Both men have left lasting legacies in the business and through the years they developed a very close bond that you can only get from putting in the miles and doing great business together.

Of course, it’s not always like that in WWE, especially in the Attitude Era. Things were ultra-competitive at the top of the card and with only one spot available to be the champion and the face of the brand, tension was expected.

Nonetheless, Austin and Rock used that to their advantage to make one of the most legendary feuds in the history of wrestling.

Leading into WrestleMania 19 in 2003, nobody knew it was going to be Austin’s final match.

The night before the clash, Austin had a near-heart attack as a result of severe dehydration and running his body so hard.

Austin knew he was on his last legs – despite only being 38 years old – and a select few people knew this had to be Austin’s final match. The Rock was one of those people.

The Rock and Steve Austin had great chemistry in the ring

WWE

The Rock and Steve Austin had great chemistry in the ring

The Texas Rattlesnake was 2-0 against The Great One heading into WrestleMania 19 and he was only too happy to finally give Rock his victory.

After taking the 1-2-3, Rock leaned over and was seen talking to a laid out Austin.

During an Instagram Q&A, Rock revealed exactly what he said.

“I whispered to him, ‘I thank you so much for everything that you’ve done for me’. And, I said ‘I love you’. He said ‘I love you too’. I hit him on the chest and I left, left him in the ring.

The Rock and Austin told each other they loved each other at the end of WM19

The Rock and Austin told each other they loved each other at the end of WM19

It’s kind of crazy how Austin’s career was done by the age of 38 when you consider how many stars deep into their 40s and beyond have main evented in WWE.

Even The Rock took seven years away from 2004 and eventually became WWE champion again in 2013 in his 40s.

And yet, Austin’s legacy in the business is incomparable. It’s fitting that two legends would show respect like that after the end of an era.





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