Steve Austin still misses the pops.
One of the largest reactions in wrestling history took place on January 4, 1999 when Steve Austin's music hit and he helped Mick Foley win the WWF Title from the Rock on an episode of Raw. On a recent episode of the Steve Austin Show, Austin discussed the pop he received that night and credited Foley and Rock for building up to that moment.
"One of the biggest things I missed about the business...you know, you miss the paychecks. Fuck the paychecks. What you miss the most is the adrenaline from that crowd. Whether it's a boo or cheer, it's the desired reaction that you're trying to achieve at the highest level," explained Austin. "When I got over as a baby(face) and I blew the roof off that place when they had a scenario set up for me, like Mick Foley winning the title from Rock when (Eric) Bischoff announced the result on WCW Nitro and all of a sudden 700,000 channels turned to WWF. That pop that I got that night for helping Mick out...they had built that moment up. Mick and Rock and everybody out there built that moment up. The stage had been set for me to get that pop. It was all about Mick because he got the Championship that night. Eric Bischoff blew off Mick Foley as far as being a draw. Nah. Mick Foley proved right there how many people cared and loved that guy because everyone changed their channel. They set the stage for me and we blew the roof off the place."
Tony Schiavone, via Eric Bischoff, famously spoiled Foley's title win during WCW Nitro as Raw had been taped the week prior. The goal was to keep people tuned into Nitro, who had begun losing the Monday Night Wars by that point. Nitro was winning the ratings that night until Schiavone's spoiler, which caused fans to turn over to Raw. Nitro ran the infamous Finger Poke of Doom angle on the same night.
Raw won the ratings war with a 5.7 to Nitro's 5.0.