By the time that mid-2001 rolled around Steve Austin was still one of the biggest stars in WWE side the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H and Kurt Angle. This meant that that Austin also had significant power backstage, something he wasn’t afraid to wield when he felt the occasion called for it.
In March 2001 WWE acquired WCW and with it a number of WCW stars made their way onto WWE television. One of the first to get thrown into a prominent storyline was Diamond Dallas Page. DDP had been a hugely popular figure in WCW, winning the World Championship on three occasions. However, upon debuting in WWE, Page was famously positioned as a heel opposite The Undertaker in a rivalry that is still derided to this day. But only after Steve Austin refused.
Steve Austin Was Meant To Be The Undertaker’s Stalker
“When you’re doing something like a stalker idea, they built this storyline and couldn’t get anybody to do it – that’s the real deal. They wanted [Steve] Austin to do it. And Austin is like ‘f*uck that!’ and he told me about that later and I was like ‘you couldn’t have called me up and said that to me?!’
But, the bottom line was, I thought they were trying to make us going in there. Because there was no more WCW, but that was not the deal.
The deal was, and it had nothing to do with me personally, it could have been Sting or Goldberg or whoever – whoever it was was going to get fed to whoever it was in the top angle because it was ego and it was business.”
The storyline drew heavy criticism for not only positioning a beloved character as someone who was stalking The Undertaker and his wife, but also for DDP being beaten so decisively and so quickly right after making his debut.