Austin and Kane -- new pair of scoring aces for England
Back in the 1990s, the names Austin and Kane were guaranteed crowd-pullers in wrestling in the United States.
Fast forward to the present day, one is still delivering stunner after stunner as the other continues to drop piledrivers upon the opposition.
In the sport of football, that is.
We're talking about Queens Park Rangers' stone cold Charlie Austin and Tottenham Hotspur's big scoring machine Harry Kane as they continue to dish out the pain on their opponents.
On Saturday, the two Englishmen, both 1.88 metres tall, scored yet again to hand their respective teams precious three points - Austin struck a tremendous hat-trick in QPR's comeback 3-2 win over West Brom, while Kane got the opener in Spurs' 2-1 victory against Burnley.
These feats are by no means a one-off.
With 11 league goals, Austin is the top English scorer in the EPL, five ahead of England No. 1 Wayne Rooney, three behind Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and just one off Chelsea's Diego Costa.
Kane has four league goals, but has scored 10 more goals in the Europa Cup and League Cup for Spurs.
The red-hot form of the duo bodes well for Roy Hodgson and the Three Lions, who for far too long have relied on the form and fitness of Rooney.
When the England captain was injured, England were impaired.
Second-rate replacements such as Andy Carroll, Jermain Defoe, Darren Bent and even Bobby Zamora were called up in desperation even though they were never prolific strikers, and their bluffs were eventually called.
In Austin and Kane, however, Hodgson has two hardworking No. 9s who look like they can both be the real deal, and provide the perfect foil for Rooney on the international stage.
After Austin's latest hat-tick, calls have been mounting for Hodgson to hand the 25-year-old former bricklayer known for his strength and heading prowess his England debut.
After scoring 64 goals in 57 games for ninth-tier Poole Town, he has gone through the divisions and netted at least one goal every other game for every team he has played for.
Think Rickie Lambert - similar story and style - but seven years younger and correspondingly quicker.
By comparison, Kane was seemingly destined for life in the EPL after coming through the Spurs academy and impressing for the national youth teams where he has caps and goals at the Under-17, U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels.
But he, too, had to learn the ropes through stints with lower-league sides like Leyton Orient and Millwall, where he was named the Young Player of the Year in 2012.
While his work-rate doesn't come as a surprise - Kane clocked 13.1km even as he scored in the 2-1 win over Swansea two weeks ago, more than any forward this season - he is equally adept with the ball at his feet and bringing team mates into play with his vision.
"I think Charlie Austin is doing very well at QPR as he's a player we have our eyes on," said Hodgson recently.
"Harry Kane, who again doesn't necessarily get into the team as the first name on the team sheet, is another one we have our eyes on.
"So, I'd like to think there are others, Rickie Lambert's not just there because there's no alternative.
"I believe he's done a good job for the team in the past, but he understands that I can't give him a lifetime guarantee that if he's not playing enough football, not doing well, then he won't just lose his place in the Liverpool team, he'll lose his place in the squad."
Given England are odds-on to stroll to Euro 2016 after winning their first four qualifiers in a weak Group E, there is no better time for Hodgson to test Austin and Kane when the Three Lions next play Lithuania in a qualifier next March.
Throw in Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge, Hodgson could flash a royal flush suit of strikers in France in 2016.
I think Charlie Austin is doing very well at QPR... Harry Kane, who again doesn’t necessarily get into the team as the first name on the team sheet, is another one we have our eyes on.
— England manager Roy Hodgson
BY THE NUMBERS
21 Charlie Austin's hat-trick is QPR's first in the EPL since Bradley Allen's treble in 1993, or 21 years ago.
11 Charlie Austin has had a hand in 11 goals in his last nine EPL appearances (nine goals, two assists).
14 Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in just 23 appearances in all competitions this season.
EPL’S TOP ENGLISH SCORERS
Charlie Austin (QPR)
Saido Berahino (West Brom)
Wayne Rooney (Man United, above)
Frank Lampard (Man City)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Danny Ings (Burnley)
Steward Downing (West Ham)
Peter Crouch (Stoke City)
From bricklayer to big player
Five years ago, Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin was working as a bricklayer in the day and earned only £80 ($165) per match playing football for minor league side Poole Town.
It was a world away from the glamour of the English Premiership where a hat-trick on Saturday rescued his relegation-threatened side, took his tally for the season to 11 league goals and prompted calls for him to be rewarded with an England call-up.
Only Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Chelsea's Diego Costa - two of the game's most high-profile talents - have now scored more in the Premier League than Austin this season after his latest contribution.
QPR looked down and out after going 0-2 down to West Bromwich Albion at Loftus Road, before Austin took it upon himself to turn the game in their favour with three goals that delivered a priceless 3-2 victory.
Having begun his career working in some of football's most unheralded outposts, which also included Kintbury Rovers and Hungerford Town, Austin's is a tale that could be taken straight from the annuals of the finest comic book striker.
"It's a great story for any young lad who watches or plays football," QPR boss Harry Redknapp said after the win over West Brom.
"There's a young lad there who has struggled in the non-leagues for years, then suddenly gets a break and comes into league football and now he is playing in the Premier League.
"It is 'Roy of the Rovers' stuff. It is fantastic for him, because he is a great lad and you could not wish it to happen to a better boy."
Austin's combative approach has perhaps unfairly seen him tagged as a traditional English centre forward, which hints disparagingly that he belongs to a previous generation.
Yet the 25-year-old has managed to find the net against Manchester City and Chelsea as well as against many of QPR's relegation rivals, all for a team that have been struggling for form, consistency and points.
Many of QPR's fellow strugglers would love to have a player finding the net as regularly as Austin, who joined QPR from Burnley for £4 million last year.
"He is a very good player and he is in great form at the moment and, obviously, he was a real handful for us," West Brom boss Alan Irvine added.
FROM BUILDING SITE TO THE BIG TIME
— The ex-England captain worked as an electrician and plumber for five years at Wealdstone, where he also played non-league football, before joining Coventry City for £30,000 in 1983.
— Shortly before his 22nd birthday during a spell at Dulwich Hamlet, Wright quit his job as a plasterer and joined Crystal Palace, where he went on to become an England international.