Things were simpler in my younger days. I went to school, played video games on my Nintendo 64, and watched the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) organization. I would watch wrestlers like The Rock, The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Mankind beat each other up when my parents weren’t looking. I would constantly talk about the various storylines with my friends at school and see who would be right by the end of the week. The fact that it was too “mature” for kids made it that much better.
However, none of the wrestlers I mentioned so far were my favorite. My favorite wrestler was a guy who made being bald cool before Walter White did. He is the one and only Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin drank beer, was rude to every authority figure he came across, and was declared the most profitable wrestler in the history of the WWE. Let’s not forget that he had one of the coolest finishing moves of all the, the infamous “Stone Cold Stunner.” Sure, his movies aren’t as successful as The Rock and his Texas upbringing might make him seem a little stereotypical but Austin is one of the few people who could easily beat me up with little effort. Then again, almost anyone can easily beat me in a fight so maybe that wasn’t the best example.
Anyway, here are ten badass moments that occurred thanks to Stone Cold Steve Austin. Like him or not, wrestling wouldn’t be where it is today without him and that’s the bottomline.
10. Austin Kickstarted the Attitude Era
Austin‘s first badass moment occurred in his first official match as his “Stone Cold” persona in the 1996 King of the Ring. For those who may not know, the King of the Ring was in its fourth year in 1996 and the gimmick of creating a tournament that ended with one wrestler being the “King” over everyone else was extremely popular. Austin won a series of matches until he had to face Jake “The Snake” Roberts in the final round. Jake’s persona was that of an evangelical Christian who had turned over a new leaf and even started preaching across the country. Austin didn’t care about Jake’s new relationship with Jesus and defeated him in order to win the title. This lead to Austin giving one of the greatest speeches in the history of wrestling:
“You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16… Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”
The “Attitude Era” had officially begun.
9. He Went Grocery Shopping
That title may be one of the biggest understatements that I have ever written. Stone Cold wasn’t too happy when Booker T sabotaged his match against against Chris Jericho at Vengeance 2001 in order to ensure Jericho’s victory. As anyone can imagine, Austin took it personally and decided to take his grudge outside of the ring when he followed Booker T to a supermarket. Booker thought that he had caught Stone Cold following him but ended up punching a look-a-like instead. This allowed Austin to sneak up on him and give him a beating that involved as many food products as possible.
I find myself looking over my shoulder whenever I go grocery shopping now. It makes no sense but these irrational behaviors happen sometimes.
8. He Punched Vince McMahon in the Groin
After Austin won his first title match, Vince McMahon presented him with a new belt but warned him that he was too rebellious and not corporate enough to succeed in the WWE. Austin responded with a friendly Stone Cold Stunner and the feud between the two had begun. While this was badass, it wasn’t nearly as cool as what happened a week later. Austin would wear a suit and meet Vince McMahon in a corporate office in order to promise that he would “play ball” and be less rebellious. Of course, it was all a Greek-inspired ruse and Austin would rip up his suit, punch McMahon in groin, and take pictures of the corporate owner in agonizing pain while mocking him. Everyone wants to punch their boss in the groin. Stone Cold Steve Austin just had the guts to do it for all of us.
7. He Also Made Vince McMahon Urinate Himself
The Austin-McMahon feud raged on as Vince McMahon made Stone Cold be a guest referee for a championship match between The Undertaker and Kane as punishment for his previous actions. Stone Cold didn’t want to play along and refused to count for either The Undertaker or Kane. Instead, Austin attacked both of them and McMahon fired him. This “minor” setback didn’t stop Austin though and he took things to another level. He decided to kidnap Vince McMahon, and drag him to the center of the ring while pointing a gun at his head. Of course the gun was a fake and shot a scroll that read “Bang! 3:16.” McMahon didn’t know this and ended up urinating himself in front of millions of viewers. That’s embarrassing.
6. Austin Became the Boss
Vince McMahon‘s family wasn’t too happy with his actions against Stone Cold Steve Austin. Leading Austin into an ambush with wrestlers who were part of The Corporation and cheating in a cage match against him gave the fans a negative view of the McMahon’s. To rectify this, they made Austin the Chief Executive Officer of the company. He was even able to wrestle for a Championship match at any time that he wanted. Coincidentally, he would defeat The Undertaker that night and earn his fourth wrestling championship. To top it off, Austin would give McMahon another Stone Cold Stunner. Brilliant.
5. He Blew Up the DX Express
Steve Austin had taken a break from wrestling for a few years due to injuries and had been teasing his return by placing cardboard cutouts along with rattlesnakes to fake out McMahon and the DX crew. Things had come to a head when Triple H called out Austin on the ring by saying that he was a coward on live television. The Rock would answer Triple H’s remarks by entering and saying that Austin was indeed back but was in the parking lot. Finally, it was revealed that Stone Cold had acquired a vehicle named the “Austin Deconstruction.” It was an operating crane that had a concrete barrier suspended over the DX Express. Stone Cold proceeded to drop the barrier, causing the DX Express to explode.
That’s how you make a statement in the world of wrestling.
4. He Poured Cement Into McMahon’s Car
If there’s one thing about Stone Cold that everyone should know, it’s that you should keep him away from all of your vehicles. The Texas Rattlesnake decided to drive a cement truck into the parking lot where Vince McMahon parked his car. I’m not sure why the lot’s security let him through, but they did and things went south for McMahon very quickly. McMahon’s car became unusable as Austin poured a ton of cement into the vehicle because simply ramming into it wasn’t cool enough. Yes, that was a $50,000 car and Austin didn’t care.
3. He Followed Vince McMahon Into the Hospital
I swear that this will be the last entry involving Vince McMahon. It’s just that Stone Cold‘s feud with him created so many badass moments. Such as when Vince McMahon was hospitalized after being assaulted by both Kane and The Undertaker. Perhaps karma favored Stone Cold because he was able to obtain a disguise while McMahon berated a nurse for doing her job. In the real world, having a doctor start to beat a patient up would be horrifying but this is wrestling. The Attitude Era showed that there were no boundaries and anyone could be in danger at anytime. As soon as Stone Cold said that he would “take it from here,” the entire world smiled from ear to ear. It takes real dedication to break into a hospital in order to finish the job.
2. He Helped Mankind Win a Championship
It was 1999 and the Championship match for the year was going to be The Rock, who was aligned with McMahon and his Corporate cronies at the time, versus Mankind for the belt. Mankind was the clear underdog in the match and no one thought that he had a chance to achieve victory. Stone Cold‘s alliance with DX helped keep McMahon’s thugs out of the way as Austin hit The Rock with a steel chair in order to ensure Mankind’s victory. The badass wrestler who didn’t trust anybody came in to save the day and show that anyone can be a champion.
I guess that I lied when I said that I wouldn’t talk about Vince McMahon again. Woops.
1. He Drove A Beer Truck Into the Ring
This badass moment occurred during before Mankind won his championship match against The Rock. As The Rock taunted Mankind in front of the crowd, Stone Cold showed up in a Coors Light beer truck and drove through the stage entrance in order to get to the ring. I’m not really sure how the WWE convinced sponsors to allow this to happen but they did and Stone Cold literally rained on The Rock’s parade with gallons of cheap beer. If I have any critiques for Austin, it would be leaving the beer truck behind. Coors light may be overrated and mostly water, but that’s a lot of free beer that he’s wasting.
Sure, this event was technically not a wrestling match but it was so badass that it will never happen again and that’s the bottom line because I said so.