Stone Cold Steve Austin rose to mainstream fame after he cut his legendary 3:16 promo on Jake Roberts at King of the Ring 1996. Back in the days, the WWE Hall of Famer was the face of the attitude era and led WWE into battle during the Monday Night Wars with WCW.
Austin joined The Rich Eisen Show on 3/16 and spoke about how he came up with the infamous 3:16 promo on the spur of the moment. He elaborated on how Jake’s religious promo that night paved the way for the debut of Austin 3:16.
“They had decided I was going to be that guy to get the push and the first match of that night I was wrestling Marc Mero, he did this fancy move and he ended up kicking me in the mouth and split my mouth wide open,” Austin said. “They ended up taking me to the hospital to get stitched up, so while I’m gone to get about 14-15 stitches in my upper lip, Jake Roberts was going to be my next opponent.
“As soon as I stepped out of the ambulance coming back, I just had a pair of shorts on with my gear on and everything and Michael Hayes came up to me and says ‘hey, I just want to let you know while you are gone, Jake cut a religious promo on you.’ He kind of told me words to the effect of what he said and I said as soon as he said that, Austin 3:16 popped into my mind.
Austin broke his promo further down and talked about how he needed a solid punchline to end his iconic speech, and since Vince McMahon was doing the announcing, he just had to come up with something like that.
“Back in the day, the old football days, they always had the John 3:16 posters behind the field goal attempt and I said ‘Oh man, I’ve got one for [Jake’s] ass.’ I just spun that thing together and when we went out, we went out there and I wrestled Jake, it was a short match. Go over there and do the promo with the guy who told me about the Jake promo and I just let it loose. Pretty much an ad-lib, one of those things you just let it go on the fly and gold starts happening.
“I said ‘Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!’ And as I kept on, Vince was doing the announcing and I knew I needed a button on the end of that promo. Something I just pulled out of thin air… ‘And that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so!’ I got two trademarks. I hit two grand slams at two at-bats at an event I was never supposed to win. It was just something I capitalized on, the timing was right, I was right and I was ready. Magic happened that night.”
In the same interview, Austin expressed how special he feels to be part of WrestleMania 38. The 57-year-old WWE Hall of Famer is scheduled for an in-ring confrontation with Kevin Owens on the KO Show during the first night of WrestleMania 38.
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