WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was a guest on Busted Open Radio as he talked about the legacy of “Austin 3:16” and if a promo/segment of that magnitude would get over today, among other topics that were also discussed. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On the legacy of the promo: “Who would’ve figured it would’ve lasted that long? I watched that promo about ten times last night, just so I could kind of take myself back to where I was. But so many things had to happen for that promo to even happen. That incident had to happen at the Garden where the guys hugged, because Triple H was supposed to win that King of the Ring. Vince tells me I’m going to win. I go in and wrestle Marc Mero, who’s a wonderful human being, get along really good with him. I was fortunate enough that he kicked me in the mouth. If he’d never kicked me in the mouth, this never would’ve happened. They haul me to the hospital, I get fourteen stitches, come back. Michael P.S. Hayes is right there at the ambulance, telling me ‘hey, Jake just cut a religious promo on you.’ So thank you Jake for cutting a religious promo, thank you Michael P.S. Hayes for telling me that.”
On the philosophy behind the promo: “You always know you get a push coming out of King of the Ring, so I was predicting my push. And I also threw myself into the title mix, which is what all these UFC fighters do these days. They wanted me to say something about the championship match, to let people know how important that match is. I said ‘Hell, I don’t care if its Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels, but you’re looking at the next WWF Champion if I ever get the shot. And that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.’ So many things happened in that promo, but so many events happened to line up. It was almost like it was predestined for that promo to happen. And if none of those events had happened or happened out of order, that promo would’ve never happened. Maybe I’d have still been a big star, but that promo gave me two tag lines, 3:16 and ‘because Stone Cold said so’, at one night at an event I was never supposed to win. So I’m entirely grateful for all the pieces and people that fell in place for this to happen.”
On the reaction to the promo helping get him over: “When we saw those [Austin 3:16] signs, I remember Marc had just come to the company, they’d brought in Vader, Mick Foley, a lot of guys. And they didn’t really have any merchandising plans for me. And I’d always talk with Jimmy Miranda and say ‘goddang Jimmy, the office got any ideas for a shirt for me?’ And he’d always say ‘no Steven they don’t.’ Finally when all those 3:16 signs started showing up, it was a thing. And Jimmy came up to me at TV one day and said ‘Steven the office finally wants to do a shirt for you. You got any ideas?’ I said ‘you goddang right I do. Put Austin 3:16 on the front, carve in Stone Cold on a skull on the back.’ We got it cleared. Here’s something I’ve said before, maybe not everybody knows, Undertaker had to give me clearance to use that skull because Vince thought that might be gimmick infringement. I ran it by Mark, he was cool enough to give me the green light on the skull, thank you Mark. And that shirt was born.”
On if such a promo could still get people over today: “I’m not around today’s current system. I thought someone got let go because they went off script recently. Maybe they were going to get let go anyway, I don’t know. It was a different time, it was still the wild west back then. And here’s the thing; I think even if you went off script in this day and age, if you go out there and you hit a double grand slam, walk off, game, series winning promo, I think everybody’s going to be happy about it. That promo, at the time, if you watch that promo, I was on the way to getting over. I wasn’t over, over yet. And when I said ‘Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass’, and I love that Milwaukee Mecca arena, that crowd was the biggest pop I got from saying that one line.
“So I think if you knock one out of the park and everybody knows it, I think you’re cool. But if you just go out there and its kind of good, maybe you’re showing some potential. But you know it is different system. I don’t know how tight they make the talent stick to that, but hey, I’m just lucky I came around when I did. And I was never afraid to push the envelope or go out on a limb. Once I started evolving into that Stone Cold Steve Austin character, man I knew I wasn’t the biggest guy on the roster, the most talented guy, the best looking, nothing. But I knew I had enough things that if I did everything I could and executed at a high level, I could get over.”