Stone Cold Steve Austin Gave His Famous King Of The Ring Promo 22 Years Ago Today
Anyone who watched wrestling throughout the 90s will know of the pure excitement that the latter half of the decade brought.
When someone mentions the attitude era there's a couple of names that spring to mind, such as The Rock, D-Generation X, Mick Foley, The Undertaker, to name a few. One man, however, proved more important than the rest: Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The man who crossed the boss. The Texas Rattlesnake. The beer swigging redneck. The toughest S.O.B in the WWF(E).
Austin helped usher in a new wave of content for the company, which eventually prompted Vince McMahon to state that "we think that you're tired of the same old simplistic theory of 'good guys vs. bad guys.' Surely the era of the superhero urging you to say your prayers and take your vitamins is definitely passe."
It was 1996, at the King of the Ring, one this very day, that The Texas Rattlesnake would make huge impact as he slowly shed the skin of his previous gimmick 'The Ringmaster'.
After defeating WWE Hall of Famer Jake 'The Snake' Roberts in the final of the KotF tournament, Austin gave a speech that would go on the become the most infamous promo of all time.
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"The first thing I want to be done is to get that piece of crap out of my ring. Don't just get him out of the ring, get him out of the WWF, because I proved, son, without a shadow of a doubt, that you ain't got what it takes anymore.
"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.
"All he's gotta do is go buy him a cheap bottle of Thunderbird and try to get back some of that courage he had in his prime.
"As the King of the Ring, I'm servin' notice to every one of the 'WWF superstars.' I don't give a damn what they are, they're all on the list, and that's Stone Cold's list, and I'm fixin' to start runnin' through all of them.
"As far as this championship match is considered, son, I don't give a damn if it's Davey Boy Smith or Shawn Michaels. Steve Austin's time has come, and when I get the shot, you're lookin' at the next WWF Champion, and that's the bottom line because Stone Cold said so."
And of course, he wasn't messing about. He went on to capture the WWF(E) Championship six times, as well as win the Royal Rumble three times, the tag titles four times, and eventually earn his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.
Most importantly, he'd be a constant figure in the Monday Night Wars, as both WWE and WCW traded blows in a rating rivalry.
WCW took an early lead, as both Monday Night Raw and Monday Nitro aired in the same time slots, thanks to an influx of stars jumping ship from Vinny Mac's company to Eric Bischoff's. However, thanks to what was a much more entertaining marketing scheme, WWE came out on top, and remains in the top spot to this day.
Featured Image Credit: WWE