Stone Cold Steve Austin was the quintessential bad ass in the history of professional wrestling. During a time where the lines between the good guys and bad guys became blurred because of the popularity of characters like Stone Cold and the nWo, Austin’s rise to popularity was making big numbers for WWE.
Wrestling reached a mainstream audience, and Steve Austin was raising hell every Monday night on Raw.
At a point in Austin’s career when he was too injured to wrestle, the creative direction for Austin incorporated this, with Vince McMahon keeping him out of action “for his own good.” This culminated in Austin hitting McMahon with the stunner for the very first time, and boy-o-boy, was it amazing.
The crowd totally ate it up. And Vince…well…Vince totally botched it.
See for yourself…
I think part of the magic of this moment was Vince totally screwing this up. Until this point, nobody had really put their hands on Vince. Austin represented the disgruntled employee who was frustrated with his boss; people lived vicariously through this moment. Vince taking the stunner like a log tumbling down brought the reality that he wasn’t a wrestler to light.
It’s one of my favorite moments in wrestling history.
For an added laugh, re-watch the video and yell “OHHHHHH” at the point of impact of the stunner. You’ll love it!