Stone Cold Steve Austin recently recalled how he disagreed with Vince McMahon over his use of the middle-finger gesture in WWE.
The Hall of Famer famously used to flip his rivals the bird during the height of his popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Although WWE shows were rated TV-14 at the time, McMahon wanted his top star to create a more family-friendly gesture.
Speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling Senior Editor Bill Apter, Austin revealed that McMahon liked the hand signal that Diamond Dallas Page (DDP) used in WCW. The then-WWE Chairman advised The Texas Rattlesnake to consider using a similar gesture, but he refused.
“It just turns out that the timing was right when I did it,” Austin said. “And they asked me not to do it, but I said, ‘No, I’m gonna do it.’ They wanted me to come up with a whole different hand signal. Vince did, specifically, because Diamond Dallas Page was giving the diamond [hand signal], right? And everybody would go like that [hands raised] with it.” [6:03-6:21]
Watch the video above to hear Austin’s thoughts on Brian Pillman, Ric Flair, and much more.
How Steve Austin responded to Vince McMahon
Bill Apter’s popular book, “Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn’t Know It Was Broken!”, contains a picture of himself alongside wrestling legend Buddy Rogers. Rogers, a major star in the 1950s and 1960s, is pictured giving Apter a middle-finger salute in a restaurant.
After being shown the picture, Steve Austin explained how he abruptly refused to listen to Vince McMahon.
“He goes, ‘Can you come up with a different signal that everybody else can do?’ I looked him dead in the eyes and said, ‘No.’ And I kept flying the middle fingers and we kept climbing up, we started whipping their [WCW’s] a** in the ratings, and we had a hell of a crew, and one thing led to another. It’s nice to see a picture of you and Buddy Rogers. He truly was one of the great ones.” [6:21-6:40]
As WWE RAW prepares to possibly return to a TV-14 rating, which current superstar do you think could be the first to flip the bird? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!
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