Back in the mid-90s, Steve Austin was trying to find his footing in WWE. While wrestling for WCW in a Japan tour, Austin suffered a triceps injury, resulting in Eric Bischoff firing him. Bischoff didn't find Austin to be a marketable Superstar and deemed him as hard to work with.
After a short stint in ECW, Austin made his way to WWE and was awarded the Million Dollar title by Ted Dibiase. WrestleMania 12 saw Austin defeat Savio Vega in his first 'Mania appearance. Soon after, Austin grew tired of the persona of The Ringmaster and requested the company for a change in his character.
Austin was watching an HBO special at his home, featuring a character named The Ice Man. The ruthless, no-nonsense demeanor of The Ice Man intrigued Austin and he pitched this idea to the officials. Soon, Austin was sent three pages of possible names that his new character could use. The names irked him to no end, and he ended up rejecting every single one of them.
They faxed me three pages of the worst names I’d seen in the history of my life. Otto von Ruthless…Ice Dagger…Fang McFrost… Man, it doesn’t get more s**k-a** than that!
Austin's now ex-wife told him not to worry and that he would come up with something.
As she turns to leave, ‘Go ahead and drink your tea,’ she says, ‘before it goes stone cold…'
This was the moment that changed it all for The Rattlesnake! The idea was pitched and approved, and the rest is history!
Stone Cold's character went on to become possibly the biggest attraction in all of WWE. His Austin 3:16 T-shirt became the most-selling piece of merchandise in WWE history. Austin was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.Published 27 Jul 2019, 10:10 IST