Vince McMahon pushing Stone Cold Steve Austin during the mid-1990s was one of the greatest decisions he’s ever made. However, WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts revealed that McMahon initially thought Austin was a mid-carder at best, and it annoyed him.
Austin’s popularity soared in 1996 when he won the King of the Ring tournament and delivered his iconic “Austin 3:16” promo that changed the landscape of pro wrestling forever. But before all of that, Vince never saw The Texas Rattlesnake as a top star.
On the latest episode of The Snake Pit, Jake Roberts explained how he told a baffled Vince McMahon to push Austin. McMahon was not a fan of Austin, who was a midcard wrestler at the time.
“After I watched him for a while I went to Vince and said, ‘This is your next superstar,'” Roberts said. “And he said, ‘Are you kidding? I don’t see him anything other than mid-card.’ That’s exactly what he said, mid-card at best. He was ready, primed, ready, settled go. I was pushing anything to have Steve do.” (h/t Wrestling Inc.)
Jake Roberts added that Steve Austin sought his advice at the time and wanted to learn more about the business from him. Roberts also put over Austin in the finals of the 1996 King of the Ring tournament.
“Steve was calling me, if not nightly, every other night and asking me about this and what about that, what should I have done, what could I have done, different things,” Roberts said. “He was wanting to learn, he was wanting to know what could get him over the hump and I gave him everything I could.”
Vince McMahon made magic with Stone Cold Steve Austin during The Attitude Era
Vince McMahon’s decision to push Steve Austin helped shaped WWE into the global force it is today. Vince’s transformation into the evil Mr. McMahon to be the foil for Stone Cold created one of the greatest extended feuds in wrestling history.
Austin ended up winning the WWE Championship six times and became one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever. He’s a part of pop culture history and deserved his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
Stone Cold even returned to the ring last year and wrestled for the first time since 2003. He defeated Kevin Owens in the main event of Night 1 at WrestleMania 38. He even returned in Night 2 to give Vince McMahon the worst Stone Cold stunner ever.
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