Stone Cold Steve Austin's Accidental Elimination In The 1996 Royal Rumble

One mistake might've changed the trajectory of Steve Austin's career -– for the better that is. Before Steve Austin became "Stone Cold," he initially entered the WWF as The Ringmaster and was given the Million Dollar Championship by Ted DiBiase on his debut. 


While his time as The Ringmaster was short-lived, he ended up finding greater success with the iconic character that we know today. Austin was a good in-ring competitor who was known for being a brawler and technician. His character and wrestling work impressed WWE and he was scheduled for a big push at the 1996 Royal Rumble. 

In fact, he was supposed to be one of the last four men standing along with the eventual winner, Shawn Michaels. But there was a mishap and Austin ended up getting eliminated much earlier than planned.

"I was supposed to be the fourth guy left in the ring," Austin told Ryan Satin. "And Rikishi or somebody gave me a clothesline and the ropes were so baby oiled up from everybody wearing baby oil, I slipped. And there was a bunch of guys in the ring and I went out way early. And I hit the ground and you know I'm still pretty new in the company at this time, Ryan. But they're gonna try to, you know, keep me in the Rumble, so they're giving me a little bit of a push and I blew it."


Steve Austin doesn't like Royal Rumble matches

After the 1996 Rumble botch, Austin wanted to change up his persona and thus began his legendary career as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, and he had a meteoric rise to stardom after his memorable promo at WWF King of the Ring in 1996.


He would end up getting another big push at the 1997 Royal Rumble, only this time, things went according to plan for Austin, as he became the last man standing after eliminating Bret Hart. Even though he participated in six Rumble matches, he is not a fan of it.

"I won three Royal Rumbles, but I didn't really like Royal Rumbles because there's so much going on. So many things that are just you know can't go wrong because everything has gotta work out," Austin said.

"The Texas Rattlesnake" went on to repeat his Rumble success in 1998 and 2001, and his three Royal Rumble wins are currently the most by any men's wrestler in WWE. Randy Orton, Edge, Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Batista, and Brock Lesnar each have two Royal Rumble wins to their name.