WWE successfully trademarked the term "3:16" in July for city-specific merchandise use. While 3:16 references John 3:16 from the Bible, it is known in wrestling circles as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's signature catchphrase. The plain black "Austin 3:16" shirt is the best selling WWE shirt of all time, and the phrase was born after Austin defeated Jake "The Snake" Roberts, who was doing a religious gimmick at the time, at the 1996 King of the Ring pay-per-view.
"Talk about your Psalms, talk about John 3:16. Austin 3:16 said I just whipped your a--!" Austin exclaimed after the win, to a big pop from the crowd.
Despite Austin popularizing "3:16" in WWE, he has no problem with WWE trademarking it. I recently visited the set of Steve Austin's Broken Skull Ranch. While giving myself and a few other journalists a ride in his humvee touring the massive set of the show, I asked Austin about WWE trademarking the phrase.
"Smart move, I wish I would have thought about it. Hell, I didn't want to mess with John!" Austin joked, referencing John 3:16.
"Nah man, I'm cool with it," Austin continued. "I think Stephen Colbert did something about it [which is in the video above], I didn't see it."
The fifth season of Steve Austin's "Broken Skull Challenge" premieres on Tuesday, September 26th at 10pm EST on CMT. We will have exclusive videos from the impressive set as the premiere draws closer, as well as exclusive comments from Austin himself. You can check out a photo of myself with Austin on the set below: