WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was on a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho. After his appearance on Broken Skull Sessions, Chris Jericho asked Austin about his legendary career going through some of his biggest matches. Austin talked about how some of his moments came because he “fluked up” recalling when he found out he would win King of the Ring in 1996 after WWE decided to punish Triple H.
“There’s so many things that I just fluked up on because I was never going to be the chosen guy,” Austin stated. “Guys that Vince [McMahon] had brought in and said, you’re going to be a world champion. Ain’t nobody ever told me that. I went to Vince’s house three times before I finally signed with New York because I needed the money. When I won King of the Ring, it’s because those guys (The Kliq) hugged at The Garden.
“Those guys (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) south. Shawn was the World Champion. Triple H was going to win King of the Ring. He (McMahon) couldn’t punish his World Champion, who already had a bad attitude. So he punished Hunter. I was walking across the parking lot to TV in Boston, Worcester and Lowell, Massachusetts, and Vince says behind me, ‘Hey Steve, you got a second?’ I just want to let you know in two weeks, you’re gonna win King of the Ring.’ I said, alright, cool. So it was just these fluke things that would happen.”
Austin cut his iconic “Austin 3:16” promo after winning King of the Ring, and that later led to his WrestleMania 13 match that launched him into stardom. Austin revealed Vince McMahon’s reaction to Austin and Bret Hart’s WrestleMania 13 match.
“You know how when you go out there and you feel like, I knew we rock the place, but I’d like to know that we rocked the place,” Austin said. “As soon as we came to the back, Michael Haynes comes up to me, and he’s a guy that told me about Jake [Roberts] cutting the religious promo on me to give me the wherewithal to create Austin 3:16, so that was another. Hayes gets those big eyes like we crushed it.
“Then a couple people came up to me started patting me on the back because it was that kind of match. I knew we had a motherf**ker on our hands. An instant classic and I never heard a thing from Vince. He didn’t say nothing because he knew that we went out there, did a double turn and I was going to be a monster after that. And when you do something and execute something at such a high level, with such a high rate of success, he ain’t going to say nothing because it’s hard to capture lightning in a bottle, and on that night, we did. He never said s**t.”
Austin continued noting that McMahon knows when something is a big money maker. He talks about the thought process McMahon has when an idea of his is even better than he thought it could be.
“Vince is the greatest promoter that ever lived. You know how smart that guy is and all of a sudden, he sees dollar signs, and he smells money like he did with you and Shawn,” Austin noted. “When Vince says, ‘I smell money.’ People are like, ‘What’s that mean?’ We’re talking box office money. He sees money too. When all of a sudden, he books something and it turns into something 10 times better than he even thought, he ain’t gonna say s**t. He can take all the credit he wants.”
Jericho asked Austin about his relationship with McMahon. Austin spoke on their dynamic early on, and he spoke on getting to know McMahon the more he worked with him and the more he rose to the top of the card.
“I kind of outed him on one time. I think it was The Garden,” Austin recalled. “It might have been the night I Stunned him. Vince, he’s talking about whoever the president of the company was. I said, ‘Everybody knows you’re the one writing all the checks around here. You’re the guy that’s really doing all this.’ He was already on that swing anyway to being Mr. McMahon.
“He’s real interesting Chris because as long as you’ve been in the company, you know that when you go there, you have this reverence, and you always have this respect for Vince, but the more you work with him and at the higher level that you are on the card, the closer you become with the guy because you’re really in this together, and it’s a collaborative effort.
“They’re giving you time, money and investing TV time in you, and they’re paying you, but this is your job. So it’s a joint effort for someone to strap a rocket ship to your back, and you have to be able to be smart enough to navigate all the s**t that you’ve got to go through, to make right decisions [and] to be able to get monster over.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.