In a recent episode of "The Snake Pit" podcast, former professional wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts shared his perspective on the rise of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, challenging the widely held belief that Austin's iconic "Austin 3:16" promo at the 1996 King of the Ring was the turning point in his career.
According to Roberts, Austin's exceptional in-ring skills truly propelled him to superstardom. While acknowledging the significance of the promo in popularizing Austin's brand and merchandise, Roberts emphasized that without the ability to deliver top-quality matches, the promo alone would not have secured Austin's place in wrestling history.
Roberts praised Austin's remarkable work ethic and described him as a relentless and polished performer.
In-Ring Excellence Secured Austin's Legacy
"Steve was an f—ing machine. He was a well-oiled machine, brother, and he could go.
And he went," Roberts stated, highlighting Austin's dedication and commitment to his craft. Austin's consistency in delivering captivating performances inside the ring resonated with audiences and ultimately solidified his status as one of the all-time greats.
While Roberts contested the notion that the "Austin 3:16" promo singlehandedly propelled Austin to stardom, he did acknowledge the influence of Austin's iconic catchphrase on pop culture. The popularity of Austin's signature Austin 3:16 shirts, which became a cultural phenomenon in the late '90s, undoubtedly enhanced his mainstream appeal.
The infamous 1996 King of the Ring event, held at the MECCA Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has a significant place in wrestling history. There, Austin emerged victorious, defeating Roberts in the final, altering the course of their careers.
Interestingly, Austin's win came about due to a change in plans resulting from Hunter Hearst Helmsley's punishment for his involvement in the "Curtain Call" incident. Reflecting on the event, Austin acknowledged that his King of the Ring victory was a pivotal moment that shaped his career trajectory.
The subsequent "Austin 3:16" promo ignited the flames of the Attitude Era, forever etching Austin's name in the annals of professional wrestling. While opinions may differ on the exact catalyst for Austin's ascent to superstardom, his impact on the industry is no denying.
Jake Roberts' perspective offers a fresh take, shedding light on the significance of Austin's in-ring prowess in securing his enduring legacy as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.