It is that time of year again for us wrestling fans. No I am not talking about WrestleMania. I am focusing this article on the man today was meant to honor.
We all remember the excitement of hearing the sound of glass breaking and that all to familiar theme song as the ring announcer would say "From Victoria, Texas! Weighing 252 pounds! Stone Cold Steve Austin!"
Yes indeed folks! It is March 16th, but we all know it as 3/16. Today is Stone Cold Steve Austin Day!
Stone Cold Steve Austin is and forever will be the greatest wrestler to ever grace our TV screens. He was a multiple time champion winning the WWF/E Championship, Intercontinental Championship and Tag Team Championship on many different occasions. Who could forget the Two Man Power Trip holding all the titles at once? I certainly remember!
Austin was both a heel and a face and was fantastic at playing both roles, but for me he was a man I got behind and rooted for no matter what role he played. His iconic catchphrases were made memorable because of the way he delivered them. From the birth of "Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your ass!" to simply "What?" which eventually carried over after his departure. I even remember my friends and I quoting Austin in high school and even hanging in my driveway in the summer time, Stone Cold saluting with Yoo Hoo's while we talked wrestling.
Austin's moves were limited, much like Cena's is today, but in Austin's era, a limited moveset was not really a bad thing. I miss JR calling Austin "Stomping a mud hole and walking it dry!" and the ever popular "Stone Cold, Stone Cold, Stone Cold!" yet his most popular move the Stunner was the most imitated move ever with kids doing it to there friends on the playground to the Superstars of today sometimes using it.
When Austin fought Owen for the Intercontinental Championship and had his neck broken, he truly proved that he was the toughest SOB when he went on to beat Owen for that title. After that he had neck surgery and came back stronger than ever earning his newest moniker of The Bionic Redneck.
Austin competed on several Pay per Views winning 3 Royal Rumbles, competed in numerous WrestleMania matches including 3 classics with The Rock. Austin won two and The Rock won the final match. I remember those matches and to me they were all classics.
Austin also was a heel in his career, aligning with Mr. McMahon on occasion. It was later, during the Invasion angle, that Austin showed his comedic side in promos with McMahon and Kurt Angle. Seeing Austin sing to Mr. McMahon was so funny and when he got Angle the little cowboy hat was hysterical. Austin even creeped people out when he started to hug those he sided with when he was with McMahon.
Austin even took part in storylines that were scary to watch. Even though most viewers knew the events they were watching were staged, angles like Austin getting run over with a car or dropping Triple H in a car off a fork lift seemingly crushing him, were scary none the less. Austin also bucked authority by ruining Vince's Corvette with cement, or blowing up the DX Express. Austin would even drive vehicles into the arena like a beer truck giving the Corporation a beer bath to driving a Zamboni to the ring to attack Mr. McMahon which got the crowds fired up.
Austin was a role model to the working class that always lived through him because they wanted to flip off the boss or buck the system because they did not like how they were treated. We have all been there. Austin made people feel that passion to do what they needed to do to vent their frustrations in the e-mail to the boss that they never sent or accidently did to dreaming of stunning their supervisor, but never actually doing it. Austin hitting the Stunner seemingly out of nowhere sometimes was cool before Orton hitting RKO's outta nowhere was all over YouTube.
For me, Austin was the man. He inspired me to dress like him multiple Halloweens. I have had people come to me when I had a goatee (before I grew a beard) and seeing me with the bald head, would give me the nickname Stone Cold, which stick with me to this day as my friends still call me that.
So in closing, I want to thank Stone Cold Steve Austin for all his contributions throughout his illustrious career and his spot in the WWE Hall of Fame was well earned. To those who watched him from his days in WCW to ECW to WWE, I wish you all a Stunning Stone Cold Steve Austin Day and hope you enjoy this day that should quite honestly be a national holiday where it is mandatory for all businesses to be closed except for bars and beverage stores of course, so that we can sit back, pop in a DVD or turn on the network and enjoy all of Austin's Classic Matches.
Happy Stone Cold Steve Austin Day everyone, including Stone Cold himself!