YMMV / "Stone Cold" Steve Austin

  • Awesome Ego: Left WWE when they told him to throw a loss to Brock Lesnar on free TV. Lolno. Austin said afterwards that it wasn't losing to Lesnar that he objected to, it was that said loss was to occur on Raw and not on a PPV with the proper buildup, feeling that losing on Raw would not do either man's careers any favors.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Designated Hero: Towards the end of his career Austin had a tendency to apply the stunner to pretty much everyone he interacted with, including other babyfaces, often with no provocation whatsoever. This got particularly bad when Mick Foley and Ric Flair ended up turning heel when they had the audacity to get upset about this. Additionally, his intimidation of defenseless non-wrestlers like Jonathan Coachman and Michael Cole often crossed into outright bullying.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: After his King Of The Ring victory in 1996, efforts were made to push him as a heel. Jim Ross noted that the dirtier Austin got, the more the crowd loved it, which eventually led to his Heel–Face Turn at Wrestlemania XIII. His popularity was so great during the Attitude Era that almost nobody bought his Face–Heel Turn after Wrestlemania X-7 and especially his turn to The Alliance later in the year. Austin himself compared it to John Wayne being cast as a Nazi.
  • Fountain of Memes: "Austin 3:16" has had so many homages/parodies that it may be impossible to keep count of them all by this point.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Austin being in the WWF main events despite not being able to do much after his neck injury was really no big deal because the man was still a great worker and the fans loved almost everything he did, sometimes even when he did not want them too. Unfortunately it taught the WWF that it was acceptable to use smoke and mirrors to try and hide the fact not much was actually happening in a match, even if it was a main event match, and that the illusion of competitive wrestling in of itself wasn't that important since post injury Austin was a lot less technical than he used to be. Jaded WWF/E fans reflexively look away from the ring when crowd noise picks up for a hero's potential comeback, expecting interference of some kind and look at the referee more than the wrestler about to take a finishing move, just waiting for the official to be knocked out. Oh, and at some point the by then practically immobile Great Khali was champion.
  • Growing the Beard: His early matches sucked by his own admission, but overtime Austin would become well respected for his unique brawler-technical style.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Even at his most popular, Austin was still a shady son of a bitch. It was on his vest, for crying out loud!
  • Memetic Badass: Austin already got Chuck Norris-levels of this before, being considered one of the most badass wrestlers ever, but ever since Donald Trump got elected as President of the United States, Austin's delivery of the Stunner to Trump in WrestleMania 23 has resurfaced as a meme, given that this now means that Austin has given the Stunner to a President.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Austin's "WHAT?" noted in various other places, has taken on a life of its own. Years after his retirement, long promos are still interrupted by "WHAT?" at breaks, much like Ric Flair's "WOOOOO" whenever someone does a knife-edge chop in the corner.
    • Arrive. Raise Hell. Leave.
  • Misaimed Fandom: "WHAT?" was originally created by Austin as a heel when he was acting strangely, saying "what?" during promos in order to repeat what he had just said. He created it in real life when leaving an answerphone message for Christian. Later he used it to intimidate opponents if they even looked like they were about to interrupt him. It got over with the fans so much, they also chanted "WHAT?" when any wrestler tried to cut a promo. It also basically ended Austin's chance to get over as a heel.
    • Several wrestlers have actually caught on to the chant, and some have found ways of switching up their speech patterns and rhythms mid-promo to kill the momentum of the chant. Others, most notably Kurt Angle, would intentionally draw out the chants, even insulting the audience for using it.
    • Roddy Piper reacted like the crowd was asking him a personal question every time.
      Roddy Piper: "Keep up with me, people"
      "I'm not doing all that again."
      "Can you not hear me out there?"
    • Made a resurgence in 2010 with the anonymous GM. Practically every time Michael Cole reads an e-mail (especially one that favors a heel), expect "WHAT?" chants to break out.
    • Extra fun when it's done while a wrestler is speaking a foreign language.
    • The Miz has countered "What?" chants with "Really?"
    • Miz is one who is probably legitimately annoyed when the crowd breaks it out and will often chastise them for it.
    Miz: They don't compare to my ability!
    Crowd: What?!
    Miz;: They don't compare to my talent!
    Crowd: What?!
    Crowd: What?!
    R-Truth: Don't What me!
    Crowd: What?!
    R-Truth: You should be Whatting yourselves!
    • Then the last two join forces against the What?! chants.
      • R-Truth has since changed it up a bit, playing into it in his new 'tweener/face' phase and occasionally encouraging it to get the crowd more involved in his current 'crazy man' gimmick.
    Crowd: What?!
    R-Truth:Don't what me!
    Crowd: What?!
    R-Truth: *grins* Okay, what me!
    • Damien Sandow countered the chants by thanking the crowd, "for your irrelevant opinion."
    • And Mark Henry with "Y'all just a buncha puppets."
    • Probably The Undertaker did it best when he very clearly had enough of the "What" chants: "I'll tell you what, why don't you say "what" if you like to sleep with your own sister." Half the crowd fell for it, the other half laughed at them.
    • There was also a time when Vince McMahon responded with "If you're an imbecile and you're from Hartford, you'll say..." And of course the crowd bites.
    • "Alexa Bliss is the best, say what?" Crowd bites. "Exactly." She too routinely makes a habit of reacting to the "What?" chants, either treating them like a legitimate conversation or making an example of the fans for doing it.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Any time you hear that glass shattering noise on a WWE show, expect the crowd to explode. Or, as it was once put: "When you hear the glass, it's your ass!"
  • Older Than They Think:
    • "The Extreme Superstar" Steve Austin had his first beer in ECW.
    • Got Mr. McMahon to apologize more than a decade before CM Punk did.
  • Shocking Swerve: Austin's Face–Heel Turn, accomplished when he sided with Vince McMahon to win the WWF Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven.
    • During the event, Vince McMahon foreshadowed Austin's heel turn:
    Vince McMahon: You want shocking? Tonight, you'll get... shocking. I guarantee it.
  • Tear Jerker: For some, Austin's "beer bash" at WrestleMania 25 could be seen as one, since Austin and many others considered it his final farewell to the ring.
    • The "Thank You Austin" Chant at the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame and during the mentioned "beer bash".
    • The last scene of the "RAW is Owen" tribute episode of RAW; instead of giving a speech or a traditional tribute to Owen, Austin cracked open two beers in the middle of the ring, chugged one, and left the other behind in the ring.
  • Villain Decay: Happened in record time during his stint as Vince McMahon's Dragon. Austin went from a vicious, sadistic man who would constantly Kick the Dog to constantly sucking up to Vince by giving him gifts and hugging him to the point where even Vince wanted Austin to go back to being his old self. During his heel run in the Alliance, Austin would be somewhere in between these personas, and of course his inadvertent creation of the "What?" chant didn't help things.