“Stone Cold” Steve Austin is without a doubt one of the most charismatic and popular WWE superstars of all time. He will continue to influence future WWE superstars and professional wrestlers for years to come.
Austin's finishing move, the “Stone Cold Stunner,” is one of the most talked about moves in professional wrestling. And he has stunned not just WWE wrestlers, but other personalities in the company, such as managers, announcers and even the boss himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
In a recent blog post from Austin's official website, BrokenSkullRanch.com, he talks about how the iconic finishing move was created.
Here are some excerpts from that blog:
I guess the year was 1996. We were in Fayetteville, NC. at a Monday Night Raw. It was just a normal Monday. I was hanging around the arena killing time before the show started, minding my own business when Michael P.S. Hayes came up to me and said “Hey, Kid…You got a minute? I wanna show you something”. I said “Sure” and followed him to the ring. As we walked he started explaining to me that he had maybe come up with a better finishing move for me than the one I was using at the time. I had been using the Million Dollar Dream, H.O.F’er Ted DiBiase’s old finish that I had been given when I first came into WWF, with Ted as my manager. It had been a great finisher for Ted, and it was working well for me too, but I needed something a little more explosive that fit my personality. Michael explained that Johnny ‘Ace’ Laurinaitus had been using a version of the this finish in Japan with great success.
Austin then comments on when he first used the move:
I needed some type of setup maneuver ala Jake “The Snake” Robert’s signature short arm clothesline that he delivered before unleashing one of the most devastating finishers of all time…The DDT. An easy, and quick solution to this was the kick to the gut, which perfectly set the victim into an effective ‘ready position’. Not only was the kick effective as a weapon to neutralize my opponent, it was also a visual ‘signal’ to the crowd that the Stunner was next…Or was it? Any kind of curveball could be worked into the equation at that point, but from a storytelling standpoint, the Stunner was ‘supposed’ to happen next.
Wrestling fans can thank Michael Hayes for coming up with the unique finishing move, which was an important piece of the puzzle that made up the persona of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Austin's most famous stunner was used on WWE CEO Vince McMahon on an episode of RAW on Sept. 22, 1997.
McMahon had come down to the ring to lecture Austin regarding his behavior when he fell victim to the move. It will always be remembered by wrestling fans as the “stunner heard round the world.”