Stone Cold Steve Austin cut his iconic 'Austin 3:16' promo 23 years ago today


23 years ago today, one of the most iconic promos in WWE history took place that completely changed the career of one legendary superstar forever.

Stone Cold Steve Austin entered the 1996 King of the Ring pay-per-view as a vastly unknown figure in WWE at the time. He had only joined the company from WCW six months earlier.

By the end of the show though, The Texas Rattlesnake had set himself a career path to becoming one of the biggest names the sports entertainment and wrestling business had ever produced.

Stone Cold faced off against Jake 'The Snake' Roberts in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament after defeating Bob Holly in the first round,  Savio Vega in the quarterfinals, and Marc Mero in the semifinals.

Austin was able to hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Roberts in the final of the tournament, pinning him to win the match and the King of the Ring tournament. 

Triple H was actually scheduled to win the King of the Ring tournament that year, but due to the Curtain Call incident that took place earlier that year, Stone Cold replaced him in the spot.

Austin never looked back.

During his promo after the match, Stone Cold mocked Roberts' Bible-preacher gimmick during his coronation with an epic promo that many wrestling love to this day.

He said: "You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16 ... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your a**!"

The phrase 'Austin 3:16' instantly became one of the most popular catchphrases in wrestling history. The slogan was also printed on t-shirts, which became one of the best-selling t-shirts in WWE merchandise history.

Attend any wrestling show today and there's a strong chance you will see at least one fan wearing an 'Austin 3:16' shirt.


Stone Cold would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, becoming one of the most popular superstars in WWE history and the driving force behind the Attitude Era with multiple titles and accolades to his name.

It may never have happened if he hadn't delivered his 'Austin 3:16' promo to perfection.

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