Steve Austin discovered iconic 'Stone Cold' name thanks to a cup of tea


Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the most iconic and most recognisable names in WWE history.

One of the biggest stars of the Attitude Era, Stone Cold brought wrestling mainstream for the first time in years with his 'stick it to the boss' attitude.

However, the origins of the Stone Cold name is not well known, and it all derives from a cup of tea.

It was during the 1990s when Austin was annoyed that he was being called The Ringmaster in WWE. He told Vince McMahon that he wanted a new name.

In his book, Stone Cold Steve Austin: The Bottom Line on the Most Popular Superstar of All Time, via Pro Wrestling Stories, Austin said: “I went up to Vince and I said, ‘I’m not The Ringmaster.’ 

"And he said, ‘Well, who are you then?’ I said, ‘I don’t know yet…but I’m not The Ringmaster.’

“I went home and I was drinking a few beers at the house, and I was watching this special on HBO about Richard Kuklinski – he was called the Ice Man. The Ice Man was a hitman for hire for the Chicago mob. Totally remorseless, just a ruthless individual, a guy didn’t give a s**t about anything.

"He was very cold, no emotion about him, and I said, ‘Man, this guy… There’s something about this guy that’s really got my gears going…’ So I pitched my idea to the office, and they said, ‘Okay, Steve, we’ll think about it.’"

Austin said he didn't like the name ideas which WWE gave him.


He said: "They faxed me three pages of the worst names I’d seen in the history of my life. Otto von Ruthless…Ice Dagger…Fang McFrost… Man, it doesn’t get more suck-a** than that!

“And so I’m thinking, ‘You kidding me? These creative geniuses are the guys that make superstars?’ Because you know, back in the day, you’d just think, ‘If you go to WWE, soon as you walk in the door, they’ll put a gimmick on you and they’ll make you a star…’

“No, that’s not the case. I mean, it’s a crapshoot at best.

Annoyed over WWE's name ideas, Austin had forgotten all about his cup of tea. His wife at the time, Jeanie Clarke, reminded him that his tea was getting 'stone cold'.


Austin said: “So anyway, I’m sitting there frustrated and you know, my wife at the time, Jeanie – who was from England – makes me a cup of hot tea, and she sets that tea on the table and she goes ‘Ah, don’t worry about it. You’ll think of something.’

“As she turns to leave, ‘Go ahead and drink your tea,’ she says, ‘before it goes stone cold…'”

Austin immediately loved the phrase 'Stone Cold' and so, Stone Cold Steve Austin was born. The rest, as they say, is history!

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