Stone Cold Steve Austin has been one of the world's most popular wrestlers since his breakout moment in the mid-1990s. He won six WWE championships in his career and is the only WWE superstar to win the Royal Rumble three times.
Austin's popularity kicked into high gear at the 1996 King of the Ring, when he delivered his famous "Austin 3:16" promo. That promo was spun into the catchphrase Austin would be known for throughout his career, and merchandise bearing Austin 3:16 can be spotted in almost any wrestling audience to this day.
In recognition of it being March 16 (3/16), we're taking a look back at some of the Texas Rattlesnake's most memorable moments.
June 23, 1996: Austin 3:16 is born
At the King of the Ring pay-per-view event in 1996, fresh off his win over Jake "The Snake" Roberts in the tournament final, Stone Cold Steve Austin mocks Roberts' preacher gimmick by dropping the "John" in John 3:16 and adding Austin instead -- sending the point home to interviewer Dok Hendrix.
"Talk about your psalms, you talk about your John 3:16 -- well Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass."
Sept. 22, 1997: Austin stuns Mr. McMahon for the first time
It was the Stone Cold stunner that changed the wrestling world forever. After suffering a legitimate neck injury, Austin isn't medically cleared to compete and is stripped of both the Intercontinental and WWF tag team championships. He storms into the ring, where he is confronted by a quartet of "New York City cops."
Vince McMahon leaves the commentary desk to confront Austin, which leads to Austin stunning McMahon for the first time. Austin is led away in handcuffs, and a rivalry between Austin and McMahon is ignited, one that will last for many years.
Steve Austin celebrates birthday in Stone Cold fashion
Stone Cold Steve Austin thanks his fans for wishing him a happy birthday, then proceeds to smash two beers together and chug what's left of them.
Jan. 19, 1998: 'Tyson and Austin!'
As Mr. McMahon gets set to announce Mike Tyson as the special guest enforcer at WrestleMania 14 for the match between Austin and Shawn Michaels, Austin -- fresh off his Royal Rumble victory the night before -- comes out and confronts Tyson.
"I respect what you've done in the boxing world, but Jesus Christ, son -- when you step into this ring, you're messing with Stone Cold Steve Austin, and that's something you don't do. Let me make it short and sweet -- what I'm telling you is I want a piece of Mike Tyson's ass."
Austin continues to escalate the situation, and once Austin flips his signature double-middle-finger salute to Tyson, Tyson pushes Austin, and a brawl ensues.
March 29, 1998: Austin wins first WWE (then known as WWF) championship
Two months later, Tyson provides an assist to Austin in the main event of WrestleMania 14. After Austin dodges Michaels' Sweet Chin Music, Austin has his stunner blocked and then catches Michaels' leg on his second attempt at Sweet Chin Music. The second time around, Austin connects with the stunner and Tyson counts the 1-2-3, securing Austin's first WWE championship.
After the match Tyson, who has been supporting Michaels and D-Generation X for weeks, decks Michaels and rips off his D-X T-shirt to reveal an Austin 3:16 shirt.
Sept. 28, 1998: Austin drives a Zamboni into the arena
On Monday Night Raw, Mr. McMahon and company attempt to present the WWE championship belt to either The Undertaker or Kane, after the brothers had simultaneously pinned Austin the night before at the WWE Breakdown pay-per-view.
The Texas Rattlesnake crashes the party by driving a Zamboni into the ring and attacking McMahon, and he's eventually led away in handcuffs.
"I ain't through with you Vince -- I ain't through with you yet, not by a long shot."
This Is SportsCenter: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin get a late night jolt
Oct. 5, 1998: Austin pays a visit to Mr. McMahon in the hospital
One week after the Zamboni incident, which ended with neither Kane nor The Undertaker crowned as the WWF champion, The Brothers of Destruction broke McMahon's leg in retribution, McMahon is laid up at the hospital. After McMahon is visited by Mankind and "Yurple" the Clown in his room, Austin, disguised as a doctor, pays McMahon a visit and turns a bedpan into a dangerous weapon.
Oct. 12, 1998: Austin pours one out on McMahon's car
An injured Mr. McMahon proudly arrives at Monday Night Raw at the Nassau Coliseum in a brand-new white Corvette, then sequesters himself away from Austin. This didn't stop Stone Cold from getting to his boss again, though. Austin arrives at the arena in a cement truck and empties its contents through the open roof of McMahon's "$50,000 car."
March 22, 1999: Fear the beer
While Mr. McMahon and WWF champion The Rock discuss Rock's next match with Mankind, Austin drives a Coors Light truck down the ramp, climbs on top and addresses the crowd. After taunting the McMahon family and The Rock, Austin climbs down and turns on the beer hose, soaking The Corporation and the corporate champ in lager.
April 4, 2009: Austin inducted into the Hall of Fame
The six-time WWE champion is inducted by his archnemesis Vince McMahon. Austin headlines a class that includes Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and Koko B. Ware.
Stone Cold goes stunner crazy on McMahon family
On Monday Night Raw's 25th anniversary, Stone Cold Steve Austin brings back old memories as he delivers two devastating stunners to Shane McMahon and one to the boss, Vince McMahon.
Jan. 22, 2018: Austin returns at Raw 25th Anniversary
After Mr. McMahon receives a plaque, Stone Cold returns to Monday Night Raw during the 25th Anniversary Show. He delivers a stunner to Shane McMahon and shares a beer with Vince. However, as expected, it's just a matter of time before Austin delivers a stunner on Mr. McMahon as well to send the audience into hysterics.