Steve Austin’s Stone Cold persona in WWE was based on three ECW characters, according to Shane Douglas.
In 1995, Austin appeared in Paul Heyman’s former promotion after being fired from WCW. ECW boasted several high-profile wrestlers at the time, including Douglas, The Sandman, and Taz.
Douglas claimed in a recent WSI interview that Triple H copied his Franchise character. He also stated that Austin used ECW talent as inspiration when he reinvented himself in WWE in 1996:
“Steve Austin had done the same thing,” Douglas said. “Most people don’t see this. I saw it immediately. Right after he was in ECW, you see this emergence of this amazing character, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and the first time I saw it I was like, ‘Wow, he’s brilliant,’ because that’s a mix of the three strongest ECW characters.” [2:48 – 3:10]
Austin made his WWE debut on January 8, 1996, episode of RAW as the technical wrestling-based character The Ringmaster. Two months later, the legendary superstar underwent an attitude change and began referring to himself as Stone Cold.
Shane Douglas explains where Steve Austin found inspiration
The Stone Cold character is known for drinking beer, usually in the ring after matches. He also flipped the bird and swore regularly on television during the Attitude Era.
Shane Douglas elaborated on how Steve Austin allegedly came up with the idea for his popular persona:
“It’s clearly the beer, Sandman. It’s clearly Taz, the immovable object. And it’s clearly The Franchise, the f-bombs and all the rest of it. When you take those three characters and mix them together, what a brilliant move.” [From 3:11 – 3:23]
In April 2022, Austin came out of retirement to defeat Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 38. He recently posted several training videos on social media, prompting speculation he could return to the ring.
Do you think The Texas Rattlesnake copied three ECW wrestlers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Please credit WSI and give a H/T to Sportskeeda Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.