"Stone Cold" Steve Austin's 5 greatest Stunners as chosen by the WWE Universe
The "Stone Cold" Stunner was simple, and it was effective. And because it was the trademark maneuver of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, it is perhaps the most beloved move in WWE history.
The Stunner is as synonymous with The Texas Rattlesnake as cold beer, black tights and the sound of breaking glass. But which jawjacker was the best ever? We let you, the WWE Universe, make the call and these are the five that you picked as "Stone Cold’s" greatest Stunners, presented by "Grown Ups 2" on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack & Digital Nov. 5.
Austin Stuns The Alliance (Raw, July 16, 2001)
One of the most explosive battles that took place as part of WWE’s war with the WCW/ECW Alliance in summer 2001 occurred on the July 16 edition of Raw. The WCW and ECW representatives had seemingly boxed in an outnumbered WWE roster, both in the backstage area and in the ring. Though Kane, The Undertaker, Jericho and others fought valiantly for the WWE cause, the expansive team of outsiders had strength in numbers, and Team WWE was being decimated before the WWE Universe.
Or so it appeared. Enter “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to level the playing field. “The Rattlesnake” pulled his black pickup truck into the Civic Center in Providence, R.I., and promptly trudged — with the help of a pool cue that was swung with lethal proficiency — his way through invaders backstage. The WWE Universe erupted once Austin made his way to the ring. There, he delivered six consecutive Stunners en route to clearing the ring. The Rattlesnake had turned the tables on The Alliance. That is, until he joined forces with them later that year.
Austin Stuns Goldberg (WrestleMania XX)
How big were the Stunners that “Stone Cold” delivered to Brock Lesnar and Goldberg after their letdown of a match at WrestleMania XX? Look at it this way: The move marked Goldberg’s swansong in WWE, and that night was last time the WWE Universe would see Lesnar for roughly eight years.
Acting as special guest referee for the highly anticipated match, Austin seemed to agree with the Madison Square Garden crowd’s vocal rejection of both Lesnar and Goldberg. Following the bout, Austin Stunned a disrespectful Lesnar “right out of the WWE ring,” according to WWE Hall of Famer announcer Jim Ross. The always-inclusive Austin then turned his attention to Goldberg, who for much of his career battled the perception that he was a knockoff of a certain bald, black-tights-wearing badass in WWE. Austin shared a beer with his presumed copycat, but after Goldberg tried his hand at Austin’s inimitable corner pose with the beer, “Stone Cold” had no choice but to shut down his fellow bald brawler with an earth-shaking Stunner.
Austin Stuns Santa Claus (Raw, Dec. 22, 1997)
Real recognizes real, which explains why Texas original “Stone Cold” had his suspicions about a Santa Claus-looking fellow who showed up on Raw in December 1997. The wannabe Saint Nick claimed he was the one-and-only Santa Claus, but the WWE Universe wasn’t buying it, especially after the rotund, bearded man in red and white kicked a child out of the ring for questioning his authenticity.
Interrupting “Santa,” Austin quizzed the imposter Kris Kringle and asked him what a 6-year-old “Texas Rattlesnake” had requested for Christmas many years earlier. Santa wracked his memory bank before replying, “a Barbie Doll and Tiddlywinks.” That answer certainly didn’t ring true to “Stone Cold,” who asked the WWE Universe in attendance for their input.
“If he’s not the real Santa Claus, give me a ‘Hell no!’ ” Austin said. The crowd was equally skeptical about Santa’s legitimacy, so Austin Stunned the big fake.
Austin Stuns The Rock (WrestleMania XV)
If you’re going to be Stunned, it might as well be on The Grandest Stage of Them All. At least, that appeared to be the philosophy of The Rock, who suffered Stunners at three separate WrestleManias (XV, X-Seven and XIX). Yet, given the circumstances, there was something truly magical about the way "Stone Cold" Steve Austin dropped The Rock in 1999 at Philadelphia. For one thing, the Stunner that time earned Austin a WWE Championship (his third by that point). For another, the Stunner nearly forced Mr. McMahon — who watched from ringside and was fully invested in The Rock — to break into tears. Not to be forgotten was the tremendous visual of the maneuver itself: The Stunner launched The Rock backside-over-teakettle, into the ropes.
Austin Stuns Mr. McMahon (Raw, Sept. 22, 1997)
“Like a crappie on a bass boat” is how “Stone Cold” Steve Austin described the trembling body of Mr. McMahon the night of Sept. 22, 1997. That was the first time that the WWE Chairman felt the brunt of a "Stone Cold" Stunner, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
The first Stunner on McMahon takes the top spot for obvious reasons. From a purely historical perspective, it was perhaps the single most important development in the epic Austin-McMahon rivalry. (That the Stunner occurred in WWE’s home arena of Madison Square Garden did not hurt.) Moreover, the WWE Universe had been longing for months to see Austin, everybody’s blue-collar hero, stick it to the obnoxious boss. By downing Mr. McMahon with a Stunner, “Stone Cold” cemented his status as a blue-collar hero. Thanks to Austin, fans who are disgruntled with their superiors will forever be able to live vicariously through his actions that night.