Stone Cold stumpers

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April 23, 2007

You don't have to be a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin aficionado to know his action-adventure thriller The Condemned explodes into movie theaters everywhere April 27. Yet even the toughest "Austin 3:16" disciple may be Stunned by "The Ultimate Stone Cold Quiz," featured inside the May 2007 issue of WWE Magazine (on sale now). The publication has uncoiled 15 of the most venomous Texas Rattlesnake questions known to fan, so WWE.com decided to test two of Austin's fellow WWE movie stars—WWE Champion John Cena and Kane—plus close friend and Raw announcer Jim Ross.

"I would definitely not get 15 out of 15. You're asking a guy who doesn't remember what happened 24 hours ago," jokes Cena, who provided many unforgettable action-hero moments as the star of The Marine. For now, though, The Champ can only shake his head and mumble to himself while he peruses the quiz. "The magazine really did their homework with this."

Approaching Kane, who defeated the Rattlesnake in a First Blood Match at 1998's King of the Ring to claim his only WWE Championship, always seems like a good idea in theory. Actually speaking with the seven-foot Superstar—especially when he stands within arm's reach of the hook and chain he made bloody famous in See No Evil—is a far scarier notion. Oh, and did we mention that he doesn't look happy as he glosses over "The Ultimate Stone Cold Quiz"?

"I'm not good at any trivia," he prefaces with a tone that makes simply holding the WWE.com voice recorder near him a near-Herculean effort. Suddenly, as if in answer to some unspoken prayer (ours), Kane's timbre lightens up noticeably as he states, "You know, this is pretty hard, and I've been here for nearly all the Austin stuff."

Wow…who'd have thought a quiz could intimidate SmackDown's Big Red Monster, or for that matter, Raw's reigning WWE Champion? Has WWE Magazine made "The Ultimate Stone Cold Quiz" the ultimate exercise in futility?

"Some of the questions are pretty challenging, but I've followed Steve's career since he was "Stunning" Steve Austin in WCW, so I could make a passing grade," replies Good Ol' J.R., whom The Condemned star inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame's Class of 2007 last March. Just like his Raw commentary behind the microphone every Monday night on USA Network, Ross' word is true; he accurately answers 12 of the 15 Stone Cold stumpers, with Question #5 and a certain legendary mantra—"which was ad-libbed by Steve," he points out—being a particular standout in his mind.

"The thing I remember most about that night is that Steve had to leave the arena, go across the street and get his mouth stitched up, and then come back and wrestle in the finals," he says. "I think that was when people realized just how passionate, how mentally and physically tough the guy was…that a bunch of stitches in his mouth wasn't going to stop him from competing. That speaks volumes for the kind of guy Stone Cold is—no matter what he had to do, no matter what injuries he had to work through, he did it to get to where he wanted to be.

"Question #6 is easy," Ross continues, citing how its multiple-choice options reminded him of a serial killer "that did have a hand in Steve's persona," plus a popular television character from the 1970s. However, he admits that Question #10—a piece of trivia relating to Austin's brief partnership with another World Champion (and matches that Ross actually called)—had even him adjusting the brim of his black 200X Resistol hat. "I didn't know that one…. It was probably an anti-McMahon thing."

"J.R. got 12 right, huh? Sunnava…." Cena trails off, though he does so in a way that's meant solely as a verbal salute of respect for the Raw announcer's prowess on all things Stone Cold. "I'm telling you, if you can do well on this quiz, you deserve it. I'm tappin' out now, while I still have a chance."

On the subject of taps, it's rather fitting that your final score in "The Ultimate Stone Cold Quiz" will determine the choice of beer by which the Rattlesnake toasts you. WWE.com knew better than to tempt fate and inform Kane of his "Milwaukee Best" performance (4-7 correct), so we simply thanked him and ran. In the case (no pun intended) of our other two test-takers…well, let's just say they probably won't be drinking buddies.

"I'd be in the budget brew," admits John Cena. "I think I'd be drinking Colt 45 [0-3 correct] with the Rattlesnake…. I definitely wouldn't be sippin' on the ‘King of Beers' [perfect score]."

"I've drunk plenty of beer with Steve, so I know he's a ‘Steveweiser' guy," says Jim Ross, who doesn't drink any of the lagers listed in the quiz's ratings scale. "I'm a Michelob Ultra guy, because I'm trying to watch my carbs, believe it or not."

We'll drink to that, J.R.—especially while we take "The Ultimate Stone Cold Quiz." As for the rest of you, pick up a six-pack of your favorite refreshment and, more important, this month's WWE Magazine, available at newsstands everywhere. (And be sure to see how Austin fares when The Condemned hits theaters April 27.)

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