It’s hard not to associate Steve Austin with flipping the bird, but if Vince McMahon had it his way, “Stone Cold” would have used a different hand gesture.
Austin sat down with Bill Apter of “Sportskeeda” and the two legends talked about how Buddy Rogers was a trailblazer in the pro wrestling business and how he supported Austin’s use of the middle finger. Austin talked about how he became synonymous with flipping foes off before giving out some Stone Cold Stunners.
“The timing was right when I did it, and they asked me not to do it but I said, ‘No, I’m going to do it anyway,’” Austin told Apter. “And they wanted me to come up with a whole different hand signal, Vince did specifically ’cause Diamond Dallas Page was doing the diamond, right? And everybody would go like that (raises hands in a diamond shape) with it.
“He goes, ‘Can you come up with a different signal that everybody else can do?’ I looked him dead in the eyes and I said, ‘No.’ I kept flying the middle fingers, and we kept climbing up and we started whipping their ass in the ratings and we had a hell of a career and one thing led to another.”
The middle fingers were in full force for WrestleMania 38 this year as Austin made his return to the ring after a 19-year absence. Originally booked as a “guest” on the Kevin Owens Show, Owens and Austin closed out night one of WrestleMania with a full-on match. Owens was able to sell for Austin as the two battled all across Dallas’ AT&T Stadium before, eventually, Austin’s hand raised in victory. His presence at WrestleMania wasn’t done, however, as “The Texas Rattlesnake” returned on night two to give a stunner to Theory and his old boss, Vince McMahon. Austin is scheduled to interview Sami Zayn on a new, upcoming episode of “Broken Skull Sessions” and has previously expressed a willingness to participate in WrestleMania 39 next year.