Thanks to an expressive face and thousands of hours of previously televised content, Stone Cold Steve Austin has become a favorite inspiration for gif makers. These days it’s hard to spend any real time in the reply section on Twitter without seeing a quick clip of the beloved former wrestler throwing up his middle fingers, slamming back some beers or disrespecting the ultimate authority figure Mr. McMahon. Austin himself loves it too, though he apparently hasn’t figured out how to send the gifs himself.
The hilarious admission came during an appearance on SportsNation. Steve Austin was asked by host and popular former soccer player Taylor Twellman if he ever sends his own gifs when he’s texting or on the internet. You can check out his hilarious response below…
No, I see those all the time. I’m so bad with technology. I try to save them so I can use them on like a given occasion. But no, they come from all over the place. I crack up watching them, but I don’t know how to send them so I don’t.
As someone who is terrible at technology and gets really nervous anytime he has to learn to do something new, I relate to his sentiments so hard. Some people’s brains just don’t intuitively understand complicated computer things like saving. That being said, it’s not a surprise Stone Cold is familiar with all the Stone Cold memes because how could you not be? They’ve gotten so popular and they fit perfectly for so many different situations. Plus, millions of people love them because they have such nostalgic value.
History might remember Dwayne The Rock Johnson as the most famous of the late 90s/ early 00s wrestlers, but a strong case could be made that amongst wrestling fans, no one was more popular than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rattlesnake generated some of the loudest, most insane pops (or crowd reactions) in the history of the squared circle. His character was so over with fans for so many years that even some of his non wrestling segments are beloved and well-remembered today. Plus, it was just all so outlandish. Take for example Austin beating on Mr. McMahon’s cast while he was on the hospital. How do you not laugh at that?
At its core, wrestling is about generating a moment and a connection with the audience. It’s why, even though wrestling is scripted, the viewers actively contribute to and help write the story. A character might sound great on paper, but if he or she never gets over (either as a hero or a villain) with the audience, it doesn’t matter. Andre The Giant is Andre The Giant because of how people reacted to him. The same could be said for all the other legends like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, The Undertaker and so on. They have to make you feel something, some kind of intense reaction, and in many ways, that’s what a gif is. It’s a stand-in for an emotion. Stone Cold Steve Austin created that emotion for a living, and decades later, it still works, at least if people can figure out how to attach it properly to the reply.