Stone Cold Steve Austin’s pro wrestling career was marked by greatness. He was, for a time, the most popular wrestler in the world. Nearly everything he touched turned to gold. Usually, this was a good thing.
What he created 16 years ago today, during an episode of Monday Night Raw in 2001, was not.
Austin had taken over the reigns as leader of The Alliance, the group that consisted of members of WCW and ECW in an attempt to overthrow the WWF in an invasion.
On this particular evening, he gathered everyone around the ring for a talk. His goal was to rally the troops while weeding out the weaklings. Like any good drill sergeant, he got his message across clear and used a firm hand to strike down those who didn’t measure up.
Tazz, Raven, and Hugh Morrus were the three to draw Stone Cold’s ire.
Morrus was the guy who got dressed down first and he’s the man lucky enough to be on the end of the very first time Austin uttered a catchphrase that would take over the pro wrestling world and ring throughout arenas almost two decades later.
“Look at ya. You’re 275-pounds. Your name is Hugh Morrus. What? Your name is Hugh Morrus. What? Is that funny? Is that humorous? Are you here to make me laugh? What? You’re pathetic! Look at me! You’re pathetic! Y2J whipped your ass. I’m ashamed of ya. Step back.”
He would go on to do the same to Raven and Tazz, both to hilarious results, and the biggest catchphrase in wrestling history was born. It would become the bane of Vince McMahon’s existence. Really, it’s the bane of every pro wrestler’s existence, seeing as fans just refuse to let it die.
Every pause in every promo draws a “WHAT?!?” from the crowd. It’s 2017 and this is still happening, no matter the storyline, no matter the wrestler, no matter the location. As Kevin Nash once stated in an interview, this was the only thing Austin ever got wrong during his time in the business.