Austin had just won the King of the Ring tournament after defeating Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts in the final and then delivered a powerful speech, which was mostly improvised, during an interview with Michael Hayes.
During the interview The Texas Rattlesnake started lashing out at Roberts’ religious gimmick and then dropped the legendary ‘Austin 3:16’ line.
The WWE Hall of Famer was emotionally charged as he had just gotten 14 stitches on his lip following a match with Marc Mero and knew he wasn’t originally supposed to win the tournament.
WWE were going to crown Triple H the victor but plans were axed when The Game, Shawn Michaels, Diesel and Razor Ramon broke character at Madison Square Garden a month earlier.
According to Ringside News, Austin also knew this was a special opportunity to leave a mark and was determined to cap his intense monologue with a strong catchphrase.
And that is how he came up with: “And that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.”
Austin said during The Steve Austin Show: “I would go on to say, ‘You sit there and you thump your Bible and say your prayers, but that didn’t get you anywhere. You talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16, Austin 3:16 says I just whooped your a**.’
“I would go on to talk about the championship match between Shawn Michaels and Davey Boy Smith as I was wrapping up this promo, I needed to button-up this promo and go home.
“I could hear the RF microphone, Vince [McMahon] was doing commentary. I knew I needed to shut the F up and take it home, but I needed a button.
“So as I’m hearing Vince I’m saying to myself, ‘I need a go home line, I need a go home line.’
“That’s when I s**t: ‘And that’s the bottom line cause Stone Cold said so.’
“As a heel in 1996 when King of the Ring — when the only reason that I won King of the Ring that year is because of the big breaking kayfabe thing that happened in a cage at Madison Square Garden between the Kliq.
“Triple H was supposed to win King Of The Ring that year, Triple H didn’t.
“As I was walking across the parking lot in Massachusetts, I hear this voice behind me, ‘Steve, you got a second?’
“It was Vince McMahon — ‘Yessir I do.’
“He said, ‘Hey man I just wanted to let you know in two weeks, you’re winning King of the Ring.’
“I said, ‘Okay,’ and I carried my bag in the building and worked TV.
“It was a chance opportunity. I was never designed to win.
“I was never supposed to win, but when I did win based on the circumstances that happen, working that first match of that Pay-Per-View with Marc Mero when he did that flippity-flip thing and busted my mouth and put 14 stitches in my damn lip, he didn’t I had to go to the hospital in the middle of the Pay-Per-View, get stitched up, stay in my work gear, came back and got ready to work Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts in the final.”
“That’s when Michaels Hayes told me that Jake The Snake cut a religious-based promo on me and that’s when the Austin 3:16 was born.”