Stone Cold Steve Austin visits "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" at Rockefeller Center on May 27, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
Stone Cold Steve Austin's Accidental Elimination In The 1996 Royal Rumble
During his initial run in the WWF as The Ringmaster, Steve Austin was scheduled for a big push at the 1996 Royal Rumble. Although he was supposed to be one of the last four men standing along with the eventual winner, Shawn Michaels, one mishap ended up getting Austin eliminated much earlier than planned.
Austin said, "I was supposed to be the fourth guy left in the ring [...] and Rikishi or somebody gave me a clothesline and the ropes were so baby oiled up from everybody wearing baby oil, I slipped." After the 1996 Rumble botch, Austin adopted the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin persona and witnessed a meteoric rise following his memorable promo at WWF King of the Ring in 1996.
Austin received yet another big push at the 1997 Royal Rumble, but everything worked out for "The Texas Rattlesnake," as he was declared the winner after eliminating Bret Hart. Despite repeating his Rumble success in 1998 and 2001, Austin admitted, "I didn't really like Royal Rumbles because there's so much going on."