WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross has revealed the creative pitch made to Stone Cold Steve Austin that he says shows a lack of respect shown towards The Texas Rattlesnake.
Steve Austin had been a star in WCW as a Hollywood Blonde and a key member of Paul Heyman’s Dangerous Alliance where he won the WCW Television Title. By late 1995, and after a brief spell in ECW, Austin was destined for the World Wrestling Federation.
Austin debuted in the WWF in January 1996 by the side of Ted DiBiase and was introduced as the new Million Dollar Champion, The Ringmaster. The gimmick was not long for this world and with DiBiase heading to WCW in the summer of 1996, it gave Austin to change things up and embrace a frostier side of his personality.
Speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross discussed the creative meetings that went into crafting a new persona for Steve Austin and how he feels infamous temperature based suggestions such as Chilly McFreeze were disrespectful to Austin:
“That comes out of a marketing meeting or it comes out of a room filled with people, most of them don’t have product knowledge and are not fans, and they’re tongue-in-cheeking it. It shows you their lack of respect, in general, for the business. Chilly McFreeze… are you sh*tting me?”
“I wasn’t so popular in some of those meetings, because I’d walk in and say, ‘We’re having a meeting so you can present this s***? You’ve gotta be kidding me, fellas, ladies, gentlemen, whatever.’ But it [the Chilly McFreeze pitch] was horrible, it was horrible.”
Thankfully, as the story goes, Steve Austin’s wife at the time reminded him to finish his tea before it went “stone cold” and the rest was history.