Stone Cold Steve Austin has been one of the most influential figures within the WWE. His emergence as a top heel in the company helped to launch WWE into the Attitude era, and established its dominance over the past couple decades.
Later into his career, he was dubbed the Bionic Redneck, wearing dual knee braces. But who actually came up with the gimmick? According to Austin on his podcast, he did.
“That was the reason I had those knee braces, man. It wasn’t for looks. It was because I needed them. But it turned out to be part of the ‘Bionic Redneck’. I came up with that gimmick just because, by the time it came down to it…I had some plates in my neck and I had those two knee braces on, it became part of my [ring] gear.”
He also went into the reason why he started to experiment with different colored braces over the course of the gimmick, attributing it to his heel turn. “I said, ‘do you know what? Now that I’m a heel, I ain’t got to be cool anymore, so I can f–k around and change colors.’ So I went with snakeskin, red, white, gold, different colors because I could push the envelope as a heel.”
He also goes on to state that the reason why he didn’t announce that the Wrestlemania 19 match vs. The Rock would be his last. “The momentum was still good. It might have started to slow down a little bit, but if you’ve just announced, ‘hey this is going to be ‘Stone Cold’s last match,’ maybe that would kind of slowed business down or slowed the momentum down and maybe turned some people off.”