The Stone Cold Stunner is one of the most impactful finishers of all time and it fit Stone Cold Steve Austin’s personality perfectly. He’s delivered thousands of them to the point that we’re pretty much immune to their impact. Still, there are a few that stand out above all the rest. So, without further ado, here are the most important Stone Cold Stunners ever delivered. Also, a special bonus mini-list at the end because Internetz!
7. vs. D’Lo Brown – In Your House: D-Generation X – You know how outrageous and funny it is that WWE is so hellbent on making Roman Reigns look strong? Well, they did the same thing with Stone Cold in 1997 for a bit. He literally beat the entire Nation of Domination with a truck. They never even really got any offense in even though it was four-on-one. The difference between Austin and Reigns though is that this felt totally kickass and not forced. Funny how that works. Anyway, the most iconic moment from the match was Austin Stunning D’Lo on top of his 3:16 truck and D’Lo selling it like a million bucks.
6. vs. Jobber – Superstars June 8, 1996 – Want to know just how little the WWF cared about The Ringmaster and the early days of Stone Cold? Just watch this match where he debuted his new finisher. Neither Jim Ross or Vince McMahon even acknowledged it happening. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned jobber matches? Oh, right, that’s what Dean Ambrose is for.
5. vs. Goldberg and Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania XX – I really think overall this match changed wrestling forever. And for the worse. The crowd hijacked a match I was at least really excited to see by crapping on both guys for leaving. I don’t know if Goldberg and Lesnar had a good match planned or if it was a crap match from the beginning. But whatever the case, once the New York crowd crapped on everything, the match never stood a chance. And I think every crowd that chants something stupid like “CM Punk” or “JBL” wants to take over a match like MSG took over this one. Anyway, to save the segment from being an all-time stinker, Austin ended by stunning Lesnar and Goldberg. The idea of Austin stunning Goldberg was a fanboy dream, but nobody could have imagined it would be like this.
4. vs. Eric Bischoff – No Way Out 2003 Eric Bischoff famously fired Stone Cold from WCW “via Fed Ex” in the mid-90s. Austin held a grudge about this for years and used it as the basis for a bunch of his promos in ECW and some in WWF. So when Bischoff finally got to WWE and had a match with Austin, we all sort of wondered if it would be a real fight. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because professionalism or whatever. Still, it was pretty crazy to see Austin and Bischoff in the ring and Austin giving him the signature finish. It’s one of those things you never really thought you’d see.
3. vs. Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XIV – This was the culmination of the Austin run to the top. He was coming off of the crazy semi-Mike Tyson feud and this was the closing thing to the blowoff. It’s crazy when Shawn Michaels is main eventing WrestleMania and he’s the afterthought. The match ends with a Stunner and Stone Cold winning the title. Then he drove a bunch of cars and hit people with bed pans for a bit.
2. vs. Jake The Snake Roberts – King Of The Ring 1996 – Remember King Of The Ring 1996? Apparently Austin cut some sort of promo that people heard about. But before that, he jacked up a Jake The Snake who was probably kayfabe hungover and had just gotten beaten up by Vader. The match ended with an anti-climactic stunner, but it got the job done and lead to the most important promo of all time.
1. vs. Vince McMahon – Monday Night RAW – This is the absolute obvious one. Up until this point, it wasn’t really acknowledged on TV that Vince McMahon owned the company. But it was still a huge deal. Austin was at his peak and was the most over guy in the company after breaking his neck and being told he couldn’t perform. Vince came to the ring to talk sense into Austin and the rest is history. Yes, this is the most important stunner ever, but it was the ugliest.
Bonus: The Most Ridiculous Stunners Of All Time
Any Time He Stunned The Rock – I’m not gonna lie: this always got a pop out of me but when you watch it you see that it’s cotdamn ridiculous to see Rock do a full backflip after a Stunner.
vs. Scott Hall – Hall would jump up like a damn Tiny Toons character and it’s the dumbest sell you may ever see.
vs. Santino Marella He did a f*cking military salute in mid-air. The best part of this is watching Regal’s disgust over it on Austin’s documentary the WWE released.
This is an updated version of a post that originally ran on January 8, 2015.