During his Hall of Fame career in WWE, Jim Ross provided the soundtrack to some of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's greatest moments of the Attitude Era — from his first "Stone Cold! Stone Cold!" to ushering in the "Era of Stone Cold" at WrestleMania XXIV, the two went virtually hand-in-hand throughout Austin's run as the top star in the professional wrestling.
The AEW play-by-play commentator appeared on The Steve Austin Show on Tuesday, allowing the two old friends to talk about a variety of topics in the modern wrestling business. At one point, Ross revealed how he came up with one of Austin's most enduring nicknames, "The Texas Rattlesnake."
Austin revealed that the nickname came up completely on the spot, as he and Ross had never discussed it being used on television.
"For some reason, somehow, someway on one particular evening I was 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, but you referred to me as the 'Texas Rattlesnake.' You and I had never had that discussion, Jim," Austin said. "You never said, 'Hey Steve, I've got this nickname I want to drop on you.' You just said it. Did that just come out of the blue, did you ad-lib that?"
"I've got to feel it," Ross said. "For whatever reason, your in-ring image, not from a physical standpoint necessarily. Cuz you ain't got rattlers on your a—, so there's no similarities physically. But the mannerisms, the motivation, the mindset, you can't trust this son of a b—. I also said one time later on that 'rattlesnakes don't make good corporate pets!' I felt that through that character because I believed in the character, believed in 'Stone Cold' and how it was evolving."
Ross then said he remembered during Austin telling him during his early days with the gimmick that he never wanted to be anything other than a heel. But "Good Ol' JR" was able to convince him to change his tune once he showed Austin how much money the babyfaces were making off of t-shirt sales.
Elsewhere in the interview Ross gave his honest thoughts on unprotected chair shots, a topic that came up recently because of Cody Rhodes taking a chair straight to the head at AEW's Fyter Fest.
"It's like a lot of things in wrestling, it's overdone," Ross said. "A little goes a long way and some of that stuff that we see, and the chair is a perfect example, it's a shortcut that people use as a crutch and it's overused. I'm not a big advocate of getting hit in the head with a steel chair in any way. I called it [at Fyter Fest], I called it like I saw it. Cody turned his head, he got hit on the side of the head, at least it didn't bust his face open. With that chair malfunction, there's not telling what he'd look like with that, man. I'm not a big fan of it, but it's like calling a football play. I might want to run the ball right now and you want to throw it, but both of them may get us a touchdown. Hell, I don't know. But it's overdone."