Steve Austin Says People Have Cussed Him Out Over “What” Chant
Steve Austin has shared that some people have cussed him out just because he created the “WHAT” chant that still exists in WWE today.
When you’re one of the greatest superstars of all-time like WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, you can take a common word like “WHAT” and make it into something big in pro wrestling even after 22 years.
In 2001, when Austin was the heel WWE Champion that was part of The Alliance, Austin started the “WHAT” chant. It was Austin’s way of annoying people when he would berate them during a promo, they would say something back to him, Steve Austin would shout “WHAT” at them and annoy them. By the end of 2001 when Austin was a babyface again, the “WHAT” chant was used to annoy whatever heel Austin was facing by having Austin do promos to encourage the chants because the fans loved to do.
Fast forward to present-day WWE in 2023 and you can still hear “WHAT” chants regularly. Some fans love it while others are sick of it.
During an interview with Chris Van Vliet on Youtube, Steve Austin was asked if he was surprised that the “WHAT” chant was still prominent in pro wrestling today.
“It really does, but I mean it’s a testament to, I don’t know how impacted people were of that. That started off as me leaving a voice message on Christian’s phone. I was working heel at the time and I said, ‘Hey man, this a really good way to F with people and get under their skin because you know, if you tell me something, I just say. ‘What’, and throw it back at you. it’s irritating, and that’s what it was designed to be.”
“Then I turned it into something that worked for me as a babyface as far as a way to mock a situation. With cadence and delivery, people can escape it as far as talent doing a promo.”
“It’s flattering to see that still around, but you know, I’ve had so many people cuss me out about inventing it. We ended up putting it on a T-Shirt for God’s sake and it sold a ton. So I’m thankful for the word, but if it disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn’t complain, but I’m honored that it’s still here.”
Elsewhere, Steve Austin seems to be open to the possibility of having a match at WrestleMania 40 next year in Philadelphia, but it all depends on what is presented to him.