Steve Austin Explains How The Undertaker Is Responsible For The Iconic Austin 3:16 T-Shirt Design

Steve Austin says he owes a debt of gratitude to The Undertaker for his iconic broken skull logo.

Some iconography in wrestling is timeless. Shawn Michaels' broken heart logo, The Rock's Brahma Bull, and Hulk Hogan's red and yellow Hulkamania wear are all classic examples of this. Stone Cold Steve Austin's broken skull logo Is another classic example and Austin says its creation is due in part to the Undertaker giving his blessing.

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In a bonus scene from the tremendous documentary, Undertaker: The Last Ride, Stone Cold Steve Austin explains why Vince McMahon originally shot down his t-shirt idea before getting approval from Mark Calaway, The Undertaker.

“Finally, the office said, 'hey, let's come up with a t-shirt for you.' I had turned into 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin... 'So, let's do some merch.' So I said, 'okay, let's do the Austin 3:16 and put a skull on the back and carve in 'Stone Cold,' like it came from a chisel,” Steve recalls. “Vince said, 'well, hold off on the skull. Not so fast. I kind of feel like it might be Undertaker's gimmick or his property. But if you clear it with him, then, okay, we can do that shirt.' So sure enough, I walked over to Mark, I said, 'hey, man the office finally wants to do a T-shirt for me. I want to put a skull on the back, but they kind of feel like that's in your territory. If you clear it, I can use the shirt. But if you shoot it down, I understand.' He goes, 'yeah, man, go for it.'”

He continued, “I think it speaks volumes of who the guy is as a man because the sports entertainment industry is highly competitive and merch sales are a big part of your paycheck and it's a big part of the pride you take in moving products because you are a viable, marketable commodity. He was willing to share that skull with me or let me use it, you know. No skin off his back and he was cool. He didn't have to do that, and he did. That's one of the things that I've always thought was very cool of him to do that for me.”

In an era where everybody was highly protective of their spot, Undertaker helped Steve Austin get a piece of the pie which, in turn, took the industry to new heights.

You can take a look at Sean Ross Sapp’s preview for episode 3 of the WWE documentary series at this link.

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