Christian Explains the Origin of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's "WHAT" Chant

Posted By James Walsh on 05/19/19

Christian spoke with Wrestling Travel in Liverpool late last month and discussed working with Randy Orton, his TLC memories and more. Video and highlights are below:

On if they decided that any spots proposed for TLC were too dangerous: “I mean, there’s certain ones that you think up and they’re crazy. And then you realize when you’re trying to place it or to figure it out, that maybe it’s just not gonna work. But for the most part, everything that we came up with, we managed to pull off. There’s a couple things that didn’t go so smoothly, but that’s bound to happen in those kinds of matches, and you improvise. And when you have total trust in your opponents, then you don’t worry about stuff like that.”

On which spots didn’t go so smoothly: “I remember once there was a thing Jeff Hardy really wanted to do, where he called it the Frogger. Because he was gonna basically hop from the top of each ladder and get to the belts that were up there. And one of the ladders shifted or something, and he fell off of it. It didn’t go — I mean, he still got up there and did what you’re supposed to do, but it didn’t go as smoothly as everyone had envisioned. Just things like that, they happen, you know. But in the grand scheme of things, it is what it is.”

On his history with Kurt Angle: “I was friends with Kurt when he first started. Actually, Kurt’s very first professional match in front of a crowd, I wrestled Kurt. So he and I go way back and had great chemistry. And you know, his kind of aloof attitude, but he’s this real ass-kicker but he was kind of a little gullible and stuff like that. He wasn’t afraid to — and that’s the thing too. He understood the entertainment side of it, even though he’s this legit gold medalist badass. And that even made it better. But I just remember, we just had so much fun, and we were throwing stuff around backstage when the cameras weren’t rolling. If we were laughing, we’re figuring ‘Hey, if it’s funny to us. Maybe other people will find it funny too’. So we just put it out there”.

On his feud with Randy Orton: “I didn’t know going into the match [that he was dropping the World Title to Orton]. But after, we had a conversation after the PPV and was told the direction, and what was happening and what needed to happen. It was at a time when I think there was a, I don’t know if it was a draft, but they did some talent swapping. So Smackdown had lost a lot of talent that had gone over to Raw. And I guess, at the time, Randy and I were the most established guys when they were trying to build up some younger talent coming up. The problem was Randy had just become a fan favorite. So somebody had to turn, and that was me. And I feel like I do my best work as heel anyway, so I was more than happy to do it. And obviously, you saw the quality of the matches that Randy and I had in 2011. He’s by far, my favorite singles opponent. We just had an amazing run that year.”

On his part in Steve Austin’s ‘What?’ chant: “We had landed in Chicago, and we had a show that day, I think in Rockford, Illinois. And it was a couple hour drive away. So I landed and went to the gym, and this gym we used to go to in Chicago is downstairs in a basement, and there was no cell phone service. When I came out of the gym, I guess when Steve landed he went straight to the town. And I had a voicemail from him. I was like, ‘What’s this about?’ So he’s calling me because he was bored, so he’s calling to talk and I didn’t answer. So he left this rambling voicemail on my message machine. He was just saying like, random stuff like: ‘I’m just passing a tree. What? I said I’m passing a tree. What?’ Just random, like, about anything. I And I was like, ‘What is he talking about?’ I got there and was like, ‘What was with that voicemail you left me?’. And he’s like “I don’t know, I was just bored and just rambling”. I wish I kept it. And then, probably a week or two later I was sitting in the back on Raw and I could hear the audio of him doing a promo in the ring and I heard him doing the ‘What?’. I was like ‘I can’t believe he’s gonna do this and he’s gonna get this over”.”