Stone Cold Steve Austin stunned Vince McMahon for the first time on Sept. 22, 1997.
"AUSTIN IS GOING DIRECTLY TO JAIL."
As legendary broadcaster, Jim Ross, screamed those words on the Sept. 22, 1997 edition of Monday Night Raw, wrestling fans were left in amazement as Stone Cold Steve Austin stunned Vince McMahon for the first time ever at Madison Square Garden.
During this time period, McMahon, (the person, not the character) made the decision to stop pretending wrestling isn't scripted. However, at the time, most WWF fans still only knew him as the play-by-play announcer for most of the company's television programming. But throughout 1997, McMahon developed his Mr. McMahon persona -- the boss that everyone hated, especially Steve Austin.
After weeks of building up their feud, things finally got physical when McMahon -- in his role as the owner of the WWF -- wouldn't clear Austin to wrestle due to an injury. Austin, however, wasn't having any of it. So during an in-ring interview, after pretending to accept McMahon's decision to ban him from wrestling, Austin told his boss to "kiss his ass" and delivered his signature move. McMahon sold it like only he could, the Garden crowd went ballistic and Ross and Jerry Lawler, on commentary, lost their minds.
This moment played a pivotal role in the WWE dominating WCW in the ratings and eventually putting the company out of business.