lebron james
Photo Credit: WWE

Steve Austin Vividly Recalls LeBron James’ WWE RAW Appearance, Couldn’t Break Character To Meet Him

Steve Austin
Photo Credit: WWE

Sneakers might not have worked for Stone Cold Steve Austin, but he appreciates the culture that comes with them in professional wrestling.

WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin recently went shoe shopping with Complex and spoke about a variety of subjects. During the discussion, Austin spoke about how he believes John Cena greatly influenced sneaker culture in professional wrestling today.

“I think the sneaker culture is cool in wrestling, but for me, a traditional guy who started off as a technical wrestler turned into a brawler, it wouldn’t have fit my style,” Stone Cold Steve Austin admitted. “Of course, [John] Cena comes first in my mind when I’m thinking about sneakers in the wrestling game, and he really went over the top with it, and so many others have followed that suit and maybe some more before him. And going into the John Cena thing when he started pumping the things up. I was like, Cena’s really working for a sneaker deal here because it turned into a thing, and the crowd got behind it, and he’s one of those guys; what a tremendous career he had, and it affected so many people.”

When asked about pro athletes like Damian Lillard and Steffon Diggs paying tribute to him on their shoes, Austin said it’s very flattering and that he respects them back.

“Totally flattering. I mean, to see these premier athletes remember a guy who came into my hotspot from like 96 through whatever ’03, it was a long time ago,” Stone Cold Steve Austin said. “And for these guys to still remember that, I guess that means I impacted their life in such a way that they’re paying homage or paying tribute. So I really appreciate it, and I respect them back.”

The Texas Rattlesnake was asked about the time when NBA rookie LeBron James was front row to see him at an episode of WWE RAW and how years later, he’s been seen wearing a LeBron 3:16 shirt. Austin said he remembered that night vividly and revealed what he would have liked to do if he wasn’t in character at the time.

“I’ve forgotten so many things. But I remember that vividly,” Stone Cold Steve Austin said. “I was in the ring, and he had that flip phone just like you said; he was taking pictures. He was basketball, I mean, everything was about LeBron, and he’s about to really get going and take over the sport. And to see him out there to be at a WWE event and be a fan of Stone Cold was very flattering. And at the time, I was in character, man. And when I’m in character, all I’m doing is turning a dial-up. That’s not a gimmick; that’s me. I wanted to go out there and shake his hand and slap him on the back, but I couldn’t do that. And all these years for him to bust out the Lebron 3:16 shirt. Very cool.”

READ MORE: Stone Cold Steve Austin Reveals He Missed Out On A Shoe Deal Waiting For Nike

What do you make of Steve Austin’s comments? How important do you think sneaker culture is in professional wrestling today? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.

If you use any of the quotes above, please credit Complex with a link back to this article for the transcription.