“You know they say all men are created equal, but you look at me and you look at Samoa Joe and you can see that statement is not true. See, normally if you go one on one with another wrestler, you got a 50-50 chance of winning. But I’m a genetic freak and I’m not normal, so you got a 25 percent—at best—at beating me. And then you add Kurt Angle to the mix, your chances of winning drastically go down. You see, the three way at Sacrifice, you got a 33 and 1/3 chance of winning. But I, I got a 66 and 2/3 chance of winning cause Kurt Angle knows he can’t beat me and he’s not even gonna try. So Samoa Joe, you take your 33 and 1/3 chance, minus my 25 percent chance and you got an 8 and 1/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. But then you take my 75 percent chance of winning if we was to go one on one and then add the 66 and 2/3 percent chance, I got a 141 and 2/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. See Joe, the numbers don’t lie and they spell disaster for you at Sacrifice!”
You know every word. You recite it any time you see “Big Poppa Pump” on TV or the word “Sacrifice” is used. Scott Steiner Math has become an institution in professional wrestling, and the numbers don’t lie—he did it in one take, and one take only.
Petey Williams and Dennis Farrell of the Wrestling Perspective Podcast recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard to talk about the history of the IMPACT Wrestling Sacrifice pay-per-view. Petey Williams currently works for IMPACT as a producer, but has also been an active wrestler at several of the Sacrifice events, including the 2008 event when he was at Scott Steiner’s side for the infamous “Steiner Math” promo. As Williams explained it, Steiner asked for another take but they ultimately used the first and only one, and it’s become one of the most entertaining promos in IMPACT history.
“It still holds up today, probably one of the greatest promos in IMPACT history—but that was one take. Believe it or not, but if you watch me in the promo, I literally was [reacting to Scott] and I look at the camera, like ‘are we still rolling? …OK, I guess we’re still rolling!’ And they kept it, Scott wanted to do it again,” Williams explained, “but at the time Vince Russo was the writer, behind the camera making sure the promos were on point, and Scott goes, ‘Let’s do it again, I stumbled over some things.’ Vince was like, ‘Nope. That’s your character. You have so much pent-up frustration, sometimes you stumble over your words and you can’t get it all out. That’s part of your character.’”
“I had no idea that it was going to take off like it did. Now, years later, if he brings up any math equation at all in front of a live crowd, you should just hear them. Whenever he says ‘141 2/3 percent chance’, they just go nuts and love it. It’s good that he could still—he’s Steiner, big dude and did cool moves, but he’s getting older and you can’t be doing that stuff anymore. So it’s good that he found something else,” Williams noted, “and it just happens to be math. He’s probably horrible at it in real life, but he can now be a mouthpiece and I love it.”
The original promo was very much a case of catching lightning in a bottle, and there have been attempts over the years to recreate it. Williams noted how they did pay homage to it a few years later when both Williams and Steiner were back in the company. They weren’t working together on-air, but Williams had the idea to have Steiner cut-in on his promo time and do some more math, and got a hilarious response from Steiner.
“I was on my way to challenge Matt Sydal, he was the X Division Champion at the time, and we didn’t have this written in the show at all, but I had to do a promo and we wanted to [tease the reunion] because he was on the show,” Williams noted, “he was Eli Drake’s tag team partner and they went on to win the tag team titles against LAX. I asked Scott, ‘Hey, can you just bust in on my promo?’ I [told him] I have X amount of time and you can use 30 seconds, whatever, just bust in and talk about math.”
“He’s like, ‘Well… what do I say?’ I said, ‘Make up some math equations like you did before!’” Williams said. “So he says, ‘Make up? Math’s gotta add up!’ I’m like, ‘I don’t think it added up before’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, it did!’ I said OK, he came in and started talking about fractions and stuff, nothing big, but we just wanted to—and it was more for the boys, not so much the audience—we wanted something in there. We even mentioned Cracker Barrel and stuff, we just kinda wanted to bring it full circle and bring that back up. I think we already completed that circle.”
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) April 23, 2018