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Sunday, April 05, 2020

On Stone Cold Steve Austin Day, Coronavirus crisis produces a Raw truly like no other

Stone Cold Steve Austin asked for a hell yeah from an empty arena.

Written by Rahul Sadhu | Updated: March 18, 2020 6:45:37 pm
Stone Cold Steve Austin cut a promo on RAW on Tuesday. (WWE)

Stone Cold Steve Austin has been one of the most popular wrestlers since he made it to the top in the mid-1990s. Going from strength to strength, he won six WWE championships and holds the distinction of being the only WWE superstar to win the Royal Rumble three times.

His famous “Austin 3:16” promo at the 1996 King of the Ring was a massive hit which was later spun into the catchphrase by the company and is popular to date.

Before last night on RAW, Austin had declared Tuesday as #316 Day thus signalling a high-octane episode on television.

But it turned out to be a completely different setting, in what was probably the most hauntingly greatest moment in wrestling history- Steve Austin asking for a ‘HELL YEAH’ on 3:16 and facing silence all around.

WWE continues to air Raw and SmackDown as the world shuts itself from the coronavirus. The only difference is that it instead of packed arenas, it is now being played in front of empty stadiums and filmed at its Orlando training facility, the WWE Performance Center.

It’s a truly surreal sight to behold as the everyday superstars are now facing a black-box theatre production. When “Stone Cold” Steve Austin appeared on screen, it just became a little more strange.

No one can get the crowd to go wild with just his mere presence like Stone Cold can. If Raw had a full capacity crowd then everybody would have been on their feet the moment the glass-shattering cue of his entrance music hit.

But all of this went missing due to the coronavirus pandemic and a lot of fans are seeing the positive side of it.

“Maybe THIS will make you take corona seriously,” wrote a fan on Twitter while another, Patrick Michael, wrote: “Stone Cold Steve Austin cutting a promo to an empty arena is the first great piece of social distancing art.”

The first guest in Austin’s #316Day proclamation was Byron Saxton, who made the unwise decision to rate Austin’s explanations of the day’s laws (or lack thereof) with Olympic-style scorecards.

Saxton obviously earned a Stunner from The Texas Rattlesnake, but the final beer bath was interrupted by a second surprise guest: Becky Lynch.

Steve Austin makes a return to Monday Night RAW in an empty arena… but still manages iconic stunner.

Stone Cold Steve Austin Puts over Becky Lynch

The Man joined Austin in the ring for a celebratory #316Day toast, a passing of the torch from one rebel to another, and some Steveweisers while Austin dropped Saxton with a second Stunner. Ah, #316Day. A day, and a Raw, truly like none other. That was not all as the Street Profits also got a taste of his medicine.

With this push, Lynch now feels like a huge deal. Saxton may not have enjoyed it, but fans would have loved this watching live and in person.

In fact, after the show, Austin admitted that the experience was bizarre even for him.

Meanwhile, World Wrestling Entertainment has joined the list of organisations that have decided to host events without a live audience amid coronavirus concerns.

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