Last month when I sat live at Wrestlemania, I looked at my girlfriend with a look of anticipation when a commercial came up previewing all of the new original programming planned for the WWE Network in the future. On the list I was intrigued with such new ideas as Culture Shock with Corey Graves, Unfiltered with Renee Young and the return of WWE’s mini documentary series- “24”. However, one thing that seemed to be missing from the schedule was Stone Cold Live- a live sit down podcast/ interview hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin’s first two interviews with Vince McMahon and Triple H were both two of my favorite original specials on the network and I was disappointed that it wasn’t included in the lineup. Well, today WWE changed all of that when they released a press release welcoming Stone Cold Steve Austin back into the WWE family by announcing that his live special would be returning after all. Not only would it be returning, but it appears that Austin has signed a contract to do a new monthly sit down interview series set to air immediately following Monday Night Raw. Here are some highlights from that press release.
1) Stone Cold is Back- Make no mistake, the biggest thing to come out of this show being green lit for the WWE Network is that Stone Cold Steve Austin is back in WWE. Thankfully the two sides were able to work out some sort of deal and to do so way before Wrestlemania 32 which just so happens to be in Steve Austin’s backyard of Arlington, Texas. What better way to get 100,000+ people to fill in Cowboys Stadium than by having one more, true retirement match for the Texas Rattlesnake. I still have my doubts that it will ever happen but at least now we can all add a bit of hope for that dream match with Austin back in the WWE family.
2) Paul Heyman on June 1st- Leave it to WWE, just when you think they’ve given you all you can handle for new subscribers in May by adding an Elimination Chamber Pay Per View on May 31st, the final day of May, they hook you to stick around in June by putting the return episode of “Stone Cole Live!” the next night on June 1st! The guest for that show? The man behind the one in 22 and 1, Paul Heyman! So now not only did WWE just give you the return of Steve Austin to WWE telelvision but also the on screen return of Paul Heyman, who hasn’t been seen since Brock Lesnar was suspended the night after Wrestlemania, quite the hook isn’t it? Regardless of the content, it’s always fun whenever these two former Dangerous Alliance Alumni get together.
3) Future Guests– One of the things I wondered about when I started hearing about all of these live interviews on the Network was, how they’d keep up with the A-list level stars to be guests for the shows. Certainly the first four Vince McMahon, Triple H, John Cena, and Stephanie McMahon were as big as they got but at some point there would have to be some sort of drop off, no? Well it doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon as the first guest is Paul Heyman and in the future guests section of that press release, the three names listed were Hulk Hogan, Sting and The Undertaker. That means that on future epsiodes of Stone Cold Live, being promoted is a candid one on on discussion between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, Sting’s return to WWE in any capacity isnce Wrestlemania (perhaps to announce a return match?) and the first interview with the Undertaker since, well at least a decade (aside from some DVD clips).
In the end, the big take away from this press release that I got, aside from Steve austin returning to WWE in some capacity, is that WWE still seems to be making the WWE Network a priority. They seem to want the fans to think “whoa four pay per views in four weeks” and then still give us more with the return of Stone Cold Live. It’s indeed a great time to be a WWE fan and as good a time as any to be a WWE Network Subscriber, after all it is just $9.99!
Below you will find the complete press release for all of those interested…
“STONE COLD®” LIVE ON WWE® NETWORK
STAMFORD, Conn., May 18, 2015 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will host Stone Cold Podcast, Live!, a no-holds-barred, in-your-face monthly interview series beginning Monday, June 1 at 11 p.m. ET on the award-winning WWE Network, with special guest Paul Heyman.
Each month immediately following Monday Night Raw, which airs on USA Network, the WWE Hall of Famer will sit down with the biggest names in WWE including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Sting and other celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment for an exclusive interview on WWE Network.
“If you’re ready for the Stone Cold Podcast, give me a ‘Hell Yeah!’,” said “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Click here to see a clip from Austin’s interview with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon from December, 2014, and click here to see a clip from his interview with WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul “Triple H®” Levesque from February, 2015.
The hour-long series joins the slate of brand new original programming recently announced by WWE Network including, Too Hot For TV Presented by Jerry Springer, Swerved and WWE The List.
WWE Network, which launched on February 24, 2014, is the fastest-growing digital subscription service with more than 1.3 million subscribers as of March 30, 2015. It is available in more than 175 countries, and was named Best Over-The-Top Content Service for 2015 at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards.
Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up for WWE Network online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TVs through connected devices such as Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices as well as Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. WWE Network’s one-of-a-kind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more than 3,000 hours of video-on-demand programming.
For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.