The Spotlight On Sting Going Into The WWE Hall Of Fame

This past week on WWE Raw it was officially announced that the headliner of this year’s WWE Hall Of Fame Class will in fact be Sting! It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as Sting is more than worthy of the honor and he lives in and around the Dallas, Texas area. Sting is a former 6 time WCW champion, a former 2 time NWA world champion, former 4 time TNA heavyweight champion, the list goes on and on. Sting was pretty much the face of WCW throughout the late 80’s, early 90’s until the company’s close in March of 2001.

From a personal standpoint, I’m glad I got to see two of his appearances for WWE live this past year including his first match against Triple H and his surprise return the night after Summerslam at the Barclays Center. In many ways it’s great that Sting got to have one last run with WWE as it didn’t seem right that he never had a Wrestlemania moment. Also by performing for a WWE audience it’s allowed Sting to gain exposure to an entirely different audience.  My girlfriend grew up a very casual WWE fan and for about 3 years has been following pretty closely, thanks to me.  She had no idea really who Sting was prior to his appearances for WWE, to the point that when she saw Surfer Sting in the Hall of Fame package, she asked me who that was! To her, and her younger brother (who has a bunch of Sting action figures now) Sting is still someone new and very much current.  If you think about it, Sting will be entering the Hall of Fame just a bit after six months following his last world title opportunity so you can’t really blame them.

As for who should induct Sting, it has to be Ric Flair and that’s the only name I’ve heard rumored to be doing so.  Flair has been apart of WWE programming over the past two years as Charlotte has continued to rise the ranks of both NXT and WWE and with him, arguably, being one of Stings greatest adversaries and the man that in many ways made Sting the star he became, Flair should be the man to do it.  The only other name I can really see inducting Sting would be his lifelong friend Lex Luger and I’m unsure that he’d be able to, due to his health.  Aside from Sting, some other names that I can see going into the Hall of Fame this year would have to first and foremost be the Fabulous Freebirds ( which I’ve seen reported around the web, I believe pwinsider had it first).  The Freebirds are from Texas and Michael Hayes is obviously still a very big part of the WWE family.  If they wanted to keep things in Texas, I’d throw out former WWE diva Jaqueline (who had a good run in WWE including being a really good FOIL to Sable during the Attitude Era) into the mix.  From there how about former WWE champion, proud Texas native and current WWE commentator, JBL?  WWE usually likes to include somebody a bit more current that the current crop of fans are more familiar with, so I think that JBL would be a great choice and obviously very deserving.  For a posthumous induction, since it appears that Wrestlemania will no longer be going to Minnesota, how about this being the year that Rick Rude goes into the hall of fame?  Or again if we want to stick with that Texas theme, what about the late great Dick Murdoch? Rounding out the class with a celebrity inductee, I feel like this year has to be Lemmy who recently passed away and meant a lot to so much of the WWE roster, most notably Triple H.

Of course, the big rumor about this year’s hall of fame was that the Undertaker would be the headliner following his 25th anniversary, this being in his hometown of Texas on the night before the biggest Wrestlemania in the company’s history.  Well what i think happened there was a few things.  For one, John Cena got hurt and by all intents and purposes John Cena vs. The Undertaker in one of their first ever big high profile matches was heavily rumored as being a part of this year’s Wrestlemania.  With that match now not being something that can get done, in my opinion, perhaps they have that match penciled in for next year’s Mania and wanted to hold off on the Hall of Fame induction with the Undertaker still having matches a year from now.  Next, let’s be honest no matter how old the Undertaker is, it doesn’t matter, he had some of the best matches over the last year against Brock Lesnar and the Wyatt Family.  If he can still have great matches like that and come away healthy then why not utilize the Undertaker in some of the bigger shows of the year.  Of course this is all speculation, for all we know Undertaker can still be announced for the hall but that wouldn’t make much sense for WWE to use two headliners that can sell out the Hall Of Fame on their own like The Undertaker and Sting.

Well, that’s going to do it for now but congratulations go out to Sting on a well deserved Hall of Fame induction.  We’ll have much more breaking news as it’s released.

 

The Spotlight On Stone Cold Live!

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).

Closing Thoughts

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.