After nearly two years, Stone Cold Steve Austin made his return to WWE programming during Raw’s 25th anniversary. He interrupted Vince McMahon mid-rant, dropped Shane McMahon with a couple Stone Cold Stunners, and hit The Boss with one as well after some heavy teasing. The segment has been highly praised by the WWE Universe, but it turns out that The Texas Rattlesnake came back for more than fun and games.
Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated has reported that WWE officials specifically booked Austin’s segment to open the 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw to attract casual viewers and people who may have just been tuning in for that one night. The hope was not only that more viewers would finish the show, but they would gain a lot more interest in the ‘Royal Rumble’ PPV this weekend and for WrestleMania 34 in April.
Since Stone Cold rarely appears on WWE television anymore, his appearances gain a lot more interest from the WWE Universe and even casual fans. The company heavily advertised his WWE return, so booking him in the opening segment satisfied a lot of people waiting for his appearance. Stone Cold was pleased with the segment and the powers that be must have been ecstatic to see the massive increase in viewership for Raw.
The ratings for Raw’s 25th-anniversary prove once again how much of a draw Stone Cold Steve Austin can be when he does appear on WWE television. Austin had help from DX, The Undertaker, and several others, but WWE officials giving him the opening segment shows the faith they still have in him. The only question now is when The Texas Rattlesnake will be making another appearance for the company in the near future?
The WWE Universe is hopeful that it won’t be two more years before The Texas Rattlesnake makes another appearance on WWE programming. WrestleMania 34 is just around the corner, so it’s plausible for Austin to surprise the fans again on the grandest stage of them all. However, Stone Cold isn’t currently under any kind of contract with the company and it’s unclear when Steve Austin will return to WWE television again.