Next week’s episodes of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live are guaranteed to offer healthy doses of nostalgia, as the upcoming shows, which will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will feature two of the biggest superstars of WWE’s highly successful Attitude Era. But while “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Undertaker have long been confirmed to be appearing on the September 9 Raw and September 10 SmackDown respectively, there hadn’t been much information at first regarding the roles the two legends may be playing.
On Monday night, that all changed for Austin, as the former WWE Champion first took to Twitter during the second hour of last night’s episode of Raw and seemed to hint at his possible role in the lead-up to Seth Rollins’ Universal Championship defense against Braun Strowman at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view on September 15. In his post, Austin suggested that both men should sign a contract for the upcoming match at Clash of Champions, with the “Texas Rattlesnake” himself serving as moderator. The WWE Hall of Famer then wrapped up his tweet by dropping a slightly tweaked version of his “that’s the bottom line” catchphrase for good measure.
Shortly after Austin’s tweet, WWE made things official by confirming the legend’s involvement in Rollins and Strowman’s contract signing for Clash of Champions.
BUSINESS IS ABOUT TO PICK UP.@steveaustinBSR WILL moderate the #UniversalChampionship Contract Signing for #WWEClash of Champions NEXT WEEK on #RAW between @WWERollins and @BraunStrowman! pic.twitter.com/MxJ2wOPpbu— WWE (@WWE) September 3, 2019
According to Wrestling Inc., Austin recently talked about his return to Madison Square Garden on The Steve Austin Show, noting that Monday’s appearance on Raw would mark his first time at the historic venue in two decades. He also reminisced fondly about his most memorable moments at MSG, which included the first time he performed his finisher, the Stone Cold Stunner, on WWE chairman and on-air authority figure Vince McMahon on the September 22, 1997, episode of Raw.
As reported by WrestlingNews.co, Austin was booked to appear on next week’s Monday Night Raw in an effort to improve ticket sales and potentially draw a sellout audience to Madison Square Garden. The publication cited recent comments from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, who said last week that a sellout at MSG is important because WWE wants to prevent its erstwhile top rival, All Elite Wrestling, from holding shows at a venue that stands out as one of the most iconic in the company’s history.
As Austin’s last WWE appearance at the “Raw Reunion” episode of Monday Night Raw on July 22 led to a notable spike in ratings, there’s a chance he won’t be the only retired icon or part-time performer to be featured on the company’s programming going forward. As speculated by Forbes, the success of “Raw Reunion,” SmackDown Live‘s upcoming move to Fox, and WWE’s ongoing deal with the Saudi Arabian government are all factors that could force the company to keep relying on its past stars despite its efforts to push newer and younger, full-time talents.