Steve Austin is returning to your TV screen on Monday nights.
Steve Austin and Monday nights will forever be linked.
The driving force behind WWE’s resurgence during the “Monday Night Wars” of the late 1990s, Austin brought an entirely new attitude to WWE programming every week on Monday Night Raw. So it is a perfect fit that Austin’s new show, Straight Up Steve Austin, airs on Mondays, beginning this week, following Raw.
“I’m excited to do something that I love to do,” said Austin. “This puts me in an element where we’re outdoors, sharing experiences, and hearing the experiences of people I look up to. I hope that people enjoy this show enough that we continue to get seasons two, three, four, and five.
The show has an interview format, and Austin delivers relaxed, relatable conversations with his guests, who include Becky Lynch, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Impractical Jokers comedian Sal Vulcano.
Even with a star-studded lineup of guests, a highlight of the show is simply watching Austin back on camera. His interactions with guests lead to some memorable moments, but also spotlight his polished manner as an interviewer. Who ever could have imagined that Austin would channel the likes of broadcasting legends Jim Ross and “Mean” Gene Okerlund in his post-wrestling career?
“We have seven episodes in the can, and I had an absolute blast doing it,” said Austin. “My background in professional wrestling and live television helped, as did my experience with podcasting for the past six years. I laughed my ass off while we were filming this, I was like a kid in a candy store during the whole series.”
Austin returned to WWE programming for the Raw Reunion in July, serving as the headliner of the show and generating one of the best recent television ratings for the company. While wrestling still longs for Austin’s presence on a week-to-week basis, the 54-year-old recognizes that the timing is ripe to create new content.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity and an honor to follow Raw,” said Austin. “That’s the audience that built me and supported me for all those years. I’m following the world from which I came from. But I can’t wrestle any more, I don’t live in the past. I’m happy I was ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, but I also want to show people who and what Steve Austin is all about.”
The promo Austin cut during the reunion was in sharp contrast to his memorable, yet silent, appearance on the Raw 25th Anniversary episode in July of 2018.
“To me, when I go back to WWE, it’s all about the current generation,” said Austin. “I got my s--- in during the [reunion] show in Tampa, but I want those people to have as much camera time as possible. When I do go out there, I’m pretty easy to deal with these days. Back in the day, when I was making my climb and finally getting some traction, I was an animal. I was very proactive in protecting the ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin character. I’m a little more relaxed now, and I’ll make the most of whatever they give me.”
Straight Up Steve Austin makes its premiere following tonight’s Raw at 11 p.m. ET, providing the wrestling world a reason to stay up another half hour after WWE’s flagship show.
“People are going to get me, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, turned all the way to the top on Straight Up Steve Austin,” said Austin. “This is the audience I worked my ass off for. They have an appreciation for me, and I have an appreciation for them. I have the greatest fans in the world with my wrestling fans, and I hope they watch the new show. I also hope that we can grow the audience.
“Doing this new show, man, I learned a lot. I hope people tune in and enjoy being my guest. I love entertaining people, and I want to entertain my fans from my wrestling days and I want to grow a whole new audience on top of that. I am hoping it’s a hit because I love doing what I do.”