The World Wrestling Entertainment business has made some unprecedented changes to its shows during the coronavirus crisis but returning Hall of Fame legend Stone Cold Steve Austin showed why he is beloved in the WWE universe with an unforgettable moment.
The WWE sent fans into a frenzy when it announced WrestleMania would be moved away from Tampa Bay and performed behind closed doors at their performance centre.
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Since the coronavirus crisis, the WWE has taken the steps - in line with a few other sports - to perform behind closed doors.
Since wrestlers interact and feed off the vibe off of a live audience, fans have been left reeling with the lack of atmosphere during live shows.
But in a time of crisis, the WWE turned to ‘The Rattlesnake’ to lift moral and the beer-guzzling great left fans in stitches.
Returning to announce March 16th as a wrestling national holiday under his motto Austin 3:16, The Rattlesnake turned to the ‘crowd’ to deliver his famous catchphrase.
“If you want to know what 3:16 day is all about, give me a ‘Hell Yeah’,” he said as he turned to the ‘crowd’.
But after the camera turned comically to the empty seats, Austin waited to once again ask the ‘crowd’ to give him a ‘Hell yeah’.
But instead former wrestler and ring announcer Byron Saxton came to the rescue with a laughable ‘Hell yeah’.
In classic Austin style, Saxton joined him in the ring and after sharing a beer he was greeted with the Stone Cold Stunner.
The segment sent fans into rapture after a hard few weeks without live crowds and atmosphere.
Thank You Stone Cold Steve Austin❗️— Javier Urquieta ‼️ (@DeJesusUrquieta) March 17, 2020
This brought me so much joy & nostalgia
it almost made me forget that we are living in a totally different & crazy ass decade 😅
compared 2 back in the day
when @WWE was my escapism to the worlds problems#316Day #WWERawpic.twitter.com/DrHCpXNyUP
It’s been so long since I’ve tweeted about wrestling but Stone Cold Steve Austin still has it, even with an empty stadium. One of the original S Tier entertainers. Beer cans, milk trucks, and getting hit by a limousine. All in the name of entertainment!— Kristi Anderson (@CinderSlays) March 17, 2020
WWE airing their shows w/o a crowd because of the coronavirus has gave us quite possibly the greatest moment in wrestling history LMFAOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/gaLgQ8HLkd— N (@HighForShirai) March 17, 2020
Stone Cold Steve Austin is my hero.— Dominik Dijakovic (@DijakovicWWE) March 17, 2020
WrestleMania move stuns fans
But with WrestleMania 36 just a few weeks away, which is the biggest show in the calendar year for the WWE, the business made the huge announcement to take it away from Tampa Bay and a huge crowd.
“In coordination with local partners and government officials, WrestleMania and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place,” a WWE statement read.
“However, WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7 pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WrestleMania.”
The news that the most highly-anticipated wrestling event would be carried out behind closed doors and in the performance centre stunned fans.