The most popular WWE superstar of the last two decades is coming back. Stone Cold Steve Austin will be returning to WWE television as host of the Tough Enough. Austin’s return is great news for WWE fans and signifies a big commitment from the WWE and USA Network to the reality television show.
This is huge news for pro wrestling fans as the return of Steve Austin adds a much needed boost of excitement back to World Wrestling Entertainment programming. While Austin is only scheduled to be a part of Tough Enough, I would imagine a couple of appearances on WWE RAW to promote the television show are a given.
[adinserter block=”2″]Before anyone gets too excited it is still unclear exactly what Austin’s role as host on the show will be. Note he Steve Austin was announced as the host and not the head trainer or coach so I don’t expect to see Austin working with the kids or coming to the house (if there is one). My guess is that Austin will cut pre-taped segments to be spliced throughout the show. Any chance of Austin training with or interacting with the students probably wouldn’t happen until the finale if at all.
Once again I think this says a whole lot about the direction of Tough Enough and the commitment from all parties involved. I loved the first two seasons of the show but the contest went downhill in my opinion with the fourth season (The Miz’s season). The season or contest (since there was no actual show) was nothing more than a few weeks or ribs and mockery of the contestants. I couldn’t imagine that Steve Austin would associate with anything remotely close to that season. Austin’s involvement signifies a stronger commitment in my mind to making this a great show and not some kind of goofy NXT spinoff.
I am excited to the Rattlesnake back on television even if it only involves a few cutaways here and there. The show will also introduce a whole new generation of wrestling fans to Steve Austin. Austin’s last regular TV run was promoting his special referee gig for WrestleMania XXIII in 2007. He had a longer run between 2003-2004 as WWE GM and “Sheriff” of RAW, but has been a pretty infrequent WWE star over the last few years. Unfortunately for the WWE roster, the current generation of WWE fans will also soon see the difference between a megastar like Austin and a superstar like John Cena or Triple H.
WWE.com has some comments from the WWE Hall of Fame pro wrestler about his new gig. “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with my old friends at WWE on ‘WWE Tough Enough.’ Sports-entertainment has always been an important part of my life, and I look forward to finding the next generation of WWE Superstars,” said Austin.
[adinserter block=”1″]It appears from things I have read and heard that this edition of Tough Enough will cast experienced pro wrestlers unlike other seasons that looked for people with little to no pro wrestling experience that wanted to compete for a WWE contract. A few friends of mine that have been wrestling for years on the independent pro wrestling circuit have been contacted about possibly doing the show so I know for a fact that they were looking at some experienced wrestlers. This is what the UFC does with The Ultimate Fighter and I think it works out a lot better in the long run. I would also suspect that if the contestants already know how to wrestle and bump than the coaches will focus more on things like in-ring psychology and conditioning.
WWE Tough Enough returns for a fifth go-around on April 4, yes the day after WrestleMania 27 immediately after RAW. Tough Enough season five will air weekly at 8 PM/EST leading into RAW on the USA Network.
Check out the WWE – The Legacy of Stone Cold Steve Austin