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[1998-01-12-WWF-Raw] Interview: Steve Austin / Steve Austin on MTV

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Stone Cold pulls his pickup truck into the arena to a thunderous reaction. He gives a in-ring interview with Cole and has the crowd going crazy. Stone Cold says he wont be hard to find a the Rumble drawing tonight and marks himself with a bullseye. Austin doesn't want any BS from anyone in the WWF. Thats the bottom line is now a full blown slogan. Austin is looking more like the man every week.

 

Clips were shown from MSG for the Celebrity Death Match Promo for MTV. This was about as good as they could do in making Austin a spokesman without a sell out.

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I also thought they did a good job toeing the line between promoting Austin's involvement with Celebrity Death Match while at the same time sticking to his character. Ross' line (paraphrasing) that he doesn't know what MTV is thinking making Austin a spokesperson was a nice way to sell that. I started watching wrestling on a weekly basis in the Fall of 1998 but I am fairly sure I was logging significant time with Celebrity Death Match before then. It might have been my first exposure (in a roundabout way) to pro wrestling.

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I wonder what happened to this Austin truck. They give it away. Is it like sitting in someone’s garage or did they drive it around all the time. Be something to still see it on the road. Amused that when Austin talks he holds up Cole’s hand with mic.

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Austin is awesome. He takes a pin from Michael Cole to draw a target on his chest when Cole insinuates that everyone is coming after him. I love that Austin was cutting great traditional wrestling promos, but sadly, no one really seemed interested in copying that aspect of his persona. The Celebrity Death Match stuff was cool to see and one of the first signs that Austin's popularity was starting to go beyond pro wrestling.

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Quick and dirty segment, with Austin mentioning how the rug was pulled out from under him last year. Austin welcomes being a target at the live Rumble drawing later tonight. Later we go to MSG where Austin hypes up Celebrity Deathmatch Death Bowl '98--yep, I remember watching that. The Super Bowl was just nearing the end of being sort of a highly-rated joke at this point, as the days of annual NFC blowouts would come to a halt. Counterprogramming halftime, though, was just getting started.

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Pinnacle Austin. The bulls eye was a helluva touch. I wonder if Russo takes credit for that as well. A great build to the Royal Rumble match itself. Easy to see why WWF is about to take over from WCW for good.

 

RATING: Oh. Hell. Yeah.

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Great segment. Austin pulls into the building in a truck. He's so over at this point it's ridiculous. He said last year he got screwed after the Rumble controversy & that won't happen again this year. Cole says he has a target on him so Austin takes Cole's pin & draws a target on his chest daring the other Rumble participants to come after him. Austin is tremendous.

 

I couldn't find the MTV commercial. It's possible I skipped over it. I loved Celebrity Death Match.

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