“Stone Cold” Steve Austin enjoyed a homecoming to Madison Square Garden during last night’s episode of Monday Night RAW. In the run-up to his appearance, where he participated in a contract signing between WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman, Austin spoke with SI.com about coming back to MSG.
“Walking through those doors at the Garden is still special for me,” said Austin. “That’s the WWE’s backyard. Even though they’ve been away for a couple of years, that’s a very special building to Vince.”
Austin reflected on how some of the most iconic moments of his career took place at Madison Square garden, including delivering his first-ever Stone Cold Stunner on Vince McMahon in 1997. He shared that the MSG crowd is a “tough” audience, but “if you can win them over, you’ve really done something. It’s a crowd that you’ve got to work really hard for to earn their respect, and I love that about that building.”
Leaving The Garden
The passionate crowd had a very different reaction to you depending on whether you were a heel or babyface, as Austin recalled incidents with fans ripping mirrors in the heat of the moment.
“I remember when the business got so hot back in the day that when you would drive your rental car into the Garden, the fans would line up and wait for you on the way out,” Austin stated. “Depending on how over you were as a babyface or how much heat you had as a heel, they would tear off your side-view mirrors and rip off your antennas. People tearing up your automobile was almost like your reward for being over or having heat. We didn’t like it, but that was how it was. And eventually it started meaning something to us.”
He added how Vince McMahon would always be in attendance for WWE shows at MSG, even house shows. When he did, Austin added that everyone worked even harder than they already were because they knew Vince was watching them.