Update On Hogan, Austin, Foley On Smackdown Season Premiere


As announced on Smackdown this week, the season premiere of Smackdown on UPN on September 23rd will feature Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Stephanie McMahon, Vince McMahon and Mick Foley in taped interview segments. WWE believes doing this and advertising it in advance will boost ratings for Smackdown next week.

From the promo:

“Next week they’re back. Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Mick Foley, Stephanie McMahon, Mr. McMahon, and Stone Cold Steve Austin return for the fifth anniversary of Smackdown.”

Austin and McMahon are still on good terms despite the contract impasse from earlier this year, so his inclusion isn’t a major surprise.

However Hogan and McMahon did not end on good terms last summer when Hogan walked out on the Mr. America program, and it came as a mild surprise to see Hogan included. It does indicate that the McMahon family had softened its formerly hard-line stance not to bring Hogan back.

With arguably the two biggest draws in wrestling history being advertised for the show, expectations for the rating of Smackdown next week are high. It also will go a long way to determine the bargaining power both superstars have with WWE for future appearances or matches.

This was a last second idea by WWE as a ratings boost to attempt to bring back some big names to help the show go up against the other networks’ strong schedules, including “Survivor,” “Joey,” etc. Details of how they appear on the show — several segments, one taped segment — aren’t known, but with Steve Austin now living in Los Angeles and Hulk Hogan scheduled to be in L.A. to promote his daughter, the two will be fairly close to Arizona.

Credit: wrestlingobserver.com, pwtorch.com, 1wrestling.com, pwinsider.com

Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs