Pat McAfee has claimed that WWE asked Stone Cold Steve Austin not to perform his signature middle finger salute at WrestleMania 38.
At WrestleMania 38, Stone Cold Steve Austin rolled back the years to defeat Kevin Owens in the main event of night one. The bout was Austin’s first in almost two decades, but despite this, he more than held his own against Owens, ensuring his in-ring career ended on a high.
On night two, Austin appeared again to come to the aid of Pat McAfee and deliver one more Stunner to WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
The moment came after McAfee has first defeated Austin Theory, before having his own clash with McMahon. Despite toasting his success with Stone Cold, he was also given a Stunner for good measure.
Speaking on his podcast, The Pat McAfee Show, the SmackDown announcer recalled watching Austin go through his legendary entrance before the shoe began. Although, McAfee said that despite Austin’s best efforts he was asked not to perform his middle figure salute during his entrance.
“He was working on coming out. And, you know, we’re in a different era now of the WWE than we were then. So, I got to watch this dude’s entrance within an empty stadium or whatever. He goes right to that top rope, f**king both fingers straight up in the air. He’s doing his whole thing. Then I see three producers running over [to him] ‘Can’t do that. Can’t do that.’ So he does it again. ‘Can’t do that.’
He was like, ‘Alright.’ So he just put his fist up or whatever. As I was watching him [at the show], I was wondering, ‘There’s no way he keeps that middle finger down, the middle finger from Steve Austin is coming at some point.’ Then last night, he had a couple.”
On the episode of Monday Night Raw after WrestleMania, Kevin Owens said that he was only beaten by Austin because he had suffered a back injury lifting (very heavy) weights. During the segment, Owens was interrupted by a returning Elias who claimed to not in fact be Elias, instead Ezequiel, his younger brother.
H/t to Ringside News for the transcription.