Is Stone Cold Steve Austin fueling the Braves' hot late-season run?

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By , Audacy Sports

Everything is made better by the appropriate musical accompaniment — a morning job around the neighborhood, a long drive through the country, a key study session before a big test — and sports are no exception. Getting pumped up and feeling the adrenaline flowing to the right beat is a must-have not only for the athletes involved, but also for the fans in attendance who are looking for the fullest possible experience. And two sports come to mind where that music is more prominently featured than in any others: baseball and wrestling.

That's because every athlete involved has their own music that corresponds with their introduction to action, be it a clutch at-bat toward the end of a game, a high-stakes pitching appearance, or an entrance on to the biggest stage at WrestleMania. If you didn't get goosebumps when you heard "Enter Sandman" playing as Mariano Rivera strolled to the mound or when The Undertaker's bell tolled at the Royal Rumble, you're lying. Ditto for Chase Utley's "Kashmir" — you can admit it, Braves fans — and The Rock's "If You Smell" ringing throughout various arenas, only to get drowned out for the overwhelming crowd response.

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And, as of Thursday, August 12, 2021, ditto for Austin Riley using wrestling legend Stone Cold Steve Austin's famous entrance theme.

Not sure what that is or what it sounds like? Watch the following video — wrestling fan or not — and I dare you not to think it's cool when the audience goes absolutely ballistic upon hearing that recognizable blast of broken glass.

But I digress. Back to that fateful Thursday from this past summer, when the Braves lost to the Reds by a lopsided 12-3 score. Why was that eventful? Because it was also the first day that third baseman Austin Riley used Stone Cold's theme song for his own walk to the plate, per MLB.com's Mark Bowman, and it seems to have been a good move. Since then, as Twitter account @BravesStats noted, Riley has been raking and the Braves have been firing on all cylinders:

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Riley's breakout season has continued into the playoffs, too, slashing .364/.417/.682 with two home runs and some huge moments to this point in the Braves' run. His walk-off base knock in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 1 of the NLCS had the announcers on the Spanish language broadcast going crazy, calling him "Stone Cold Steve Austin Riley" at the 38-second mark of this clip. And in Game 2, his game-tying double in the bottom of the eighth had the Braves' team account acknowledging Riley's new tie to the WWF superstar while celebrating his awesome production.

We'll see if he can open up any more cans of whoop-ass on the Dodgers and continue this awesome run for this year's never-backing-down iteration of the Braves. If they keep up the play they've shown for the past few weeks, Riley could very likely be the hero, and that's the bottom line.

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