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WWE on USA: Not Just Raw

USA Network is gearing up for next Monday’s return of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s Raw from Spike TV with a three-hour live show beginning at 7:55 p.m. (EST).

Don’t be surprised, though, if next year, you see WWE star “Stone Cold” Steve Austin starring in a scripted action series on the character-driven service, as well as grappling and guzzling beer cans on Raw.

That’s the word from USA president Bonnie Hammer, who said Austin and other WWE wrestlers could appear as stars of upcoming skeins and movies as part of the network’s new multiyear agreement with WWE to telecast its popular Monday-night wrestling franchise.

While nothing is etched in stone, Hammer said she could envision a WWE-tinged series that could either lead into or follow Raw on Monday to keep WWE fans and action-programming buffs locked onto the network in primetime.

WWE is already influencing USA’s original-programming projects: veteran wrestling star Rowdy Roddy Piper is set to star in a USA original Christmas flick, Three Wise Guys, later this year.