Earlier this year, following the Stone Cold Podcast on the WWE Network with Paul Heyman, it looked like WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was finally going to come out of retirement, and face Brock Lesnar at next year’s WrestleMania 32 in Austin’s home state of Texas.
Shortly after the podcast, Austin made it clear that he was not going to be facing Lesnar at WrestleMania, and, furthermore, he has no plans of coming out of retirement.
Then, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that Vince McMahon was annoyed that Steve Austin and Paul Heyman did what they did on the podcast, saying that McMahon didn’t like that they were hyping a match that isn’t going to happen.
Meltzer also reported that Vince McMahon doesn’t want Austin to return to the ring due to his history of neck issues, which forced him to retire in 2003.
On Tuesday, during the closing moments of the Steve Austin Show with wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page, “Stone Cold” reiterated that he is not going to wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32, and he told everybody to take his name out of the rumor-mill.
“Lots of speculation, people saying that I’m one of the potential opponents for Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32. No, that’s BS reporting from a bunch of people trying to get click-bait. Some people said, ‘You started it on the podcast when Paul Heyman asked you that question.’ Hey man, I cut a little promo, and I dismissed those rumors on my podcast. I ain’t wrestling nobody at WrestleMania, end of story. So, go ahead and take my name off the list of potential opponents.”
The Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania rumor died down shortly after the podcast with Paul Heyman, but the rumor picked up steam again when WWE announced Brock Lesnar’s “Go To Hell” tour, which includes an appearance on Steve Austin’s podcast on the WWE Network, and many believed that the two men would further tease a match at WrestleMania 32.
WWE fans have been wanting to see Austin vs. Lesnar for quite some time now, and with good reason. Both are two of the biggest stars in WWE history, and, they almost wrestled each other in 2002, but Austin ended up walking out of the company.
When Austin returned to the company in 2003, he only had two matches. One with Eric Bischoff, and the other was with The Rock, which ended up being his retirement match. At the time, nobody knew it was going to be Austin’s retirement match beforehand.
After his in-ring career ended, Austin returned as the co-general manager of RAW, and he had a brief television feud with Brock Lesnar, which, of course, didn’t lead to a match. However, Lesnar and Austin did have a few physical confrontations, and Lesnar ended up leaving WWE for the NFL shortly thereafter.
WWE fans are going to continue to think that Steve Austin is going to wrestle Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania no matter how many times Austin says that he’s not, as the fans will think that he’s just saying he’s not coming back so he won’t spoil the surprise.
So, with Austin once again taking his name off the list, and with The Rock likely wrestling Triple H at WrestleMania 32, there are really only two guys that Lesnar could wrestle at the event, and those two men are Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
WWE wants to do a Reigns vs. Lesnar rematch, where Reigns comes out on top. However, Rollins and Lesnar do have unfinished business, and if Rollins is still the WWE Champion going into WrestleMania, Lesnar could end up being his challenger.
[Images via WWE]