WrestleMania 31 was your typical yearly spectacle combining stars of yesteryear with the stars of today. Many WWE legends were on hand for the event, including Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Shawn Michaels, and more. One legend was conspicuous by his absence, though. That man is “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Austin was on hand last year for WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans, but he was not on hand at Levi’s Stadium this year for the biggest show of the year. According to a report by Dave Scherer at PWInsider, Austin was indeed invited by WWE to attend the show, and it was likely that they had something booked for him to participate in during the show. However, Austin chose to not attend and was not on-hand in California over the weekend at all. It was especially noticeable last night when Austin was not present at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in San Jose, a show that he has routinely sat in the front row at for several years now in a row.
The Scherer report notes that there is some kind of issue that has developed between Vince McMahon and Steve Austin, and that is the reason that Austin declined the invite to appear at WrestleMania weekend. The word going around backstage at WrestleMania was that the issue has to do with McMahon using Austin’s podcast on the WWE Network, though the specifics are not known at this time.
Steve Austin’s podcast has aired two live broadcasts on the WWE Network, though his two weekly podcasts (The Steve Austin Show and The Steve Austin Show: Unleashed) have been airing on the PodcastOne network online for quite some time. When the show has aired on the WWE Network, WWE has to give it a different name from what the show is called on PodcastOne. WWE Network just calls it the Stone Cold Podcast, though the audio from the WWE Network live interview specials have indeed been presented on the Steve Austin Show version posted on PodcastOne.
At this point, the issue between Austin and McMahon involving the podcast is not known. However, the fact that WWE announced during WrestleMania 31 that they will now be airing a live broadcast of Chris Jericho’s podcast next week (April 6) following WWE RAW (with special guest John Cena) is a sign that the issue between Austin and McMahon is significant. With only two live broadcasts so far on the network, WWE had planned on more live broadcasts in the future involving Steve Austin’s podcast.
[Image via BaltimoreSun.com]