It’s hard to believe that it’s been a little over twelve years since the last time “Stone Cold” Steve Austin competed in a WWE ring, and ever since Austin stepped away from actively wrestling on WWE’s roster, WWE fans have always asked one question; will the “Texas Rattlesnake” ever break out the black tights and lace up the black boots ever again?
When WWE fans talk about Austin coming out of retirement — especially after CM Punk left WWE back in January of last year — it seems that none of them ever have an opponent for him. Brock Lesnar’s name has been thrown out there as a possible opponent for Austin, and while a potential match between “The Beast” and “WWE’s Toughest SOB” would unquestionably fill up AT&T Stadium, Brock Lesnar has now cemented his style in the ring, and Austin — who will be north of 50 by the time next year’s “Texas sized” WrestleMania takes place, and was forced into retirement due to a neck issue — probably won’t want to take a dozen German Suplexes.
The article on WWE.com is teasing a fourth match at WrestleMania between “Stone Cold” and The Rock, but it does seem like The Rock will be taking on Triple H on WWE’s grandest stage next year. But, everything is always subject to change.
Some WWE fans may want to see “Stone Cold” take on Hulk Hogan, but back in 2008, Austin did an interview for WrestleCast in the UK, and said that he wasn’t interested in facing Hogan because he didn’t think it would be a very good match due to Hogan’s age, and due to both of their in-ring styles. Austin has since admitted that he regrets never having a program of any significance with Hogan, but if Austin was worried about Hogan’s age and style seven years ago, then a match between the two in 2016 is completely off the table.
“It would be a rotten match. You know Hogan’s style, you know my style. Believe me, I can still do my style… he can barely do his. I don’t think that if you put those two elements in the ring, with the ingredients you have there… I don’t see that match working.”
Randy Orton’s name has been thrown out there as a possible opponent for Austin, and of the current available options, that would probably be the most likely to happen, unless CM Punk surprised everyone and returned to WWE before next year’s WrestleMania. Orton has been compared to Austin in the past, and with Orton being one of, if not the best worker in the company, it’s a match that could lure Austin out of retirement.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s last match took place on March 30, 2003, where he took on The Rock at WrestleMania 19 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The match between the two was to give The Rock his first ever win over Austin at WrestleMania, as “The Great One” had gone 0-2 against Austin on WWE’s grandest stage. Before the match began, Austin was one of the few people who knew it would be his last match, and in a short, behind-the-scenes look at WrestleMania 19, Austin said that’s just how he wanted it, saying “really, who cares if it’s my last match?”
The night before Austin’s final encounter with The Rock, he was admitted to the hospital after combining stress with mass caffeine consumption, and in the words of Austin’s good friend, and WWE Hall of Fame announcer, Jim Ross, Austin believed that he was going to die that night. There was even some question as to if Austin was even going to be able to wrestle the next night, but Austin made sure that he did.
What WWE fans have seemed to be puzzled by over the years is the abruptness of Austin’s departure from the squared-circle. Nobody knew that his match with The Rock was going to be his last hurrah, and the WWE fans didn’t get a chance to give him a proper farewell. So, if Austin does come back for one last match against whoever, WWE should, and likely would, give him a Ric Flair-like sendoff, because there’s no WWE legend who deserves more than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.