Back in March of 2003, Stone Cold Steve Austin had what we’d later find out would be his final match against The Rock at WrestleMania 19. Since then, WWE fans have constantly been asking the same question: will Stone Cold ever return for one more match?
Following a live podcast with Paul Heyman in the summer of 2015, fans began to believe that Austin was going to return to the ring at WrestleMania 32 against Brock Lesnar. But, even though Austin teased an in-ring return against The Beast during his conversation with Heyman, he ultimately didn’t have a match with the ex-UFC heavyweight champion this past spring.
Even though it’s been 13 years since we last saw Austin wrestle, fans are still interested in seeing him step into the ring again, and on the latest edition of his podcast — the Steve Austin Show— the Texas Rattlesnake addressed a possible return to the ring. Long story short, he’s not coming back.
“I’m 52, and I get these e-mails all the time saying ‘Steve, why don’t you make a comeback? So and so did it. Goldberg did it.’ Man I’m happy for all my friends who make comebacks, and Bill [Goldberg] going in and beating Brock Lesnar, that was awesome. So maybe they’re lining [up the rematch] for WrestleMania 33 down there in Orlando. But I ain’t making no comeback. I had someone cuss me out on an e-mail the other day saying that they hated my guys because I wouldn’t do a comeback. Man, I’m done!”
Stone Cold’s response to the comeback question was the same response that he’s given for the better part of the last five years or so. At one point, Austin did entertain the idea of coming back for one more match against CM Punk. He even considered getting in the ring with Brock Lesnar. But, for whatever reason, the Texas Rattlesnake decided to not come out of retirement.
Austin deciding to not return to the ring at this past year’s WrestleMania 32— which was in his home state of Texas — should’ve let fans know that he isn’t planning on having another match. Of course, he did appear on the show along with fellow WWE legends Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels. But, it was for a short, and quite memorable, in-ring segment with The New Day and the League of Nations.
When Austin retired from wrestling in the spring of 2003, he was only 38 years old. His retirement came just five years after he had become the most popular WWE superstar in company history. He was pretty much forced out of wrestling due to a condition known as spinal stenosis, which ended the careers of fellow WWE Hall of Famers Edge and Sting.
Since he retired, there have been a ton of opponents on the table for him if he chose to come back for another match. The most notable opponent, and possibly the one that he would’ve drawn the most money with if the match would’ve happened at the right time, is Hulk Hogan, who has been campaigning for a match with Stone Cold for the better part of the last decade.
It looks like Austin’s next WWE appearance, which will be a non-wrestling appearance of course, will be at the 2017 Royal Rumble in San Antonio, Texas. According to Cageside Seats, WWE has already reached out to Austin, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels — all of which are Texas natives — and they’ve asked them to be a part of the event.
Even though Steve Austin has made it clear that he’s not planning on having another match, WWE fans will likely continue to ask him about a comeback for many more years to come.
[Featured Image by WWE]