WWE News: Hall Of Famer Reveals Why He Walked Out Of Company In 2002, Says Current Product Lacks Surprises

Back in 2002, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin famously no-showed an episode of Monday Night Raw, in which he was supposed to lose to Brock Lesnar in a King of the Ring tournament match. The incident led to the WWE Hall of Famer walking out of the company and being fined by Vince McMahon, and the superstar has expressed regret over his decision since then. However, on the latest episode of the Pardon My Take podcast, Austin revealed his reason for refusing to put Lesnar over.

As quoted by Sportskeeda, "The Rattlesnake" revealed that the rushed nature of the proposed match meant that neither superstar would have profited or benefitted from Austin eating the pin on an episode of WWE's flagship show. Instead, he wanted to build a more substantial storyline around a rivalry between the pair.

"I didn't show up because it wasn't time for me to do the favors yet for Brock in an unadvertised match in a tournament style TV match whereas, hey man, I love Brock Lesnar, I'd lose to him any day of the week, but build it up so we can all make money off of it and it's going to mean something."
In the end, the match didn't even happen at a later date. When Austin returned to action, he and Lesnar never crossed paths as opponents. The only time they did come into physical contact with each other was during a WrestleMania match between Lesnar and Goldberg, in which the Hall of Famer served as the special guest referee and delivered a couple of Stunners at the end.

A match between Lesnar and Austin is a dream bout for most WWE fans, but Austin has been retired for years and has no intention of making an in-ring comeback. However, he still keeps up to date with the modern product and believes that it's missing an element of surprise.

As quoted by NoDQ, the Hall of Famer believes that the sense of urgency that was commonplace during the Monday Night Wars has been lost in recent years. He recalls how old episodes of Monday Night Raw and WCW Nitro had a sense of "anything could happen," and that's what made those shows exciting.

"The Rattlesnake" also admitted that he regrets turning heel at WrestleMania 17. The match saw him retain his WWE Championship against The Rock following assistance from McMahon. However, Austin told Pardon My Podcast that if he could rewrite history, he would have delivered a Stunner on McMahon after the match and remained babyface.