For those of you holding your breath in hopes of a WrestleMania 29 dream match between CM Punk and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, please stop now before you pass out.
It's not going to happen.
A match between these two would be amazing. Their respective personas are complete opposites, so the perfect setup is there for the easy taking.
CM Punk can moan about his lack of respect, while continuing to promote his straight edge lifestyle of no alcohol or drugs. He can talk about being the best WWE Champion of all time.
Insert the Rattlesnake.
It makes sense to have Austin be the man who delivers the stone-cold truth to Punk with all the cliches of earning respect, not caring what others think and just kicking butt.
Of course, Austin's (kayfabe) lack of respect for anyone and propensity to drink while on the job make him the perfect counterpart.
And can you imagine the promos?
Add in that both appear on the cover of the new WWE '13 video game and a brief war of words on Twitter, and the bricks have already been laid.
If you're CM Punk, you want this match to happen.
Unfortunately for Punk, and all of us really, it's up to one guy: Steve Austin.
So far, it doesn't look likely.
First of all, Austin hasn't wrestled since 2003. He has appeared on numerous occasions, but only in non-wrestling roles. Just because he can still deliver a wicked Stone Cold Stunner, doesn't mean he can still wrestle.
You see, Austin retired due to injuries.
He's not just a former wrestler who continues to have the itch for "one more go" even though he's retired several times (See, Ric Flair).
Steve Austin should not physically wrestle.
If Austin doesn't believe he's 100 percent, the man won't do it.
In a blog post via BrokenSkullRanch.com, the Rattlesnake explained his absence from WWE's historic 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw was due to recent knee surgery and the need for crutches:
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN IS A 100% [expletive] KICKING MACHINE. There was no way I was going to limp down the ramp on crutches for RAW 1,000. It was time to get my knee fixed. The decision to no-show RAW 1,000 was made by me and no one else. I have always taken pride in making my shots and have never faked an injury or illness. Pro Wrestling is a tough game and it was time to pay the piper for some of the damage I incurred in the ring.
Will Steve Austin ever wrestle again?
Stone Cold would have just six months to rehab his knee, let alone get into wrestling shape for a WrestleMania 29 match.
Read his blog further, and you'll find out Austin seems legitimately happy living a slower-paced lifestyle. Referencing his Texas property, The Broken Skull Ranch, he says, "I bought the ranch. Mission accomplished. Dream realized."
Throw in three movie roles in 2012, another in 2013 and hosting duties for Redneck Island and Austin has little time left to spare.
Then you have to consider the WrestleMania 29 card.
Already, fans know The Rock and The Undertaker are extremely likely to be in the mix. One hypothesis would be that The Rock will face John Cena in the main event for the WWE Championship. Brock Lesnar may be WM29's guy to go after Taker's streak.
After the World Heavyweight Championship, Tag Team titles, Diva Championship and other one-on-one matches between top-name, current superstars, there isn't much room for more.
WrestleMania 29 is already stacked.
Still not convinced? Think Steve Austin is a warrior and any reports otherwise are there to throw us all off the trail?
How about this tweet from his good friend Jim Ross: "Sources/'media' saying @steveaustinbsr will wrestle at WM29 have zero credibility. Less than zero. IF Austin ever returns, HE'LL make call."
Austin re-tweeted it.
It seems pretty clear, WrestleMania 29 is out of the question.
But what about a WrestleMania 30 match between CM Punk and Steve Austin?
According to PWInsider (h/t: 24Wrestling.com), Stone Cold will wrestle in one final match, hopefully at WrestleMania 30 in 2014.
After retiring because of injuries and what will be 11 years away from the ring (by 2014), even this seems doubtful. There's no way of telling what Austin's psyche and health will be like a year and a half from now. So much could change.
The chances are less than 50-50.
Will it be against CM Punk? Similarly, it's difficult to predict Punk's status this far in advance.
He might be in TNA.
Okay, that also doesn't seem likely, but it could happen.