In recent years, the WWE has made it a point to recruit some of the stars of yesteryear to make a one-time comeback at WrestleMania. Everyone from The Rock to The Undertaker to Triple H has done it, but one name has been left off.
Stone Cold Steve Austin.
Steve Carrier of All Wrestling News transcribed a recent interview between Austin and the crew of Busted Open on Sirius 92 and XM 208. During the radio show, Austin was asked if he would wrestle at WrestleMania 30.
While it wasn't a definitive answer, Austin offered insight into what could be:
Well I’m not going to put the cart in front of the horse. I’m not lobbying for a match. If the stars lined up, then it would happen, but it’s going to take a lot for those stars to line up. No sense in beating a dead horse. To think about it is one thing, to actually go out, come to terms and go through the business prep and actually accomplish a match, it’s a whole different ballgame and a major process.
It wasn't quite the answer fans were looking for, but it's a sign that Austin would be open to a match.
The Rattlesnake previously discussed his health, which has prevented him from participating in certain events with WWE, during the interview:
Oh I’m healthy enough. My knees coming around just fine, it’s better than it’s ever been because I’ve been doing my do diligence on my rehab. I’ve got two new ligaments. Everything else is pain free. I’m still in shape been working out harder than I’ve ever worked out. But here’s the deal. When you’re gonna try to commit to do a Wrestlemania 30, you’re looking really at, at least a two to three month commitment, if not four... To do it the way I would do it, to do it the way Stone Cold Steve Austin would do it, at a 120 percent. Because to go out there and to try to perform at 85-90 percent because you didn’t prep enough. That would be bogus, that would be BS that would be letting the crowd down. And that would be representing the Stone Cold Steve Austin that I know and love to a degree that is not acceptable. So once you throw a legitimate, real deal offer down on the table and say let’s talk, then we’ll talk. But until then, conjecture.
Austin, a six-time WWF champion and member of the WWE Hall of Fame, is one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of the industry. From his timeless catch phrases to his impeccable ring work, we've seen it all with Stone Cold.
Depending on what the WWE can pull together, we may be in store for an official send-off, as well.
It's important to note that, earlier in the interview, Austin said that a potential match between he and CM Punk could be an all-time great. With the contrasting styles and legendary personas each man possesses, there is no question that the intrigue is present.
With Austin needing the stars to line up, there's certainly something for the WWE to build toward between Austin and Punk.
It's unclear whether or not Austin would return in the same capacity as The Rock, who went on to become WWE champion to create a high-profile main event between he and John Cena. Spending months and multiple pay-per-views building up hype certainly seems to be different from what Austin described as ideal.
With that being said, we've seen The Undertaker make enough WrestleMania returns to develop an understanding for what the proper template would be.
WWE fans, and professional wrestling enthusiasts in general, collectively wish for the Texas Rattlesnake to make a return to the ring with each passing WrestleMania. While the legend has made the rare appearance, the wrestling world wants something more.
If the stars align, we may just get it.