Don't hold out for the sound of breaking glass to hit; "Stone Cold" Steve Austin says it's unlikely he'll ever return to the ring.
Being as huge of a star in the WWE as Austin was makes it hard for fans to let go. Despite being retired and approaching 50 years old, rumors of him making a return for a big bout at WrestleMania are as common as a heel using cheating to win.
In an interview on The MMA Hour, via WrestlingInc.com, Austin spoke about a potential return to the ring and fans hoping for another match aren't going to like what he said.
Austin said that the chances of him returning "are pretty damn slim, to be frank about it."
As to why, he explained, "It took me three years to get the business out of my system. Withdrawal would be a good way to put it. I got through those three years, and hell, it's been eleven years since I've been in the ring."
"The Texas Rattlesnake" hasn’t just been away from in-ring action for more than a decade. He is 48 years old and nowhere near the man we remember stomping a mudhole. Consider how many surgeries he's had on his knees and neck over the years and Austin's answer is really no surprise.
It is disheartening, though.
Pro wrestling fans have trouble letting legends walk away. There's always one more dream match out there, even if a performer is far past his prime.
Austin doesn't want to follow Ric Flair's path, wrestling on a broken body, washing away memories of his greatest moments with new ones of him limping around.
The beer-chugging former WWE champ said that he doesn't "want to go out there and do 90 percent of 'Stone Cold,' that's not who and what I am."
Fans hoping for a CM Punk vs. Austin match at WrestleMania XXX can put that dream match to bed. Everything from Austin's interview points to him staying retired.
Austin is already in the WWE Hall of Fame, he's already created a lasting legacy and is now busy in his post-wrestling career. As empty as it feels to think that we've seen the last of Austin, it's better than watching a legend fumble for greatness that has since eluded them.