WWE Rumors: Stone Cold Declined Reigns, Lesnar Matches and Won't Wrestle at 'Mania 39January 31, 2023
After returning to the ring at WrestleMania 38 last year, WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin reportedly turned down the opportunity to compete at WrestleMania 39.
According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), Austin was offered matches against Brock Lesnar or Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39, but he rejected the pitches.
Meltzer added that Austin could have chosen anyone on the roster to work with. However, he decided that he didn't want to wrestle at the show.
Although a second consecutive WrestleMania featuring a Stone Cold match reportedly isn't in the cards, Meltzer noted that it is still possible Austin could appear at WrestleMania 39 and do a non-wrestling angle.
Austin retired after his WrestleMania 19 match against The Rock because of numerous injuries, but 19 years later, he made his in-ring return at WrestleMania 38 against Kevin Owens.
In his home state of Texas, Stone Cold accepted Owens' invitation to appear on The KO Show, but it turned into an impromptu No Holds Barred match that headlined Night 1 of WrestleMania 38.
Despite being 57 years old at the time of the match and nearly two decades out of the business, Austin acquitted himself well and had the Dallas crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.
Fightful Select (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News) recently reported that WWE offered Austin huge money to wrestle at WrestleMania 39, with the monetary offer increasing significantly from the initial pitch of a Lesnar match to the later pitch of a Reigns match.
While Austin against either of those Superstars would have been a huge deal, it looks like they are now in line for matches against full-time roster members on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
In his first match back since suffering a torn pectoral muscle in June, Cody Rhodes won the men's Royal Rumble match, and he subsequently challenged Reigns to an undisputed WWE Universal Championship match at WrestleMania 39.
Meanwhile, Lesnar has continued his rivalry with Bobby Lashley, as he cost him the United States Championship last week before Lashley got revenge by eliminating Lesnar from the Royal Rumble.
Reigns vs. Rhodes and Lesnar vs. Lashley are unquestionably WrestleMania-caliber matches, and while not having Austin this year will hurt the star power a bit, it seems the door is still open for Austin to wrestle again in the future if he wants to.
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