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Stone Cold Praises CM Punk, The Rock Honors Pat Patterson; Riddle-Lashley Rumors

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2020

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR 2K - WWE Hall of Famer and WWE 2K16 cover, Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin arrives on the red carpet at the WWE 2K SummerSlam Kickoff in New York, N.Y., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (Photo by Stuart Ramson/Invision for 2K/AP Images)
Stuart Ramson/Associated Press

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe. 

    

Stone Cold Talks History with CM Punk

If WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is the best talker in the history of the professional wrestling business, CM Punk isn't too terribly far behind.

Given their speaking ability and star power, Austin vs. Punk is a match fans have longed for over the years, and it may go down as one of the biggest dream matches that never took place.

While that match may not come to fruition, Austin and Punk have gotten quite friendly in recent years, and The Texas Rattlesnake dedicated a post to that fact on Instagram.

In that post, Austin shared a photo of himself and Punk from when Punk was a kid and a photo of them together in more recent years.

Austin also wrote the following caption:

"Throwing it back a couple of years ago and many years ago. First pic is a while back when CM Punk stopped by my place on the Mean Streets of Los Angle Eze. Marina del Rey to be exact. Same town George Strait sang about...

"Second pic is after a show at the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago. At the hotel/restaurant we always stayed at when we were in town. I think it was the Clarion or something like that. Anyway, Chicago would turn out to be one of my best towns to work. And the Rosemont was my fave building to work because of the acoustics there. You could hear everything instantly and it was loud. Crazy ass fans that you love to work for. The kid I met many years ago did pretty damn good for himself. Great worker in the ring and dynamite on a microphone."

Austin is now 56 years of age and hasn't competed in an actual match since 2003, while the 42-year-old Punk has been out of the wrestling game since the Royal Rumble in January 2014.

There was a time when Punk was at the top of the heap in WWE and Austin was making fairly regular appearances that it seemed possible they could lock horns in one of the biggest matches of all time.

However, it seems unlikely now that Austin has been out of the game for so long and Punk isn't necessarily champing at the bit to get back in the ring either.

Even if the match never does happen, it is fun to think about what could have been, especially considering how well their characters likely would have meshed.

    

The Rock Remembers 'Father Figure' Patterson

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the biggest stars in WWE history and is currently one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. On Thursday, he divulged that he owes some of his success to WWE Hall of Famer Pat Patterson.

Patterson died two weeks ago at the age of 79, and after gathering his thoughts and emotions, The Rock took to Instagram on Thursday to honor him.

The Rock posted a video in which he discussed the importance of Patterson to his life and career, and he included the following caption:

Been reconciling his death for a few weeks now

"This past January my father dies unexpectedly and a few weeks ago my father figure dies unexpectedly too. F'n 2020. We all have those defining moments and people in our lives where when we look back and connect all the dots....that decision or that person was the anchoring factor that set us on that path to where we are today. Pat Patterson was that person to me.

"This toast is for you Pat. I love you. I thank you. Now let’s hear, MY WAY one more time. At the end of this video when Pat is singing MY WAY to all our beloved wrestling legends - many of whom are now in heaven raising hell That visual kicked me in the gut. Very emotional. As if Pats up there in heaven singing to all of them right now. My dad included. See you boys down the road."

In the video, The Rock referred to Patterson as a father figure and one of his greatest mentors in the wrestling business.

He also expressed his belief that he may not have enjoyed the immense success he has if not for Patterson insisting that Vince McMahon give him a look and an opportunity when he was young and first breaking into the business.

Many wrestlers became as big as they did because of Patterson, but none reached the level of mega-stardom that The Rock has both inside and outside the world of pro wrestling.

It is difficult to envision a world without The Rock being a household name, but if not for Patterson, it may never have happened.

   

Lashley vs. Riddle Planned for Royal Rumble?

As Riddle's rivalry with the Hurt Business continues to heat up, a major match is reportedly in the works for the Royal Rumble in January.

According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), WWE's current plan is for Riddle to challenge Bobby Lashley for the United States Championship at the Rumble.

The issues between Riddle and the Hurt Business started several weeks ago when MVP got annoyed with Riddle and had Lashley take him out with the Full Nelson.

Since then, Riddle has entered into something of an alliance with Jeff Hardy, who has also been going up against Lashley in recent weeks.

Lashley has beaten Hardy with the Full Nelson in both a singles and tag team match, so it would make sense for Riddle to step up and defend Hardy's honor, which could then lead to a potential match at Royal Rumble.

Riddle has been a big part of Raw in recent weeks, primarily due to his comedic backstage segments, which have been featured quite heavily.

While Riddle is funny and entertaining, he is also a physically imposing wrestler who formerly competed in UFC, which makes him a legitimate threat to stand up to and beat a Superstar like Lashley.

Riddle has huge potential in WWE, and a win over Lashley at Royal Rumble would go a long way toward helping him realize it.

    

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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