Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Stone Cold Steve Austin, Drew McIntyre and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2021

Backstage WWE Rumors: Latest on Stone Cold Steve Austin, Drew McIntyre and More

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Could the biggest hellraiser in WWE history make his presence felt at WrestleMania 38 in Dallas?

    WWE is reportedly hoping so.

    The potential for an appearance by "Stone Cold" Steve Austin on wrestling's grandest stage is just one topic at the forefront of this collection of WWE rumors and innuendo.

    Joining it is the revelation of who might next challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship after Day 1, as well as the current possibility of no-cut clauses in WWE contracts.

WWE Wants Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 38

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    WWE wants "Stone Cold" Steve Austin to be a part of WrestleMania 38 in Dallas, per WrestleVotes.

    "Not in a wrestling role, but a meaningful part of the event outside of just appearing. Up to creative at this point," the report states.

    It's no surprise, really. Austin is as beloved in Texas as any Superstar ever has been and was featured in the video package announcing the event's return to The Lone Star State. Furthermore, he is an icon and the biggest star in company history. It would be foolish for WWE not to look for ways to involve him in the telecast.

    As Austin has stated countless times before, though, the creative has to be right. He is not the type to soul his reputation or his aura in the name of some hastily thrown-together nonsense. It has to be meaningful or he will simply stay home.

    Austin has a history of appearing at WrestleMania in a guest capacity.

    In 2007, he officiated The Battle of the Billionaires and joined Bobby Lashley and reality star Donald Trump in shaving the evil Mr. McMahon's head. Four years later, he officiated the surprisingly high-profile match between Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler.

    In 2014, he shared the ring with The Rock and Hulk Hogan in the most electric promo segment in the event's history.

    Stone Cold will add to the show, from a star power perspective if nothing else. Here's hoping WWE Creative can put something together worth bringing him into the fold for the extravaganza.

Vince McMahon Not Interested in No-Cut Clauses

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    Vince McMahon has no interest in "no-cut" clauses for any new talent signing contracts with WWE, reported Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select.

    "We're told that the subject of no-cut clauses was broached and that several people of influence within the company were open to that, but eventually talent was told it isn't negotiable or something WWE was willing to utilize in their deals at this point. Specifically, Fightful has learned that Vince McMahon had been adamantly against it."

    Such a report shouldn't surprise anyone considering the owner of the billion-dollar wrestling company went on television Monday night and made light of the 80-plus roster cuts he made in 2021, reminding both Austin Theory and the viewing world that he "likes firing people."

    It is harder to do that if a contract explicitly states it cannot be done for a specified period of time.

    From a business perspective, implementing such a clause would take considerable power out of the hands of management and prevent them from whimsically releasing talent it either had no plans for, had no intention of utilizing, or wanted to chalk up to "budget cuts."

    It's no surprise McMahon would consider it a non-starter.

Drew McIntyre to Challenge Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble?

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    Paul Davis of WrestlingNews.co reported that Drew McIntyre is likely to be Universal champion Roman Reigns' opponent at this year's Royal Rumble, citing house show lineups that have The Scottish Warrior battling The Head of the Table in tag team main events.

    The last time the two battled on a pay-per-view stage, it was the 2020 Survivor Series and the match was one of the best of the year.

    McIntyre was recently robbed of an opportunity to challenge Reigns for the Universal Championship when Adam Pearce inexplicably prevented him from competing in a battle royal.

    The former WWE champion will battle Madcap Moss at Day 1 in what is, hopefully, the culmination of a terrible television feud that has helped no one involved.

    McIntyre is a fantastic wrestler and has earned the opportunity to compete for the title in front of a live audience, something that eluded him during his main event run in 2020. Against the top star in the industry, in front of what is sure to be a red-hot St. Louis crowd, he will thrive.

    Whether he walks away with the title is another question, with an answer he isn't likely to appreciate as Reigns preps for a big WrestleMania 38 showdown.

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