Never say never in pro wrestling, right?
That cliche pops up often in the pro wrestling world because so many stars have a difficult time hanging up their boots. In a sport like baseball or basketball, performance on the field can quickly reveal when an athlete doesn’t have it anymore. That line can be trickier to find in pro wrestling because the outcomes are scripted, and there really aren’t any legitimate performance statistics inside the ring. The biggest performance metric is how much money and interest a wrestler brings to a promotion. That’s why Goldberg can keep coming back despite his reputation for godawful wrestling matches.
That’s a long-winded way of getting to the main focus of this post, which is that Steve Austin is one of the few pro wrestlers who has remained retired ever since he first stepped away from the ring; Austin has never wrestled again following his loss against The Rock at WrestleMania 19 in 2003.
Stone Cold is one of the biggest draws ever in the business, so plenty of fans have been hoping for one more match over the last 18 years. Austin even sounded somewhat open to the idea in 2011 when CM Punk became the hottest star in pro wrestling.
But it never happened, and it’s never going to happen. Speaking with Ryan Satin of Fox Sports, Austin made it quite clear that he has no interest in ever wrestling again. He mentions it while explaining how his podcast helps keep him connected to the wrestling business:
“I’m still the biggest fan of the business that I was when I was seven years old changing the channels and stumbled across it; and then got the chance to learn it and have a pretty good run.
So, I don’t want to do nothing else in the ring. I’m done. I’ve retired. Everybody knows that. I don’t need to go out there and drop anybody on a stack of dimes and give them stunners. Once in a year, once every two years, whatever. So, yes. This connection makes sense.”
Steve Austin is 56 years old and might think that everybody knows he is retired, but I can guarantee him that someone out there still believes there is a chance he’ll return to the ring. When 61 year old Sting shows up in AEW and talks about doing cinematic matches, naturally some fans will keep hoping for the impossible. Never say never in pro wrestling, after all.
It’s clear that one more match is not in the cards for Austin. I will say, though, that his most recent appearance on Raw produced one of the worst segments of 2020. It was the first empty arena episode of Raw in March during the coronavirus pandemic. Austin was involved in a comedy segment with Byron Saxton and Becky Lynch that totally bombed, aside from damaging his foot on Saxton’s junk. So even though Steve will never wrestle again, he’ll at least have to come back once the pandemic is over to make up for that dud.
Are you still interested in seeing Stone Cold return to WWE once or twice a year to dish out some stunners while promoting his current projects? Or is there a more creative way to book him when interacting with WWE’s current roster?