How Close Did Steve Austin Get To Wrestling At WrestleMania 39?

Steve Austin hits a Stunner on Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 38

At WrestleMania 38 Steve Austin rolled back the years to defeat Kevin Owens.

The WWE Hall of Famer had been officially retired since 2003 after he lost out to The Rock at WrestleMania 19. However, after being happily retired for almost 20 years, Austin was drawn back by the prospect of having one more match in Dallas, Texas where he began his career.

The match was praised across the board with Austin putting in a performance far beyond what many fans and experts believed he was capable of. Due to the success of this match, it was revealed that WWE attempted to get Austin back in the ring one more time. This was followed by reports that he had been offered matches with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 but turned both of them down.

A bout with Lesnar would be particularly intriguing for fans as Austin famously turned down a match with The Beast back in 2002. On that occasion plans called for Austin to lose to a recently debuted Lesnar in a King of the Ring qualifying match on Raw. Feeling that giving away what could be a major match with no build on free television, Austin refused to wrestle.

Back in 2023, Dave Meltzer notes in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that discussions about a WrestleMania 39 match with Roman Reigns were “never serious.” He added that those close to Austin said that he was approached about facing Lesnar, but turned the match down.

“As noted, there was an attempt for a Lesnar vs. Steve Austin match, as the two have never faced off. While there may have been mentions of Austin with Roman Reigns at one point, it was never anywhere near serious. Those close to Austin said it was Lesnar who he was approached about. Austin turned that down.”

Steve Austin Ruled Out Comeback

In recent months Austin has posted a series of workout videos on social media where he appears to be in incredible shape. This only added to speculation that he was training for a return to the ring. However, in typical Austin fashion, he stated that he’s not training for anything in particular, he just got tired of “looking like sh*t.”