Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash walked back onto WWE television on February 17th, 2002 and not everyone, including Steve Austin, was happy about it.
During their previous respective runs with the company, the trio was known for not being afraid to use their political power backstage. Hogan earned his reputation during the late ’80s and 1990s, while Hall and Nash gained a level of infamy during their time as part of The Kliq.
This meant that when they returned, there was some resistance from WWE’s existing roster. Speaking on a recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show, WWE legend Angle said that Steve Austin was particularly hesitant about the return of the trio.
“I mean, he wasn’t the happiest person in the world. We would talk every once in a while, and I think he was a little bit hesitant as far as getting all these guys in here at one time because they were very political in the past, and I don’t think Steve wanted to deal with that. And I think that was a little bit of the reason. But you know, when you have Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and everybody else coming in all at once, it’s kind of overwhelming. Like, ‘Okay, where am I going to be on the card?’ … I think that Steve was a little bit hesitant on the politics of it, what they would do politically to try to make their way up above him.”
While Hogan squared off against The Rock at WrestleMania 18, Austin met Scott Hall, not that he was happy about it. The star made no secret of his displeasure at his match with Hall, which only added to the frustration he was already experiencing backstage. Just three months later, Austin walked out and “took his ball and went home.”
Steve Austin Turned Down Multiple Matches For WrestleMania 39
Just a year after facing Scott Hall, Steve Austin retired following his defeat to The Rock at WrestleMania 19. The star stayed retired for 19 years until lacing up his boots one more time at WrestleMania 38 to meet Kevin Owens.
The match was heavily praised by fans and went so well that Austin was reportedly open to wrestling again. This led to multiple matches being pitched for Austin at WrestleMania 39. It was recently reported that he turned down a match with Brock Lesnar, and didn’t respond to an offer to face Roman Reigns. However, the story doesn’t end there. The report added that WWE has continued to make pitches, including a match with LA Knight.
H/t to Wrestling Inc