WWE Hall Of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin could be set to wrestle for the first time in 19 years with a new report saying that WWE is booking towards his return.
Everything is bigger in Texas and WrestleMania will be no different when it returns to the Lone Star State over two nights in early April. Eyebrows were raised by fans when Kevin Owens began referencing Texas in his most recent promos but few could have envisioned what WWE reportedly has up their sleeve.
According to a report from Fightful Select, WWE has made a “significant overture” to draw Steve Austin out of retirement. The Texas Rattlesnake has not competed since his retirement at WrestleMania 19, so if he were to return to action, it would be his first time competing in 19 years.
Now on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer has reported that Steve Austin’s name was on a lot of lips backstage at Raw, and with Owens referencing Texas, he believes WWE has a match between the two men in mind for The Grandest Stage Of Them All:
“[WWE] have a lot of tickets left to sell. The impression I have is the match is on, I mean that’s why [Owens] has started doing the promos. I know that backstage at WWE all day that’s all I kept hearing about – not all I kept hearing about but I heard it early in the day and then kept checking around and then more people were saying they heard the same thing.”
“I don’t know if it’s a done deal but people were talking about it like it was. The Owens’ promo was a dead giveaway.”
“Austin hasn’t wrestled in […] 19 years. He’s had a lot of offers, he was supposed to come back that one time if you remember, it was Coachman and somebody against Austin and JR for JR’s job and they booked it for Austin to lose and so he injured his back moving furniture somehow and could not make the match.”
“I know there was interest in Japan for big money. In recent years Saudi Arabia would have paid him $2 million a match to come back probably. He’s had opportunities and why he would do it now but I don’t know. Maybe he’s at this point in life where he just wants to do it one more time just do it. Austin’s 57 but man, if he waits any longer he’d be really pushing it, and he’s maybe pushing it at 57 to do it.”
“Obviously, there would be a lot of money involved. WWE does have a lot of money and Vince spends a lot of money on the top guys and this would be a big-money match just having Austin back and I think they feel, look they’re in a wrestling war, they wanna gain interest.”
“I think Rock would mean more but obviously, Rock schedule-wise wasn’t able to do it this year and wanted to save his return for Los Angeles. So Austin’s the biggest name they’ve got out there to do it. I was not told it was a done deal but people were under the assumption that it was and [Owens’] promo clearly tells you that they are booking with the idea that it is happening, kinda unexpected but there you go.”
Meltzer also reported that an even more shocking name could be set for a WWE return with AEW’s Cody Rhodes still to sign a new contract with the company he helped found.
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