Stone Cold Steve Austin is getting in front of the WrestleMania comeback rumors early. The former WWE champion was recently asked about a comeback on his podcast and it would certainly appear that he has nailed that door shut.
Around this time every year we start to hear rumblings of a Stone Cold Steve Austin comeback at WrestleMania. There are a lot of reasons for this, although the rumors are generally driven by wishful thinking on social media. However, the return of Bill Goldberg has gotten the hopes up for many fans wishing to see the Texas Rattlesnake one more time. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen.
While Austin has been out of the ring for well over a decade, he physically looks more than capable to step inside of the ring, which I would imagine fuels these rumors. The rumors hit a fever pitch in recent years after he filmed a promotional angle with CM Punk and he teased a match with Brock Lesnar last year on his podcast with Paul Heyman. Right on cue, Austin addressed these rumors on a recent podcast but his tone was much different than in recent years.
“I’m 52, and I get these emails all the time asking why I don’t come back. They’ll say, so and so did it. Goldberg did it, and you know what, I’m happy for all my friends that are making comebacks. Bill [Goldberg] going in and beating Brock Lesnar was awesome, setting it up for WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, but I’m not making no comeback. I had someone cuss me out on the email the other day saying that they hated my guts because I wouldn’t do it a comeback, but listen, I’m done. I road off into the sunset in 2003, whenever it was, after WrestleMania 19; came back for a couple of appearances, but I’m done, and I’m happy being done, and I don’t want the pressure of having another match on my shoulders, because I don’t have to have another match because I’m satisfied with the career that I had. I appreciate everyone that had supported my career. Pro Wrestling has spring boarded every endeavor that I am involved in right now, and I love the business, and the WWE and all the organizations that I work for, but man, I’m done. It’s like when we did that last DVD, but I’m enjoying my time outdoors, and the things I want to spend my time with right now that I am passionate about, like learning how to do Long-Range Shooting for example. I’m working on stuff that I want to do and I really don’t want to go back to the business. The wrestling business is now for the younger generation that is in there right now, and you do it for as long as you can, and you then ride off into the sunset and adjust accordingly. I’ve adjusted accordingly. I have so many great memories of the wrestling business. I’ve worked real hard to get to the top, and how many flukes and breaks to have happened that had allowed me to have the success that I did. For the Goldberg and everyone else that wants to make a comeback, man, I sit there and watch, and I am cheering for them, and wanting to see great matches, and wanting people to cheer for them, and like them, but I’m done brother, I really am. I’m happy that I am done because I’m happy with where I am at right now in my life. I’m done, I don’t need a comeback; end of story.” – credit for translation.
What’s different about this answer than any answer I have read him give in the past is the definitive no. In previous years he has always left the door opening by either saying he’d never say never or suggesting that for the right price and with enough time to train he’d be up for it. There were no “what-ifs” in his answer this year, it was a definitive no and if you take him at his word, he’s done.
Like it or not, you have to respect the man for choosing to preserve his legacy in favor of a big payoff. I am fairly certain he could write his own check for a comeback but at the end of the day, if he thought he could pull it off he’d do it and the fact that he won’t leads me to conclude that it’s the best decision for everyone.