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WWE’s Odd Relationship With Stone Cold Steve Austin

Why would a major sports organization distance itself from the legacy of one of its most monumental players of all time, barring criminal circumstances? It wouldn’t make such sense would it? Which is why I don’t understand why the WWE continues to distance itself from Stone Cold Steve Austin?

I have thought about this a lot over the last few months, especially after watching the Stone Cold Steve Austin documentary last year on Netflix. Nobody other than Hulk Hogan arguably had a bigger impact on WWE history than Austin. Yet Austin rarely shown the respect a legend of his status in any other business would receive. What does Vince McMahon have against the Texas Rattlesnake?

The beauty of the Steve Austin podcast is that Austin continues to update his fans on his relationship with the WWE. Without saying a whole lot, he has said enough to drive a conspiracy theory. Austin has said that he was contacted at the last minute to appear at the WWE Network event. If that wasn’t disrespectful enough, Austin said at a recent backstage appearance at RAW that nobody approached him about a role at WrestleMania 30. Austin went on to say that he’d love to be there but nobody has called. How do you not call the second biggest star in the last 40 years of professional wrestling?

A recent report indicated that the creative team was trying to come up with a storyline for Austin to be there. Trying to come up with a storyline? How difficult is that? I don’t understand why this team needs so much time to deliberate on using Stone Cold. He is a slam dunk anywhere on the card. I don’t know about you but Steve Austin would sure look good in a referee’s shirt standing between Daniel Bryan and Triple H.

It would be one thing if Austin was out making movies like The Rock, working for the competition like Hulk Hogan was doing or had a falling out with the company like Bruno Sammartino. But Austin is different. He’s available and he’s made it quite clear over the last several weeks on his podcast. Austin may not be waiting by his phone but why hasn’t it even rung?

The conspiracy theory grows wider when you take a look at the WWE Network. Take a look at the first couple of weeks of programming. There are two, yes just a mere two Monday Night RAW episodes from Austin’s heyday in the Attitude Era. A caller brought this up to Austin on his podcast and he was stunned (no pun intended). Austin told the caller that he was led to believe that his Attitude Era content would be heavily featured on the network. While Austin’s documentary is there, his legendary RAW moments are greatly missed.

Why is Steve Austin appearing all over the CMT network and not WWE programming? He looks great, sounds just as good as ever, and appears to be available for the right role. Yet for some reason nobody has thought about calling Stone Cold? The New Age Outlaws are called and not Steve Austin? This guy should be all over WWE programming, even as a semi-regular appearing live once every 4-12 weeks.

The WWE just missed a brilliant marketing opportunity on its own network. March 16 came and went without a mention of Austin on the network. How about an entire day dedicated to celebrating the former WWE champion? You can’t tell me that fans on the fence about ordering the network now or later wouldn’t have bit on that campaign.

So why has the WWE distanced itself from Austin? Does it go back to that night over a decade ago when Austin walked out on the company? It sounds ridiculous but maybe Vince McMahon and company still carry a grudge against the Texas Rattlesnake? Is it because Austin would blow away everyone in the company if he were given a microphone on RAW? Is it because Austin has been critical of the WWE on podcasts, specifically scripting promos? I could rattle off a dozen conspiracy theories which at this point could all be viable.

I don’t know what the issue but I hope at some point the WWE can show Austin the respect he so rightly deserves. Austin deserves better and the WWE Universe deserves a healthy dose of Stone Cold in their lives.

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