In what is becoming an annual theme, the idea of 48 year old Stone Cold Steve Austin coming out of retirement for one last match at WWE's WrestleMania extravaganza against dream opponent CM Punk is being floated out there once again.
It seems like every time that Austin does an interview that's the question that always asked. The hosts of Busted Open Radio didn't disappoint by going to that predictable topic when Austin was on their podcast recently. Ever the canny businessman, Stone Cold gave the answer he always does. Namely that he feels healthy enough to wrestle again, but would only consider it if the timing, scenario and deal was right:
"Oh I’m healthy enough. My knees coming around just fine, it’s better than it’s ever been because I’ve been doing my do diligence on my rehab. I’ve got two new ligaments. Everything else is pain free. I’m still in shape been working out harder than I’ve ever worked out. But here’s the deal. When you’re gonna try to commit to do a Wrestlemania 30, you’re looking really at, at least a two to three month commitment, if not four. So you know you’re talking about, taking everything else of the table. I can still do my podcast but take everything else off the table and focus specifically on that task. To do it the way I would do it, to do it the way Stone Cold Steve Austin would do it, at a 120 percent. Because to go out there and to try to perform at 85-90 percent because you didn’t prep enough. That would be bogus, that would be BS that would be letting the crowd down. And that would be representing the Stone Cold Steve Austin that I know and love to a degree that is not acceptable. So once you throw a legitimate, real deal offer down on the table and say let’s talk, then we’ll talk. But until then, conjecture."
However, given that an agreement hasn't already been made, the chances of it actually happening are awfully slim. As we reported last week, WWE has already mapped out the main event feuds for WrestleMania 30 and Austin's name wasn't on the radar screen. It would likely take both The Rock and The Undertaker deciding against wrestling on the show for Vince McMahon to seriously consider building the event around an Austin return bout.
Stone Cold was also inevitably asked whether he thought that Punk vs. Austin would be an all time great match. As usual, he responded with praise for Punk, but also a desire to see him take his act to the next level:
"Oh it definitely could. It brings a lot to the table from a verbal standpoint with his well thought out promos, the way in which he conducts his business. I like his product in the ring. I like to see him turn it up more in the mainstream. I like to see a little more physicality, laying in stuff a little more. I like to see him be a little bit more aggressive. That’s just off the top of my head. Other than that, I like everything about the cat."
There's been talk that Punk will win the 2014 Royal Rumble and challenge for the WWE title at WrestleMania 30, allowing him to fulfil his ambition of closing out WWE's biggest pay-per-view of the year, which would obviously preclude facing Austin at the event, so that match is as much a pipe dream as ever.
However, it doesn't seem like Austin will lose any sleep if he never, ever laced up the boots again. He seems completely at peace with the fact that the call to work WrestleMania 30 may never come:
"Well I’m not going to put the cart in front of the horse. I’m not lobbying for a match. If the starts lined up, then it would happen, but it’s going to take a lot for those stars to line up. No sense in beating a dead horse. To think about it is one thing, to actually go out, come to terms and go through the business prep and actually accomplish a match, it’s a whole different ballgame and a major process. "
Which is a good thing, as it probably won't happen, Cagesiders!