Stone Cold Steve Austin's relationship with WWE is always going to be a source of fan speculation. From the infamous "took his ball and went home" situation, which Austin and Jim Ross have discussed many times over the years, to his being replaced by Chris Jericho in the WWE Network interviewer role for a time last year (which, whether correlated or not, came after he asked Triple H about Chyna being in the Hall of Fame)... part of the Texas Rattlesnake's appeal is the shoot as well as kayfabe appearance that he's always one step away from telling Vince McMahon to take this job and shove it.
So when Mick Foley was announced as the host of an upcoming tell-all interview with Shane McMahon on the Network, eyebrows were raised.
Foley offered an explanation yesterday that was never going to dispel any doubts that maybe WWE wasn't crazy with Austin not being crazy about WrestleMania 32 (or whatever theory folks may have had for another skirmish between the Broken Skull Ranch and Stamford).
Ever the savvy businessman, Stone Cold promised answers on his regular, audio/internet podcast, and in the latest edition, he delivered.
Per Austin, he's not doing the show because he's still rehabbing from shoulder surgery. The Hall of Famer agreed to work Mania knowing he had a torn rotator cuff, and he aggravated the injury throwing haymakers and stunning Xavier Woods in Arlington, Texas.
He's in a sling for the next month following repairs to not only his right rotator cuff, but the AC joint and a labral tear. Plans call for him to start working on his range of motion in three weeks, or right around the time he'd need to fly to Baltimore for the May 23 interview. Austin decided not to risk a setback by travelling.
Of course, hardcore conspiracy theorists will say he could have done the interview remotely if he wanted to, and Stone Cold will let them go on thinking that.
Or, we could take the man at his word.