Given how the WWE is making a real habit of bringing in legendary and iconic wrestlers for runs with the company, talk will forever persist about one of, if not the the biggest star of the 1990's eventually lacing up his boots, and strapping on those iconic knee pads once again. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin hasn't wrestled in a WWE ring for over a decade, although he has given out a few 'Stunners' along the way. WWE fans are used to seeing stars like The Rock, Brock Lesnar and Batista make returns to the company to wrestle again, but the one they really want is Steve Austin.
To hear that glass shatter one more time and see Austin strut his way down the ramp would be a fantastic sight, not least on a major stage like WrestleMania. Unfortunately though, whilst there will always be speculation about a potential return to the ring for Austin, the harsh reality is that it will likely never happen. We got a glimpse of just how popular Austin still is with WWE fans earlier this year, when he took part in that iconic opening segment at WrestleMania XXX with Hulk Hogan and The Rock, which was a moment that made the hairs stand on the back of our necks.
But while we may very well see Hogan and/or The Rock step in the ring for a match again, the chances of Austin doing the same just don't seem likely. For the variety of reasons that suggest Austin could return, there are more factors to suggest the opposite. So, here are the top 10 reasons why, as unfortunate as it is, Steve Austin won't be wrestling with the WWE ever again.
10 The WWE Has Moved On
This may seem like quite a harsh dose of reality for Steve Austin fans, but the company is in a very different place from when Austin was last a regular on WWE TV. Vince McMahon is no longer the dominant authority figure which has a big impact on any return for Austin. Given how the two had such a violent and encapsulating rivalry on WWE TV, having one without the other would almost feel wrong. And while it was great to see Austin appear at WrestleMania XXX last year, that was only as an inactive competitor, which is how he spent the latter part of his time with the company anyway.
9 The Roster Is Already Loaded With Talent
A quick scour of the Internet these days presents a laundry list of arguments about why Wrestler X, Y and Z should be getting more TV time. There's no doubt that the WWE has a lot of talent that they are using way less than they should, so having the company lure Austin back into the ring wouldn't really do those guys much good. There's always space for a legend or two (more on that later) on the roster, but with the WWE currently bringing so many back, it's suffocating the vast amount of younger talent the WWE has with them day after day
8 He's Been Inactive For Too Long
The last time "Stone Cold" Steve Austin had an official, fully-sanctioned match in the WWE (or any wrestling ring, for that matter), was at WrestleMania XIX against The Rock. That was over 11 years ago, with that being at least stretched out to 12 should he return for WrestleMania 31 next year. Given how busy Austin has been with a whole host of other projects away from the wrestling ring, he'd simply need too much time in the ring shaking off his ring rust to launch a successful comeback. Given how content he is away from the WWE too, the chances of him ending an exile which has lasted over a decade is incredibly slim at best.
7 Plenty of Legends have returned
As we mentioned earlier, the WWE seems to traditionally become awash with legends and former stars around WrestleMania season. As for 2015, it looks certain that Sting is going to be competing in the early part of next year, possibly Hulk Hogan as well. If we also get Triple H lacing up his boots, where is there a realistic slot for Austin to come into the mix and compete? That would significantly load out the card with former wrestlers, leaving precious little room for the young up-and-comers to share the spotlight. Given how WrestleMania would be the only realistic arena for an Austin return, the fact there's so many ex-wrestlers already on show means that Austin probably won't want to come and share the spotlight.
6 His Legacy is already secured
This may seem like a bit of brutal honesty for Stone Cold's fans again, but simply put, why does Austin need to lace up his boots all over again? After so long away from the ring, Austin's legacy and career has already been solidified, not least by the fact that he's already a WWE Hall of Fame inductee. Sure, there may be a fire burning inside of him that wants to get back in the ring and wrestle, but unlike some other former WWE stars, there's just no great need for Austin to do it.
5 His Age
Given how the earliest realistic opportunity for a Steve Austin return would be WrestleMania 31, by that point, he will be already at the age of 50. The Undertaker was 49 this year at WrestleMania when he competed against Brock Lesnar, and there were points where "The Phenom" looked very much like a man approaching 50 years of age. With Austin's horrific track record with injuries, there's a major cloud of doubt over whether a man of his age could even pull off a successful return to the ring, whether he wanted to or not.
4 He's busy with other projects
Although he's had some sporadic appearances over the past 10 years in the WWE, Steve Austin is now a man who spends a lot of his time away from the wrestling business. Sure, he still has his links with the company, like his higly successful podcast, the Steve Austin Show which features a lot of current WWE stars and is highly entertaining for wrestling fans. Couple that with his career on film and TV still ongoing, finding time to train for a return to wrestling could be harder than it initially seems. Given that if he did return, the WWE would want him around for a substantial period to hype up any potential match, the time Austin would need to commit just doesn't seem to be there.
3 There's no need for him to come back
As well as questions lingering over whether Austin is even considering a WWE comeback, is there even a spot for him in today's WWE? There seems to be no need for Austin to come back and "save the WWE", especially if guys like The Rock and Sting are going to be turning up on a part-time basis over the next couple of years. At this time in his life, with his health and his time being spent on other projects, Austin is best fitted to the odd sporadic appearance as a non-wrestler, rather than training up for something the WWE doesn't even really need him to do.
2 There's no suitable opponent for him
If Austin was ever going to consider a comeback to the squared circle, there was always one guy above the rest who seemed to be a perfect foil for him. However, as we all know, CM Punk is gone from the WWE, and neither party seems relatively close to trying to resolve the matter. Austin vs. Punk would have been one of those matches where the whole world stand still to watch, if nothing else for the promo work both men would have produced for the match. With Punk gone though, there seems to be nobody else who could even be a decent fit for Austin's comeback. A match against John Cena would be pointless, as would a contest against another returning star like The Rock.
1 His Health
Above each and every reason why "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will never wrestle again, his health is by far the biggest reason of all. Austin actually admitted towards the end of his in-ring career that he was still wrestling against medical advice, with doctors warning him that one violent or wrongly-executed move could have resulted in him being paralyzed or even killed. Why on earth would Austin risk his health to step back into the ring for a return that might not even be a success? Sure, there might be a part of Steve Austin that misses performing in the ring, but when you factor in a lot of logic, it just doesn't look like it's going to happen.