Stone Cold Steve Austin has been stating for years that “all the stars would have to align” in order for him to make a return to the ring for one more match. Each year as WrestleMania season approaches; rumors begin to circulate about Austin and a in-ring return … but each year, the rumors fall flat as The Rattlesnake is quick to shoot them down.
The general consensus among the wrestling community was that Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. CM Punk was going to be the money match. Punk was certainly down for the bout and Austin had expressed interest in working with Punk if he were to wrestling one last time. However, The Austin/Punk dream has passed and its time to look at a new scenario; one of which has been the cause of great speculation and internet rumblings … Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar.
On his latest podcast; Stone Cold sat down with the Advocate of Brock Lesnar: the controversial and outspoken Paul Heyman. Towards the end of their time together, Heyman would turn the tables and ask Austin a few questions of his own: one of which concerning Brock Lesnar and whether or not Austin would consider having a match with The Beast at WrestleMania XXXII.
The genuine interview quickly turned into a wrestling-based angle with Austin getting heated and shooting a promo on Lesnar – which was great. Listening to Austin stir up that passion once again and fire some trash talk at Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar was electric – worthy of goosebumps. The tone definitely felt as though something was brewing and naturally, the speculation would commence (Which is what we are here to do as well … speculate on the possibility).
WrestleMania XXXII is set to take place at AT&T Stadium where over 100,000 spectators are expected to converged next year for what will be the biggest 'Mania of all time … on a literal level. Stone Cold, who is a native Texan has been waiting for those stars to align. Well, it would appear as though they are getting pretty damn close to that alignment.
These are the top 10 reasons Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar needs to happen at WrestleMania XXXII:
10 Now or Never
Stone Cold Steve Austin is not getting any younger and by WrestleMania XXXII; The Texas Rattlesnake will be fifty-one-years-of-age. Brock Lesnar on the other hand will come in at an even thirty-eight-years-old.
This thirteen-year age gap will play a significant role in how the match would be booked; especially considering the physicality of Lesnar and the years of wear-and-tear sustained by Austin. However, Austin looks to be in great shape at the moment and, given the proper amount of time to prepare, could be ring-ready in time for 'Mania.
Given that the event will take place at AT&T Stadium in Texas; this is the moment to bring in Austin for one last match. If Stone Cold doesn't wrestle next April; then rest assured that he will never compete again.
9 The Feeling is Right
Watching Stone Cold interview Paul Heyman on his podcast was entertaining. In fact, of all the WWE Network podcasts that have been produced thus far; Austin/Heyman has been the best. The stories told were interesting and there is a definite chemistry between Austin and Heyman.
When the interview broke into an impromptu angle of sorts; everything began to change. The longstanding hope of seeing Stone Cold compete inside of a WWE ring again suddenly felt like a not-too-distant reality. The feeling of something special was there.
When Austin stated: “I'd beat his ass” in regards to facing Lesnar; that was already enough to sell fans on the match.
8 Media Frenzy
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXXII is bound to cause a media frenzy as the biggest WWE superstar of all time will test his will against the only real fighter in the WWE Universe.
This is good for Stone Cold, Brock Lesnar, and Vince McMahon. The WWE crave media coverage from real sportscasts. Austin and Lesnar would stir up much interest and help place a lot of focus on the WWE brand.
7 Storyline Standpoint
Since his return to WWE, Brock Lesnar has been a freakish force; a menacing machine-like-man who has been ready to fight anybody with whom he crosses paths. Although he has lost matches to John Cena and Triple H (which should have never happened), Lesnar remains dominant.
Wrestling is all about telling a good story. In this tale, Brock Lesnar is The Beast who has terrorized the village with his evil intentions and barbaric actions and having gone through all the towns perceived heroes; who is left to conquer The Conqueror?
This is where Stone Cold Steve Austin comes into the picture … the anti-hero who has come to save the villagers despite his disdain for most.
6 Lay the Attitude Era to Rest
The Attitude Era has been over for more than a decade but it still hangs around the party; hungover on the couch. Meanwhile, the booze has become pure non-spiked orange juice and the strippers have been replaced with birthday clowns.
The biggest remnants of the Attitude Era on today's WWE programming are Triple H and Kane but both men have become suit-wearing corporate-types. The Rock shows up from the time-to-time and The Undertaker is about ready to call it a day.
When The Rock returned to face John Cena, the wrestling world rejoiced. However, the Attitude Era was really the Era of Austin. Yes, The Rock, DX, and 'Taker all played pivotal roles during those days but Austin was the biggest breakout.
Fans of the Attitude Era consistently moan and groan about the current product. Their Attitude Era product is not what the WWE is interest in anymore. One last run with Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWE can finally put the Attitude Era to bed and allow the new generation to enjoy the party.
5 Bring Back Old Fans
WrestleMania XXXII has already been rumored to feature matches between The Rock and Triple H as well as Stephanie McMahon and Ronda Rousey. The Undertaker will more-than-likely compete again in what could be his final match. John Cena will be tossed into a big feud and there is no telling what lies ahead for Sting.
That being said: Stone Cold Steve Austin competing in a match for the first time since 2003 will outweigh all the hype surrounding anything else at next year's event. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar would rightfully main event WrestleMania. This in turn would recapture the attention of many fans who stopped watching WWE when Stone Cold left as a regular on-air personality.
What does this all mean? … With a card that stacked; the WWE World Heavyweight Championship can remain among the younger superstars: Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns (Triple-Threat match at 'Mania between the former members of The Shield?). This would bring the eyes of old fans to the new era of WWE and hopefully if they like what they see; will find their way back to the product.
4 Making History
Brock Lesnar made history at his first ever WrestleMania when he defeated Kurt Angle for the WWE Championship. Lesnar would again make history when he accomplished the unthinkable and ended the WrestleMania undefeated streak of The Undertaker.
Stone Cold Steve Austin has made his share of WrestleMania history as well: passing out to Bret Hart in what is considered to be the greatest Submission match of all time, defeating Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship, and going head-to-head with The Rock on three separate occasions – one of which ended in Austin turning heel.
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Brock Lesnar would once again make history for both men as the Great Generational encounter (bigger than The Rock and John Cena).
3 Biggest Draw in Years
If you are going to put on a live wrestling event in front of 100,000 people; you are going to need the right name to place on the marquee and what other name – what other ghost of WWE past – can leave a more haunting impression than Stone Cold Steve Austin?
This is the kind of match Vince McMahon dreams about as he salivates on his million dollar pillow at night and envisions all the cash that would be generated from a match of such epic proportions. The drawing power here is absolutely huge.
2 The Match That Never Happened
Back in 2002, when Brock Lesnar first arrived on the WWE scene, he was promoted as “The Next Big Thing.” Lesnar was given a major push and was en route to becoming the youngest WWE Champion in WWE history that Summer.
That same year: Stone Cold Steve Austin and WWE were not quite seeing eye-to-eye as Austin felt creative was not treating his character with the proper respect. Austin believed that the angles in which he was placed were weak and not up to his level. One idea was to have Stone Cold put over Brock Lesnar – which Austin refused. It wasn't long before Stone Cold and WWE parted ways for a little while.
Years later when asked about the Brock Lesnar situation; Austin would admit regret about not working with Lesnar and helping him get over. The match that never happened could finally take place at WrestleMania XXXII.
1 The Right Sendoff
WrestleMania XXIX: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock for the third and and final time on the Grandest Stage of Them All. That night in Seattle, The Rock would defeat Stone Cold in – unbeknownst to fans – his final match.
The injuries had finally caught up to Stone Cold and Austin would quietly bow out of in-ring competition. If Austin is able to work one last match at WrestleMania XXXII; he will be provided with the proper sendoff – the kind that he deserves – as he rides off into the sunset.