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The much anticipated confrontation between WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Superstar Kevin Owens at this weekend's WrestleMania is heating up.
On Monday Night Raw, the WWE ran a tribute to Austin, a bonafide WWE Hall of Famer, who has not taken part in an official match in 19 years. The tribute video featured a montage that show exactly why Austin is so beloved: he’s a badass, he’s a redneck, and he doesn’t take any crap from anybody.
While the gesture appeared to warm the heart of the audience, it only enraged Owens.
“It was nothing compared to my tribute to ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin last week,” he said of the clips. “You all saw it. That was amazing.”
During last week’s Monday Night Raw, Owens dressed up as Austin — a bald wig included —in an attempt to mock him.
However, Owens claimed on Monday that he was not “mocking” Austin but instead paying “homage” to what he used to be. Referencing that performance, Owens said that dressing up as “Stone Cold” was “the closest” that the world will ever get to seeing the legend that the world once admired again.
“He’s been gone for 19 years and he ain’t ever coming back,” Owens told the crowd on Monday.
And then came the threats to Austin.
“If you try to get funny with me, there’s going to be a stunner and you will be on the receiving end of that,” he said.
Owens said that if Austin picks a fight with him, he will open a can of “whoop-ass” on him, a phrase famously used by Austin over his career. Then, Owens promised to pour a can of beer – again a beloved “Stone Cold” prop – all over Austin’s “ lifeless carcass” on Saturday night.
Owens also made the bold claim that this weekend, Austin will pass the torch to him, making Owens the new “Stone Cold.”
For his part, Austin threatened Owens earlier this month, using his trademark bravado.
“In Dallas, Texas -- where I started my career -- at WrestleMania, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is going to open up one last can of whoop-ass on you Kevin Owens,” Austin said in a video released by WWE earlier this month.
During Monday’s appearance, Owens mocked that video claiming that Austin has little better to do than to reminisce about the old days in order to boost his confidence.
Owens’ vocal disdain for the state of Texas, where Austin is from, may have triggered the tension and some venom from the “Texas Rattlesnake.” In February, when Owens was under the impression he wouldn’t be participating in WrestleMania, he expressed relief that he wouldn’t have to go to the Lone Star State.
“I despise Texas and everything about it, okay?” he said.
And that got Austin’s blood pumping.
“Ever since you started running that damn mealy mouth of yours talking about the state of Texas, the great state of Texas, you got my attention. And why would you want to do that, Kevin? I can think of two reasons,” Austin exclaimed. “No. 1, you are one dumb sonofabitch. And No. 2, you are fixing to get your ass kicked by ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.”
So what should fans expect from their highly touted confrontation? Will it be a full-fledged match or more of an unofficial brawl?
“There’s gonna be a fight. There’s gonna be a brawl, without a doubt," wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer theorized to The Sportster. "It’s not just gonna be just a kick in the gut and stunner. He’s training very hard so it’s gonna be more than that. Will he do a 20-minute match? No, I don’t think so. Will he go seven minutes or something and have a brawl all over the place? I kind of expect that, yeah.”
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