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Stone Cold Steve Austin Directly Responds to WrestleMania Return Rumors
Over the weekend, the Texas Rattlesnake addressed the rumors and set the record straight.
If you retire as one of the greatest and most influential WWE Superstars of all time, you will most likely not be granted a peaceful retirement by the WWE Universe. Whether you're Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, or The Rock, your name is destined to always pop up on the Road to WrestleMania as somebody who may make a WrestleMania appearance.
In 2023, Stone Cold Steve Austin is no different. The Hall of Famer has been the subject of rampant WrestleMania speculation in recent weeks, as fans worldwide are clamoring for the Texas Rattlesnake to make another appearance on the Grandest Stage of Them All — or better yet, compete in the ring one more time under the bright lights of So-Fi Stadium.
Will "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Compete At WrestleMania 2023?
Of course, Steve Austin is no stranger to WrestleMania returns: He shocked the WWE Universe last year when he made his in-ring return in a classic bout against Kevin Owens. It was one of the most memorable WrestleMania moments ever, and looking back, the only downside to Austin's performance was that it didn't lead to a full-time WWE in-ring return. Nevertheless, Austin is reportedly in fantastic shape, which would lead credence to theories he's preparing for another match. But, of course, there's nothing quite like the ever-churning rumor mill you can only find on the Road to WrestleMania, is there?
During a recent appearance on the Casual Conversations with the Classic podcast, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin directly addressed these WrestleMania rumors — and, unfortunately, seems to be the latest legend to shy away from committing to this year's event in Los Angeles.
"I haven't heard anything [from WWE]," Austin admitted when asked about the possibility of appearing. "We're literally, as we speak right now, about two weeks away, and it's the biggest show of the year. Right now, I think WWE has got as good a roster as they've had since the Attitude Era. They got a deep roster, so I think many guys and gals need those coveted spots. They got plenty of names to draw from and plenty of talent to draw from. I think they should shine the light and the cameras on their current Superstars."
Austin's comments echo a similar sentiment expressed by Cody Rhodes just a few weeks ago, when the 2023 Royal Rumble winner declared, "With all the respect in the world to one of the GOATs — The Rock — it looks like the options we have here within the roster are even better because of the stories that are happening."
What Does WWE History Tell Us About Last-Minute WrestleMania Entries?
On paper, Stone Cold's podcast comments seem to close the door on "one more match," but the WWE Universe knows you can never say never when it comes to some Superstars. Bret Hart won the United States Championship over a decade after he retired from the ring. Shawn Michaels enjoyed a career renaissance spanning years after his first retirement in the late '90s. Ric Flair has retired and un-retired so often that we've honestly lost track. So although Steve Austin says, "I haven't heard anything" from WWE about him making a WrestleMania return, it is about the furthest thing from a definitive "no" in our eyes. After all, the WWE machine moves quickly, and changes to WrestleMania plans can be made in a matter of hours.
Case in point: On Friday afternoon, we spoke to Liv Morgan and asked her if she expects to perform at WrestleMania, among other things. Liv confirmed that she wasn't currently scheduled for a match, and if she was left off the WrestleMania card this year, she'd use that as motivation for next year's event.
Less than six hours later, Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez punched their tickets to WrestleMania with a dominant victory over Emma and Tegan Nox. In the blink of an eye, Liv Morgan went from strategizing about her WrestleMania plans next year to finding herself in a showcase match at the Show of Shows. The professional wrestling business works in mysterious ways.
So yes, a lot can change in the remaining days and hours before WrestleMania on April 1 and 2. Even though Stone Cold seemingly laid rumors of his return to rest over the weekend, anything can happen. As far as WrestleMania is concerned, Austin doesn't seem like he's slamming the door shut, but instead closing it gently —— and maybe leaving it open just a hair.
The WWE Universe will find out soon enough.
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