Steve Austin: Why I Never Had A Comeback Match In WWE
Austin retired after WrestleMania 19 in 2003
Steve Austin believes any return to the WWE ring for him would have been 'anticlimactic', leading to him declining offers of a comeback from the company.
Austin was forced to retire from in-ring competition in early 2003, having his final match against The Rock at WrestleMania 19. Although it was not widely known to the fanbase that 'Stone Cold' would be retiring, The Rattlesnake has stuck to his decision and not made a return to the squared circle.
Having retired at 39, many fans have speculated whether Austin ever had the opportunity to make a one-off comeback, something the WWE Hall Of Famer has revealed he could not allow himself to do.
Speaking to Chris Jericho on the Talk Is Jericho Podcast, when asked if he ever really considered a return, Austin said: "Man, not really. I think Vince [McMahon] tried talking me to coming back a couple times, but you know, I love the business so much. I love it more than anybody else. I can only speak for myself, but I love the damn business, and it hurt me so much to leave it.
"And to me, going back for one match, man, why? What am I proving? What are they going to remember? It ain’t about the money. It took me a long time, damn near three years to get over the fact that I left the business.
"If you’re really going to make a comeback, let’s say it was gonna be high-profile match at WrestleMania. 'Taker, when I talked to him, he trained all year or recovered from having surgery, and then trained for a three or four month camp to get ready for one match. I would really have to undergo a three or four month camp.
"I’m one of those guys where I don’t have an addictive personality, but I’m addicted to the wrestling business. All of a sudden, I’m putting in all the hard work and get back to being around the ring, being around the business, that is my number one passion in my life.
"To get hooked on it again just for one match and to me, it would have been so anti-climactic. Go out there and do it, and then whatever the finish was. And then the people go home, but what does it all mean in the big picture? Stone Cold had a comeback, and the match was a three and a half Meltzer five star rating. ‘It ain’t great enough,’ and even if I crushed it, what would it mean? I just had to say, man, stay away, and I’ve stayed away."
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