Stone Cold Steve Austin is still a huge name in the professional wrestling industry some 18 years after he retired.
The Texas Rattlesnake was the biggest draw the wrestling business has ever seen. He was the top star in the hottest period the industry has ever seen and when you’re eclipsing Hulk Hogan you know you’re the man.
Austin’s run on top was relatively brief all things told. We’ve seen today that many wrestlers are able to go in and around their 50th birthday, but Austin did not have that luxury.
He retired in 2003 following his third WrestleMania match with The Rock. The Bionic Redneck was only 37 when he was forced to walk away due to niggling knee and neck injuries that was taking their toll on his overall health.
Had he not suffered such serious injuries during his career, there’s every reason to believe Austin could have gone another decade.
As a result, he missed out on working with talents like John Cena, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar – there’s a story behind that – and Roman Reigns to name a few.
Speaking with Wrestling Inc, Austin remarked how impressed he has been with Reigns’ work in WWE as of late and he thinks they could have done something great together.
“There’s a lot of guys I wish I got to do business with,” Austin said. “There’s generational gaps, but you always have those fantasy match-ups. You see what a guy’s doing and you think, ‘I could have done something with that guy. We could’ve made something really memorable.’
“I think [Roman’s] doing great work. He’s a great performer, and sometimes he’s a little underrated. He’s phenomenal.”
Reigns was rejected by WWE fans for years. Not because of his lack of talent – his quality is obvious – but because Vince McMahon forced Reigns down fans’ throats.
Now that he has turned heel and aligned with Paul Heyman, his work as the Tribal Chief is arguably the best in the industry.
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