By John Napolitano
Cue the glass shattering and the classic Stone Cold pop as the eighth edition of John’s Jargon dives into the world of the always-enthralling idea of another possible Texas Rattlesnake return; however, I’m not referring to the same old Austin returns of the last decade that, albeit, we have come to know and love. No, I would like to discuss the possibility of Stone Cold Steve Austin lacing up his boots one more time, returning to that 20-foot-by-20-foot squared circle, and stunning the competition one last time at WrestleMania XXXI.
Allow me to take you back to a simpler time during the glory days of World Wrestling Entertainment, a time period synonymous with beer-swilling, finger-raising, Zamboni-driving, and content thriving. The epicenter amidst all of this chaos of the Attitude Era was none other than The Texas Rattlesnake himself. Being a King of the Ring, three-time Royal Rumble winner, a six-time WWE Champion, and one of the most iconic WWE Superstars of all-time, Austin mesmerizes the masses anytime he is in the public eye.
Austin has not competed in the ring, due to his overall health, since March 30, 2003, at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, against his long-time rival The Rock at WrestleMania XIX. Since his departure from the ring, Austin has participated in non-competitive roles such as Raw’s Co-General Manager, the Sherriff of WWE, and as a special guest referee on more than one occasion. He has undoubtedly produced some of his best material during his post-retirement tenure, but many fans lust to see The Texas Rattlesnake hit the ropes one last time.
Three telltale signs of a potential in-ring return for Austin at WrestleMania XXXI have been made apparent to the Internet Wrestling Community in the last week or two.
Firstly, on the season premiere of Monday Night Raw, WWE plugged Austin’s podcast, available on PodcastOne, which is an indication that they are having talks with Austin in some capacity.
Also, there have been reports that Austin has returned to the gym and has been working out frequently. This is significant because he has been quoted in saying that if he were to ever make his in-ring return, he would need six or seven months to get back into ring shape. It just so happens that we are seven months away from WrestleMania at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
Finally, WWE has ordered the production of a new batch of Austin 3:16 shirts, which tells me they want the WWE Universe to be appropriately clad for the return of one of the biggest legends in WWE history.
Having said that, who could possibly be bestowed the honor of taking on The World's Toughest S.O.B. in his second final match? There is a plethora of names racing through my head as I comb over this question. Superstars like Daniel Bryan, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, or even a returning CM Punk come to mind when I attempt to illustrate the perfect poetic sendoff for Austin.
At this point in the current state of WWE, the only logical adversary for a returning Austin at WrestleMania XXXI would be John Cena. In a concept similar to John Cena vs. The Rock, Austin and Cena would have the potential to paint an even greater picture as the true faces of their respective eras. The concept seems a little raw and inorganic at the moment considering Cena is in the midst of a fantastic rivalry with the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, but once the Royal Rumble roles around, it would not be out of the question to see a program between Cena and Austin ignite.
I would love nothing more than to see Stone Cold defeat his successor as the face of WWE, John Cena, in the main event of WrestleMania XXXI, and you can expect Graham ‘GSM’ Matthews and I will book this epic program in an upcoming edition of Graham and John: The Boo‘Kings’. Cue the glass shattering and a steveweiser celebration.
SEE ALSO: "Graham & John - The Boo'Kings', Edition #2: A Rattlesnake's Scorn"