Steve Austin has no interest in a final match.
While many legends have shown a willingness to return for one more match, Steve Austin is happy in retirement. Austin last wrestled at WrestleMania 19, losing to The Rock to cap off their WrestleMania trilogy. Austin had to retire due to neck issues and though he's healthy enough to deliver -- and take -- the occasional Stone Cold Stunner, he doesn't want to lace up his boots again.
"I'd be happy to give you a two-letter answer: N.O," Austin told ESPN when asked if he has one more match in him. "It's like people say, it's show business, and in the wrestling business, it's never say never. If you ask me, 'Steve do you have a couple of Stunners, a couple of right hands or do you have some hell raising left in you?' Absolutely, I do. But just to go in there, lace them up and go in there for a 15-, 20-minute match? No, man. I don't. Nor do I want to. I did what I did, and in WrestleMania 19, that was my last match with The Rock and he beat me 1-2-3 right in the middle of the ring. Took three Rock Bottoms, but that was the last match that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin will ever have."
Austin continued, "A few weeks back on my podcast, I was kind of just giving a physical assessment of where I am. Because everyone thinks that all the guys are just beat to shreds -- and by and large many of us are. But I was simply stating, hey man, as far as the pain level I feel good. Most times on a 1 to 10, I don't even register as a 1. So I said, in theory, I could have a match, because physically I'm in a good shape. So now all of a sudden, I get taken out of context and people start saying I'm fishing for a dream match. Like God dang, I opened a whole other can of worms. The expectations would be off the charts. We talk about what it takes for The Undertaker to get ready for a match. You'll hear that discussed on the Broken Skull Session after Survivor Series.
"The wrestling business for me, it's very addictive. I was hooked on that business, and I loved it. As many years as I've been away from the business, I have fond memories. Whereas, when I was forced to take myself out of the equation, I had a hard time dealing with it. So why go back and get so immersed in that world, knowing that it would be a short road? And the build up and then the match. I just think when it was all said and done, it would be anticlimactic for me. I don't have anything to prove. People can judge me on the career that I had. So, I'd rather leave well enough alone is the simple answer."
Elsewhere during the interview, Austin was asked about any improvements he would make to the current product. While many fans believe we're in a golden age in terms of in-ring work, Austin sees room for improvement when it comes to the bell-to-bell action.
"I always think the work could improve -- the in-ring product, not being able to see the gaps, the tells. To make the in-ring product even better than it is now. With respect to athleticism, it's about as high as it can get. But just everything tightened up and everything looks like a complete shoot. And wins and losses do matter. It's always about the in-ring product. And the bottom line is when you're watching it, it needs to appear as real as possible. That's not a critique or an indictment. That's just you asked me what could be better -- that could be better," he said.
Austin's new interview series Broken Skull Sessions is set to premiere on WWE Network following WWE Survivor Series. The Undertaker will be the first guest on the show.