During an AdFreeShows.com exclusive episode of Ask JR Live, Jim Ross talked about the rumors that Stone Cold Steve Austin is coming out of retirement for WrestleMania 38.
As noted, it appears that Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens is on the card for ‘Mania, with this set to be Austin’s first match in 19 years where he faced The Rock at WrestleMania 19. Ross revealed that he speaks to Austin often but hasn’t spoken to him about wrestling in a while, and believes if the rumors are true, he’ll sell a lot of tickets for WrestleMania 38.
“Steve still has a great passion for the business,” Jim Ross said. “I don’t think he wants to reignite his wrestling career. I don’t know that the success that AEW has had with a guy that’s older than him and another legend in Sting has influenced that creative or that idea, I don’t know. I talk to Steve about once a month, and more often than not, we don’t even talk about wrestling. He doesn’t even watch a lot of wrestling, and I’ve probably watched too much. So we don’t even go there, it’s a football conversation or it’s home improvement stuff, food, the grill, things like that. And we’re just old friends and there are a million things we can talk about without talking about pro wrestling.
“It’s an interesting concept, he’ll sell a lot of tickets if he’s booked, but [WWE is] burning daylight on getting closer and closer to their d-day. One would assume if Steve is going to do something, that would be finalized sooner than later. I just don’t know if it’s going to happen or not, someone goes online and it hits the timeline and all of a sudden, it’s fact. It proves our society is very naive, it’s not that simple. If he wants to do it, I hope he does and I think it would be great because there’s a whole generation of fans that haven’t seen him in his full presentation inside the ring, and I think that would be entertaining for anybody.”
A few weeks ago following the Royal Rumble, it was reported that the WWE locker room is near an all-time low in morale with some being upset about the direction of the company and lack of television time. With the rumors of Stone Cold coming out of retirement and several other non-full-time wrestlers having matches at WrestleMania 38, Ross spoke about why he believes WWE’s product is stale right now given the lack of youth on the big shows.
“I think, like a lot of people, they are under the impression that WWE is a little stale right now, they need some freshen up, some surprises,” Jim Ross said. “They’ve got to take a chance or take chances on providing opportunities for those that they believe are potentially a player. I signed a lot of talents but the high-priority recruiting pushes, and the negotiations, and all of that was on guys that I felt like at the time were WrestleMania card caliber.
“If you miss a little bit on that goal, you’ve still got a hell of a hand. It all stems at the top, who’s calling the plays? It all starts at the top and it’s so subjective that you’re not going to hit all the time and it’s so subjective, you’re not going to hit every time. As a matter of fact, you’re going to probably miss more than you’re going to hit. We were just lucky that in the Attitude Era that people finally still remembered because we had great talent.”