Photo: WWE

“Stone Cold” Steve Austin explained what it would take for him to prepare for one more match when Chris Jericho asked him on his new podcast:

Chris Jericho: “Would you ever go back for one more match?”

Steve Austin: “That’s the thing Chris. Why? To totally prepare for that – how long have you been out for now?

Chris Jericho: “I come and go, but I’ve been out for about five months, and every day people ask me when I’m going back.”

Steve Austin: “To totally get ready for a high caliber match like WrestleMania 30 I would need a three month training window. For timing, getting back in the ring, taking bumps; to do it right. So you bump for three months. You get into storylines. You go to Monday Night Raw, you do the creative, you have the big blast-off match at WrestleMania, and then… there is is. There’s the big match at WrestleMania. Then what? Then three months later you get your paycheck when all the PPV counts come back, and then you cash your check. Then what? Where do you go?

Chris Jericho: “Then the fans ask you, ‘when are you coming back?’”

Steve Austin: “You can make some money. But you get all revved up, you have your 30 minute window, then what? Then you’ve got to recover, because you’ve got yourself back in the mode. Anything is possible. Being involved in some capacity would be fun. But being very candid, I like the way I operated back then. I like the creative liberties and freedoms I had back then. I don’t know that walking back in there right now I would have those same freedoms, and I don’t know that I could operate in that system … I love my fans first and foremost. I know they’d like to see me in a match. But you’ve just got to understand the shoes I’m in, and where I’m at now. I love wrestling fans, and I love the WWE.”

Austin also talked about not wanting to lose to Brock Lesnar:

“I handled the situation like a total ass. Jim Ross calls me while I’m laying in a hotel, and he told me creative wanted Brock [Lesnar] to beat me. I’m drawing stupid money right now. WWF has spent a lot of money getting me in this position. I’ve busted my ass getting me in this position. Guys that draw stupid money don’t just happen overnight. So all the sudden you want me to do a job? I love Brock Lesnar; he’s a monster. As soon as he walked through the door, we all saw massive potential in the guy. But for me to do a job for him, without any kind of build up – it’s a PPV match with two or three weeks of people talking about it. And I said, if that’s going to be the case, I won’t be there … I was drinking a lot of whiskey and beer. We were running hard back then, and I just said ‘piss on these guys’ and I got on a plane and headed back to San Antonio. I should have showed up like a man, come up with a different solution; just show up, talk to Vince face-to-face, solve the problem in some way, and get through it like a grown man. I took my ball and went home. I handled it about as badly as I could, and that’s my biggest regret in my career as a pro wrestler.”

On the creation of Austin 3:16:

“We were in Madison Square Garden, and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were fixin’ to go down South to WCW. That’s when the infamous Curtain Call happened, when all those guys from the Kliq went down there and hugged. Shawn Michaels and Triple H had been a part of that hug. In MSG that’s hallowed ground; you don’t break kayfabe back in the day in Madison Square Garden. Shawn Michaels was very temperamental back in the day. You could rub Shawn the wrong way and he’d have a real bad attitude. Vince couldn’t put the screws to him, because he was his #1 guy and world champion. Triple H was going to win the King of the Ring in 1996, but because of that ‘curtain call’, Vince had to put the heels on somebody, and he put it on Triple H.’ … I was Plan B. So we go to Milwaukee, and my first match is with Marc Mero, and he does a little movement and kicks me in the mouth. They take me to the hospital during the middle of the show, I get 14 stitches and come back … Before that [Jake Roberts] match happened, I come rolling back in the ambulance. If Michael Hayes hadn’t come up to me and told me, ‘hey man, while you were gone Jake Roberts cut a religious promo on ya.’ Back in the day, any time somebody kicked a field goal or extra point, there would always be a John 3:16 sign in the football stadium. So I said, ‘that’s it. Austin 3:16.’”