There’s widespread speculation that Steve Austin might make an in-ring return to WWE after comments he made on his own podcast that he’s in good enough physical condition to get through a match. There’s no timeline on when that would be, nor if he’s actually interested in doing so, but the fact he even made the comments and brought up the subject has people talking.
So, if WWE cleared him to compete in a match, who would he face?
We can think of at least five WWE Superstars that would make for a great opponent and five he should stay away from.
Should Wrestle: AJ Styles
Is there a better technical wrestler in WWE these days that AJ Styles. In fact, he may be the best in-ring technician in the world. He also happens to have a beef with Stone Cold based upon a Stunner he received not-too-long ago on Raw.
Part of the deal here is that Austin may be a bit rusty and he’ll need someone to carry him through a match more than he used to. Who better to do that than Styles who could have an excellent match with a garbage can?
This has all the makings of a top-notch, marquee matchup that fans would love to see. Why not make it happen?
Shouldn’t Wrestle: Seth Rollins
We all love Seth Rollins. And, what I’m about to say might be unfair. Still, he’s got a bit of a reputation (perhaps unfairly) for hurting his opponents. He wrestled Sting and ended his career. He wrestled Finn Balor and Balor tore his shoulder out. He kneed John Cena in the face and broke his nose…
And, Bret Hart isn’t always the best judgement of character these days, the Excellence of Execution has said, one more than one occasion, he wouldn’t trust Rollins in the ring. What happened with Rollins might have been a fluke, but is it really worth taking a chance on?
The answer is no. That’s even with giving the respect that comes with being voted the best wrestler on the PWI500.
Should Wrestle: Daniel Bryan
If we could think of a dream match for Austin, high up on our list would have to be Daniel Bryan. He’s awesome, as a heel or a babyface, and he can switch allegiances on a dime. People buy whatever character he’s portraying, so if he took issue with Austin, fans would be completely on board.
You know Bryan is smart in the ring too. He doesn’t have to pull out all sorts of crazy maneuvers to get you to buy into the match and, at the end of the day, he’d have no issue putting over Austin. If you look at Bryan’s win/loss record of late, it appears he has no issues putting over anyone.
Shouldn’t Wrestle: Braun Strowman
The Monster Among Men versus the Rattlesnake… that has a nice ring to it, with one exception. Who do you cheer for? There’s no way fans don’t cheer Austin and we already know that fans aren’t in love with the idea of Strowman as a heel. This is a lose/lose scenario for WWE.
Because of that, it’s not a great idea to kill Strowman’s momentum with a match against Austin. We’ve seen it happen before when Hulk Hogan met The Rock and Hogan got cheered, eventually destroying the NWO return to WWE. Let’s not go down that path.
Should Wrestle: Dolph Ziggler
Another guy who can make anyone look like a million bucks in the ring, look no further than what Ziggler did to help Goldberg out after the disaster that was Goldberg’s match with The Undertaker. Imagine the Stunner Ziggler would take!
Ziggler doesn’t really need much of a reason to challenge Austin either. He seems to walk out on random stars and claim to be the best, leading to a match between him and whomever he’s got a beef with. It would make complete sense to have Ziggler take aim at perhaps the most popular Superstar in the history of WWE.
A simple, “It should have been me.” and we’re off and running.
Shouldn’t Wrestle: Brock Lesnar
Let’s just picture, for a second, Lesnar trying to take Austin to Suplex City. Just the thought of how badly that could go should rule out any notion of these two stepping in the ring together.
The last thing Austin needs is risking an injury to his spine and getting dropped by someone who is almost too strong is a recipe for disaster. It would be a dream match that has a history (Austin walked out on WWE years ago over having to wrestle Lesnar), and they seem to be friends, but this one is a no.