Kevin Owens closed out this week's Monday Night Raw by announcing he'd be hosting a new episode of The KO Show at WrestleMania 38 next month. He ran down his list of potential guests, calling out JBL, Booker T and Shawn Michaels given they're all from the state of Texas (a place Owens now vehemently hates), but had a reason to turn each of them down. He then decided on "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, saying there's nothing he'd want more than to nail Austin with a Stunner and pour a glass of milk on his unconscious body. The show went off the air with Owens throwing down the invitation.
News of WWE trying to get Austin to compete in a match started spreading online last month, but over the weekend it was reported that the company's attempts to get Austin back had been downgraded to an onscreen "confrontation." Owens was consistently linked to the rumors as being Austin's opponent.
Austin has shot down numerous attempts WWE has made to get him back in the ring for another match ever since his retirement at WrestleMania XIX in 2003. He explained why in an interview with Chris Jericho last year.
"I think Vince [McMahon] tried talking me to coming back a couple times, but you know Chris, I love the business so much," Austin said. "I love it more than anybody else. I can only speak for myself, but I love the damn business, and it hurt me so much to leave it. And to me, going back for one match, man, why? What am I proving? What are they going to remember? It ain't about the money. It took me a long time, damn near three years to get over the fact that I left the business.
"If you're really going to make a comeback, let's say it was gonna be high-profile match at WrestleMania," he continued. "Taker, when I talked to him, he trained all year or recovered from having surgery, and then write trained for a three or four month camp to get ready for one match. I would really have to undergo a three or four month camp. I'm one of those guys where I don't have an addictive personality, but I'm addicted to the wrestling business. All of a sudden, I'm putting in all the hard work and get back to being around the ring, being around the business, that is my number one passions in my life."
Austin concluded — "To get hooked on it again just for one match and to me, it would have been so anti-climactic. Go out there and do it, and then whatever the finish was. And then the people go home, but what does it all mean in the big picture? Stone Cold had a comeback, and the match was a three and a half Meltzer five star rating. 'It ain't great enough,' and even if I crushed it, what would it mean? I just had to say, man, stay away, and I've stayed away."