Austin doesn’t think anyone can be the next “Stone Cold,” though.
Last week’s Raw Reunion featured a number of entertaining moments, but none more compelling than the conclusion of the show with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin holding court in a WWE ring on the show he made iconic.
Austin delighted the millions watching by sharing stories from the ring and the road, highlighting legends and reintroducing himself to a new legion of fans hungry to see more of “Stone Cold” on Raw, all while cracking open a couple dozen cans of his signature El Segundo Brewing Broken Skull IPA.
Yet one of the disappointments from the reunion was the lack of a segment between Austin and the modern era’s emerging version, Kevin Owens.
Owens is using Austin’s “Stone Cold Stunner” as a finisher, spitting venom on the mic and terrorizing Shane McMahon, which is certainly similar to Austin’s rise in his Hall of Fame storyline with Vince McMahon.
But Austin is not about to christen Owens as the next “Stone Cold.” In fact, instead of placing them across from one another on television, Austin much prefers that spotlight be placed squarely on Owens, giving him the chance to succeed based on his work in the company.
“With Kevin Owens, don’t throw my name on there,” said Austin, speaking from his home just outside Los Angeles. “This guy can talk a lot of trash, he is great in the ring, and he’s using my finisher, but hell, no one is going to be the next Steve Austin.
“I remember when people were saying I was going to be the next Ric Flair when I was in WCW. No one’s ever going to be the next Ric Flair, and you’re not going to see the next Hulk Hogan or the next Bret Hart, either. It just doesn’t happen that way. People like to say that because of the similarities, but what we should be saying is, ‘I want this guy to be the next big thing.’”
Austin added that he is an Owens fan, and that he gives his blessing to KO’s use of the stunner.
“My finish was being used by someone else before I really made it famous, or trademarked it, so to speak,” said Austin. “So I told him, go ahead and use the Stone Cold Stunner.”
Austin will be back on the USA Network on Monday, August 12 when his new television show, Straight Up Steve Austin, premieres at 11 p.m. ET following the post-SummerSlam edition of Raw. The new series will see Austin interview celebrity guests including Becky Lynch, NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.
An interesting guest for Austin would be the 35-year-old Owens, a native of Quebec whose path to the WWE includes stops throughout the indies as well as a run as world champ in Ring of Honor before signing with NXT.
“I met him a long time ago at an airport and gave him some advice about cutting a promo,” said Austin. “I like Kevin Owens, I think he does an amazing job with his promos and in the ring.”
Just as Owens has drawn comparisons to Austin, so has Becky Lynch with her fiery transformation into “The Man.”
“It’s just like when people wanted to compare me to Becky Lynch,” said Austin. “We have similar attitudes, but she’s done things so differently than I have. She’s running her own race, she has her own career, and she’s doing a phenomenal job. People are comparing her to me because she’s got that abrasive attitude like I did, but that’s what we are supposed to have in pro wrestling. You know, I always hated when people called the ‘Attitude Era’ the ‘Attitude Era’ because I always thought professional wrestlers had attitude to begin with.
“So just let Kevin be Kevin, put him in good situations and don’t put the brakes on him. If you’re going to run with this guy, then let him be the biggest, baddest, best Kevin Owens he can be.”