With WrestleMania 2022 right around the corner, WWE has been hard at work preparing the card for the two-day event at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas (well, technically the suburb of Arlington) to ensure it’s the best entry in the history of the “Showcase of the Immortals.” One of the ways the company is setting out to make this the greatest of all time is the mysterious showdown between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kevin Owens that is being booked as the return of “The KO Show,” but feels a hell of lot like some kind of physical interaction between the two.
Even though I’m fully aware there’s a chance ends up being similar to previous appearances by the “Texas Rattlesnake” at WrestleMania, I can’t help but feel like this is something different, and I’m super pumped about it all.
I Never Thought I’d Get To See Stone Cold Wrestle Again
When The Rock defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania 19 in March 2003, I thought it would be the final time I would get to see him in a WWE ring. After suffering through the pain caused by countless knee injuries, a broken neck, and a myriad of other issues, it seemed like Austin 3:16 was just a thing of the past.
Over the years, Austin has shown up to perform a Stone Cold Stunner on various wrestlers and personalities, and cut a few amazing promos as well, though he’s largely stayed out of the action. With Austin getting back in shape and having a personal wrestling ring at his house, though, as posted by the HighSpots Twitter account in August 2021, it seems like the former world champ is up to something.
There Are Few Active Wrestlers Better For This Opportunity Than Kevin Owens
It is hard to think of anyone in WWE who is better to be paired with Steve Austin than Kevin Owens. Sure, it would have been great if CM Punk and Stone Cold would have been able to wrestle more than a decade ago, but that time has passed and CM Punk is now with AEW. So, back to KO and why I think he's the best person for the job.
First, Owens is one of the best in the world in terms of his ability to work a crowd on the mic (and on Twitter). Love him or hate him, the audience eats out of his hands and hangs on to every word whenever he’s cutting a promo, which is exactly what Austin did 20+ years ago. Also like the “Texas Rattlesnake,” KO has a brawler style of wrestling with the ability to pull out some theatrics (much like Austin before his broken neck and run-down knees).
WWE Has Been Doing A Great Job Of Building The Tension Between The Two
WWE has been teasing some kind of interaction between Kevin Owens and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the months leading up to WrestleMania 38, which has included some tweets from the former Universal Champion dragging the good name of Texas (Austin’s native state) through the mud. All of this led to Owens issuing his challenge to Austin on the March 7, 2022 episode of Monday Night Raw with one of the best promos of his career, and in all of WWE in quite some time.
Even without Stone Cold being in the arena, appearing on screen (via satellite), or interacting in any way, Owens was able to build up tension, excitement, and anticipation for their WrestleMania confrontation, one that could be “The KO Show” or something special for KOManiaVI in Austin’s backyard. This has such a big-time feel to it, which will be needed, considering the WrestleMania 38 Saturday card doesn't have as much star-power as the second night.
Stone Cold’s Video Accepting Kevin Owens’ Challenge Gave Me Goosebumps
On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin responded to Kevin Owens and his WrestleMania 38 challenge, not through an appearance on one of WWE's streaming talk shows, the Pat McAfee Show, or press release. Instead, Austin and WWE gave us one of the most exciting (and well-produced) video segments in recent memory: the "Texas Rattlesnake" in the middle of Lone Star State in an ATV talking about his career and everything that happened during his time in the ring.
As soon as Austin gets fired up, he doesn't slow down one bit. From talking about Owens waking up something inside that has been dormant for nearly 20 years to threatening the former NXT Champion for disgracing the state of Texas, Austin looks and sounds a lot like that fiery and hungry competitor from all those years ago. Then he says he's going to open one last can of whoop ass at WrestleMania, which is the chef's kiss of this whole situation.
If All Else Fails, We’ll At Least Get Some Beer Chugging And Stone Cold Stunners
Even if this showdown between Steve Austin and Kevin Owens on “The KO Show” ends up being something similar to what Austin has done in the past, at least we’ll still be entertained. If all else fails, we’ll get get to see the two WWE superstars tear one another down on the mic, see some beer-chugging action, and then get a stunner at the end to close out the segment. Personally, I hope it’s more than what Austin did at WrestleMania 25 and WrestleMania 32, where he came out, said a few things, performed a stunner, and drove a 4-wheeler around for a few minutes under the Texas moon, but I will be jumping on my couch either way.
I Can Finally Show My Kids Stone Cold Steve Austin In Action
One of the reasons I am most excited about this whole situation is the fact that I will be able to show my kids “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in action. As I mentioned earlier, watching the “Texas Rattlesnake” wrestle on TV every week was a highlight of my childhood, and I still hold on to those memories of iconic moments, like King of the Ring 1996, WrestleMania 13, and SummerSlam 1998, where Austin went from a successful wrestler to an icon of the industry. Sure, I’ve shown my kids clips of Austin before and my son is obsessed with my Austin 3:16 shirt, but this will be the first time they’ll see one of the heroes of my childhood live and in color.
Who knows what’s going to happen between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 38, but if you want to watch the two-night event go down, you’ll need to pick up a Peacock Premium subscription or you’ll miss out.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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