December 5, 2023
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Stone Cold Steve Austin, a former WWE wrestler, said in an interview that he had discussions with WWE about competing at WrestleMania 39, but his new reality show, Stone Cold Takes on America, kept him away from the ring.

After an 18-year layoff, Austin returned to the ring at WrestleMania 38 in 2022, but owing to his hectic schedule with the show, he was unable to commit to a real match at WrestleMania 39.

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In talks with Sports Illustrated, the WWE veteran said:

“I met with some people from WWE. We talked about the possibility of me wrestling at WrestleMania 39. The biggest thing in my mind was the presentation and what kind of match it was going to be.”

“I didn’t want it constructed as a real match, per se,” he explained. “I needed something that could turn into one, and it did, but I think that’s why we got away with it.

“The Dallas crowd was very receptive. I hadn’t been around, so the timing was right.”

He added that he would need to be in peak physical condition to perform, and that his production schedule only allowed for a 30- or 40-minute daily training, which would not be enough to prepare him for WrestleMania.

“I was really protected at WrestleMania 38,” he added. “This time, that wasn’t going to be the case. That was a true statement: Until this show was over, I couldn’t commit.”

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