Kevin Owens finally laid out the official challenge on WWE Raw this week: he wants Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania… as a guest on the KO Show. Yes, Owens called out Stone Cold to end WWE Raw last night, but not, as many were expecting, for a match. Instead, Owens wants to interview (and presumably receive a Stone Cold Stunner from) The Texas Rattlesnake at the upcoming PPV, or, more accurately, Owens will do that because Austin must have stuck to his guns and refused to tarnish his legacy by reneging on his retirement 19 years ago.
Austin's moral fortitude did not stop WWE's announce team from blathering on about how long ol' Stone Cold has been retired and how monumental will be for him to return to the ring (for an interview) with Owens at WrestleMania, but to be fair, it's hard to shift direction when you've got Vince McMahon's hand up your ass, so they can hardly be expected to provide anything other than the banalest and most obnoxious buzzword whoring.
Does it matter that Austin regularly makes appearances in WWE, and even occasionally delivers his trademark finishing move, and has both an ongoing WWE Network interview series, Broken Skull Sessions, and a USA show, Straight Up Steve Austin, when it comes to hyping it as if Austin has lived in a cave since hanging up his boots in 2003? Of course not. WWE rivals EC3 and Vladimir Putin when it comes to the lengths they will go to to control their own narrative.
Despite all of that nonsense, it will, of course, be good to see Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania, even if it is just to bury Kevin Owens with a Stunner and then gently sip Steveweisers at the ringposts (Broken Skull IPA is not a swilling beer, after all). So we look forward to hearing "Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!" or, more likely, "It's Rattlesnake time!" at WrestleMania on April 2nd or 3rd.