Cody Rhodes and Steve Austin both made triumphant returns to WWE at Wrestlemania 38. Cody Rhodes answered Seth Rollins open challenge and defeated the former Shield member after 6 years away from WWE, wrestling in ROH, NJPW and AEW.
Meanwhile, Stone Cold Steve Austin came out of retirement to take on Kevin Owens in a no-holds-barred match. The Texas Rattlesnake shook of two decades years of ring rust to defeat the Canadian Superstar in the main event of night 1 of Wrestlemania 38.
Both Cody Rhodes and Steve Austin were WWE alumni’s. Austin is a multi-time WWE Champion and was the top wrestler in WWE until his abrupt retirement due to neck injuries in 2003. He stayed retired for 19 years until answer Kevin Owens call and opening one last can of whoop as at Wrestlemania 38.
Meanwhile Cody Rhodes was a former Intercontinental Champion in WWE, but left the company in 2016, ultimately creatively unfulfilled by Vince McMahon‘s creative direction. Sick of being stuck as Stardust, he left the company for ROH and NJPW before helping form AEW, WWE’s biggest competitor since the death of WCW in 2001.
Wrestlemania 38 saw the return of both men to wrestling. However, it was long before that that Cody Rhodes and Steve Austin met up in a place that may surprise you…
Cody Rhodes and Steve Austin
Cody Rhodes met up with Steve Austin before both men made the decision to join back up with WWE.
During his post-WrestleMania media scrum with Denise Salcedo, Cody Rhodes revealed that he ran into Steve Austin after a New Japan Pro Wrestling show a few years and told of a conversation the pair had in the parking lot outside of the arena.
In a story he also retold on the Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network, Cody Rhodes revealed about Stone Cold Steve Austin;
“I have a cool Stone Cold story. The New Japan Long Beach show, I wrestled Kazuchika Okada. It was really fun and he’s a tremendous storyteller. I was excited and I always try to get some space afterwards. I went out to the parking lot and [Steve Austin] had come to watch the show and sit on the truck with one of his friends who was producing the show.”
“I didn’t know that. There were whispers that Steve Austin was there. He started walking with us to the parking lot, it’s Steve Austin, not like ‘Steve Austin,’ it’s the same guy walking to the ring at WrestleMania 38.”
“He came up to me in the parking lot and he was telling me about some holds I could do differently and he was giving me some really sincere, genuine advice for wrestling’s most prolific money maker. You had to stop being a fan and listen to what he’s saying.”
“So, I’m listening, and all this press and media slowly coming. Right as they got closer, he patted me on the shoulder, turned around, and walked off into the darkness. There was no car, no hotel. It was like Batman. It was legit like Batman.“
“There were people like, ‘Where did he go?’ He was gone. I don’t know if he turned the corner and sprinted. It was a really special thing. We got to have that moment again [at Mania]. He said, ‘that was the match you needed to have. Hearing that from the guy going on last, yup, thank you.” – SOURCE
It was a surprise to hear that Steve Austin was visiting a NJPW show, with few even knowing that he was a fan of the promotion. Despite being out of the business for so long, Steve Austin gave Cody Rhodes advice like a true professional and showed what a class act he is outside the ring.
While both Stone Cold Steve Austin and Cody Rhodes shared the stage at Wrestlemania 38, it is unlikely to see the two men battle in the squared circle. Austin is seemingly retired (outside of a possible Saudi Arabia payday) and Cody Rhodes looks intent on dethroning Roman Reigns as the WWE Champion.
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