With all the drama going on after the Royal Rumble, and who's going where, and doing what to who, and for how many cookies going into WrestleMania, I went back to the one thing that I've been wanting to see at WrestleMania for the past couple years – Stone Cold Steve Austin working the ring one last time with a young Superstar. For a while there, people were talking about Austin vs CM Punk. Both of them seemed quite interested in the idea, and I think if things hadn't gone down the drain with Punk, it could have been quite a match. Or, it could have been quite a match if it headlined WrestleMania, otherwise Punk would have done what he'd been doing when he wasn't headlining and giving the match and the fans just so much. Yes, he gave great matches, but not top notch Punk which could have stolen the show even if not specifically the main event.
I'm getting off track. The big question now, if Austin will work a match again at a WrestleMania (which it should be) is who Austin should face. Honestly, there's so many young Superstars who are destined to be top guys, it would be hard to pick just one who should get the rub. Therefore, I'm going to explain my top six. I know six isn't a normal round number for this type of article, but I wanted to explore all the best, not leave anyone out, but also not add more names just to force this into a specific number. Further, they are in no particular order. I think all six of these guys could work beautifully with Austin, and are going to be the top guys in WWE's near future.
I see Ziggler as one of the most underutilized Superstars on the roster, and I think he has been for quite a long time. Ziggler has had his issues in the past, but he gives his all to the fans each time he's on mic and in the ring. He really doesn't hold back, gives the fans his best, and his best only continues to get better. He's been a showoff for quite a while, but his sparkle, shine, and ring work looks better and better each time he's in the ring. Ziggler can work with almost anyone and make them look even better. There's a few on the roster who do the same, but much of the rest of the roster look better only when in the ring with him. Ziggler has been with the WWE since 2004, through a couple of lackluster characters, and a rather silly start as Dolph Ziggler, but he takes all he has and manages to make it into gold. I think Ziggler's rind work would be fantastic against Austin, and Ziggler could help Austin look strong in there. Even though he hasn't really worked the ring since 2003, Austin isn't one to return to the ring unless he was absolutely sure he'd give the fans all he had, and that it would be great. Ziggler and Austin would really tear the place down, leaving the fans with an amazing moment, and giving Ziggler the rub he should have gotten years ago.
While McMahon might not think Cesaro has the personality or charisma to be a top guy, I completely disagree. I watched him as Claudio Castagnoli (his given name) in ROH. I adored watching him both in the ring and on mic. He really showed that he had what it took to be in the WWE, yet since he's been with the company he's not had the best characters, hasn't come across well, and been jerked quickly in one direction, then the other. It seems when something is really starting to take hold with him and his character they completely change the direction he's going and the fans don't have time to catch up. Cesaro is possibly the strongest man on the roster, pound for pound, but they don't use that to his character's benefit. It's almost as if they like mentioning what he has going for him but he rarely goes far with it. King of Swing lasted for all of a couple weeks, then no swinging at all. It's very confusing and I wonder why he keeps getting this treatment - one thing could change all that; working with Austin! I don't think they could deny Cesaro if he was to work the ring with one of the greatest Superstars of all time. I am not sure what they could do for a storyline, but I'm sure Austin, Cesaro and Trip could come up with something great.
Bryan is the epitome of the underdog, and no matter what happens, he will be viewed in this way. That's one of the reasons that I think he could most benefit from a match with Austin. I also think that, given how Bryan is over with the fans, the WWE could book an epic face vs face match between Bryan and Austin and watch them completely rip the roof off the event. There's so much I could say about Bryan working against Austin in his last match, but those who will agree with me already know how I feel, and those who don't agree with me will do nothing but argue and attack me over my views. Bryan has really split the fans in a lot of ways with the majority of the fans loving him, and certain members of the IWC loathing him just because he'd become a fan favorite. I could write a whole article about this phenomena, and I might someday, but right now I don't need that type of abuse. All in all, I think Bryan is a top choice for facing Austin if he returns for a last match, because of how over he is and how Bryan would do everything in his power to make Austin look that much stronger and creative in the ring - something Bryan is brilliant at.
You won't be surprised that I think Sandow is one of the most underutilized Superstars on the roster. When you have a Superstar who keeps being fed crap but makes the best, most refined gold out of it, that's someone who deserves a push rather than more crap. What better push is there than facing one of the greatest wrestlers of all time? Sandow has shown that he has the personality and charisma to get over, but he's also solid in the ring, and has an interesting look. The fans love him, and have loved to hate him. In many ways he's the total package, but for some reason he's not made it to the brass ring, and Austin could be that ticket. Think of the humor and fun between Sandow and Austin leading up to a WrestleMania match! They could liven up any Road to WrestleMania, and then make the match exciting, back and forth, and really tell us a story through their work. Honestly, I'd be shocked if the WWE picked Sandow to work with Austin, but the thought of it makes me giddy.
Rollins is obviously being groomed to be a top guy, and more than succeeds in overcoming each obstacle put in front of him. Many people were worried that Rollins would get lost in the shuffle when The Shield broke apart, but they took care of that by having Rollins being the member that turned. Rollins took that ball and ran with it, continues to run with it, and makes every moment he has in front of the WWE 'Universe' count in a huge way. His mic work gets better by the week, and shockingly, so does his ring work. Rollins very well could be the best wrestler in the industry today, and he keeps improving. With Rollins involved with The Authority, he is in the best position to work against Austin if he was to come in for one last match. The (kayfabe) issues between Austin and McMahon, as well as his issues with Trip and Steph through the years makes Rollins the most likely young wrestler to go up against Stone Cold, and he's possibly the best to work with Austin on almost every level. While Rollins' mic work might not be up to Austin's level, his ring work will help carry the older wrestler through whatever he might need, and in the end make them both look fantastic to the fans.
Ambrose is one of my favorites in the WWE, and one I hope becomes a top guy who carries the WWE WHC for quite a while and quite often. He's an amazing talent, both in the ring and in his character work. Any man who would spend some serious time outside in a blizzard to make sure his character looked like he was cold is someone who thinks like a top guy. Ambrose has been said to be a cross between Austin and Foley, and I think that's an excellent way of explaining his work. Ambrose is a top character and terrific on mic, like Austin. His ring work is top notch with much crazy and unexpectedness, like Foley. Ambrose also has one of the most expressive faces and bodies I remember seeing. Everything he says and does, every move he makes with his face and body are deliberately done to further entertain the fans and deepen his character.
All those names being reviewed, I have to admit there's a few on the roster that I absolutely don't want to see working with Austin. There's a number of reasons behind why I don't think certain Superstars should face Austin in his last match, but this article was to look to the best on the roster for this role. There's so many great Superstars on the WWE roster right now, and that's not including the talent in NXT. I don't think there's been a better time for Austin to return and round off his career with one final and epic match. We can only hope that it actually happens and gives the push to the right wrestler.
Queen of WNW