CM Punk vs “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
The most recognized name of the attitude era, a legend, meets the cult of personality, the name that’s still chanted in WWE today. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs CM Punk was teased by WWE, by CM Punk and Steve Austin personally, and remains to be the rivalry every wrestling fans wants to see. Both wrestlers are promo legends, creative yet athletic characters who can adapt to any environment tho they tend to make their own. It’s a natural rivalry that would have created fire, were it in a slightly different time or place. If this dream match will never happen in any form going forward, it may very well be WWE’s biggest mistake in not capitalizing in time.
2002 While CM Punk made a name for himself working in IWA:Mid-South, Stone Cold Steve Austin walked out on WWE for the second time. Steve publicly stating that he felt that bad storylines were presented to him by the creative team and that this time his departure was for good. After making no appearances for half a year, it was reported that Austin and McMahon came to an agreement at the end of the year.
2003 Steve Austin began his non-wrestling career with WWE as the Raw Co-General Manager. He still included wrestling moves including the Stone Cold Stunner and several exchanges of punches and kicks, although limiting regularity of these being performed. CM Punk from February 2003 until May 2004, refused to wrestle for IWA:Mid-South for his own reasons. During this time he wrestled for ROH and TNA.
2005 Stone Cold Steve Austin during 2005 and on, made sporadic appearances in the WWE. While CM Punk made his way to the top of ROH. In May, Punk received a WWE try-out match against Val Venis on Sunday Night Heat. Punk was offered a contract and accepted it, but still defeated Austin Aries to win the ROH World Championship on June 18. Immediately after the match, Punk started to threaten to bring the ROH World Championship to WWE with him, teased the ROH locker room, and mocked the ROH fans with it. He went as far as to sign his WWE contract on it. ROH refers to Punk’s storyline as the “Summer of Punk”. He lost the title prior to leaving for WWE in September and starting in WWE’s developmental territory, OVW.
2011 CM Punk made his way up through the years to become the WWE Champion in 2011. On June 27th, while wearing a “Stone Cold” tshirt, Punk sat on the RAW stage and delivered a “pipe bomb” on-air shoot concerning the way WWE is run and it’s owner Vince McMahon. He revealed that his contract would expire on July 17 and vowed to leave the company with the WWE Championship for ROH. Punk was suspended, and then reinstated for a match with John Cena on the night that his contract expired. CM Punk won the match, and blew a kiss to Vince McMahon as he ran through the crowd with the WWE title in hand. Punk ended up signing a highest-paid contract with WWE, before the match.
2014 After being underutilized, dealing with untreated injuries on WWE’s part, and being burnt out, on Jan 27th CM Punk walked out after telling Vince McMahon and Triple H that he was “going home”. WWE suspended Punk for 2 months, and after which did not reach out to him. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin comments on the issue and remembers the time he walked away from WWE the first time and thinks that CM Punk will clear his head and return. However onn CM Punk’s wedding day in June 2014, Punk was fired by WWE . This was the last straw for Punk, stating that he would never return to WWE. In late July, Punk said that he was “never ever” going to return to wrestling. Since then, CM Punk got into MMA and fought in the UFC.
It was teased to happen:
2010 On RAW’s 900th episode on August 30th, CM Punk and the Straight Edge Society cut a promo on a memorable RAW moment from 2007 involving Stone Cold. The promo was interrupted by Stone Cold’s music and the fans lost it. Unfortunately the tease was part of the promo.
2011 On June 13th, CM Punk confronted “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in a RAW segment. Stone Cold offered CM Punk a beer, to which Straight Edge CM Punk responded with Stone Cold’s line “What?”. In a 2011 radio interview, CM Punk was asked: Who would you like at WrestleMania this year?
CM Punk: “Steve Austin the biggest star in the wrestling business, bigger than Hulk Hogan by a landslide. I don’t think Steve would come out of retirement for anything less than the main even of Wrestlemania, nor should he. I’m not guaranteeing anything, but we have WrestleMania 29 next year, and I think I can talk a lot of trash and maybe coke Steven into putting the boots on one more time – But I’m not promising anything.”
2012 In October, CM Punk and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin sat down with Jim Ross to discuss the each other and a clash within the new at the time WWE 2k13 video game.
2017 Steve Austin was asked about 1 more run and if it would have been with CM Punk.
Steve Austin: “God dang, the promos I could have had with that guy, the matches I could have had with that guy. It would’ve been like a walk in the park and it would’ve been so fun. When we filmed the WWE 2k13 video when CM Punk was in one chair, I was in the other and Jim Ross between us. I was out of business for a good while, and they started saying how are we gonna do this. That was unscripted. Jim asked the questions, but it was damn near a shoot. I told Punk: hey man, I can’t be no retired Steve Austin guy, I gotta be Stone Cold. I’m gonna be bringing it. And so I brought it. You could feel the tension in that room, you can feel it thru the screen. And Punk was right there me. We didn’t know what we were expecting out of each other. But it was a one take deal we didn’t do it again. That’s the kind of pro that CM Punk is and that’s how fun it was. And you could feel it coming thru the screen – hell I get excited just talking about it. So yeah. I would have loved to have a match with CM Punk. It ain’t never gonna happen. And CM Punk is still young enough to get in the ring so we’ll see what happens form there. An awesome wrestler and a tremendous promo, in CM Punk.”
Ending with: “I was a shame, like CM Punk said in the video game you could see the match-up, we had to kinda like hey man, this ain’t really gonna happen – there’s some tension here between the two of us but this shit is just gonna have to happen in the video game. We kinda had to put that disclaimer in there but, we felt it.”
Tale of the tape:
|Go 2 Sleep (GTS)||Finisher||Stone Cold Stunner|
|“Pipe bomb”||Known For||“Austin 3:16”|
Who would win this rivalry?
Can it still happen?
Both wrestlers are retired. CM Punk is constantly answering media’s “wrestling return” questions with “I am done with wrestling.” Of course, the wrestling retirement world is “never say never”. However, Steve Austin is past 50 and is 14 years older than CM Punk. Past this point, if a segment were to ever happen, if would be in a 1-off Stunner or possibly promo feud to put over younger talent. A possibility of CM Punk appearing on Stone Cold’s podcast is always possible, but maybe not in the wrestling feud style that one may expect.