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T3C: Austin at the crossroads



11 April 2004

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Itís contract negotiation time again and it appears this time Austin is playing a dangerous game with Vince McMahon and I just canít see what heís playing at. The simple question that has to be asked by Vince is can WWE do without Stone Cold Steve Austin? At this point in time, sadly I think the answer is ĎYes.í

Austin is no longer an in-ring performer, so he canít bring that to the table anymore. The odd Stone Cold Stunner doesnít do anything for me anymore Iím afraid, itís just far too predictable. The same goes for the beer drinking routine.

So he canít wrestle, so what else can Austin do for WWE? Well heís the Sheriff of Raw which must be the most stupid thing weíve seen in a long time. Just what is the real difference between being Sheriff and co-GM? Both simply serve to create situations in which Austin can make Bischoffís life hell. If Austin is to carry on a great chance has just been wasted. Austin battling with Heyman would have been more entertaining, both are great on the mic and Heyman is a lot more fiendish and believable than greasy old Eric. Then again, why not move Austin to Smackdown and let him battle with Kurt Angle? Their sketches were about the only memorable thing from the whole Invasion storyline, a repeat wouldnít be a bad thing.

So Austin canít wrestle and his Sheriff role just isnít working, what else can he offer? Well, he has the potential to bring WWE a lot of bad publicity at a time when slowly they seem to be turning the corner. His home life doesnít seem to be ideal at present and that temper of his is going to cause a scandal sooner or later.

Itís not looking good is it? Sure Austin is still popular, that moment at Wrestlemania when he couldnít resist a smile as the fans shouted his name, was a great moment but again he did very little in that match apart from the predictable stunners. So what can Austin do in WWE?

How about becoming a manager? Austin could use his skills on the mic to help someone who hasnít quite what it takes in that department. Also being associated with someone of Austinís stature would be good for the youngster. Who are the candidates? Well, it all depends on whether Austin is a face or a heel. If heís a face which is always best for him, he gets the cheers even if heís a heel, candidates could include: Garrison Cade, Jon Heidenreich, The Hurricane (he needs a push) or Maven.

Iím not sure what will happen to Austin. His current work isnít impressive and too predictable. If he is to stay with the company something has to change, and thatís the bottom line cause The Three Count say so!

Stephen Ashfield

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