"Stone Cold" Steve Austin is not planning to get back in the ring anytime soon. But, if he was ready to lace up his boots and hand out Stone Cold Stunners, he knows just who he would go after. PopCulture.com had a chance to talk to Austin in a telephone call, where he revealed the three current WWE Superstars he would love to face — Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley, the reigning WWE Champion.
"Drew McIntyre has done a phenomenal job," Austin told PopCulture exclusively. "Man, he's done a really great job. Great interviews. Randy Orton's promos and character work are phenomenal. Bobby Lashley is working at an intensity level which has been amazing."
McIntyre has emerged as the face of WWE over the past year. He has won the WWE Championship twice during that span and has a chance to win it a third time as he's facing Lashley at WrestleMania 37 next month. His rise comes after being released from WWE in 2014 and spending time on the independent circuit while making a name for himself there.
Orton is a future WWE Hall of Famer as he's been performing at a high level for nearly 20 years. He has won the WWE Championship 10 times and the World Heavyweight Championship four times in his career. And at 40 years old, Orton shows no signs of slowing down as he's set to face "The Feind" Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania.
Lashley made history earlier this month, becoming the third Black wrestler to become WWE Champion, with the other two being Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kofi Kingston. Like McIntyre, Lashley left WWE before for a long stretch before returning stronger than he was in the first run.
But Austin versus any of those three opponents would make the WWE Universe go wild as they would be dream WrestleMania matchups. The 56-year-old Texas native has had his share of WrestleMania moments, especially with Johnson, as they faced each other three times. When talking about his WrestleMania 17 match with Johnson, Austin said it's a battle he'll "never forget" thanks to the ride they took. "[It was] a record crowd at the Houston Astrodome," he said. "I got to headline three WrestleManias with The Rock."
Austin knows who he wants to face now and respects the guys he's faced during his career. But when it comes to the future of WWE, Austin believes that Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair will be the next big stars. "When you look at them, they both just jump off [the] chart with their looks, their physicality, the way they adapted to the business, their athletic ability, the way they process things," he said. "Those are two from the women's division to keep an eye on because I see big things for both of those two women."