WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin recently spoke with Sports Illustrated and stopped short of christening Kevin Owens as the next Stone Cold, despite the Stunner being used as his finisher, and the storyline with Shane McMahon. Instead of a potential angle or storyline between the two on WWE TV, Austin would prefer that the spotlight be placed only on Owens, which would give him the opportunity to rise in WWE off of his own work.
The Rattlesnake said no one will be the next Steve Austin.
"With Kevin Owens, don't throw my name on there," Austin said. "This guy can talk a lot of trash, he is great in the ring, and he's using my finisher, but hell, no one is going to be the next Steve Austin.
"I remember when people were saying I was going to be the next Ric Flair when I was in WCW. No one's ever going to be the next Ric Flair, and you're not going to see the next Hulk Hogan or the next Bret Hart, either. It just doesn't happen that way. People like to say that because of the similarities, but what we should be saying is, 'I want this guy to be the next big thing.'"
Austin said he is a fan of Owens, and he gives Owens his blessing to use the Stunner.
"My finish was being used by someone else before I really made it famous, or trademarked it, so to speak," said Austin. "So I told him, go ahead and use the Stone Cold Stunner."
He continued, "I met him a long time ago at an airport and gave him some advice about cutting a promo. I like Kevin Owens, I think he does an amazing job with his promos and in the ring."
Austin said the recent comparisons are similar to people comparing RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch to him when she first started "The Man" run.
"It's just like when people wanted to compare me to Becky Lynch," Austin said. "We have similar attitudes, but she's done things so differently than I have. She's running her own race, she has her own career, and she's doing a phenomenal job. People are comparing her to me because she's got that abrasive attitude like I did, but that's what we are supposed to have in pro wrestling. You know, I always hated when people called the 'Attitude Era' the 'Attitude Era' because I always thought professional wrestlers had attitude to begin with. So just let Kevin be Kevin, put him in good situations and don't put the brakes on him. If you're going to run with this guy, then let him be the biggest, baddest, best Kevin Owens he can be."