Stone Cold Steve Austin regrets his decision to walk out on the WWE back in 2002.
Austin walked out after being presented with the idea of feuding with Brock Lesnar and allowing "The Beast" to go over on him in order to build up "The Next Big Thing." This resulted in a huge axe being thrust in between him and Vince McMahon's relationship, and Austin was the butt of many jokes on WWE TV.
The former WWE Champion recently appeared on former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia's show, Lilian Garcia: Making Their Way to the Ring, to reflect on the decision (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
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"It was a real stupid decision to fast forward there and go back to my family but ya when I heard about doing the favors you know from Jim Ross and I was in a hotel and I heard that information and I worked with Flair in Columbus, Georgia that night in a cage and that was Monday Night Raw in Atlanta.
"Then I called Vince that night people heard the story a million times and I didn't like the creative, I was burnt out and there had been a couple of real weird things that I thought were road blocks thrown at me that didn't make sense from a booking standpoint.
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"When you have an extremely hot talent who's selling tickets and merchandise like crazy you just kinda keep throwing gasoline on him and I thought this was road block unadvertised, all about trying to help the next guy up but right now we're running strong with me so anyway that's when I went home and if it hadn't been for Jim Ross who knows what would've happened."
"Because it was stupid, I mean here I am talking to Jim, he gives me creative, I don't like it, so then you know he calls the old man and the old man tells Jim 'Tell Steve to call me no matter what time it is, give me a call' because we got TV.
"This is live Monday Night Raw, so I call Vince at two am that morning his time and he tells me the same creative and I'm thinking as you and me are sitting here eye to eye face to face and I'm thinking 'all right so that's what we're gonna do, all right."
"Well you can't read my mind but you can look at me, I don't like what I'm hearing, so I was just thinking okay at the tone of my voice, it was stupid, I already knew right then, I already knew right then I was going to get on an airplane, book my flight and fly back to San Antonio'.
"What I should've done was gone to the building man to man, face Vince McMahon and said 'Hey you know I don't really like Ed and here's why I don't like Ed.
"I'm extremely hot right now and I want Brock to do well and you got a real blue chipper right there, he's an absolute phenomenal freak, and he's very charismatic, he's gonna draw a lot of money but not right now.
"It's my time and we need to do something else, and if you do want to do that match well lets promote it, let's build it, and lets make something of it then make some money on a Pay Per View, and so I should've went there and talked to Vince man to man, face to face and sell it rather than going home—it was the dumbest thing I could ever do."
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