Stone Cold Steve Austin is, arguably, the biggest star the wrestling business has ever seen.
So The Texas Rattlesnake certainly knows what is and isn't good business.
A return for The Bionic Redneck would have been huge, huge business if he had decided to have returned anytime since his departure following his match with The Rock at WrestleMania 19 back in 2003.
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However, for reasons many associated with his health, that was never ever to happen. But for Bill Goldberg, at 49-years-old, he has returned to the WWE for the first time in 12 years.
Austin, who has interviewed Goldberg on his podcast in the past, gave an interview on a recent PWTorch Livecast episode and talked about why the former WCW star never quite soared like he should have in his initial one-year run with the WWE.
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"He was coming off being paid by WCW, had a great deal over there, he was super super over in WCW," Austin said. "The window already closed, I was getting ready to get out of there, so Stone Cold vs. Goldberg never happened. All of these years that go by, because he was so over in WCW, he gets in the big leagues, whether it was the writing or he didn't really fit the system for whatever reasons, when he got back in the ring [on the Oct. 24 episode of Raw], and that crowd started going 'Goldberg,' he had tears in his eyes."
So what worked this time around?
"It was about the crowd responding in such great fashion," Austin insisted. "I'm not sure Goldberg is the greatest promo guy that ever walked the planet that did business in the squared circle, but an A+ promo by Bill Goldberg handling the task at hand, all those emotions, it was completely real and authentic. I felt it was a great piece of television. If the ratings went up, it means he did indeed mean something to a lot of people. I'm excited for his opportunity and I'm glad to see him back. Whoever knows how long it's going to last, whether it's one match or two matches or whatever, it was a good piece of TV and Bill handled it about as good as anybody could have handled it."
Austin also denied that Goldberg's WWE return is financially motivated on either end, stating: "Yeah, there's some dollars and some cents on the table that's going to go to Bill Goldberg and the WWE, but this wasn't about the money."
How Goldberg fares against the WWE's top draw in Brock Lesnar this week will go a long way to deciding how long his fantasy run will last.