Stone Cold Steve Austin cheering for Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 37: 'He's the big dog and it's his yard'
"Without a doubt," Austin tells EW about how he's feeling about Reign, who'll be defending his title as universal champion against Edge and Daniel Bryan.
"It's been really interesting to watch his career because of his lineage, all of his family members that have been in the business. They're all pretty phenomenal," he continues. "So Roman's had his reign. A few years ago it was all about whether he's a babyface or is he a heel. Everybody wanted him to turn heel but [WWE CEO] Vince [McMahon] wanted that face of the company."
Reigns, born Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoa'i, joined the WWE in 2010 following in the footsteps of his legendary family members including father Sika Anoa'i, brother Rosey, and multiple cousins including Johnson.
"[Roman] didn't struggle. I think the company struggled booking him in a fashion that was conducive to helping propel him," Austin shares.
"Now with this liaison with Paul Heyman [showing] here's why you should hate [Roman] and here's his anchor, now Roman is the big dog and it's his yard," he adds. "Now there's more of an identity to him and he has this presence. He's a good-looking guy who has a great body [and] he's a great worker. He's charismatic but he needed someone to give him a reason for the crowd to hate him. There's still working on that, but yeah, big fan and I think he'll do well. He's already off to a fantastic career and I know he has a lot more years in him in this industry. I'm pretty sure Hollywood will call when he decides to hang it up."
Austin is happily retired though there could be a dream match out there that would convince him to get back into the ring one last time. Reigns has long discussed battling The Rock and with Stone Cold such a fan of the former, maybe a dream tag team match with Hulk Hogan added to the ticket could serve as the perfect temptation?
"I love the fantasy booking! Those are four great people to be in a match with," Austin says while laughing. "But due to the various generational gaps, you know it's never going to happen. But what a lot of star power! The story we could tell and the way that we could tell it, especially involving that fifth person which is the referee. There are so many things you could do but we're never going to see it."
When asked if the generation gap was in reference to Hulk Hogan, he quips, "Well, I'm not too far behind him."
A documentary based on his life titled Biography: 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin is set to debut on A&E on April 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
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