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THE SCOOP: Visit our News & Rumours page.


Austin, WWE teaming up
By DON CALLIS
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The biggest draw in the history of the industry may well be on his way back to a TV screen near you. No, we are not referring to Terry Bollea, but rather to legendary WWF champion Steve Austin. Rumors started last week when it was revealed on various Internet sites that Austin's relationship with Vince McMahon was solid (not a surprise) and that a return seemed likely, for sure at Wrestlemania and likely before that.

Austin and McMahon, by all accounts, like each other personally and the fact that a deal could be consummated is far from surprising.

Austin's career changed over the past couple of years when neck problems, that had taken their toll on his body for several years, finally caught up with him to the point that it would be fairly unwise of him to wrestle a regular schedule. Austin's last role in the company had been as a general manager, which allowed him to do much of the routine that had made him the biggest money draw ever in the business, just minus the pay per view matches.

Austin, who unlike Hulk Hogan, never had a style suited to wrestling at less than 100%, always said that he did not want to come back unless he could wrestle like he always did (great). In fact Austin's character and acting ability was so phenomenal that his incredible in-ring work was often overlooked. The fact is that he was one of the best workers in the world for a prolonged period of time in the late '90s and into the new millennium.

Even if Austin can never come back to wrestle a major schedule, his personality is such that he will be able to be a major player in terms of selling pay per views and merchandise; in other words, he is a huge cash cow for the company.

It is highly unlikely that anyone will ever move the type of numbers in merchandise that Austin has during his career (or sell as many pay per views).

What will be interesting is to see how WWE will use him to maximum benefit. The bottom line is that he injects an unmatched excitement when he enters a building, and in true old-school fashion, makes everyone around him seem like a bigger star. Welcome back, Steve.

K-5 News

DDP is likely to make an appearance on the TNA pay per view Victory Road, slated to take place at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. Many of the performers are happy with the locale as it has a more big-time feel to it and ensures a higher end look from a production standpoint ... Jeff Hardy missed the TV tapings this past week ... TNA wrestler Johnny Devine, who is originally from Winnipeg, was stabbed this past week in Nashville. Devine underwent four hours of surgery and will be out of action for at least four to six weeks. He is now out of hospital and recovering. All the best for a speedy recovery for John ... Dr. Luther remains active on the Portland circuit. Luther has been one of the top independent wrestlers in the world for several year ... Lance Storm continues to do well in his position of trainer for WWE ... also rumored for the Victory Road pay per view is X-Pac.