Jonathan Coachman has recalled Stone Cold Steve Austin not turning up to face him for a planned match at Taboo Tuesday in 2005.
At the event, ‘Coach’ instead found himself going up against Batista in a Street Fight. The stipulation was chosen by WWE fans, who voted on the match type, with Street Fight earning a whopping 91% of the vote. However, Coachman has now revealed that original plans would have seen him square off against The Texas Rattlesnake.
Appearing on a Q and A hosted by AdFreeShows.com the former WWE announcer explained that the planned bout was scrapped after Austin didn’t turn up. Coachman said that Austin felt the match was beneath him so didn’t show up, leading to the match with Batista.
“I’ll start this by saying I love Stone Cold Steve Austin. The last couple of years we connected a couple of times, and I have a lot of respect for what he’s done and what he meant to the business. That was not one of his best moments. He felt like it was below him to step into the ring with me. Even though the storyline was pretty good and at the time I was a heel that was getting quite a bit of heat in the arenas. It wouldn’t have been much more than talking a little trash, you know, Stone Cold Stunner and then I’d wear a dress, but he didn’t even show up.”
“He didn’t show up. That’s the truth. He felt like it was below him, he didn’t show up, but it wasn’t the only time that he did that. The only thing — I’m not even bitter to this day about it. I wish I would have got the check. Because I didn’t get the check. When you wrestled Stone Cold you got paid more. But I have no ill will towards him at all because he had a long career, he had a lot of things going on, he was a big star, and I certainly wasn’t in his world. But that particular time, I wouldn’t say it was his best moment.”
Steve Austin retired from in-ring competition in 2003, bowing out after defeat to The Rock at WrestleMania 19.
Jonathan Coachman initially joined WWE in 1999, going on to work as an interviewer, announcer and presenter. In 2003, his on-screen role expanded as he became assistant to RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff. For the next five years, ‘The Coach’ would hold similar on-screen authority roles while sometimes still working as an announcer.
Coach returned to commentary full-time in 2008 before leaving to take on a role with ESPN. During the following years he made sporadic appearances with WWE before returning to the company in 2018.