On the latest episode of his podcast Grilling JR, WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross discussed what the plans would have been for WrestleMania 18 had the nWo not come into the company.
"Well, those two guys, it would have been them against each other, first of all. Three was plenty. And every other year for three years is good for Rock and Steve, but I don’t know. That was part of Austin’s issue, ‘You got nobody ready for me,’ and he was right. Vince Sr. would not let it be the case for nobody was ready for Backlund or there’s no heels ready for Bruno, there’s no heels ready for Hulk. So we got a situation where we had no heels ready for Stone Cold."
"Don’t think so, little early, little early. But eventually, that was the match. Eventually that’s the match we wanted to have, Brock Lesnar and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Both healthy as they could be, and with a great build, but again, Brock wasn’t ready yet. He was ready physically, Conrad, my God he was ready physically when he was in 9th grade, he’s a freak, and I wrote a lot about, we were talking about my new book, he said there’s a lot of WrestleMania 19 like content, and to show how much we appreciated his work, he and Kurt Angle closed the show at WrestleMania 19, it wasn’t Rock and Austin. And the reason for that was Steve was in the hospital the night before, got out on Sunday, and we didn’t know what we were gonna have there. Is he gonna be fatigued? Dehydrated? What’s the deal? But I don’t think so. But the eventual match, no doubt about it, man, would have been Austin and Lesnar. And that’s the thing that drove Steve home, is that he was booked to wrestle Lesnar [on a RAW and lose] and not even advertise it, it just happens. And that was so stupid and nearsighted and a lot of us felt that way, but nobody demonstrated their feelings more than Steve. I won’t say better, but more aggressively, because he just said, ‘Fuck it, I’m going home, I’m not doing this.’ He didn’t mind putting Brock over, it’s a different issue, but why are we wasting this?"