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Stone Cold Steve Austin has argued that it didn't feel right for him to 'put over' Brock Lesnar after he snubbed their WWE clash in 2002.
The 55-year-old WWE legend was set to enter into a feud with Lesnar, who had burst onto the main roster in 2002, and was scheduled to lose in their King of the Ring qualifier on an episode of Raw.
But Austin, who is widely regarded as the best superstar in the company's history, made the shocking decision to walk out from the WWE.
The WWE Hall of Famer has now opened up about the incident and revealed that he was against the build-up to his showdown with the 'Beast.'
The 'Texas Rattlesnake' told Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast: "And the time they wanted me to fly down to Atlanta for Monday Night Raw and put over Brock Lesnar.
"The night before, I was working in Columbus, Georgia, working with Ric Flair in a cage, so I was like a kid in a candy store working with the GOAT, so of course I didn't show up.
"Because it wasn't time for me to do the favours yet for Brock in an unadvertised match in a tournament-style TV match whereas hey, man, I love Brock Lesnar, I'd lose to him any day of the week, but build it up so we can all make money off of it and it's going to mean something.
"And when you get a guy red hot, and I just had [Hulk] Hogan on the podcast, and I'll put myself there, but when you get guys who really, really draw stupid money, it's a very delicate balance that you just don't take stupid liberties with or you'll kill it off and you can never recreate it.
"So I was very protective of myself, maybe too much so, but it took me seven and a half years to get there, so no-one was going to yank the carpet out from underneath my feet, not even Vince [McMahon]."
WWE CEO and chairman Vince McMahon and legendary commentator Jim Ross buried Austin on TV after he walked out of the company.
Austin made his sensational return to WWE in 2003, but the beer-swilling Texas native wouldn't compete against Lesnar before he retired in the same year.
The WWE legend has since praised Lesnar's impact in the business and even named him the best wrestler of this decade.
Featured Image Credit: Pardon My Take/WWE
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