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Old 04-03-2021, 05:08 PM   #1
Lord Gertner of TPWW
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Was it wrong to turn Austin at WM17

I always hear this brought up, but almost everyone I've spoken to about this loves the heel Austin run. I've never bought into that narrative

Was it wrong and did you like heel Austin in 2001?



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Originally Posted by owenbrown View Post
HEY GERTNER YOU DELUSIONAL PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT YOU ARE NOT GOD YOU ARE A BLASPHEMOUS PIECE OF SHIT AND YOU ARE GOING TO HELL FOR VIOLATING THE FIRST COMMANDMENT! EITHER THAT OR YOU HAVE A SERIOUS DRUG PROBLEM AND NEED COUNSELING AND REHAB IMMEDIATELY!




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Originally Posted by Zeeboe View Post

Dear God,


Can you please give us Dustin Diamond back and take Gertner instead?
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Old 04-03-2021, 05:47 PM   #2
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Heel Austin is the only time I liked Austin
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:21 PM   #3
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Same here. Loved 97 Austin as well.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:35 PM   #4
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One of the stupidest things the company did, right up there with going public and botching the invasion.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:48 PM   #5
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See, I don't get what was so bad about it. Could you explain your position. Just curious.
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Old 04-03-2021, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Gertner of TPWW View Post
Same here. Loved 97 Austin as well.
Liked him as the heel vs. Bret Hart's megaface, and then didn't like him again until he turned heel at WM17.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:05 PM   #7
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The Austin heel term was fine and made sense. Austin admitted he was getting stale and it freshened up his character. The problem they eventually ran into was not having any star power for the invasion angle and using him to lead it. That’s when shit went south.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Gertner of TPWW View Post
See, I don't get what was so bad about it. Could you explain your position. Just curious.
It killed the Austin character as he had no strong faces to work against in the immediate aftermath of the turn and people, at large, had no interest in paying to boo him just because the company said they were supposed to. It watered things down in terms of the Alliance because everyone in that group had to play second fiddle to him even though he was clearly a WWE guy and it was just one more pile of dirt on top of the WCW guys. Then when the company tried to reverse course after Survivor Series and pull a Jedi mind trick as if the previous 7 months hadn't happened putting Austin back in the role of 'rebellious face getting on Vince's nerves' it fell flat because the people knew it was B.S. Jim Cornette can explain this better than I can because he has a great analysis on the subject but the gist of it is that there was really no good business reason to do it. It'd have been like turning Hogan in 1988 and also having Savage a heel.
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Old 04-03-2021, 08:59 PM   #9
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yes it was wrong. next question.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:19 PM   #10
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Damn you Destor.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:23 PM   #11
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Heel Austin was entertaining but they botched the whole thing by having him actually aligning with Vince.

Didn't really mesh well with Austin's character/persona to be pals with Vince and ended up feeling more like WWE was just squeezing whatever last drops the Austin-Vince dynamic still had but in the wrong direction.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lord Gertner of TPWW View Post
Damn you Destor.
it alienated casuals. the Austin character tapped into something that resonated with the average joe. the transition felt like it was straight out of the soaps and took their top draw and left them with nothing to fill the void. wrestling fans liked it for the most part but as much as most dont like to hear this wrestling fans are a niche audience of the WWFs viewership. austin tapped into EVERYONE as a potential viewer and without him...well the numbers tell the story.
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Old 04-03-2021, 09:39 PM   #13
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you turn a guy when businesses is slumping not when its red hot. imo austin knew his bump card was running out and wanted not to have to bump so much. the heel turn was for selfish reasons not for business reasons. it didnt work and he never recovered from it.

Last edited by Destor; 04-03-2021 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 04-04-2021, 03:25 AM   #14
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It was shit.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:42 AM   #15
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I bet they turned Austin heel thinking they would get Sting or Goldberg to be babyface for The Invasion. Of they had Goldberg vs Austin that would have saved the whole story.
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Old 04-04-2021, 11:52 AM   #16
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Austin's said himself that had he known what him turning heel would've done to the business, he would've booked the main event the exact same way but just give Vince a Stunner right after they shook hands.
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Old 04-04-2021, 04:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destor View Post
you turn a guy when businesses is slumping not when its red hot. imo austin knew his bump card was running out and wanted not to have to bump so much. the heel turn was for selfish reasons not for business reasons. it didnt work and he never recovered from it.
You have to bump far more as a heel.

It was a terrible idea and didn't work because nobody wanted to boo him and nobody wanted to pay to see Steve Austin as a heel headlining. That about covers it really. That's not to say the work itself was bad, it was great, just nobody wanted it. The wrestling fans that were going to stay forever are the ones inclined not to judge it based on big picture, but on if they enjoy the show. The ones that make the difference had no desire to see it.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:13 PM   #18
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So many wrong people
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:34 PM   #19
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heel might take one bump in the shine. maybe, you can easily get into the heat without it but one good bump before you start the heat is usually the way to go. then a few bumps on the comeback. unless youre doing bump and feed stuff 3-5.


the baby? he's going to bump in the shine (especially with things like monkey see monkey do spots) and the comeback (youre both going to bump at that point) plus youre going to bump him a dozen times during the heat. everytime you feed him hope youre going to cut him off and bump him.


being a baby is bumping and selling. thats the gig.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:49 PM   #20
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It also sucked because the next top baby face wasn’t there to fill the void. Rock left for Hollywood immediately after which left them with Taker as the only main event face. Which was fine but there wasn’t much else.
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Old 04-04-2021, 05:59 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Austin's said himself that had he known what him turning heel would've done to the business, he would've booked the main event the exact same way but just give Vince a Stunner right after they shook hands.
That would have been a way better ending to the show than what actually happened.

You still run into the issue of the lack of big babyface stars on his level afterwards but at least you avoid any "jumping the shark" moment involving his character and legendary feud with Vince.
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Old 04-04-2021, 06:09 PM   #22
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I feel like Triple H tearing his quad really threw a wrench into the whole thing early on.
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:12 PM   #23
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I enjoyed his paranoid character a lot and honestly 2001 was a phenomenal year when i watch it back today. It definitely could of been a lot better if more WCW star power was signed or if HHH didn't tear his quad, but it's one of the years i like to go back and watch a lot today.

I do agree the aligning with Vince thing was really stupid. That was a cheap way of turning him. I think they could of found a few other alternatives to do it without Vince. I enjoyed the two man power trip, but you guys are right, the WWE really lacked the big babyface they needed to feud with Austin. Austin was placed in a lot of tag feuds coming off Mania (Hardy's, Beniot/Jericho, Taker/Kane) and while they were great matches, it wasn't the Austin vs Rock kind of feud. Then he kind of turned back to babyface during the Invasion angle and then turned again aligning with WCW, which made no sense.

Now Austin's character range and skits during all this were pretty entertaining, but his drawing power really diminished after this whole year
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Old 04-04-2021, 08:44 PM   #24
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I am in the same camp, initially it wasn't great, but after the 2 man power trip ended and they pivoted the character, that was absolute gold.

The stuff he did with Angle was incredible. And in the end he didn't lose anything. Watch that Raw after Survivor Series where Flair debuted as the co-owner. Austin came down, got his belt, and got one of his all time big pops. He was red hot that night.

The real mistake was the follow up to that, him dropping the belt right away, playing 2nd fiddle to Rock against the nWo, then pushed aside for HHH and Hogan.

Hindsight 20/20 and all, but he should have tore through everybody until well past Mania 18 as Champion. Had they done it right, Austin could have carried it until Summerslam and dropped the title to Brock. That would have been major box office.
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Old 04-05-2021, 07:10 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Destor View Post
heel might take one bump in the shine. maybe, you can easily get into the heat without it but one good bump before you start the heat is usually the way to go. then a few bumps on the comeback. unless youre doing bump and feed stuff 3-5.


the baby? he's going to bump in the shine (especially with things like monkey see monkey do spots) and the comeback (youre both going to bump at that point) plus youre going to bump him a dozen times during the heat. everytime you feed him hope youre going to cut him off and bump him.


being a baby is bumping and selling. thats the gig.
Not more than a heel, man. In the shine, the heel is taking the flat backs on the armdrags, hiptosses, dropkicks, or just plain getting his ass kicked. In the heat, the face can get bumped around a lot, but he doesn't have to - you can work in such a way that you can get beaten up and move around and fight without having to take too many bumps. Selling yes, bumping you can work around. BUT in the comeback and home stretch, there's no option - the heel has to bump huge to pay everything off.

To move this back to Austin, he bumped far harder and far more as a heel than a babyface. There are extreme cases like taking 10 germans from Benoit on Smackdown to point to, but as a rule, he was far more of a pinball than his babyface tenure. The babyface can get away with selling realistically and not having to take a ton of impacts because its about trying to get the audience to sympathise, you want them to understand, whereas the heel's job is be the guy to bump big to pay off the crowd's energy and investment up to that point.
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Old 04-05-2021, 03:59 PM   #26
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Turning Austin heel at Wrestlemania was not a very good idea just because Austin was so well established as a face, it was hard to hate him. Not to mention, he was so entertaining as a heel, you still wanted him to win.

Its like turning "Real" Nathan Naturals into a face. That man is so easy to hate that if he was to be a face, fans would still hate him. Some people are just born for one role!
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Old 04-05-2021, 09:00 PM   #27
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What?
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Old 04-05-2021, 11:43 PM   #28
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Exactly like Nathan Naturals.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:53 AM   #29
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Heel Austin was entertaining but they botched the whole thing by having him actually aligning with Vince.
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Old 04-06-2021, 11:59 AM   #30
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The heel turn was a mistake because you knew you were losing Rock, (and had to know it was more or less going to be permanent sooner than later,) your closest equivalent babyface who appealed to casual viewers ala Austin, to Hollywood. The alignment with McMahon was really the thing that hurt the most though. In fact, I think you could have done the same thing like so many, including Austin himself, have said but not aligned with Vince and HHH, and essentially turned him into an even more vicious version of the babyface Austin and not have had such a negative reaction and the loss of casual viewers.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:39 PM   #31
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This is a difficult question to answer: On the one hand, turning Austin heel was ill-advised because The Rock was on the verge of switching to part-time due to his burgeoning Hollywood career and so with an Austin heel turn, you’ve effectively gotten rid of your top two baby faces. On the other hand, there was evidence to suggest that Austin’s character was cooling off a bit. It’s inevitable. It happens. It happened to Hogan, it happened to The Rock, it happened to Cena, and it likely would have happened to Austin had he stayed face, although in Austin’s case, I don’t think he would have been booed out of the building. He likely would started to receive lukewarm face pops.

Personally? I would have still done the Austin heel turn, but I would have committed to it. No face turn after Survivor Series. I would have kept Austin as a heel until Wrestlemania 18 and would have had Jericho go over Austin in the main-event. Basically, Austin and Triple H would have switched spots on that card for me while Austin would have never turned face while Jericho would have never turned heel.

Last edited by Reacher; 04-07-2021 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-10-2021, 08:13 PM   #32
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It made “sense,” but was too cute. It kind of made a lot of what went before seem trivial. People didn’t *want* to see it. Rock was leaving, and it helped erode their business. Austin’s performances were great, but it didn’t feel right.
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