Re: Stone Cold's 2001 heel run
I enjoyed the run. It was unexpected and completely different from his previous character and he was having great matches. However I also agree it could have been executed much better.
If Rock had stayed around it would have been an instant success as SC would have had a natural, equal rival for fans to cheer and a reason to boo SC. As Rock was going they should have built up Jericho in the months beforehand to be believable going against SC, and take over top Face billing from April, not wait until after Judgement Day. Taker was the wrong choice for SCís first feud for the following reasons:
1) It had been done so many times before. Face Taker vs Tweener SC/ Face SC vs Face Taker/ Heel Taker vs Face SC.
2) Takerís booking was too protective. How can a Heel get heat if the Face always has the upper hand? Austin wasnít allowed to look ruthless and relentless as he had at WM17 and the night after which is why he had to change the character and bring in the comedy elements.
3) Fans werenít really behind Taker at this point. The big pops from his return the year before were dwindling; he was stale and would be until he turned Heel himself in November.