Re: Stone Cold's 2001 heel run
Austin was ultra talented to the point where he could be the top face or heel and play either role amazing. The WWE had a spare and equally talented baby face at the time in The Rock to use so the Austin heel turn was doable.
I don't think Austin was ever thrilled about the heel turn though. I've heard rumors Vince wanted to keep him heel and have him face Triple H at WM 18 for the title but Austin didn't want to stay heel long enough for that to happen.