Re: The Higher Power and Who ran over Stone Cold
I think the Higher Power angle, despite all the illogical twists and turns was carried just by the sheer energy of the Austin/McMahon feud. And yeah, CEO Austin was the highlight for sure and was also one of the biggest ratings jumps of that year. I think they wanted to give the Austin/McMahon angle one last go before Austin cut back on his schedule since it was originally supposed to end at Wrestlemania 15 as advertised.
The "Who Ran Over Stone Cold" angle was massively disappointing however, and I think the Rikishi reveal ended up cooling off Austin for some time since the fans weren't buying it. You had Triple H denying he was involved so often that by the time they revealed him to be behind it, the fans were like "Yeah, we kinda already knew that..." It was a mess, they just wanted to shoehorn a twist into the whole thing because they could. I would have rather had Jericho or even Angle be the ones to have done it.