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Who was hotter?

  • The Rock - 2000

    Votes: 30 29.7%
  • Steve Austin - 1998

    Votes: 71 70.3%
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I'm just gonna update as I go through the build up to Mania 17 with random thoughts. I only saw Smackdown live and a raw highlights show, back in 2001.

First night after NWO and Rock got the bigger pop.
2nd week and it's definitely weird throwing Debra into the mix. Just totally not needed. Humanises Austin a bit too, I felt.

March 8th Smackdown, when Rock said he'd whoop Austin's ass, he got mostly cheered, a few small boos, followed by a big Rocky chant.
 

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First night after NWO and Rock got the bigger pop.
Here is the post No Way Out segment you're talking about. But in this video, there is something I'm not sure of! @7:37 are they chanting for The Rock?


If yes, then there is another video of babyface Rock vs babyface Austin, where the crowd chants for The Rock.
 

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Here is the post No Way Out segment you're talking about. But in this video, there is something I'm not sure off. @7:37 are they chanting for The Rock?


If yes, then there is another video of babyface Rock vs babyface Austin, where the crowd chants for The Rock.
The very first chant sounded like 'Austin' with the remaining 3-4 sounding more like 'Rocky' but it seemed to be the same group chanting the entire time rather than some split crowd. So I don't know lol.

I edited this into my post above;
March 8th Smackdown, when Rock said he'd whoop Austin's ass, he got mostly cheered, a few small boos, followed by a big Rocky chant.

Also...
Never really thought of this before but Haku was totally boring in 01 and arguably pulled Rikishi down with him.
 

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The very first chant sounded like 'Austin' with the remaining 3-4 sounding more like 'Rocky' but it seemed to be the same group chanting the entire time rather than some split crowd. So I don't know lol.

I edited this into my post above;
March 8th Smackdown, when Rock said he'd whoop Austin's ass, he got mostly cheered, a few small boos, followed by a big Rocky chant.

Also...
Never really thought of this before but Haku was totally boring in 01 and arguably pulled Rikishi down with him.
Yes, I thought so too. Like just as some started to chant for Austin, Rocky chants took over. But regardless, Rock was more over than Austin that night.
PS: Don't forget to check the final encounter on SmackDown before WM 17. There crowd clearly chanted for Rocky, though both guys were equally over.
 

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Just saw an interview with Vince the other day, and he said that Rock was never quite as critically acclaimed as Austin. Thought that was pretty eye-opening to hear Vince himself say.
 

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Vince claimed in Feb 1998 that Austin was the biggest draw/star of all time and has broken all of Hogan's records.
Truth: WM 5 still had more buys than WM 14(767k vs 730k). That Hogan/Macho record stood until Rock/Austin shattered all PPV buys record(without any celebrity involvement) at WM 15 with 800k buys.
Tells us about honesty of Vince McMahon, lol.
 

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Just saw an interview with Vince the other day, and he said that Rock was never quite as critically acclaimed as Austin. Thought that was pretty eye-opening to hear Vince himself say.
Vince in those days was much more in tune with the wrestling audience paying attention to details. I remember Vince once saying the internet He is right in this case imo.

Vince claimed in Feb 1998 that Austin was the biggest draw/star of all time and has broken all of Hogan's records.
Truth: WM 5 still had more buys than WM 14(767k vs 730k). That Hogan/Macho record stood until Rock/Austin shattered all PPV buys record(without any celebrity involvement) at WM 15 with 800k buys.
Tells us about honesty of Vince McMahon, lol.
Yeah back then I knew this lol. Vince was working to get Austin more over than Hogan who was in WCW.
 

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Yes, I thought so too. Like just as some started to chant for Austin, Rocky chants took over. But regardless, Rock was more over than Austin that night.
PS: Don't forget to check the final encounter on SmackDown before WM 17. There crowd clearly chanted for Rocky, though both guys were equally over.
Will do. I committed to watching everything from 96 onwards so I'm deep into my run now. Probably stop at WM 19 who knows. Might be to WM 21.
Just saw an interview with Vince the other day, and he said that Rock was never quite as critically acclaimed as Austin. Thought that was pretty eye-opening to hear Vince himself say.
Yea, Mania of mania dvd. But remember Vince and Rock had heat around that period.
 

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March 12th 2001 Raw. Austin stunned Rock - there was a great reaction but not everyone popped. Like half the crowd did, but there was like a "oh shit" shrill in the arena.

Side note...Rock tapped to Angle AGAIN! So top babyface Rock tapped out once in 2000 (can't remember the specifics), once in the build up to NWO and once in the build up to WM. 3x is quite a lot, especially as I know there are at least two more coming in 2002.

If I look back at the last 6 months, the two 'new' top heels were Rikishi and Kurt Angle - Rock did more to put those two guys over than anyone else combined. Undertaker kinda buried Angle at every turn though did do a decent job with Rikishi I guess. Austin destroyed Rikishi at every turn and made Angle look weak as well.

Kurt Angle said in his podcast that they used his 2001 program with Rock to develop a more nasty/badass streak and Rock has done amazing to sell it. One thing you can never take away from Rock is that he makes the opponent look better than they've ever looked before.

I know i'm blathering on but just giving my general thoughts during this Rock/Austin feud tbh.
 

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Side note...Rock tapped to Angle AGAIN! So top babyface Rock tapped out once in 2000 (can't remember the specifics), once in the build up to NWO and once in the build up to WM. 3x is quite a lot, especially as I know there are at least two more coming in 2002.
I am confused. All of the matches Kurt won against The Rock during 2000-2001 were by pinfalls.
 

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I am confused. All of the matches Kurt won against The Rock during 2000-2001 were by pinfalls.
They were in post match segments. I can't recall the first one as I watched it about a year ago, but in 2001 you had when Angle had Rock in the ankle lock and the latter tapped on the broken table, and the one I just saw when Rock had the ropes, Angle refused to let go, got disqualified and Rock tapped multiple times (ie scream > tap tap tap > scream > scream > tap tap tap).
 

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They were in post match segments. I can't recall the first one as I watched it about a year ago, but in 2001 you had when Angle had Rock in the ankle lock and the latter tapped on the broken table, and the one I just saw when Rock had the ropes, Angle refused to let go, got disqualified and Rock tapped multiple times (ie scream > tap tap tap > scream > scream > tap tap tap).
Ah OK post match segments. I remember the one before No Way Out 2001.

I can't remember the one that occurred in 2000. Rock was very much protected against the ankle lock till their feud in late 2000. I think it may have occurred during either of the tag matches they were in or the matches that featured Kurt as a special ref.
 

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Will do. I committed to watching everything from 96 onwards so I'm deep into my run now. Probably stop at WM 19 who knows. Might be to WM 21.

Yea, Mania of mania dvd. But remember Vince and Rock had heat around that period.

Yep. Vince started pushing the whole "Austin is the GOAT" agenda around 2004-2005. It felt forced as hell. I'm not saying that he's not in the conversation, but the way they painted it, it's like he was by far the greatest ever, which is far from the truth.


Vince claimed in Feb 1998 that Austin was the biggest draw/star of all time and has broken all of Hogan's records.
Truth: WM 5 still had more buys than WM 14(767k vs 730k). That Hogan/Macho record stood until Rock/Austin shattered all PPV buys record(without any celebrity involvement) at WM 15 with 800k buys.
Tells us about honesty of Vince McMahon, lol.

Austin is known for blowing his own horn from time to time, yet he himself said that Hogan is the biggest draw of all time.
 

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For pure ticket sales, no one can touch Hogan. He has headlined close to 450 shows that had over 10,000 attendance paid. On absolute terms, Hulk Hogan is the biggest "gates" draw of all time sans none. So, if Austin admitted that, nice acceptance, lol.
 

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So March 15th Smackdown, both got huge cheers as usual, but when Rock/Angle/Austin were in the match together (Rock on the outside), the only man who was getting personal chants was Rock, not Austin. Albeit, not by the whole arena - more like a core of fans (the only ones chanting).

I know Austin stunned Rock on the Raw before but I think this was the first time I can see true signs of the heel turn. This match was also the best Austin has ever put Angle over. IMO it was this 2 month period where Angle is truly being solidified as a top guy who can beat the best via none-chicken shit heel flukes.
 
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