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Survivor Series, November 1999, the advertised main event was Stone Cold vs The Rock vs Triple H (C)…
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My questions are:
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1).... Was Stone Cold ever intended to take part in this match? Was he just used to bait in more PPV buys? I know SC had a lot of underlying injuries and issues and I remember him and Rock facing the Outlaws on Raw at the beginning of November or end of October (where DX reunited after the match). I don’t remember Stone Cold being in any other matches after that so maybe that match was the last straw for his body at the time.
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2).... If he was supposed to take part what was the plan, who would have got the pin on who? And where would that have left the 3 of them (and Big Show and Foley) going into 2000 and WM in particular? I remember reading around the time (in PowerSlam I think) that Vince was looking to do a Face Rock vs Heel SC at WM2000 but I’ve also read that online that the SC/ HHH feud was due to carry on and culminate at WM2000.
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3).... What were the buy rates like for that PPV? Looking back you’d think it must have been good with SC, Rock and HHH but at the time HHH had only won his first title 2 months prior and Rock had yet to really be trusted to prove himself as a main event PPV draw. He hadn’t even main evented a PPV championship match other than when he was facing Austin at WM 15 and Backlash.
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4)..... We all know HHH really got into his stride as THE heel from the wedding with Steph through to the Rumble with Foley. If they wanted to get him huge heel heat why didn’t they just announce him as either the driver or the manipulator of SC getting ran over there and then instead of waiting a year?
 

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1. I think they knew Austin wasn't going to be there but it was a great way to build the feud, you can say that it was pretty low to do because already paid to see Rock/Austin/HHH in the main event. It was a similar situation to Edge, he wrestled but it was a big risk without the surgery. IIRC, Austin was a part of a 4-4 tag match on SD after the tag match vs the NAO.

2. Austin was a possible option, or maybe HHH and then Austin winning in the December PPV, because Rock was always going to win the Rumble in 2000. The plan for WM16 was Rock/Austin 2, Rumble winner vs WWF champion. There was also a big talk to turn Austin in October 99 because of how hot Rock was so it was probably going to be Rock vs heel Austin.

3. Buyrate was around 450-500k domestic, decent number for 99 standards. Rock was a proven PPV draw since SVS 98 when they build the entire tournament around him. Then broke all time record at WM15 with Austin.

4. I imagine that because it was too long, and I don't think they planned it for a year.
 

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1. I don't know how long in advance they knew that Austin wouldn't be able to wrestle but I assume they started to realise around August time. After Summerslam, Austin began to miss a lot of events. He wasn't appearing at House Shows and they were using storyline injuries, such as HHH throwing Austin down the stairs, to keep him away from the ring and rested. He also didn't wrestle at that years Unforgiven PPV in order to keep his injured neck in OK shape.

2. I think HHH was supposed to retain. I've heard that Austin was going to face Big Show at WM 2000. Apparently, it was in Show's contract that he would headline either WM 15 or 16 and so the idea was to have Austin and Big Show headline. I assume HHH would have faced the Rock at WM 2000.

4. They didn't announce it as HHH immediately because it was a huge storyline that was supposed to have a huge payoff (which it did at the No Way Out in the 3 stages of Hell match) and by revealing HHH as the driver immediately, the momentum and heat gained from it would have died down by the time Austin returned the following September. Also, it allowed them to try and build another mega-heel by having them run over Austin, as they tried to do with Rikishi, but ultimately failed.
 

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2. HHH was set to retain the championship.
Based on what? There was never a report about that or something, and by that time HHH started a program with Vince, not about the title. Austin was probably going to hold the belt until WM16 with Rock getting his win back.
 

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1).... Was Stone Cold ever intended to take part in this match? Was he just used to bait in more PPV buys? I know SC had a lot of underlying injuries and issues and I remember him and Rock facing the Outlaws on Raw at the beginning of November or end of October (where DX reunited after the match). I don’t remember Stone Cold being in any other matches after that so maybe that match was the last straw for his body at the time.
No. I think the WWF knew in a week(s) of advance that Austin was going to be unable to compete, but they still advertised him for the event, in hopes of a larger buyrate I assume, because a Triple H vs The Rock vs Austin match in 1999 would have been a big match (WrestleMania quality no doubt) for that time period.

2).... If he was supposed to take part what was the plan, who would have got the pin on who? And where would that have left the 3 of them (and Big Show and Foley) going into 2000 and WM in particular? I remember reading around the time (in PowerSlam I think) that Vince was looking to do a Face Rock vs Heel SC at WM2000 but I’ve also read that online that the SC/ HHH feud was due to carry on and culminate at WM2000.
I'm going to make a big ass assumption right about now and say either Austin or Triple H would have won. More so Austin, because after the PPV, HHH w/ Stephanie would go and start a feud with Vince while the WWF title went through a small state of obscurity for about 2 months after it was thrown on the Big Show for some unknown reason. And the Rock went and reunited with Mankind and won the tag team title from the Outlaws. So seeing how the main eventers were being put in meaningless filler feud in the late 90's, I going to assume Austin was supposed to win the triple threat match.

As for the WrestleMania 2000 main event, I'll be telling you a fatass lie if I told you I knew. Hell I don't even think the WWF even knew what the WM 16 main event was going to be after Austin left. I heard 3 different main event matches were going to happen at WM.
1. Austin vs Triple H II ( No Mercy rematch)
2. Austin vs The Rock II (WrestleMania 15 rematch)
3. Austin vs Triple H vs The Rock vs Undertaker

Please don't ask where #3 came from or how it was going to pan out.
3).... What were the buy rates like for that PPV? Looking back you’d think it must have been good with SC, Rock and HHH but at the time HHH had only won his first title 2 months prior and Rock had yet to really be trusted to prove himself as a main event PPV draw. He hadn’t even main evented a PPV championship match other than when he was facing Austin at WM 15 and Backlash.
It did decent for its time period. But I know for sure it didn't receive the highest buyrate of the year. WrestleMania 15, SummerSlam 99, IYH. Valentines Day Massacre, Over The Edge and the Royal Rumble did bigger numbers.

4)..... We all know HHH really got into his stride as THE heel from the wedding with Steph through to the Rumble with Foley. If they wanted to get him huge heel heat why didn’t they just announce him as either the driver or the manipulator of SC getting ran over there and then instead of waiting a year?
I'm going to assume that the WWF didn't start planning that feud until it was almost time for Austin to return.
 

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WM16 was 100% going to be Rock/Austin, Austin/HHH wasn't even close to a WM main event, let alone a WM main event without the top and most popular guy in the industry. I never even heard about it and I don't know where it came from. This is from the PWTorch report in November 99 about Rock/Austin at WM16, it's during a Russo interview with Keller:
4:31
 

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I think Wrestlemania 16 could've been the biggest PPV buyrate in history if they would've had Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock for the WWF Championship man.... Austin, the biggest draw in the history of the business vs Triple H, the top heel at the title, and The Rock, the new top draw coming in? Man, that would've been a match.

I still don't get why they had BIG SHOW of all people in the match and win the title. I would've preferred a Foley to replace him or a surprise
 
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