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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Personally I think 1997 when his popularity was skyrocketing eclipsed his popularity of the next two years, he was still the most popular man by a long shot in the company in those years (sept for mid-late 99 with The Rock). But overall his popularity was outragous from Wrestlemania 13 onwards through the course of the year, with the pops and Ausitn 3:16 shirts/signs all over the crowd at every single event.
 

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He didn't win anything by a long shot, my revisionist friend. He was nowhere near as popular in 1997 that he was as a maineventer. That doesn't even make any sense. The crowds didn't even start going nuts until the Mike Tyson angle started in Jan 1998.
 

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1999, the peak of the Attitude Era.

We were all warming up to him in 98'.

He won his first world title in March of 1998, when he had just started becoming popular. He lost it however, three months later to masked Kane.

But January 1998 is when it all began to explode, and 1999 was when it was at it's peak.
 

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I would say 1998 was his hottest year.In 1999 we got both Rock and HHH becoming huge so 98 was easier for him to be the top guy.
 

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I'll say 1998. He started the year off winning the Rumble, and he ended the year by burying The Undertaker alive. That's really something kayfabe wise. Though I definitely won't deny that he was hot in 99 as well, but the injury really set him back towards the end of the year.
 

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1998 was definetaly his most popular year. 99 is a close second, but he also had The Rock to compete with too, which arguabley 99 was Rock's most popular year.
 

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Probably late 1998 to early 1999. It was his match against Vince that killed Nitro's winning streak. And he got the mother of all pops just a very short while later when he ran in to beat the shit out of The Rock and help Foley win the the title.
 

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The pop Austin got when he regained the title against Kane after King of the Ring on Raw was
massive and he got a massive pop when he won the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 15.So he was very
over in 1998 and 1999 but I'm gonna choose 1998 because Rock was just as over as Austin when he
turned face after Backlash.

Some people try to re-write history though and act like Rock started getting huge pops in 2000 when Austin was out.That's BS.Rock was during confrontations with Austin as a face in 1999
and they got equal reactions.Even when Rock was a heel he got a face pop when he came out
at Wrestlemania 15 and at Backlash and had plenty of fan signs when he was in The Corporation.

In 1998 Austin was far above and beyond everyone else in terms of crowd reaction in WWF except
when The Rock was a face between September to November 1998.Austin was still the most over
wrestler in late 1998 but Rock was creeping up on Austin in late 1998 but they turned Rock back heel at Survivor Series.
 

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The only wrestler that could rival Austin's popularity in 1998 was Bill Goldberg with his monster push, still, Austin was popular throughout the year and wasn't climbing up like Goldberg was.

Though, in 1999 Austin had some of the biggest pops in his career, such as the night that he helepd Mick Foley winning the WWF Title from The Rock, that had to be the biggest pop in Wrestling history. Also, his pop after being announced as the new CEO, hi pop at KOTR, his pop the next night after beating Taker for the Title and his pop at Fully Loaded.

The Rock was gettign cheers as a Hell in early 99, sure, but he got booed as well so no way he was more popular than Austin at the time, he was only getting as popularas as him after the Austin/McMahon feud ended.
 

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Yeah but by the fall of 1999, the Rock was getting worship chants and you'll never hear anyone get that many chants week after week ever again. He was a heel in the beginning of 1999. Who cares if he got booed..he got Rocky chants at Royal Rumble, St. Valentine's Massacre, and the crowd treated him like a face at WM 15. He bashed the hell out of Ausitn after Backlash on Raw and then they chanted his name like he was a god afterwards. You'll never see anything like it in the industry ever again.
 

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Probably overlaps. 98/99. I don't think Stone Cold's popularity ever really changed over those years, it's just The Rock became huge in his own right.

I mean, is Cena any more or less popular now than he was 2 years ago? I don't think so, it's just that Orton has really grown....
 

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i would say end of 97 to 99, but arguably he also got cheered a lot in 01 when he tried to turn Heel and they cheered louder.
 

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1998

Undertaker was behind him, DX were over but weren't main eventers (although HHH was near main event level at the time) and Rock was also very over in the fall of that year, but he wasn't a face long enough.

In 1999 Rock surpassed him, as he won practically every "most popular wrestler" or "best babyface" award for that year.

Yeah but by the fall of 1999, the Rock was getting worship chants and you'll never hear anyone get that many chants week after week ever again. He was a heel in the beginning of 1999. Who cares if he got booed..he got Rocky chants at Royal Rumble, St. Valentine's Massacre, and the crowd treated him like a face at WM 15. He bashed the hell out of Ausitn after Backlash on Raw and then they chanted his name like he was a god afterwards. You'll never see anything like it in the industry ever again.
Rock was getting worship chants before the fall of 1999, in the fall of 1998 he was also near Austin in crowd reactions. It just became more noticeable in the fall of '99 because Vince McMahon/Austin/Undertaker wasn't dominating the show as much by then.
 

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I would have to say 1999 and probably by quite a lot more than people realise because it wasn't really until the segment between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mike Tyson that we saw his career really skyrocket into him becoming the most popular wrestler of all time. I know that during the feud with Shawn Michaels we saw him become the undisputed top face in WWE and then during his feuds with first Kane and then The Undertaker we saw him become the biggest star in the industry but it was him chasing the WWE title going into 1999 and then WrestleMania 15 which saw him at his most popular.

There were a lot of times when Stone Cold Steve Austin didn't even have to wrestle and made a brief appearance like in Foley/Rock on January 4th 1999 which saw arguably the biggest pop in history as perfect examples of how HUGELY over he was in 1999. Some people will say that because of The Rock turning face in mid 1999 it took some of the popularity away from Stone Cold Steve Austin but i don't buy into that at all and if anything it simply added to it having both men around at the same time drew more fans in which meant both men becoming more popular. For me watching Austin/Rock, Austin/Undertaker, Austin/McMahon and Austin/Triple H throughout that year showed me that no one has ever been as over or as popular as Stone Cold Steve Austin was in 1999.

After that year it is definitely 1998 as his next most popular year which was the start of his run as the top guy in the business. I loved Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1997 as well but i always believe people overestimate or overexaggerate his popularity in that year because he wasn't any more popular that Shawn Michaels or The Undertaker were in that year as faces and i'm a mark for Stone Cold Steve Austin saying that. It is easy to say really that any year in between 1997 and 2001 before his heel run would be considered to be the most popular years any wrestler has ever had bar maybe Hulk Hogan in between 1987 and 1989 but for me it would be Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1999, Hulk Hogan in 1987, Sting in 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1998, Hulk Hogan in 1989 and The Rock in 2000 as the most popular years for any wrestlers in that order.
 

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There were a lot of times when Stone Cold Steve Austin didn't even have to wrestle and made a brief appearance like in Foley/Rock on January 4th 1999 which saw arguably the biggest pop in history as perfect examples of how HUGELY over he was in 1999. Some people will say that because of The Rock turning face in mid 1999 it took some of the popularity away from Stone Cold Steve Austin but i don't buy into that at all and if anything it simply added to it having both men around at the same time drew more fans in which meant both men becoming more popular. For me watching Austin/Rock, Austin/Undertaker, Austin/McMahon and Austin/Triple H throughout that year showed me that no one has ever been as over or as popular as Stone Cold Steve Austin was in 1999.
Austin was also over in 1999, but Rock surpassed him, a lot of the old websites that reviewed the year '99 and magazines like PWI did pick him as the most popular wrestler for that year. The biggest difference from the 2 in '99 was that Austin was protected more when it came to booking.
 
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