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HBK increased business in 1996 even with bad booking and against the NWO.

Austin beat a weakened NWO with good booking in 1998.

Rock had no competition.
If hbk increased business then how come wwf was about to go out of business lol.

Yea Rock had no competition congratulations he didn’t because he was by far the biggest star in pro wrestling and he took the company mainstream. By the beginning of the new millennium wwf finally went on the NY stock exchange because they were so profitable. Wwf was not just the top wrestling show but they were outdrawing popular tv shows and sports shows.
 

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WCW was weak when Rock was on top.

It's a shame that HBK or Rollins weren't around back then. They could have got the run on top that they deserve.
This is so dumb my head hurts laughing 😂😂🤡😂. Rollins is not even a bigger star than Edge of Jeff Hardy and they were midcard guys during the attitude era and u think Rollins would have been a top star lmao.

Hbk was put in the top sport and he bombed so hard. Not his fault he is a great talent just like my guy Bret Hart but they are not guys that would transcend the business and bring in a casual audience.
Hogan, austin, rock and cena are the only guys in the last 30 years that did it.
 

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Austin basically saved the WWF from going out of business in 98 due to his popularity, peak and intrigue stature. The way he beat all of Nitro's ratings in all of the second quarter of 98 was the nail for WCW. By the time 98 ended, the NWO was running their course and end. The Rock picked up the ball before Austin left in the last months of 99. Austin was the bigger draw. Rock got his chance to do that against a weaken WCW late 99 to 2001.
Nobody denying that Austin saved WWF, but to say Rock only did against an weaken WCW is bs. Rock vs Mankind in 98-99 was the second biggest thing after Vince-Austin. From late Nov-Jan they were the reason Wwf took a lead in ratings and never looked back
 

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2000 was easily Rock and it wasn't close. They did way better on PPV and Austin wasn't even there for most of the year. They were beating 1999 in ratings until the move to TNN and Austin coming back did nothing for the ratings. Attendance was slightly higher in 1999, but many of those shows were headlined by the Rock, and even the ones where Austin was on top, he had the luxury of Rock also being on the card, Rock didn't have the luxury of Austin helping him in 2000. The notion that Austin was bigger than Rock in 2000 is laughable, frankly.

As far as 1999 goes, the emergence of Rock as a top guy took the WWF to heights higher than they were in 1998. Ratings were way up in 1998, attendance and PPV buys were also higher in 1999 than 1998. One of the biggest reasons for that was because Rock was upper midcard for most of 1998, he was a legit top guy in 1999.
One thing though, Austin was competing against Prime WCW and the nWo and Crow Sting while WCW was in complete shambles 2000 onwards. WCW fans completely stopped watching WCW cause it was so painful to watch and a lot of them watched the WWF because of that. Rock was hugely successful but he had a clear path. I liked both Austin and Rock I'll give Austin this, to have stayed strong when the going got tough.

HBK increased business in 1996 even with bad booking and against the NWO.

Austin beat a weakened NWO with good booking in 1998.

Rock had no competition.
HBK was the reason the WWF got slaughtered. When WCW was doing shades of grey and anti-establishment stuff, the WWF was having a typical hero as their champ, it was retrograde. Not to mention guys didn't care, Shawn was a cheapendale dancer in a World of badasses. And they had to have Sid destroy him and take the World title from him. When Sid beat him at MSG, the whole place exploded of joy. Fans were getting sick of him.
 

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One thing though, Austin was competing against Prime WCW and the nWo and Crow Sting while WCW was in complete shambles 2000 onwards. WCW fans completely stopped watching WCW cause it was so painful to watch and a lot of them watched the WWF because of that. Rock was hugely successful but he had a clear path. I liked both Austin and Rock I'll give Austin this, to have stayed strong when the going got tough
Prime WCW and NWO and Crow Sting was 97, he wasn’t the man that year. He was competing with Goldberg most of times
 

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HBK was the reason the WWF got slaughtered. When WCW was doing shades of grey and anti-establishment stuff, the WWF was having a typical hero as their champ, it was retrograde. Not to mention guys didn't care, Shawn was a cheapendale dancer in a World of badasses. And they had to have Sid destroy him and take the World title from him. When Sid beat him at MSG, the whole place exploded of joy. Fans were getting sick of him.
Bad booking and the NWO were the reasons WWF was trailing WCW a bit.

HBK did a great job. Better than those that came before him and after him. Austin only did a better job because he had better booking and weaker competition.
 

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Bad booking and the NWO were the reasons WWF was trailing WCW a bit.

HBK did a great job. Better than those that came before him and after him. Austin only did a better job because he had better booking and weaker competition.
HBK did not do a good, WWF started to fail because of him. It was a straight clear cut of people rejecting his character and that sort of booking. The MSG Sid-Shawn match was proof of that. For sure the booking sucked but it was him on top when the WWF almost went out of business.
 

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Prime WCW and NWO and Crow Sting was 97, he wasn’t the man that year. He was competing with Goldberg most of times
Even by 97, Austin was the most over guy in the WWF, after the double turn, he was white hot and there were 3:16 t-shirts everywhere.

But for sure WCW 97 was better than WCW 98 but but the ratings were better in 98 in 97 though. A large part of 1998 was the two nWo factions Wolfpack and Hollywood going at it. For sure WCW fumbled in 98 but it was really in 2000 where they were in shambles and then Raw started hitting 7s and 8s and were on the cover of TV Guide and WCW were hitting the 3s..then 2s at the end of the year.

In many ways it's hard to quantify. For instance Austin got a big help from Bret Hart and from working an angle with Mike Tyson. And Rock got a lot of help by working with Austin. All these things go hand in hand.
 

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Even by 97, Austin was the most over guy in the WWF, after the double turn, he was white hot and there were 3:16 t-shirts everywhere
I think he blew up after Summerslam, that’s when he was getting loud babyface pops.
In many ways it's hard to quantify. For instance Austin got a big help from Bret Hart and from working an angle with Mike Tyson. And Rock got a lot of help by working with Austin. All these things go hand in hand.
I will say Rock got help by working with Mick Foley, Yh he was over as heel and turned heel but Mick solidified him as a main event wrestler. His popularity as a heel did blew up at WM15 while feuding with Austin
 

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I think he blew up after Summerslam, that’s when he was getting loud babyface pops.
I will say Rock got help by working with ** Foley, Yh he was over as heel and turned heel but ** solidified him as a main event wrestler. His popularity as a heel did blew up at WM15 while feuding with Austin
This feud between Foley and Rock was just epic. It was just what the doctor ordered for the Rock. It showed that he could hang with the very top guys, that he had what it takes. It is unbelievable all the guys Foley has helped get to the top. I remember in early in 2000, HHH essentialy beat Foley in three back to back PPVs to solidify Hunter has the top guy of the company. (or top 3 at least)
 

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In 1998, Austin needed Mike Tyson to help bring eyeballs around Wrestlemania. And in late 98 needed Rock and Foley to put away WCW for good. These are facts. Rock in 2000 never had a number 2 as popular as he was in late 98 while Austin was top dog. Nobody was even close. And in 99 surpassed him convincingly. AS A HEEL. Hell, fans cheered when Rock punched his ass off the bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #235 ·
In 1998, Austin needed Mike Tyson to help bring eyeballs around Wrestlemania. And in late 98 needed Rock and Foley to put away WCW for good. These are facts. Rock in 2000 never had a number 2 as popular as he was in late 98 while Austin was top dog. Nobody was even close. And in 99 surpassed him convincingly. AS A HEEL. Hell, fans cheered when Rock punched his ass off the bridge.
yes!
 

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I've come back to the network to watch old stuff and i'm about to see Kurt Angle win the title, so with Austin about to come back it will be interesting to see who was booked as the top baby face when Austin comes back through to Mania 17. And who the fans cheer for as well.
 

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He is correct. The company kept ascending and widening the gap between them and WCW at a time Austin was out for a full calendar year. Austin's return did not make things explode to much higher heights upon his return.

When Rock went off to Hollywood, the company was losing business through mid 2001 but got bumps when he returned in the summer.
 

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I don't deny that Rock drew some big ratings and houses.

I just feel that what HBK and Rollins did during downturns was more impressive. They didn't have the booking and they didn't inherit a boom period from Austin.
 

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Rock had been the #1 draw and most popular wrestler since late 1998, Rock was outdrawing Austin ENTERING 1999.

 

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McMahon always sucked up to Austin, but McMahon also understood his psychology. Austin was paranoid and overprotective of his spot, Rock wasn't, so Vince likely booked him stronger and fluffed him up publicly because of that. I think that's one element of this discussion that isn't talked enough about.

If you don't believe me, look at how Austin melted down in 2002. He jobbed to Booker and Bossman on TV, was asked to put over Scott Hall at Wrestlemania, was about to enter a midcard feud with Eddie Guerrero, was asked to lose to Brock Lesnar, etc, and he cracked. Rock did a bunch of jobs to midcard guys like Bossman, Billy Gunn, and Al Snow on TV with no build or notice, had feuds with midcarders like Billy Gunn and the British Bulldog, etc and had no issue with it. If you weren't protecting Austin all the time, having him in the absolute top program, and weren't constantly feeding his ego and giving him positive reinforcement, he was going to be a locker room malcontent.
There was also a video on YouTube that was taken down on Vince interview around February 98, that’s when Austin didn’t even win the WWF title but yet there were already billing him as the most popular champion of all time, that’s a time where he wasn’t even a world champion nor proved yet how much he could draw also during the upcoming months, many times JR will state he was the most popular champion they ever had. That just shows Vince revisionist history and how they were billing him.
 
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