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Who was the face of the company in 1997?

5729 Views 60 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  Hazaq
Did one similar to this a month or two ago, like 2002, 1997 is the only year I have genuine difficulty trying to decide who was THEE guy.

Realisticly there's only 4 options, Austin, HBK, Bret or Taker.

If I had a gun to my head and had to pick one it would be HBK by a hair.
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Not every year has ONE DEFINITE star. 1997 was one of those years.

Bret, Shawn, and Austin were ruling the roost. Undertaker comes a notch below them. Bret might be slightly ahead because he was the most active guy amongst the three that year. But you have Shawn and DX; then Undertaker/Shawn feud. Austin was firing on all levels. There is Bret Hart's whiny self spilling all over. It was just THE year for WWE. My favorite year after 2000.
 

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Shawn Michaels. He was the man from 1996 to 1998. Undertaker was right behind him. I don't know why people say Bret Hart. He was a heel in this time. And Stone Cold was a rising star. So there you have it.
 

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This is a great question and I've enjoyed reading all the responses because there doesn't seem like a clear-cut winner. IMO, there wasn't just 1 face of company there was really 3 faces during all of '97... Undertaker, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels. I know Austin could easily be one of the guys to make this list but I viewed Austin as an upper mid-carder that was quickly on the rise in '97, especially after seeing his feud with Bret in early '97 & his feud with Owen in Summer of '97. Austin really started to become one of the biggest stars in WWE after winning Royal Rumble '98 and soon after his Rumble win, Austin beat the face of the company HBK for the WWE title @ WM 14 which cemented himself as the new top-dog of the company. HBK having to semi-retire because of injuries, Bret Hart was in WCW, and Undertaker being involved in a great storyline with Kane was a big reason why guys like Austin, Rock, and HHH were given the opportunity to step-up... which they all did, damn well too.

Even though Sid was the WWE champion at the beginning of '97, he was never thought of as the face of the company over Bret Hart or Shawn Michaels. I believe that when Undertaker defeated Sid for the WWE title @ WM 13, he then became the face of company. But once the Bret Hart won the WWE title after his feud with Austin, Bret regained the spot as top-dog in WWE... especially after the reformation of the Hart Foundation and how great they were as heels. But once Shawn Michaels & HHH created Degeneration-X everything changed again and HBK became the face of the company in the Summer of '97 up until WM 14. DX was something so new & refreshing in WWE because they broke all the rules which was the real start of the Attitude Era.
 

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Shawn Michaels became the face of WWE and the main man in the company at WrestleMania 12 and he was the one who passed that torch on to Stone Cold Steve Austin two years later at WrestleMania 14 so seeing how Shawn Michaels was the main focus of WWE in that time i would have to go with him. When Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart at WrestleMania it is widely accepted that Shawn Michaels had become the main man and was the one who Vince McMahon believed would carry WWE into the millenium.

Obviously Stone Cold Steve Austin was not expected to go on and become the HUGE superstar that he did but in reality he did not blow up until THAT segment with Mike Tyson which saw Stone Cold Steve Austin go from top face to mega star. In 1997 i would say that the feud with Bret Hart and then Owen Hart saw Stone Cold Steve Austin become a big star in WWE but he was never the face of the company until he won the WWE title so in my opinion i would say that Shawn Michaels was the face of the company still in 1997 as he was the face of WWE from WrestleMania 12 through to WrestleMania 14.
 

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Untrue. Shawn Michaels was given the belt at WM 12 and failed horribly. Then they passed it around until Undertaker got it but the Bret Hart/Austin stuff was more important than all of that in the eyes of the fans and proven by merchandise sales and reactions as a whole. Shawn Michaels was forfeiting titles and faking injuries and all of that kind of bullshit. He was doing weird hijinks with that NwO comedy ripoff that led to Bret getting shafted out of the company. Shawn Michaels wasn't even at WM 13...so that main man thought pattern is about as comical as it gets.
 

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Shawn Michaels became the face of WWE and the main man in the company at WrestleMania 12 and he was the one who passed that torch on to Stone Cold Steve Austin two years later at WrestleMania 14 so seeing how Shawn Michaels was the main focus of WWE in that time i would have to go with him. When Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart at WrestleMania it is widely accepted that Shawn Michaels had become the main man and was the one who Vince McMahon believed would carry WWE into the millenium.

Obviously Stone Cold Steve Austin was not expected to go on and become the HUGE superstar that he did but in reality he did not blow up until THAT segment with Mike Tyson which saw Stone Cold Steve Austin go from top face to mega star. In 1997 i would say that the feud with Bret Hart and then Owen Hart saw Stone Cold Steve Austin become a big star in WWE but he was never the face of the company until he won the WWE title so in my opinion i would say that Shawn Michaels was the face of the company still in 1997 as he was the face of WWE from WrestleMania 12 through to WrestleMania 14.
Even though Bret passed that torch at wm 12 he was scheduled to beat HBK at wrestlemania the next year until Shawn faked that injury and the match had to be rearranged. I'm sure Vince wanted HBK to be the main guy in that period but business indicated that he had to look elsewhere and I assume they went with Taker/Sid because they were both giants.

Austin/Tyson was definitely a huge deal and it played out brilliantly. Much better than Vince expected too I'm sure.
 

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id say Bret Hart the fact that Vince screwd him like he did pretty much proves that he was bitter about losing his biggest star after that Austin became the man pretty quickly HBK acted as filler if anything .
 
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