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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rock was never treated as the face of the company by Vince. Even in 2000, Vince always had Austin as the face of the company although we know Rock was. The only credit I give Vince is that he knew outside of wrestling fans, Rock was the #1 crossover/mainstream act at the time.

Rock lost his title at WM 17 and filmed a movie that took 4 months. It seemed like once Rock returned, he was treated as the #1 face of the company all the way till Summerslam 2002. Rock lead WWF to win at Survivor Series in 2001, he was the #1 draw pick, wrestled Hogan that is legendary to this day and won the Undisputed title at his first PPV match after his return in 2002. In actuality Rock lost way less from 2001 to 2002 than he did from 1999 to 2001 as a babyface.

Why do you think Vince finally made Rock the face of the company when he didn't before?
 

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because Austin was no longer a face...

at least when Austin left in 99, Vince knew he'd be back eventually.
 
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Cause Austin
 

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Rock was clearly treated as the top face in 2000 and pretty much every time he appeared until he left for good. I can't recall a single time Austin was treated as the bigger star during that entire time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rock was clearly treated as the top face in 2000 and pretty much every time he appeared until he left for good. I can't recall a single time Austin was treated as the bigger star during that entire time.
Austin was booked better during that time. Rock took the pin at Armageddon 2000.
 

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They were trying to rebound after the end of the Attitude Era and they had no choice but to push their biggest star. WWE was in a position to put the two biggest stars in wrestling against each other, and they chose Rock to face Hogan instead of Austin. That speaks volumes, really. Austin was suppose to do a job to Hall on the same card until he politicked out of it. Rock puts over Lesnar at Summerslam for the WWE title at Wrestlemania, Austin is asked to do a job to Lesnar in a KOTR qualifier. Its pretty clear WWE didn't see Austin as anything more than a low tier main eventer by 2002.
 

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They were trying to rebound after the end of the Attitude Era and they had no choice but to push their biggest star. WWE was in a position to put the two biggest stars in wrestling against each other, and they chose Rock to face Hogan instead of Austin. That speaks volumes, really. Austin was suppose to do a job to Hall on the same card until he politicked out of it. Rock puts over Lesnar at Summerslam for the WWE title at Wrestlemania, Austin is asked to do a job to Lesnar in a KOTR qualifier. Its pretty clear WWE didn't see Austin as anything more than a low tier main eventer by 2002.
Another "Rock vs Austin" thread.

Thanks, I was going through withdrawal...
 

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Rock was only FOTC in 2001 by default after Austin's heel turn. When he came back in 2000 Austin's pops were slightly louder than The Rock's, Jericho has admitted this. Rock was unquestionably more useful than Austin in 2002 because Austin's body was done and he was told to retire right after Survivor Series 2001. Austin should have been made a part timer and only put over guys like RVD, Angle and Lesnar on PPV. Also RVD had passed both Rock and Austin in the late spring and early summer of 2002 and Rock got booed multiple times that year. Angle, RVD and Lesnar were actually the most valuable guys that year the problem for Vince was that 2002 was a transition year for the company like 1992 and 1997 and he didn't recognize it. HHH was awful that year and Rock had gotten very stale as well. People wanted RVD, Angle and Lesnar as the featured guys not Austin, Rock, HHH and Taker. The issue Austin had was he was the only guy demoted to the mdicard that year when its known HHH was awful that year in the ring minus Summerslam 2002 and Taker was awful against Rock, HHH and Austin. HHH also refused to job or work with Lesnar in 2002, that is why Lesnar was put on Smackdown. Rock had no issue putting Lesnar over since he was leaving and Taker refused to lose to Lesnar at Unforgiven 2002.
 

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Seth Mates has admitted RVD was supposed to be first World Champion and Lesnar to be the WWE champion going into WM 19. HHH changed all of this and had a World title created for him because he wouldn't work with or put over Lesnar. Think its a coincidence that 3 of the 4 guys HHH feared the most in Angle, Lesnar and Taker were put on SmackDown in the fall of 2002. RVD was the other and HHH changed booking plans and refused to put over RVD who was easily the most over babyface in 2002 way more than either Rock or Austin.
 

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Austin was also treated as top face from Nov 2000 until Feb 2001 and his booking and reactions were clear he was top face he only turned heel because he thought he was stale and that flopped due to fans not wanting to boo Austin after his neck surgery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rock was only FOTC in 2001 by default after Austin's heel turn. When he came back in 2000 Austin's pops were slightly louder than The Rock's, Jericho has admitted this. Rock was unquestionably more useful than Austin in 2002 because Austin's body was done and he was told to retire right after Survivor Series 2001. Austin should have been made a part timer and only put over guys like RVD, Angle and Lesnar on PPV. Also RVD had passed both Rock and Austin in the late spring and early summer of 2002 and Rock got booed multiple times that year. Angle, RVD and Lesnar were actually the most valuable guys that year the problem for Vince was that 2002 was a transition year for the company like 1992 and 1997 and he didn't recognize it. HHH was awful that year and Rock had gotten very stale as well. People wanted RVD, Angle and Lesnar as the featured guys not Austin, Rock, HHH and Taker. The issue Austin had was he was the only guy demoted to the mdicard that year when its known HHH was awful that year in the ring minus Summerslam 2002 and Taker was awful against Rock, HHH and Austin. HHH also refused to job or work with Lesnar in 2002, that is why Lesnar was put on Smackdown. Rock had no issue putting Lesnar over since he was leaving and Taker refused to lose to Lesnar at Unforgiven 2002.
"Rock was only FOTC in 2001 by default after Austin's heel turn."- I disagree with that. Rock's return episode was all about him and he brought in huge ratings. It was said after he left to film a movie, a lot of the ratings went down.
 

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Fans hated heel Austin, they wanted face Austin to face guys like HHH, Angle, Jericho and Benoit. Instead he turned heel and face guys like Taker and Kane, two guys he feuded with a ton in 98 and 99. Face Austin keeps the company on a roll from 2000, Austin never faced Jericho, Benoit or ANgle in his first run before his neck injury took him down in NOV 99. Don't forget Austin in 98 and 99 had a weaker roster and tougher competition not to mention Smackdown didn't exisit when Austin was on top. When Smackdown debuted in Sept 99 Austin was recovering from neck and knee injuries and was used sparingly to try and get him to WM 2000 and put oevr the Rock before he got his surgery but he didn;t make it. Also WCW was gone in April 2001 and a lot of wrestling fans left. They came back for the Invasion but left again after the WWF only got mid carders and not the big stars. Rock had 2 shows and more exposure in 2000 with a better roster and weaker competition.
 

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Also Rock and Austin were both stale after March 2002, Rock got booed repeatedly that year, had they stayed both were getting passed by RVD by fans. RVD, lesnar and Angle were the future in 2002 but Vince relied on HHH, Taker and Rock.
 

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Ok so by Mania 17, Austin foolishly turned heel , I get it he was bored as a face and wanted to try somthing new, but the fans were never for it, and it just didnt pan out like it should have, and did some damage to his character.

After Austin heel turn , who do you have that has the star power, crossover appeal to mainstreme America, while still over with the wrestling audience, the only answer is The Rock, Angle as talented as he was wasnt ready in my book, HHH is a natural heel, and as a face isnt near The Rock or Austin level, the wcw draws like Sting, Hogan, Goldberg were sitting out their Time warner/AOL contracts, while by the Summer RVD was over, he didnt have The Rock starpower and other wrestlers felt he was unsafe to work with.

It made perfect sense for The Rock as the top guy by 2001, once Austin turned back into babyface he wasnt the same period, the heel run, his disgruntlement with the booking , and his injuries have caught up with him, and Austin is one of my all time favorites, so it is no knock on him. My only problem with The Rock as the top guy is , he was already becoming a part timer, and seem to be using his Wrestling career to fully transition to a Hollywood career, that makes sense, less injuries, more money, longer longevity , however there was no one who could replace him, even John Cena, Batista or Randy Orton never reached The Rock height of stardom and mainstreme credibility.
 
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