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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
He was receiving some massive pops around that time.

I think they just wanted a heel Rock vs face Austin for Wrestlemania
15 instead of a face vs face but Hogan/Warrior was face vs face and so
was Bret/HBK.
 

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It just made sense in the grand scheme of things. There was no real point having Rock and Austin at the top at the same time in the same situation.
 

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The One Who Knocks
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Austin was already the undisputed top face. It was logical to set up Austin/Rock for the next spring.

Besides, putting him with the Corporation elevated him better than having him as Austin #2 fighting Vince would have.
 

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They needed him to be heel to feud with Austin and Mick Foley during that time.
 
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