Matt Hardy compared Stone Cold Steve Austin’s popularity to Jeff Hardy when discussing his heel turn at WrestleMania 17.
For years, Austin became one of the most popular stars in WWE due to his legendary feud with Vince McMahon. However, at WrestleMania 17, Austin aligned himself with Vince McMahon, allowing him to become the new WWF Champion.
This moment became one of the most historic moments in WWE history because the Austin-McMahon rivalry was so epic that no one saw this new alliance coming.
While many fans criticized WWE’s decision to turn Austin’s heel, the rattlesnake was the one who pushed for his heel turn.
On a recent episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, the current AEW star discussed the controversial heel turn. He compared Stone Cold Steve Austin to Jeff Hardy in terms of how difficult it is to get heat on them.
“I mean Steve was really confident in himself and he thought he could make this thing work and I like that mentality, I like the approach of trying something different and new. You have to always change, you have to always evolve, right? Stone Cold became a character that was so beloved, it was very hard to get him booed and that was gonna be problematic all the way through that.”
“I almost, to me, it feels very similar to Jeff Hardy. It would be hard to make Jeff Hardy a full fledged heel because he’s just such a beloved character and people connect with him in a way that very few people do. Stone Cold was that way too.” [H/T Fightful]
The Hardy Boyz were brought in to get some legitimate heat on Stone Cold Steve Austin
WWE knew that it would be hard to get some heat on Steve Austin. Hence, they decided that Austin and Triple H would have a mini-feud with The Hardy Boyz, one of the most beloved tag teams in the company.
During the same podcast episode, Matt Hardy continued to explain how he and Jeff Hardy were brought in to get some heat on Stone Cold Steve Austin.
“I know he went out, and it was in Texas of all places where he is absolutely put on a pedestal, and he was getting cheered when he was beating The Rock’s ass after aligning with Mr. McMahon or whatever. They knew that was going to be problematic so they said ‘How can we get some legitimate heat on this guy?’ and he said ‘Well, let’s call in these young heartthrobs, the Hardy Boyz and Lita, Team Extreme.’ Let’s get some heat on those guys.” [H/T Fightful]
The plan to pair Triple H with Austin against The Hardy Boyz worked momentarily as it helped the Rattlesnake get some heat as a major heel. However, his heel turn isn’t fondly remembered by wrestling fans who preferred the former WWE Champion as a baby face.
What did you make of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heel turn? Sound off in the comments section.
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