On the most recent episode of his Extreme Life podcast, wrestling legend Matt Hardy, aka "The Broken One," delved into the topic of Stone Cold Steve Austin's famous heel turn at WrestleMania 17. In the discussion, Hardy praised Austin for his courage in trying something new and shared his insights into the iconic wrestler's thought process.
Hardy began by emphasizing Austin's confidence in making the heel turn work, even though the "Rattlesnake" was already a beloved figure in the wrestling world. According to Hardy, Austin was excited to try something different, fully aware that it is crucial for any performer to continuously evolve and adapt their persona.
Comparing Austin and Jeff Hardy
The AEW star drew a parallel between Austin's heel turn and the challenges his brother, Jeff Hardy, faced when attempting to become a bad guy in wrestling. Hardy explained that certain wrestlers, like his brother and Austin, have an innate connection with their fans, making it extremely difficult for them to be perceived as villains.
This dynamic often leads to unexpected audience reactions, making it a challenge for the performers to fully commit to their new roles. In Austin's case, Hardy recalled how the Texas native was still cheered by fans, even after aligning himself with the notorious Mr.
McMahon and brutally assaulting The Rock. Recognizing the need to generate legitimate heat for the new heel, Austin and the creative team decided to bring in the Hardy Boyz and Lita, known collectively as Team Extreme. By antagonizing these popular, up-and-coming stars, Austin hoped to create the necessary friction to establish himself as a convincing bad guy.
Matt Hardy's candid discussion on his podcast provided a fascinating glimpse into the mindset of one of wrestling's all-time greats, Stone Cold Steve Austin. The comparison between Austin's heel turn and his brother Jeff's similar struggles highlights some performers' unique challenges when trying to reinvent themselves.
As the wrestling industry continues to evolve, performers must constantly adapt, and it's clear that Austin's willingness to take risks and push boundaries helped solidify his legendary status in the world of professional wrestling.
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