It's intriguing how wrestling aficionados continuously debate and dissect storylines and angles, even if those moments are decades old. For instance, one such event that has left fans pondering for more than two decades is the surprising heel turn of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
This twist in the tale occurred on April 1, 2001, during WrestleMania 17. In an astounding move, Austin, arguably one of WWE's most popular babyfaces, chose to align with his arch-nemesis Vince McMahon. This unexpected alliance aided Austin in triumphing over The Rock and securing the WWE Championship.
And mind you, all this unfolded in Austin's home turf – Texas.
Sullivan's Unique Wrestling Insight
Now, few can argue that such moments aren’t meant to spark controversy. However, when a seasoned professional like Kevin Sullivan weighs in on it, the wrestling world sits up and takes note.
Having served on the WCW's booking committee during the prime time of both Rock and Austin’s rise in WWE, Sullivan offers unparalleled insights. His association with Austin, dating back to the latter's WCW days, further adds depth to his viewpoint.
On the podcast, "Tuesday With The Taskmaster," Sullivan voiced his thoughts on the heel turn. He asserted, "My issue with Austin's turn isn't the fact that it happened, but rather the timing of it." Elaborating further, Sullivan remarked, "My answer, I believe, was too soon.
If the buildup had been prolonged, the climax would’ve been unprecedented, echoing through any arena. The anticipation would've been akin to the age-old debates about the greatest wrestler of all time, reminiscent of discussions comparing Lou Thesz and Jim Londos." In Sullivan's perspective, the Austin-McMahon alliance, if introduced as a debate of 'Who truly is the greatest?' would have garnered unparalleled attention and revenue.
He mused, "Imagine a precursor match with that storyline. The ticket sales would’ve skyrocketed." Indeed, the wrestling world is filled with 'what ifs,' and Sullivan's insights add another layer to the rich tapestry of discussions surrounding the sport.