Steve Austin was involved in a ton of memorable moments throughout his WWE career. Some of those angles are remembered more fondly than others. His heel turn at WrestleMania 17 was certainly not a winner, but he tried to make it work.

The Texas Rattlesnake turned heel at WrestleMania 17, and the pro wrestling world exploded. That handshake with Vince McMahon turned the previous Steve Austin character upside down, and it was not accepted well at all.

During the latest episode of The Extreme Life Of Matt Hardy, the tag team specialist brought up Steve Austin’s controversial heel turn at WrestleMania 17. It was said that Austin thought it would work, no matter how difficult the angle might be to pull off.

“It was interesting. 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. 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.”

WWE eventually changed their minds about Steve Austin as a heel, but it took a few months of trial and error. A lot of fans would agree that Austin’s heel run was most full of errors.

Steve Austin is still a babyface to this day, and for obvious reasons. His ability to connect with fans, and sell boatloads of merchandise, cannot be ignored. It’s good to try new things out, but a heel turn for Steve Austin just wasn’t gonig to work out.

What’s your take on Steve Austin’s heel turn? Should WWE have ever tried it out? Sound off in the comments!

Tags: Steve Austin
Felix Upton

Felix Upton is a seasoned writer with over 30 years of experience. He began his career writing advertisements for local newspapers in New York before transitioning to publishing news for Ringside News. His expertise includes writing, editing, research, photo editing, and video editing. In his free time, he enjoys bungee jumping and learning extinct languages.

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