I had a couple questions regarding the Tyson/Austin angle for Wrestlemania 14 that I never had clarified, and I was hoping you or the bloggies could enlighten me.
1) Was the initial plan to bring in Tyson as an enforcer/ref for the main event from the start? Or was there something else in mind that eventually morphed into what we got — and if so, why?
2) Piggybacking off #1, do you know if there was ever any real consideration for Tyson to wrestle, be it in a singles or tag match?
3) We all know the stories of Shawn not committing to putting Austin over at WM14 or being unable to physically or whatever, but was the main event ever in any real danger of not happening and the rumors of Shawn being unwilling to work got blown out of proportion? If not, what was the backup plan if Shawn couldn’t/wouldn’t work the match? Is that where the Tyson match stuff came about? FWIW, I still vividly remember a backstage segment on RAW around Jan/Feb 1998 where Shawn offered to ref the match between the two, and at the time I always thought that was strictly kayfabe of Shawn being the heel coward champ and trying to get out of the Austin match.
4) Not that it mattered by then, but was the story ever explained of what exactly happened (in storyline, that is) of when Tyson turned on DX and counted Shawn? So were Tyson and Austin in cahoots the whole time? Did Tyson just change his mind at the last minute? I don’t ever recall any of it being explained. Again, not really important because the angle did what it needed to do, but I always wondered what the "official" details ended up being.
Yeah, and 1 and 2 are kind of connected, as Vince really wanted to feature Mike Tyson as a wrestler, but they just couldn’t get any kind of clearance from the people in boxing to make it happen. I believe the idea was in fact Steve Austin v. Mike Tyson, although it was quickly realized that it wasn’t going to happen. But yes, definitely seriously consideration for it.
3. Given Shawn’s back it certainly wasn’t out of the question that he’d miss the show, but I don’t know that they had an actual backup plan because really who else was there? Maybe Shawn sends HHH out there to do the job, but they were really thin on heels.
4. Never explained as far as I know. I just assumed that Tyson had one of his trademark changes of heart on the night of the show and decided to go with Cold Stone instead.