Austin’s Rumble win in 97

Wasn’t a wrestling fan around the time so wondering what was the reaction of the general community? Surely it wasn’t expected? Obviously the Bret match at ss96 put him on the map but was he seen as a genuine contender around this time? After being at best a Midcarder in WCW he’d won the KOTR and Royal Rumble in little over a year with the WWF.

Where does it rank as most surprising Rumble wins?

It definitely wasn’t expected, as Bret was the assumed winner by everyone.  In terms of most surprising, I’d say someone like Batista’s second win or of course the gold standard is Edge in 2010.