Heel Hogan in WWF circa 1993?


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Was it ever on the cards for Hulk Hogan to turn heel in the WWF back in 1993, prior to him leaving for WCW?

With hindsight, it seems like it would've been the natural thing to do. His act was already stale by that point and the fans were starting to turn against him anyway. A Hogan heel turn would've generated massive publicity for the struggling WWF at that time, and a feud between the newly hated Hogan and Bret Hart as the babyface underdog could've been a big draw.

All you ever heard from Vince McMahon at the time though was that he wanted Hulk Hogan to become the "Babe Ruth of the WWF", steadily phased out of the limelight but brought back periodically as a "special attraction".

McMahon was so fixated on this particular conception of Hogan's future that he couldn't see the forest for the trees. He could've stolen a march on WCW by a good three years and made a mint from a Hogan heel run.

Were they that blind that they couldn't see it? Surely turning a wrestler when his act is going stale is one of the oldest tricks in the wrestling promoter's manual? Did McMahon really just see Hogan as a perennial good guy and nothing besides?

​Sure seems that way.  Hogan for his part was equally behind the times, as he didn't see Bret Hart as a viable alternative to the top babyface spot, so blame can go both ways there.  And then look at what Vince did as soon as Hogan left — he tried to create Lex Luger in his image as another patriotic top musclehead babyface!  Plus, although Hogan's act was stale, it's not like people were actively booing him like they were once he got to WCW, so the dynamic might not have worked the same.  ​

Heel Stone Cold Steve Austin Circa 2001


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Just watched a video from RAW, April 2001 where Stone Cold was battling The Rock in the steel cage. At some point during the match, because Austin is now aligned with Mr. McMahon, HHH comes down and helps beat down the Rock.

If my memory serves me, this Austin heel turn was very unpopular, especially after they spent all that time building him up. Was there a long term plan with this story line, or was Vice just seeing what the fans would ultimately tolerate, and thus turning Austin back to a face just a few short months later?

Thanks.

​That cage match should have been the babyface turn that made HHH into a main event superhero.  People were READY for the HHH/Rock alliance to oppose Austin and instead we got the opposite.  That may have been the downfall of the entire Attitude Era in that one match, in fact.

Anyway, yes, there was definitely a long-term plan, which was heel Austin putting over babyface HHH at Wrestlemania 18 to cap off the insanely successful Invasion storyline that would see WCW spun off into its own revived TV show and touring company.  Clearly, things did not go according to plan.  They honestly thought that Austin's heel turn was going to be a thing that worked and that fans would somehow accept it and it would freshen up his character, which of course everyone beforehand was calling as totally ridiculous before it even happened.