Watched the first episode that's up from the 96 Raws and saw Austin as the Ringmaster face Matt Hardy.
It got me thinking ...
Who had the harder gimmick to overcome: Austin or Rock? Both in theory could/should have been career-killers, but both men went on to be two of the biggest stars in the business' history. Obviously neither made their original gimmick with the company work, but still very impressive they were able to not only wash the stink off of them, but thrived.
Well Rocky had the easier go of it because the company was already behind him, plus he was still a fresh guy in the business and wasn't locked into one position on the card yet. Austin, on the other hand, was someone who was typecast as the arrogant blond in WCW and who was thought of as an Arn Anderson-level TV title guy, so he not only had to overcome that crappy gimmick, but WWF's own preconceived notions of where he fit in as well. So I'd say it was definitely a bigger uphill climb for ol' Stone Cold.