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Greetings, salutations, and howarya? Welcome to the column that grabs hold of and issue and beats the heck out of itfrom both sides; BrewGuy's Yin and Yang. What's the difference between the two? Glad you asked.

The Yin is the good. The Yang is the bad.
The Yin is optimism. The Yang is pessimism.
The Yin is a glass half full. The Yang is a glass half empty.
The Yin is why I like it. The Yang is why I don't. The Subject:

This week, our issue is the man everybody loves to hate to love....."The Old" Stone Cold Steve Austin

It's been a real interesting couple of months for Austin. At WrestleMania X-7, Austin shocked the world by turning heel and aligning himself with Mr. McMahon, "selling his soul" for the WWF Title.

From then until a week before Invasion, we've watched as Austin transformed his character from a bonafide bad-ass who didn't take crap from anybody into a whining, suck-up coward who "did not deserve" anything bad that happened to him. Finally, a week before InVasion, McMahon stated he didn't need an Austin who gave him hugs, baked cookies, and sang songs for him. He needed the OLD Stone Cold to lead Team WWF against the Alliance at InVasion. So that's what we got....for one week.

At InVasion, Austin stabbed Team WWF in the back and aligned himself with WECW. Now, his character is a combination between the "old" Stone Cold, and the "new" Stone Cold.

The Yin:

a) Change is good. Real good. The WWF is constantly working to keep its product fresh and interesting. Turning Stone Cold into a whiner and and suck-up was a real gutsy move by the Fed, (that I feel worked very well) as the "old" Stone Cold was still putting asses in seats. This shows how much the WWF is dedicated to keeping their show entertaining.

b) Stone Cold is good. Real good. He deserves a ton of credit for altering his character. It wasn't like his character was just over - it was, arguably, the most popular and successful character in the history of wrestling. That's not something you just up and change on a whim. But he did it, and did it extremely well. When he first turned, we saw some of the best TV wrestling we've seen in ages with his mini-feud with Chris Benoit. When his character evolved to be even MORE of a suck-ass, we saw some of the funniest vignettes the WWF has ever put out.

The Yang:

a) Ratings, Ratings, Ratings While fans like you and I were enjoying the Austin turn, many passive fans were not. A few people I talk to who watch wrestling sporadically continuously told me how much they hated this "new" Stone Cold, and that they wanted the old "beer-swilling, foul-mouthed, hell-raising" Stole Cold back, and would constantly flip the channel becuase of it. The 'old' Stone Cold brings in the ratings (as the past two weeks of TV have shown)

b) Sudden changes can be confusing So when Austin reverted to the "old" good-guy Austin, passive fans were generally thrilled, while fans like you and I generally weren't. "Oh god", we thought, "here comes another six months of what we saw six months ago". Then, when Austin "turned again", passive fans were confused. "What happened?" my compatriots said to me. "I mean, he was bad, then he was he's bad again? Can't he make up his mind?" At the same time, many people predicted that Austin would "turn again" (some people argue he never really turned, but that's another story) at InVasion, so the PPV loses some luster because the finish was widely expected. Bottom line: it appears the WWF has some work to do to 're-establish' exactly was Stone Cold's motives are.

The Question:
Now that you've read the Yin and Yang.....where do you stand on Stone Cold's character now?

My Answer:
Overall, I'm happy. I did get a little bummed with the return of the 'old' Austin, since I was really enjoying the 'new' Austin, but I was somewhat relieved when he "turned again" (or whatever you want to call it) and re-established himself as a bad guy. It looks like they've 'morphed' the old and new characters together, in an effort to try and keep everybody happy. Austin's performance during the main event of SmackDown! this week was outstanding (along with Angle's and Booker T's as well), and a real step in the right direction to establishing that Stone Cold is bad, and is gonna be for a good long time. The flip side of that is that it looks like we're going to get a Rock-Austin feud - again - for the immediate future. While that's not the most original plan, it should still make for good TV, and the ratings should be boosted significantly. I guess we'll find out, one way or the other.

Your Answer: Hey, you tell me!

'till next time!

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