Whether they were scripted or not, I don’t believe that Shawn’s shoot comments on Rock and Austin didn’t have his and HHH’s paws all over them. They benefited HHH too much and didn’t do anything other than undermine Rock and Austin. Completely counterproductive and on par with Danger Gangster Unmasked shirt and Shawn made off the cuff comments about other wrestlers in promos that made little logical sense other than to undermine people they thought were a threat to their positions.
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And it makes too much sense that they’d wait for Austin to walk out to make him look bad, something Austin would never allow during any other timeframe; The Rock has never been as protective as his spot, but it was good timing to try and make him look bad in the eyes of fans as well since he was blowing up in Hollywood more and more and appearing on TV less and Danger Gangster Unmasked shirt. No other wrestlers, heel or face, would be allowed to cut other wrestlers down like that. So yeah, don’t buy the story as it’s told here at all.