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WWE's 'corporate' makeovers
In honor of Daniel Bryan's failed corporate makeover on the Aug. 5 Raw, WWE.com takes a look back at some of the most successful – and sometimes unsuccessful – makeovers in WWE history.
“Stone Cold” refuses to sell out
Perhaps the most famous — or is that, “infamous”? — corporate makeover in WWE history just so happens to be the least successful. When Mr. McMahon — then at the height of his legendary rivalry against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin — tried to give his Texas foe a new look, things went from bad to worse for the boss.
Sure, Austin arrived to Raw donning a newly pressed suit, but he left in his skivvies, and Mr. McMahon left with a pair of bruised (corporate) grapefruits.
As Jim Ross so succinctly put it on commentary that night, “rattlesnakes don’t make corporate pets.”
The Dude dresses up
Dude Love is, by nature, pretty much the antithesis of “corporate.” Perennially dressed down and ready for a good time, the thought of the Dude in spiffy duds just isn’t an appealing notion.
Still, not even the most fun-loving and carefree persona inhabiting the head of WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley was able to escape the dreaded corporate makeover.
In his ever-raging war against “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Mr. McMahon enlisted anyone and everyone who could help his cause. He saw an ally in the tie-dyed grappler, leading Dude Love to dance with the devil and (for a time, at least) sell his soul to The Chairman.
It also led to an iconic shirt-and-tie look that would carry Mick Foley directly into the WWE Hall of Fame ...
From People’s Champ to Corporate Chump?
What would you do for an opportunity to challenge for the WWE Championship? Would you sell yourself out to “The Man”? No? Well, how about selling out to The Chairman?
Not so easy a choice now, is it?
Just ask The Rock, who, in 1998, was desperate to decorate himself in title gold. In order to do so, The People's Champion willingly transformed himself into The Corporate Champion, shocking (and, not to mention, disappointing) the WWE Universe. Doing Mr. McMahon's bidding in an attempt to reap the benefits that only The Chairman could deliver, The Great One started hearing new chants in arenas the world over as he battled the likes of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mankind.
The Rock's corporate makeover didn't last long, though, and the "Rocky!" chants once again rang loud and proud.
Billion-dollar business suits
Throughout The Attitude Era, Stephanie McMahon represented everything WWE fans loved to hate. She was rich and entitled and she would yell and scream and kick if she didn’t get her way. She even cheated along the path to claiming Women’s Championship gold.
These days, however, Stephanie operates in a completely different capacity, serving as WWE’s EVP of Creative and working as a driving force behind the scenes. Until, of course, she gets back in front of the cameras, as seen in recent months with her (very vocal) firing of former Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero.
Trading in her ring gear for business suits and her Billion Dollar Princess moniker for a top-floor office in WWE’s world headquarters, Stephanie may well be the only example of a successful corporate makeover in WWE history.
Beardless wonder? Say it ain't so!
On the July 29 episode of Raw, in an attempt to warm her father up to WWE Title challenger Daniel Bryan, Stephanie McMahon suggested the unthinkable — give the submission specialist a makeover.
For one full week, the entire WWE Universe was focused on a singular question: Would Bryan shave his famous (infamous?) follicles?
Well, apparently it's okay to take solace in the lessons of history, as Superstars typically don’t stick to the McMahon-mandated corporate makeover. True to form, Daniel Bryan refused to conform, and watching him shrug off his nice, new jacket and tie was akin to watching a dog attempt to remove one of those cone-things. (You know what we mean.)
Anyway, Bryan didn't shave the beard (though he did shave half of Wade Barrett's in the process), and the WWE Universe went to sleep content in the fact that some things - and people - just never change.