There's little examples like that to argue for either side, but when you look at the bulk of Steve Austin's "Stone Cold" character it was a "I do what I want, when I want" personaility that if felt so inclined, might help out a hero character, but was also not opposed to just doing his own thing and kicking ass on his terms, much like the Punisher. WWE pushed many more during this time frame in a similar manner, but Austin was at the top of the pack and only DX were comparably over as Anti-Heroes.GooberBM wrote:The Austin Era was a perversion (to cause to turn aside or away from what is generally done or accepted) of the Hero Structure of the Hogan Era, not because Austin was less of a hero than Hogan, but because of who his actions were cast upon. Case in point, both guys would strive to keep the villain from reaching the Holy Grail, even at the cost of themselves.El Canuck wrote:No, Austin continued to be an Anti-Hero by pure definition of the word, WWE just continued to push a lot more anti-heroes all at once, as in the examples you listed. Austin was the leader of this trend. Despite WWE shifting gears, the "moral compass" never shifts, good is always good, evil is always evil. I stand by my statement.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Austin has anti-hero tendencies, sure. But so does Superman when he's facing Darkseid. At the end of the day though, Austin, like Hogan before and Cena now, is much more Superman than Punisher
Hogan until his heel turn and Cena are "To the rescue" Superhero types who fight for justice and save the day, and as I said before, Orton's being pushed as a "I do what I want, when I want" Anti-hero, much the same as Austin.