Gary Cherone might have worked in Van Halen if not for the fact that many fans were mad about both the manner of Sammy Hagar's exit and that they were teased with the return of David Lee Roth only for it to either fall through or turn out to be never really been in the cards. Eddie Van Halen had long been a big babyface as a personality to Van Halen fans, and music fans in general. These twin debacles made him out to be the worst kind of heel and his rep still hasn't recovered after 15 years. No one was buying Cherone after that mess.
That's what I meant by saying it was bad timing. No one wanted to hear Cherone fronting Van Halen, especially at that particular point in time. As a stand-alone album, it was borderline passable. Not just something a VH fan would want to hear.