For anyone who grew up in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, every Sunday night, Monday night and of course Thursday night, you were glued to the TV watching WWE programming. Unless, of course, you were one of those Turner Broadcasting fans then you were watching Monday Night Nitro. The story lines were so in depth and intriguing, you’d stay up past your bed time every week and were left with insane cliff hangers. There’s no doubt that sports entertainment/wrestling has been an American favorite for years – and it will only continue to keep growing. But wrestling now a days has so many disadvantages compared to the Attitude Era.
Here’s a list of the reasons I believe the WWE will never be quite as good as it was in the hay day of Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Mankind and so many more!
I’ve watched several of the Stone Cold podcasts and this is usually one of the points that he consistently brings up. With WCW in full swing in the late 90’s because of their innovation and creative ideas (NWO), they actually beat WWE for some 84 consecutive weeks in the ratings. It pushed Vince and the guys at WWE to come up with their own insane storylines in order to compete.
They did this with the Stone Cold scene where Brian Pillman came in with a gun and every single person watching thought that he really tried to shoot the Texas Rattlesnake. Through out the entire late 90’s and into 2000 the competition created opportunities that had never been looked at or even considered in the 80’s.
That’s one of the biggest problems currently facing the WWE. I fully believe is that the wrestlers do not have enough free range to do and say what they want and when they want like they could in the Attitude era. Back then, they just gave some bullet points and said go for it! That’s actually how the Stone Cold character even came to exist.
Same with one of the best groups in wrestling:
I understand that now a days people wouldn’t tolerate the open mic skills as much because everything is entirely too PC. But still – more freedom for the wrestlers to speak would help tremendously!
3.Pay Per View Build Ups
The build ups in the Attitude Era were always incredible! They made the audience feel like they were so invested. They cared about the outcome of all the title fights and even the mid-card regular matches. They would spend at least a month making the heels and the faces both looking tough and vulnerable at the same time so you never knew exactly who was gonna end up with the belts at the end of the Pay Per View, or for those who couldn’t afford them the following Monday night on Raw.
It made you actually care about all the wrestlers and it made the entire show for the 2 hours of play time totally watchable and enjoyable.
We all know the tragic story of Chris Benoit and his murder/suicide that took place in 2007. Such a horrific occurrence coming to light and the evidence of Benoit’s concussion and head injuries made the WWE have to pull back on the chair shots. While this is completely understandable, they need to bring this element of wrestling back to a degree. They need to figure out a way to make the matches look and feel as violent as they did in the Attitude era but with safer methods of execution.
Some of my all time favorite memories as a kid were those TLC matches with The Dudleys, The Hardys and of course Edge and Christian. If they got this element of these matches back, not only would it make the older folks who were kids during the Attitude Era happy – it would draw the kids in more again with all that high flying stunt work!
5. Tag Teams
Now. I know that tag teams are still a big deal in the WWE even still today, the set up for tag teams in the Attitude Era was just such a better match. You could throw Stone Cold and The Rock as partners against Triple H and Kurt Angle and the entire building would explode.
The Rock would be getting worn down for 5 minutes but as soon as he got to the corner and tagged Stone Cold – he would come in with a full head of steam and clothesline Angle and Triple H over and over and the crowd would be on their feet screaming as loud as they possible could.
It could also be used to help someone get over if they were teamed up with a face against a couple of heels who weren’t stars just yet. The possibilities were just endless!
I’m not saying wrestling nowadays isn’t good because they definitely have some amazing young talent who are all hungry and ready to work – but the Attitude era just can’t be beat. The culture at the time was perfect and ready for a change and they got one in the best way possible. That’s not to say that I didn’t completely enjoy seeing Triple H and Sting wrestle at Wrestlemania and the Wolf pack and the D-Generates coming out and fighting each other because that was a life long dream of mine for sure! I just wish they would add some more elements of the greatest era of wrestling into today!
What do you think? Leave your comments below!