Attitude. The word itself makes most wrestling fans pause for a moment of nostalgia. What was the Attitude Era to you? Was it Austin vs. McMahon? Austin vs. The Rock? D-Generation X?
One thing is for sure, the Attitude Era is the most talked about period of the WWE’s history.
While Googling the WWE it won’t be long before you come across fans begging for a 14A product to return. It’s not that the WWE doesn’t care about the Attitude Era, or that they want to hide it. It’s quite the opposite, actually. WWE 13 swapped out the popular Road To Wrestlemania mode for Attitude Era mode. Attitude Era DVDs, t-shirts… Oh hey look, the Rock was Champion again!
WWE knows that we love Attitude, but they also know that the Attitude era is over. That’s where we as fans need to stop wishing for the next “Attitude Era” and just look back, fondly, on a time of TLC matches, 2x4s wrapped in barbed wire, crotch chops, flipped birds, and Puppies!
In order for me to tell the story of this period in time I decided I needed to relive it. If Mr. McMahon asks, I taped all of these on my VCR and have a very large VHS collection. (It’s like an old school PVR)
But where do I start? The start of the Attitude Era is a bit of a mystery. It all depends on who you ask. Some say the Attitude era started at Wrestlemania XIV. Maybe it was when Stone Cold Steve Austin coined the phrase “Austin 3:16” at the King of the Ring in ’96.
I decided to start my journey in 1997. January 6, 1997 to be exact. This was a time where Psycho Sid and the Undertaker were main eventing, and Stone Cold Steve Austin was a mid card heel on his way to super stardom. A young Rocky Maivia was Intercontinental Champion and boring audiences all over with his bubble gum, good guy persona.
Seen here: The Rock’s dark past
Bret Hart was whining a lot, and the Nation of Domination vs. Ahmed Johnson was getting a little too much air time.
There was definitely a hint of attitude around this time. Sunny and Sable got plenty of screen time, walking up and down the ramp hocking Austin 3:16 t-shirts, while Dok Hendrix did his best strip club DJ impression; Stone Cold was blurring the lines, trying his best to be a heel, while getting tremendous crowd reactions; and Bret Hart had censors working overtime, letting non PG words fly any time a promo got heated.
Join me as I relive the era that made it cool to be a wrestling fan, when Raw was War, and when title belts certainly did not “spin”.
The Attitude era!