The Attitude Era was an era of promise but missed opportunities tarnished what could have made the era the greatest in history.
Bringing realism into storylines during the “Attitude Era,” skyrocketed popularity in professional wrestling. However notice, during this column there was no talk of women’s wrestling.
Women during the “Attitude Era” were mistreated during this period in time. Wrestling during this time was more masculine and glorified women as valets and beauty pieces. It took almost 20 years to view all women on the same level as the men.
WWF during this time was also shadowing another division. A backbone of what has built this company was their tag team division.
Some of the most memorable matches during the “Attitude Era” involved the tag teams: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff). These men led the new era of tag team wrestling in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
At WrestleManias 16 and 17, these men changed the game with the ladder match and the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match for the WWF Tag Team Championships. However, none of these stars were able to branch off from the tag team division until multiple years after the era ended.
While the Tag Team Championships gained importance, one championship lost a lot of its prestige. The WWF/E Intercontinental Championship is one of the most important championships in professional wrestling because of the dynamic it brings to holders and futures it could bring to champions.
When the “Attitude Era” began, the championship showed promise with some of the champions: Triple H, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, the championship changed hands at random week to week. In 1999, the Intercontinental Championship changed hands 11 times. Only 2 people within that year would go on to be future world champions in WWF/E.
While the Intercontinental Championship became an underthought, the mass amount of championships collided with each other. Making it hard for the importance of the championships to be noticed.
In the “Attitude Era” the championships were: The WWF Hardcore, The WWF European, The WWF Light-Heavyweight, The WWF Women’s, The WWF Tag Team, The WWF Intercontinental and the WWF Championship.
With too many championships it became hard to focus on each champion’s dynamic. Also, the high number of championships take away the struggle for those to get to a certain championship.
The dynamic of championships were mostly tarnished due to a large problem with the “Attitude Era.” The McMahon feuds that played a role all throughout the era.
Whether the feud with Stone Cold, Triple H, The Rock, or the feud within the family, overshadowed the wrestlers trying to grow and get airtime to become bigger stars. The part time wrestlers of Vince, Shane and Steph all held championships. But, they rarely defended them. Vince was even the WWF Champion.
Importance was on the main stars during the “Attitude Era.” Only stars that were focused since the beginning of the era grew to become the big stars. Others had to wait years to come to show their full potential as main event stars.
If the “Attitude Era” had realized the potential of those stars sooner, the effects would still be seen today.
There is not arguing that the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) would not be in existence without the “Attitude Era.” However with the buying of WCW, there will never be a wrestling organization that will be able to compete with the stranglehold WWE has on the wrestling world.
When reflecting on the “Attitude Era,” the argument can be made that the era could be the worst era in professional wrestling history.