I have read so many articles demanding the return of the Attitude Era I feel that it is superbly necessary to write this. I addressed the issue of why the wrestling world isn't moving forward once before, and one of the key problems I outlined was that fans hopelessly cling to the Attitude Era like a child does its mother.
Allow me to show you a brief few reasons the Attitude Era is likely never to return.
1) Different Competition
What did WWE have as competition back in the 90's? Well WCW of course. When I say different competition, I am not referring to TNA, no I am referring to a different sport entirely, MMA.
MMA is beyond a shadow of a doubt one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The have captured the 18-34 demographic and created a truly dedicated audience.
What I ask you was the Attitude Era supposed to appeal to? The 12 years olds that were cheering Hogan in the 80's that's who. There really wasn't many violent things that appealed to 13-34 years olds in those days and WWF Attitude was just what the doctor ordered, and likely the only thing that gave them the violence and blood that they thought was awesome.
Now we have UFC so there is some variety and a selection. If the area of 18-34 years old is captured what do you have left? 5-12 year olds, so that is what Vince focuses on.
Maybe after UFC falls to the ground because people will realize what I did 2 years ago in that Dana White is exactly like the "Vince McMahon" of MMA, we will see a return or a revamping of the Attitude Era but until than don't count on it.
2) Who the hell hires these guys?
Pop Quiz: How many of you think Batista is boring?
I'm just going to go out on a limb and say a lot of you.
Pop Quiz: Who do we blame for hiring him?
Vince McMahon, of course. *beep* wrong.
The correct answer is a man that wrestling fans will know as Johnny Ace. He is the current senior vice-president of talent relations.
Any one know what that means? Well basically he signs wrestlers to their contracts and he is the one that gets in touch with new talent when the WWE is interested in signing them. Now he is infamous for one thing, and this entire section will make sense when I reveal what that is.
Ace is often criticized for signing talent to wrestling contracts based more on their physical appearances instead of their actual wrestling ability. Many of those who Ace has signed eventually wash out of the industry due to their lack of passion and desire for the business and overall lack of talent. Now don't that sound familiar?
Now do me a favor next time you are at a WWE event and you are watching a match that involves some over-ripped guy and complaining about how bad it sucks, please start a "Fire ACE!" chant.
3) Nobody is Paying their Dues
Not to sound like a grizzled old veteran, but there are a superb lack of wrestlers that truly "pay their dues" these days. The most recent ones I can think of are probably Evan Bourne (or if you prefer Matt Sydal) and C.M. Punk.
Now let me explain exactly what I mean. A wrestler used to have to work the independent circuit for years before eventually making it to the big leagues, namely speaking the WWE.
They would have to job and sell another wrestler to the best of thier ability. Hopefully they would earn a spot in the low to mid card and work thier way up into the main event scene through hard work and dedication. This would instill a sense of respect in them.
Yeah, not so much anymore.
Any know how long Randy Orton worked the indy circuit before being signed? About a month. How long did he spend in the midcard? a year, maybe a year and a half.
How about Jeff Hardy? He spent 1994-1998 on the independent circuit and on occasion jobbing for the WWE. How long was in the midcard? from 1998-2007.
Who would you say has paid their dues more and earned their spot?
(And don't feed me that crap Cody Rhodes fed the entire world and I quote "When you are this talented, you don't pay dues", yeah by that logic Bret Hart should have been signed by WWE as soon as he turned 18.)
4) The Writers
In more recent times, namely the last two weeks, Vince has been blamed more and more for Raw sucking. While it is true that good old Vinny controls a great deal of what happens on Raw and has recently been testy and apparently "fire happy", the writers give him garbage to keep him happy.
Reality Check, if all of you propose a new edgy story, and not the same tired old thing, well he can't just fire all of you no matter how pissy he is being, and if I was in your position I would prefer to lose my job rather than being responsible for giving about 10 million people " un-entertaining garbage" every week. If you don't have the balls to try at least, go do something else.
This is a problem both companies, meaning both WWE and TNA, have. WWE has too many PPV's based solely around Gimmicks and TNA just has way too many gimmick matches.
We really need to get away from the "the only way you can win is to repeatedly hit your opponent with a rubber chicken, bust him open, than make him submit using an armbar" style matches (Yeah I know that is a ludicrous example, but don't be surprised if you see it eventually, at this rate).
I give both companies credit for trying to push the bar, but there are really only four types of gimmick matches wrestling fans honestly want to see: the Hardcore/Extreme rules Match, the last man standing match, the ladder match and the first blood match, and well five if you count the bra and panties match. Just back to the basics and I'm pretty sure everyone will be happy for it.
At this point this article could probably go on forever, I just wanted to address some of the real problems that prevent the Attitude Era from returning. Until these problems are addressed, there will be no Attitude Era or nothing even remotely similar.
I apologize if there is anything else I forgot to address, if there is enough maybe a sequel to this article will appear. Just remember one day these problems will be addressed, it will just take time.