Don't let the title of this article mislead you as to my thoughts on the attitude era. I was a huge fan of the Attitude Era and I truly believe that this was one of the, if not the greatest period in wrestling. However, I don't believe that it should be brought back. I know that people have been dying for it to happen but I don't think that this is the solution to improve the quality of the WWE.
I believe that bringing back the Attitude Era would be a step back. Firstly, What made the Attitude Era so popular was not so much the more risque storylines being written but the characters created during this period. The Attitude Era was made popular by characters like Stone Cold Steve Austin who was a beer-drinking, bird-flipping rebel antihero who constantly defied authority. His popularity was derived from his demeanour and related to the common man in a sense that he represent people who dared to dream of telling their boss to get f**ed. It was people who played these characters that made the Attitude Era what it was.
I don't believe the current crop of wrestlers in the WWE have the character or charisma to create another Attitude Era. Guys like John Cena, Batista (when he was a face) and Rey Mysterio have gimmicks that are child friendly and became popular solely because of this reason. I strongly believe that edgier gimmicks would make guys like them irrelevant. Even the younger guys like Kofi Kingston couldn't pull off having a darker gimmick. In general the current crop can't pull off another Attitude Era. You need the characters and personalities for it to succeed.
Secondly, I firmly believe that over time wrestling needs to change and evolve, giving fans something new and different to watch. If you look back over time different things have occurred that have made promotions become really popular. If you go back to the 1980's, the WWF became the most popular wrestling promotion because they became national, going against the old territory mantra and were able to create superstars with personalities and larger than life characters like Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper.
After a while audiences became bored with guys like Hulk Hogan and saw the WWF as a place where corny characters and cheesy storylines existed. What gave WCW the edge over the WWF for a while was that they gave audiences something new. WCW were able to change long standing heroes like Hulk Hogan into really hated bad guys. I still believe that the NWO wouldn't have been as successful as it was if it wasn't for Hogan turning heel. Unlike the past in the WWF, WCW made heels hold onto the title for a long time, making fans more interested in seeing guys like Hogan drop the title.
Once people got sick of this, the WWF brought in the Attitude Era. What made this popular was that they created edgier characters and storylines, swearing was more common and the programs centred on things that were considered to be taboo. The main thing from this was that it was popular because wrestling fans hadn't seen this before and were excited from something new.
After this, then promotions started to emphasise more hardcore wrestling and make matches that involved greater risk taking. This is evidenced by the creation of matches like the TLC match that were immensely popular and help create superstars like the Hardys and Edge and Christian.
Having said that, my point is this. By bringing back the Attitude Era, you will be showing audiences something that they've already seen and not helping wrestling evolve into smething new and revolutionary, instead you will be dwelling on the past.
In conclusion here is my point. The Attitude Era was a great period in wrestling history. This period was defined by the great characters that were created like Stone Cold and The Rock. By repeating this, you are re-creating a lesser version of something that was once great. There won't be another Attitude Era because we don't have Stone Cold or The Rock there to make it popular. The current crop of WWE guys don't have it in them to do another Attitude Era. Leave what was great in the past and focus on creating something new and exciting for the fans to watch.