Did I just say the Attitude Era sucked?
Hell yes I did! And if you're not down with that then...you're probably in the majority around here.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the Attitude Era, but I look at some people's hero-worshipping of that era and wonder why. Not because it wasn't enjoyable, but because it wasn't perfect—it created problems, some of which are still with us today—but most of all because its history, gone, finished, and over, never to return.
Hands up, who here is sick to death of titles changing every time you look around? Seriously, put your hand in the air, because you know you're one of them!
Thirteen separate WWE Championship reigns in the past 18 months? No one holding the title for more than 100 days in the last couple of years? Everyone on the roster holding the title within a three year period, apart from Hornswoggle?
OK, I made the last one up, but the rest is true!
You go for a bathroom break, you come back, and you discover you have a new champion!
Who is to blame? World Wide Wrestling, Vince Russo, and the Attitude Era, that's who's to blame!
Think back to pre-AE, who ever boasted about being a 62-time World Champion? Only a chump would, as to be the champion 62 times you had to lose the title 61 times.
Everybody wanted to be Bruno Sammartino. Everybody wanted to hold the title for eighty years, and Hulk Hogan became Sulk Hogan when the WWF wouldn't let him, and it was one of a million reasons he walked out on the company to go wrestle for WCW.
It changed because of the Attitude Era.
It changed because you loved the swerves; you loved the wrestlers turning on a dime; you loved the hardcore belt changing hands 52 times in the same show; and you liked to see the unexpected: a world championship changing hands.
Suddenly no one could be Sammartino anymore, so they started counting title reigns instead and everyone wanted 10, then the next man wanted 50, then the next man needed 100 to be the best. Now they just staple the belt to a revolving door and the next man in gets to wear it!
Hands up who hates seeing their favorite wrestler forced to wear a frilly skirt and wrestle an Irish Leprechaun with the loser of the bout falling into a vat of custard?
You have your hand in the air? Well it's YOUR fault!
Seriously, think back to the Attitude Era.
You laughed at the Big Show's poop problems; you laughed at Mae Young giving birth to a hand; you laughed at an endless stream of silly skits when you should have been watching the wrestling; and do you know what message that sent out?
You might has well have worn a bright green T-shirt with the words "Vince Give Me Hornswoggle!" printed across it!
Are you sick of the PG era? Blame the Attitude Era!
Because parents wouldn't let their kids watch wrestling anymore, so there was no new fans coming in and the old fans tuned out by the millions as their favorite stars left for Hollywood.
Because everyone had gone out to the movie theater to watch the Rock play a gay Samoan bodyguard named Elliot in "Be Cool," no one was home to watch Monday Night Raw or buy any PPV's, so the audience dwindled, the income dwindled, and the WWE stock fell lower than the Great Khali's popularity!
The Attitude Era crashed and burned, professional wrestling was in free fall, people were tuning out in the millions, and the crash-TV style of Monday Night Raw led to bad habit after bad habit.
Many of those habits still plague us today.
Seriously, I enjoyed the Attitude Era as much as the next guy with the possible exception of Kurt Wattenberg*, who had "I love the Attitude Era" tattooed on his forehead, but some of you guys have to take the rose tinted glasses off your candy-asses and take a look at the calendar.
This is not 1999, it's 2010, so take a chill pill and enjoy the show.
*For those running off to Google Kurt Wattenberg, he doesn't actually exist, I made him up! He's a fictional character sort of like Big Dick Johnson, only with more clothes.
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