The Attitude Era was probably the most favorite era in the time of professional wrestling for most of the readers on this site. If you're somebody who is anywhere from the ages of 18-30 and a fan of wrestling, chances are you became a fan of wrestling during this era.
The Attitude Era was a once in a generation era that will probably never be replicated again, no matter how much we want it to be replicated again.
It not only featured the WCW vs. WWE rivalry that spurred the Attitude Era, but the characters in the fold at the time, the Austin 3:16 moniker, the Brahma Bull, Mankind/Dude Love/Cactus Jack, the Ministry Undertaker, the Cerebral Assassin HHH, etc.
Those characters/wrestlers are remembered 10 years after the Attitude Era ended. Their faces, their characters, their moments are forever entrenched in WWE fans' minds, even those that weren't fans back then, and for some, weren't even alive back then.
However, there were also many wrestlers of the famed Attitude Era that contributed to the peak success that the WWE experienced at the time, but, have been somewhat forgotten as time has wore on.
These wrestlers were superstars featured on the PPV cards, in the regular storylines, but don't get the same recognition that the previous superstars named, have gotten in DVD's, documentaries, flashbacks etc.
This article pays tribute to those forgotten from the Attitude Era:
If you just became a WWE fan recently, the only thing you'd know X-Pac by, is that he's a wrestler who used to wrestle in the WWE, constantly talks about his experiences with Chyna, and his many exits from TNA.
In 1998, there weren't many wrestlers in either WCW or the WWE that were hotter than X-Pac. X-Pac may have been the "oomph" that Degeneration X needed in order to become the popular stable that it became.
Before X-Pac, Road Dogg and "Mr. Ass Billy Gunn" joined DX, DX was a stable in the WWE that featured HBK, HHH and Chyna. Once the aforementioned three joined, their popularity skyrocketed through the roof, and rivaled WCW's "NWO".
Whether it was the crotch chop that led to the bronco buster, whether it was that annoying facial gesture that he used to do with his tongue while doing the crotch chop, or whether it was trying to disfigure Kane's face even further with a flame thrower, X-Pac was as rebellious as any superstar in the WWE during the Atittude Era.
"What does everybody want? HEAD! What does everybody need? HEAD! What does everybody love? HEAD!"
Al Snow is the perfect example of a guy who came along at the right time. Al Snow did not have an amazing look, he wasn't amazing on the mic, and he wasn't amazing in the ring. He was as average as a superstar that you can find.
But he was given one of the best gimmicks of the Attitude Era: That of the deranged Al Snow that constantly found himself talking to a mannequin head.
He may have never been more than a guy that feuded with Big Bossman over the Hardcore Title, or was placed in wacky tag teams with Mankind and Steve Blackman, but he was certainly one of the most over characters for a period of time.
Al Snow's popularity reached a peak when his exclusive Wal-Mart figure featuring "Head" was removed from store shelves due to parents complaining about its sexual nature.
I always thought that Gangrel might have had the coolest character of any mid-card wrestler in the WWE in the late 90's.
The WWE thought so much of this character, that before giving it to David Heath, they bought the character rights from White Wolf, a company, so that they could use it during the Attitude Era.
Gangrel wasn't a numerous-time Intercontinental Champion, in fact, I don't think he ever won a title in the WWE. But he was involved in many important storylines and fueds in his one prominent year in the WWE.
Gangrel helped introduce Christian to the WWE, when he, Edge and Christian formed the first Brood. This stable would then join the Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness stable that would go on to terrorize the McMahon-Helmsley corporation during the Spring of '99.
Gangrel would also help bring the Hardy Boyz to prominence when he formed "the New Brood" with the Hardyz after Edge and Christian split from Gangrel.
Gangrel was never as popular as the aforementioned Al Snow and X-Pac, but he may have had the most bad-ass character of the Attitude Era.
Previously mentioned before in the X-Pac slide, Road Dogg helped make DX into a popular stable.
A lot of people these days have this notion, due to the many reformations of DX since 2006 by HHH and HBK, that DX was a popular stable because of 'H and HBK. That's not the case at all.
DX became the well-known stable that it is today, because of the additions of X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn.
Road Dogg, like Al Snow, is an example of a guy who came at the right place at the right time. The one thing Road Dogg knew how to do was talk on the mic. And boy, did he talk a lot.
"Oh you didn't knooowww? Your ass better caaaaall somebooooodyyyy!"
Road Dogg, along with Mr. Ass Billy Gunn, formed the top tag team of the Attitude Era pre-Hardyz, Dudleyz and E and C, when they won the Tag Titles five times.
Hell, Road Dogg even won the Intercontinental Title once.
Road Dogg used his popularity that he had attained in the WWE to wrestle in TNA for several years, even re-forming a newly-named New Age Outlaws with Billy Gunn.
This guy was a legit bad-ass in the WWE. Marketed as "The World's Most Dangerous Man" due to his prior experience in UFC, Shamrock made an impact from the very moment he debuted in the WWE.
One of his first appearances was as a special referee during the classic I Quit Match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13, that basically put Steve Austin on the map, as far as his wrestling abilities are concerned.
Shamrock was an IC Champion in the WWE and was the 1998 King of the Ring. He had feuds with Vader, Nation of Domination, DX and the Corporation.
Although he never made it to the main event scene like some people would have expected, Shamrock made his presence felt during his two-year run in the WWE.
If you haven't noticed by now, a trend that was popular in the Attitude Era were the characters of the time period. Val Venis is a perfect example of that.
Val Venis had never wrestled for a big company before, but was given the gimmick of a "former porn star," and he was immediately one of the top babyfaces of the company.
A constant in the IC Title Scene during his first couple of years in the WWE, Venis won the title two times, before betraying his porn star gimmick to join the Steven Richards-led stable, Right To Censor.
Val Venis' character was so popular, that he managed to sign a contract with TNA in 2010, 11 years after his peak, to play yet again, the "former porn star" gimmick.
Besides having a bad-ass entrance theme, being a part of the Nation of Domination, and having that unnecessary chest protector, D'Lo Brown was a pretty damn good wrestler.
D'Lo Brown debuted as part of the Nation of Domination, where he often tag teamed with Faarooq or Mark Henry, and did his constant trademark "head-shake" as he walked to the ring.
D'Lo was an Intercontinental Champion, defeating Jeff Jarrett in the Summer of '99 while holding the European Title. In fact, D'Lo may have been the king of the European title. He won the title on four different occasions.
D'Lo Brown returned to the WWE in 2008 after a five-year absence, but as evidenced by the crowd reaction during his return match against Santino, it's safe to say that he had already been forgotten by then.
As you should already know by now, Billy Gunn helped make DX into how you perceive it today.
Billy Gunn was a guy who had wrestled in the WWE for a while, was placed into the silliest of feuds and storylines, before hitting the gold mine with "Mr. Ass."
Billy Gunn was such an over character, that he actually won the 1999 King of the Ring, and wasn't released until November 2004, about four years after he stopped being useful.
But don't forget, he is an ass man.
The characters in the Attitude Era were so diverse and colorful. The perfect example of this is the Godfather.
The Godfather had wrestled in the WWE for years, previously under the names of "Papa Shango" and as
"Kama Mustafa" in the Nation of Domination. Yeah, nobody really cared.
It wasn't until he adopted the character of "pimpin ain't easy" that Charles Wright's career took off.
Whether it was leading his ho train to the ring, or walking with his pimp cane, I can't really think of many superstars who used to get more of a pop than The Godfather during their entrances. I mean, it didn't hurt to have several scantily-clad women join him on his walk to the ring.
Hell, because of the Godfather, we still know 13 years later, "pimpin ain't easy."
These guys had to be put together. Without one another, their careers probably would have ended up as successful as Trent Barreta's.
After being together for about a year as "Too Much", a quasi-homosexual duo that were as gay as can be, without actually being gay, they changed their gimmick to "Too Cool", a wigger duo that consisted of them dancing to the ring, and doing stupid dance moves such as the "Worm", and even later on adopting a fat Samoan to the stable (Rikishi - ED.) to accompany them in their wiggerish escapades.
That's a recipe for disaster, right?
Far from it.
Too Cool became one of the hottest stables/products in the WWE in early 2000. Every time they made their entrance, fans would go crazy
It didn't matter that both of these guys were vanilla midgets for several years in the WWE, they danced, they wore cool glasses, and they did finishing moves such as the leg drop from the second rope (with shades of course) and the "Worm" that made the People's Elbow look like the quickest finisher that you've ever seen.
Unfortunately, if you weren't a fan of the WWE in 2000, you don't know what the hell I just said.