Good evening fellow Bleacher Reporter columnists and spectators.
When highly popular periods of wrestling are discussed, the Attitude Era is the core era that the discussion cannot live without. It is the era that bore us the legendary stars such as:Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Kane, and many others. The period of wrestling that re-defined the words hero and villain. An era that often intertwined the fake and the real.
In addition, it is also the era that witnessed the rise, downfall and rebirths of legends and icons. Names such as Undertaker, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels come to mind.
Numerous documentaries and written pieces have already taken the task of analyzing the long lasting effect of that era and generation. Famous DVDs such as The Monday Night Wars and The Rise and Fall of WCW recounts, albeit with bias, the twist and turns of a period that gave us fans the battle of the companies, World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Due to the high amount of sources that have narrated one of the most decorated eras in wrestling, I have decided to drive in a different route. The life of the World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly known as the WWF) after the Attitude Era.
Some have dubbed this period "The Ruthless Aggression Era". For others though, it remains uncertain in both it's name and it's place in wrestling history.
Life after the Attitude Era began full of promises and hope. New stars and new chances graced the ring destined to provide the fans with a future that was meant to be even brighter than its past. Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Randy Orton, Batista, and others arrived on the scene determined to take WWE to an even higher level.
The buyout of World Championship Wrestling in 2001 raised the bar even more. Its stars, including Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Booker T, Goldberg, and the New World Order (NWO), crossed over into the the world of Vincent Kennedy McMahon Jr. It sought to breathe new life into the now named World Wrestling Entertainment.
However, things went wrong and over the next 10 years WWE lost numerous big names and suffered from damaging scandals. Death and drugs brought a dark cloud to a business that has entertained us for generations. Childhood idols either retired or left for greener pastures. Chris Jericho and The Rock are the two most well known examples of Attitude Era stars who left to expand their careers in new arenas.
All of a sudden, an era went from promise to uncertainty and then chaos. Wrestling went from being largely adored by the mainstream to being shunned and ridiculed by the mass media.
Changing with the media and the mainstream were the fans themselves. In the next decade, a huge divide occurred between wrestling fans of all types. The terms "mark" and "smark", "casual fans" and "Internet Wrestling Community" were introduced, whether it was for better or for worse.
New goals and rules were endorsed in response to the change of the climate. These ideas often were met with mixed reactions and responses from the newly divided fan base.
All of the ups and downs, twists and turns, rights and wrongs, have led us to the standstill we are at today. A standstill that leaves many asking whether a new era of prosperity and certainty is on the horizon.
After taking all of this in while being a wrestling fan for 13 years, I have decided to attempt to analyze some of the aspects of the life of the WWE after the Attitude Era in a series of articles.
Originally, I had planned for the series to be divided into three parts, and lead up to the present day situation of the WWE. But based on reader feedback, and the need to expand more on the analysis, I may write more parts to the series.
The ultimate goal is to define and analyze a period in wrestling, that is often times met with mixed thoughts and opinions from numerous types of fans.
In analyzing the last 10 years of the WWE, I hope to address and even answer the burning issues and the overall state of the WWE as it stands today.
It would be impossible, for me to divulge all of the aspects of what has gotten the WWE to this point today. Nevertheless, I will touch on key topics and themes that are popularly discussed and talked about. Including ones that I have mentioned in this introduction.
Overall, as a wrestling fan, I plan to bring attention to a generation of wrestling that is often times overshadowed, and to some, under appreciated in comparison to its former. A time, in which numerous fans believe is one of the down periods of this business.
In conclusion fellow Bleacher Reporters, join me this month in shedding light on this interesting topic. I plan on publishing the first part by the end of this week.
I hope you enjoy and find interest in this project as a whole. If not, I welcome any questions and critique along the way. I hope you enjoy an analysis on an era that has attempted to reconcile the old and the new, while gaining and losing wrestlers and fans in the process.
You can now check out Part I here.
Thank you for reading! Comment, like, retweet. Anything would be appreciated in order to spread the word on this article! Follow me @ http://twitter.com/itssocrates.
You can also check out my new WWE MC Report for November analyzing John Cena and The Rock's showdown at Wrestlemania as well as my other articles http://bleacherreport.com/users/310183-maria-cane.