4 Reasons Why WWE's Attitude Era Isn't as Great as You Remember

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2018

4 Reasons Why WWE's Attitude Era Isn't as Great as You Remember

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    The Rock stomping Steve Austin into the mat.
    The Rock stomping Steve Austin into the mat.Credit: WWE.com

    Of all the periods in WWE, the Attitude Era is considered by many to be the best time in the company's history.

    It's understandable why some people would think this way. WWE was in a ratings battle with WCW, so both companies were pulling out all the stops to outdo the other.

    The emergence of legends like The Rock, Steve Austin and Kurt Angle gave the era credibility, and Vince McMahon's purchases of ECW and WCW cemented WWE as the No. 1 pro wrestling promotion on the planet.

    However, certain things about this period are often overlooked by fans. Nostalgia can cloud our memories and make us see things through rose-colored glasses.

    This article will look at four reasons why the Attitude Era isn't as great as you remember.

Matches Were Shorter

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    Storytelling is a big part of what makes professional wrestling entertaining, but it cannot take priority over the action in the ring.

    Match length was often sacrificed for the sake of packing more bouts on to a card or having more backstage and promo segments on a show.

    Look at WrestleMania XV as an example. This event is memorable because it featured the first of three 'Mania matches between The Rock and Stone Cold.

    The night included 10 matches—12 if you count what aired on Sunday Night Heat prior to the pay-per-view. Those 12 bouts averaged just over seven minutes. This year's event had 14 matches averaging more than 12 minutes each.

    Yes, 'Mania 34 had a longer runtime, but it still speaks to how WWE books longer matches than it used to, and much of that has to do with the level of talent on the roster.

    Guys like Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan and Braun Strowman are capable of doing so much more in the ring than the top stars of the Attitude Era.

Women Were Treated Horribly

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    The Attitude Era gave us some legendary female wrestlers who have since been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but it wasn't a great time for the division as a whole.

    For every Trish Stratus vs. Lita barn-burner, we were presented with three or more degrading segments like Evening Gown matches. 

    WWE wasn't trying to be the family-friendly product it has become, so everything was done to appeal to the company's biggest demographic: teenage boys.

    Guys going through puberty are controlled by their hormones, so if when the possibility of seeing Sable appear almost completely topless on TV came up, those kids would be watching every week.

    Things have changed for the better, but it took a surprisingly long time for WWE to realize its fanbase had expanded to include women and young girls who wanted to see better matches from the division.

    You can talk about how many great moments Stratus had to justify liking the era, but she should never have been made to bark like a dog for Vince McMahon.

It Was Repetitive

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    One of the biggest complaints about today's product is how repetitive it has become, but after more than 50 years of trying to tell new stories, it's hard to come up with anything completely original.

    Believe it or not, things were just as bad during the late '90s and early 2000s. It just didn't feel like it because people were swearing more in their promos.

    Every speech from Austin and The Rock started to sound the same after a few years. It was just an endless cycle of the same insults and catchphrases.

    You can only hear Chris Jericho call Stephanie McMahon promiscuous in so many ways before he comes off as the bully instead of the babyface.

    Things haven't improved much in this department, but we shouldn't act like it was so much better 20 years ago when it clearly wasn't.

It Had a Lot of Ridiculous Storylines

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    Pro wrestling has always included outrageous storylines, but WWE kicked things into high gear during the Attitude Era.

    Take The Undertaker for instance. He once kidnapped Stephanie McMahon so he could marry and then sacrifice her. Austin came to her rescue and formed a temporary alliance with her father, but it was later revealed that the kidnapping had been orchestrated by Vince himself.

    Then there's the time Triple H kidnapped and drugged Stephanie so he could marry her before her marriage to Test could be made official. This was later revealed to be part of a bigger ruse.

    All of the McMahon family drama played out like a daytime soap opera, just with more bodyslams and piledrivers.

    During a time when WWE was trying to present itself as more realistic than it had in the past, it still managed to include some unbelievable storylines the company would never use today.


    What do you think? Was the Attitude Era overrated, or was it just as great as you remember?


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