Why the Attitude Era dominates today's PG Era.
by, 01-08-2012 at 12:27 PM (6522 Views)
Hey everyone. Hope you all enjoyed your week. Instead of wasting everyone's time talking about this WEAK's *yes I spelled that correctly* wrestling programming, I want to talk about one of the hotter topics that seems to creep into every debate. The Attitude Era.
Let me start by saying, I'm guilty and I'll admit it. I have seriously been a little biased with my commentary on The Attitude Era. Maybe it's because it was my high point in wrestling. But I messed up because I haven't been considerate of those who either don't remember the Attitude Era, or didn't appreciate it. Not everyone liked it when the WWF/WWE became edgy and racy and not so family-friendly. Some have even gone on to say that it was overrated, or gets more credit than it deserves. *I actually read a blog about the latter* I'm going to, not justify my bias, but offer solid, and valid points as to why I'm in favor of it. Because in my mind, when comparing wrestling then and wrestling now, it's not even close. What we get now is second-rate, effortless garbage. *sorry, had to throw that in there*
1. Character Creation.
At King of the Ring, 1996, everyone was on the edge of their seat, hoping and praying and pulling for Jake The Snake Roberts to pull off the impossible and win the King of the Ring and revive his career, only to be taken down with a Stone Cold Stunner. That sort of thing never would have happened before, without some sort of outside interference or wild ending like that. This was high drama, ending in major heart-break. In his coronation, a then virtually irrelevant Stone Cold Steve Austin said, "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass", bringing a touch of profanity to main stream wrestling that was never there previously, save for ECW. Fast Forward to Wrestlemania 13. Bret Hart was top face and Stone Cold was top heel. Austin wouldn't tap to the sharpshooter and passed out from loss of blood. Bret Hart wouldn't let the hold go. Shamrock uses force to break it up and Austin instantly becomes face and Hart becomes heel. The fastest switch to ever take place between two wrestlers that had that sort of impact. That started a string of creation of new and fresh superstars. No longer were they holding on to Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Bret Hart, etc...It was time to build the others up. The unlikely superstars that have become even bigger than their predecessors. Mankind, The Rock, Stone Cold, HHH.
2. The Segments.
Not all the storylines and segments from The Attitude Era were the greatest. But instead of focusing on the bad, however not forgetting the Mae Young segments, The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust, and the racial separation creating DOA, Los Boriquas, and The NOD. The Attitude Era had highly entertaining high points and ultimately had rewritten what wrestling was going to be. DX invading Nitro, Stone Cold's ongoing feud with The Corporation, Miss Kitty going topless on PPV, and who can forget, The Undertaker throwing Mankind off the Cell. Or better yet, Mankind standing up from the stretcher and finishing the match. There were so many other segments, I could be here until next week praising things like The Beer Bath segment, but I'll stop here.
The Attitude Era has come to an end some years ago. And since it ended, there have been attempts to recycle it's content, it's characters, and it's style. Look at TNA. When WCW hired Ed Ferrera and Vince Russo, they tried to duplicate it and create their own Attitude Era. Which as everyone knows, turned out to be a complete and utter failure. For a long time, watching TNA was like watching the old Attitude Era. Only done poorly with poor production quality and bad choices used for reinvention. Can you honestly say that you watched TNA and didn't see how they were trying to make Mr Anderson like Stone Cold? Clearly that was their purpose and clearly, there's no way he could have pulled it off. How about John Cena? back in like 05 and 06, you couldn't look at John Cena without thinking to yourself, The Rock's replacement. I even remember explaining that to my brother-in-law and his friend, who's favorite was The Rock. I explained how The Rock is gone and Cena is The New Rock.
4. It Still Lives Today.
My final point, is the Attitude Era still lives today. Whether it's The Miz bringing it up, or the WWE keeping certain iconic figures from the era around because it needs the support from "the best of times", it lives today. When you think about the debate on when The Attitude Era officially ended, some like to say with the purchase of WCW, others like to say it ended when Austin won his first title off Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. I think it extended a lot longer than that. I mean, the Edge and Lita storyline could be considered Attitude Era segments. Cena in the Thuganomics days could be considered Attitude Era esque. The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar in the Hell in a Cell was very violent and showcased a lot of blood which was reminiscent of The Attitude Era style wrestling. So it's hard to say. But even today, the top moments in WWE, often revolve around figures from The Attitude Era. The Rock coming back and his promos are just like they were. No editing, sensoring, or PG content. He'll come out and call Cena a Yabba Dabba Bitch, and it won't matter. Wrestlemania last year was hosted by The Rock. This year, it's being main-evented by The Rock. Back in 07, Trump vs McMahon hair vs hair was headlined by Stone Cold. Even back in 08 or 09, HHH and HBK joined back up after a vicious rivalry, and reformed DX. A more tame DX but still, it's all about how the iconic figures of The Attitude Era are holding interest, and in many situations, being the focal point above today's stars.
That's what I got on the Attitude Era. I will, in my future blogs, try to be more mindful of those who either don't appreciate that era as much, or don't remember it. I will reduce my bias, but I will never try and defend today's PG era against The Attitude Era, because that would just be silly. Thanks for reading. Be Safe.