The Attitude Era was a very special time in the history of wrestling that will never be duplicated. It was the hottest time period in WWE history with stars like Steve Austin and The Rock connecting with the mainstream audience on a level never seen before. WWE set ratings records every Monday with Raw bringing in millions of viewers to keep up with the product. A deep roster with guys like Triple H, Mick Foley, The Undertaker and Chris Jericho working under The Rock and Austin gave us star power that would never be matched.
There were many factors for the success of the company, but the talent deserves the most credit. Everyone was at the top of their game fighting to make a mark in the competitive field. Many of the Attitude Era stars are or will eventually enter the WWE Hall of Fame with legendary reputations behind them. Through the years, friendships have survived and some have actually formed bonds after tough times working together. Being a part of something that special will surely create a connection. We’ll look at some of the pairs of memorable Attitude Era wrestlers that are still good friends today.
15. Shawn Michaels and Triple H
Let’s get an obvious friendship out of the way with the bromance between Triple H and Shawn Michaels standing the test of time. Michaels saw something special in Triple H and made him a part of The Kliq with Scott Hall, Kevin Nash and Sean Waltman. The latter three left the WWE leaving Michaels and Triple H alone with the rest of the locker room hating them.
Michaels and Triple H formed D-Generation X becoming one of the hottest acts of the time. It helped make Triple H a star. Fast forward almost twenty years later and the two are still quite close. Michaels chose Triple H to induct him into the 2011 Hall of Fame. Triple H recently talked Michaels into taking a job at the WWE Performance Center helping to teach the young talents train. The original DX tandem is still considered to be the best of friends today.
14. Mark Henry and Kane
A pair of friends no one ever wants to piss off would be Kane and Mark Henry. As two of the most physically intimidating men on the roster, Kane and Henry have been with the WWE for two decades. They are two of the rare talents still active today from the days of the Attitude Era. WWE Network’s Table for 3 showed Henry, Kane and Big Show discuss their friendship over the years.
Henry and Kane both currently serve as veteran presences on the Raw and SmackDown brands respectively. They’ve been through it all together and now each basically has the same role on the two WWE shows. Kane and Henry have had many matches together causing them to earn respect for the other and form a lifelong friendship.
13. Trish Stratus and Lita
The majority of female wrestlers during the Attitude Era weren’t actual wrestlers. Women like Sable, Terri Runnels, Debra and The Kat couldn’t wrestle a competent match but were used on television weekly for their looks. Two future legends desperately wanted to change the women’s division for the better. Trish Stratus and Lita completely shook things up towards the end of the Attitude Era when joining the company.
WWE hired Stratus to be the manager of Test & Albert due to her fitness background and great looks. The same job duties were expected of Lita as the manager of Essa Rios and later The Hardy Boyz. Trish and Lita started to become popular and used that to showcase their athletic skills as arguably the two greatest women’s wrestlers in WWE history. The retired legends are still tight these days spending lots of time together and referring to themselves as “Team Bestie.”
12. JBL and Ron Simmons
Not all tag teams are close friends and most actually don’t enjoy each other’s company outside of the ring. A rare case of tag team partners being put together and becoming best friends is the story of the APA. JBL and Ron Simmons were regarded as two of the toughest men in the industry and the locker room enforcers in the WWE. Naturally they made a great tag team fixture in the division for many years.
Bradshaw and Simmons spent all of their time together as travel partners that loved to frequent the local establishments. They became best friends and it’s lasted to this day. Simmons choice of JBL to induct him into the 2012 WWE Hall of Fame was an obvious one and JBL will likely return the favor when it’s his time. The APA wrestlers still spend time together and hold a close friendship.
11. Kurt Angle and Big Show
Kurt Angle and Big Show both entered WWE around the same time from completely different worlds. Angle was brand new to the professional wrestling industry coming off a 1996 Olympic Gold Medal for the United States in amateur wrestling. Show made the jump to WWE following a couple of years in WCW. Both would become players in the WWE adding great depth to the Attitude Era.
Angle worked close with Big Show for many more years into the original brand split and the Ruthless Aggression era. Many of Show’s best matches were against Angle. It only made sense that they became close friends. In an interview, Angle revealed Show and Brock Lesnar were the two wrestlers he’s considered his best friends in the wrestling business. The lovable giant and the Olympic hero remain close despite Angle leaving the WWE over a decade ago.