The Attitude Era is still celebrated today for being the most successful time period in WWE history. The company achieved mainstream popularity with ratings, buy rates and overall interest reaching peaks for the company. The major reason for the success was the plethora of top names working for the company. Steve Austin, The Rock, Mick Foley, Triple H and a few others are remembered for being the biggest stars of the era. Guys like Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were there when it started showing just how deep the hit list of names from the time period is.
We'll take a look at some of the relationships from the era and where they are at today. There are many friendships still going today. This list will take a look at the strongest ones that have lasted the test of time. On the flip side, there are wrestlers that absolutely despise each other due to petty drama and personal issues existing through it all. Both sides give us interesting stories showing how each duo got to this point. These are eight pairs of wrestlers from the Attitude Era who are real-life buddies today along with another seven pairs that hate each other.
15 Buddies: Trish Stratus and Lita
No women contributed more to the female talent evolving from purely eye candy models to athletes during the end of the Attitude Era than Trish Stratus and Lita. Women like The Kat and Terri Runnels had zero athletic ability and the company only showed them in half naked gimmick matches due to it. Trish and Lita were among the first two to stand out in a major way due to their talent.
Not only were they gorgeous, but Trish and Lita wanted to improve. Their work together helped create a change in the women’s division that inspired many of the current female stars. Lita and Trish are quite close today spending a lot of time together and becoming even closer after retirement. They actually refer to themselves as “Team Bestie” to commemorate their friendship.
14 Enemies: Sunny and Edge & Christian
An odd hatred that exists between wrestlers from the Attitude Era features Sunny despising both Edge and Christian. The Edge and Christian Show on the WWE Network featured the duo taking a shot at Sunny in a skit. A parody ad for an item called “Sunny’s Miracle Drops” saw the side effects include erratic behavior, cake fancer and multiple DUIs as hot as Sytch’s antics.
those who matter in the WWE office called to check on me in the hospital a couple weeks ago. Edge and Christian are just douchebags #ugly1s— Tamara Sytch (@WWEHOFerSunny) March 1, 2016
Sunny responded on social media by calling both Edge and Christian ugly douchebags. According to Sunny, both guys had crushes on her during their time in WWE together and she always shunned them. We are more prone to believe Edge and Christian considering they always seem genuine talking about the past and Sunny usually lies whenever she speaks. Regardless, the heat is still there with both parties thinking little of each other.
13 Buddies: Mick Foley and Steve Austin
Mick Foley and Steve Austin have been friends going all the way back to WCW before they even were hired by WWE. Both men had similar career paths that linked them together. WCW underutilized them, ECW helped rebuild them and WWE gave them the platform to become huge Superstars. Austin and Foley often rode and roomed together during the days of struggling in ECW.
The fact that they worked closely together on multiple occasions in the WWE main event picture just helped their friendship grow. Austin and Foley are still tight today as Foley has appeared on Austin’s podcast multiple times. Foley even revealed he asked for Austin’s blessing before taking a podcast hosting role on WWE Network to interview Shane McMahon. Austin and Foley have nothing but love after all they’ve seen together.
12 Enemies: Vader and Bret Hart
Bret Hart and Vader were on the WWE roster at the beginning of the Attitude Era and they worked together on multiple occasions. Vader and Hart had good matches together pulling off the big man versus little man story very well. However, Bret hated having to work with Vader for multiple reasons. According to Hart, Vader was not a safe worker in the ring and smelled horribly.
Vader responded on social media calling Bret a whiner among other negative things. This petty drama has no real reason to exist today but both men clearly can’t stand the other over what happened two decades ago. Don’t expect to see Hart and Vader hanging out at any point. Bret is the one to instigate all of the old wounds, but Vader dislikes him just as much.
11 Buddies: Big Show and Mark Henry
The art of the big man in WWE has seen many changes over the years. Two guys that survived it all and still remain employed today are Big Show and Mark Henry. Both guys were hired in the 90s before playing various roles throughout their long careers. They became close due to working together multiple times.
WWE even placed them together on a recent episode of Table for 3 with Big Show, Henry and Kane. You could see how close all three men were. Big Show and Henry are especially close these days as the veterans of the locker room helping out the young talent. Both guys will be retired sooner than later but they found a great friendship out their 20+ year WWE tenures.
10 Enemies: Chris Jericho and Tazz
Chris Jericho and Tazz both signed with WWE during the peak of the Attitude Era after long paths all over the world. Jericho worked in Japan, Mexico, ECW and WCW before coming to WWE in a major debut. Tazz worked the independent circuit and various countries as well, but he was most known for his work in ECW.
Both guys actually got along in WWE but their issues started in recent years over the silly world of podcast drama. Jericho claimed he had the first interview with Samoa Joe following Joe’s departure from TNA. Tazz had the scoop first and trashed Jericho for saying otherwise. Over the following months, Tazz would take shots at Jericho lying about various podcast facts. Jericho responded by blocking Tazz on Twitter. Social media and podcasting has created a new rivalry in the wrestling world.
9 Buddies: JBL and Ron Simmons
The tag team of JBL and Ron Simmons in the APA saw them bring their real life friendship to the screen. WWE placed them together due to their bond of being locker room enforcers that loved drinking beer and beating people up. Simmons and JBL found their biggest success in WWE at that point working together having fun on television like they would backstage.
Following the end of their run as a team, they have remained close. Simmons was the best man at JBL’s wedding showing just how much they valued each other. JBL and Simmons apparently still keep in touch and make time to see each other whenever they're in the same area. Most tag teams drift apart, but the APA clearly proves that the friendships can last in the long run.
8 Enemies: Ken Shamrock and The Nasty Boys
This hatred actually features two parties that never actually worked together despite being wrestlers during the Attitude Era. Ken Shamrock was in UFC when this situation occurred that saw Nasty Boys member Brian Knobbs harassing a female friend of Shamrock. The issue escalated into the two having a fight in the hotel room of Knobbs.
Jerry Sags happened to be there as well and joined in helping his tag team partner. Both Nasty Boys brutally beat up Shamrock to start the war. Shamrock has trashed Knobbs and Sags in interviews for years and still wants to fight them to this day. The Nasty Boys make fun of Shamrock for losing the fight. Hopefully they never see each other again or things could get very ugly.
7 Buddies: The Undertaker and Kane
The Undertaker took a liking to Glenn Jacobs right away before he even played the Kane character. It has been rumored that Undertaker put in a good word for Jacobs to get the role of Kane as the two would start a huge feud right away. Kane and Undertaker clicked instantly becoming extremely close friends while working together almost every night for a good year.
Their friendship has only grown closer through the years as they’ve played these characters linked together for almost two decades. Both guys appear to be done with wrestling now, but they still have a great relationship. Undertaker went out of his way to work an extra match at the Survivor Series 2015 event specifically to team with Kane one final time on the big stage.
6 Enemies: Steve Austin and Hardcore Holly
Steve Austin and Hardcore Holly seem like the weirdest pair to have issues. They rarely ever worked together on screen and very few reports ever linked them together during their careers. Holly however has gone out of his way to show his dislike for Austin over the years. According to both his book and various shoot interviews, Holly claims Austin changed as a person backstage due to his success.
Austin allegedly used to be tight with Holly and Billy Gunn traveling together from show to show. Once he became the top star in WWE, Holly stated Austin stopped speaking to them and grew an ego. The hostility from Holly’s side paints Austin poorly and he doesn’t seem to care for the Texas Rattlesnake. Austin has never responded but his silence likely speaks volumes regarding the issue.
5 Buddies: Shawn Michaels and Triple H
The friendship of Shawn Michaels and Triple H helped create the Attitude Era with their idea of D-Generation X. Both wrestlers were superb but found their most success of the time period working together as the heel faction of degenerates pushing the envelope. All they really did was bring their friendship to the screen and it created success.
Michaels’ drug addiction issues caused their friendship to reach a few struggles towards the end of the Attitude Era but they would get through it together. Triple H and Michaels grew closer during Michaels’ second run with the company. The former DX members remain extremely close today. Michaels even moved down to Florida to take a teaching role at the Performance Center working with Triple H to help the new talent.
4 Enemies: Vince Russo and Jim Cornette
The inception of the Attitude Era is what actually started one of the wrestling industry’s biggest rivalries. Vince Russo and Jim Cornette absolutely despise each other thanks to two decades of clashing. It all started when WWE started to embrace edgy content at Russo’s wishes to launch the Attitude Era. Cornette was old school and fought it every step of the way.
Their backstage clashes caused them to despite each other. It grew worse when they tried working together in TNA to the similar problems coming to the surface again. Cornette has consistently trashed Russo in every interview since his TNA release. Both men exchange trash talk on their podcasts today. Russo issued a protective order due to Cornette’s threats showing just how far things have reached.
3 Buddies: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels
A shocking friendship that exists today has Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels keeping in touch after years of hatred. Hart and Michaels had the biggest backstage war in WWE history during the beginning stages of the Attitude Era. The personal insults and political mind games saw them actually get into a fist fight at one point.
Bret doubled down on his hatred of Michaels after the Montreal Screwjob. Following many years of hatred, they made peace back in 2010 when Hart returned to the company. Bret stated he felt Shawn was genuine and the two started enjoying the other like they did before their rivalry started. Hart embraced Michaels after his retirement match at WrestleMania XXVI in a cool full circle moment. They apparently text message each other these days and enjoy hanging out whenever at the same WWE show or wrestling convention.
2 Enemies: Bret Hart and Triple H
Despite making peace with Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart still has it out for Triple H. The issues between Hart and Triple H go all the way back to the Hart/Michaels feud. Triple H was the one that actually suggested the idea of the Montreal Screwjob to Vince McMahon. Bret held on to this and has gone out of his way to bury Triple H on multiple occasions.
According to Hart, Triple H has no vision for the wrestling business and would do a poor job taking over from Vince McMahon. Bret also trashed Triple H as a wrestler saying he was a “4 out of 10” in the ring. Triple H has called Hart bitter in the past but refrains from any negative comments due to his role in the company. They still work together any time Bret comes to WWE. However, the hatred still exists there no matter how much time passes by.
1 Buddies: Edge and Christian
We could all only dream of having a friendship as great as Edge and Christian. Both guys met during their childhood years and bonded in school due to a love of wrestling. Edge and Christian each had dreams of making it to the WWE. They would accomplish their goals together getting signed after working on the independent circuit.
WWE pushed Edge and Christian as the most successful tag team of the Attitude Era and scripted brothers. Following their split, we would rarely see them work together until the end of Edge’s career but they always remained close. Edge and Christian showcase their friendship these days hosting a highly successful podcast now that they are both retired. From childhood pals to tag team partners to business partners, Edge and Christian are true lifelong best friends.