No wrestling fan needs an introduction to the Attitude Era for it still remains the most enjoyable era in WWE’s history. With The Rock, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, and Triple H being main event attractions, the company used to attract almost three times the audience it does today.
However, many New Era fans or the independent wrestling connoisseurs have often lambasted Attitude Era fans for looking at that period through rose tinted glasses, alleging that the quality of life of that generation's wrestlers was pathetic and that the type of entertainment irked many, especially the family audience. Despite their accusations, the Attitude Era remains the golden period in the history of the business, which almost the entirety of the wrestling fan base would love to revisit.
With that being said, the accusations of the New Era fans are partially right as it had numerous ugly secrets that have been unearthed recently. The secrets make the Attitude Era stars look unholy, with almost everyone on the roster committing certain acts, which they now regret. Most of the secrets were revealed in shoot interviews and criminal reports, and WWE can only hope that their fans forget those in the long run.
A few secrets that we have discussed are unconfirmed as they remain only rumors. Accordingly, we insist that you take the unconfirmed secrets with a pinch of salt. As always, if you disagree with any of the entries or feel as though other lesser-known rumors should be in this article, let us know by dropping a comment either on the website or on any of our social media accounts.
15 Lita: sleeping her way to the WWE
While Steve Austin and The Rock worked together to put WCW out of business, Lita and Trish Stratus strove to put Women’s Division on the WWE map. Sable and Sunny helped revamp the Women’s Division; however, it is safe to assume that the Lita-Stratus rivalry elevated women’s wrestling to an unprecedented height. However, the laurels hardly came easily.
14 Bret Hart: his Sunny days
Most veterans earn the fans’ respect shortly after retirement. The WWE Universe grew to love even Ultimate Warrior and Shawn Michaels despite hating on them during their peak years. However, Bret Hart has chosen to tread a different path altogether as he has now earned the wrath of the Internet Wrestling Community for criticizing indie darlings such as AJ Styles and Seth Rollins. During his prime, though, he was widely considered one of the most respectable figures in wrestling.
However, the Canadian wrestler was far from the saint most of his hardcore marks make out him to be. HBK, who himself came across as a womanizer during the Attitude Era, accused him of engaging in an extra-marital affair with Sunny.
13 Vader: being belittled by HBK
Big Van Vader had earned a large fan base even before setting foot in a WWE ring, thanks to his illustrious spells with NJPW and WCW. After winning the WCW World Heavyweight Championship thrice, many expected the super heavyweight wrestler to replicate his success in the McMahon Empire; however, his strained relationship with The Kliq ultimately brought down his chances of reaching the heights he should have.
12 Chyna: custom-made breast implants
The word "trailblazer" is thrown around for fun in the wrestling industry today; however, it suits Chyna perfectly as she became the first female wrestler in a long time to be recognized for reasons other than sex appeal. Winning the Intercontinental Championship and Hardcore Championship, she made a name for herself before letting betrayal, depression and drug abuse ruin her life.
11 Bubba Dudley: wanting to direct adult films
TLC matches were one of the major attractions of the Attitude Era, and no one can claim credit for making the match famous as much as The Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz, and Edge and Christian can. The Dudley Boyz were the backbones of the Attitude Era’s Tag Team Division, and a then-stuttering Bubba Ray Dudley’s penchant for putting female talents through the table amused fans of the yesteryears. However, he had a fondness for one more thing that should amuse his fans more.
10 John Bradshaw Layfield: getting knocked out by Joey Styles
John Bradshaw Layfield has been known to be a backstage bully for years before becoming likeable, like many other seasoned veterans. Although he spews out gibberish from the announcers' desk every now and then, his real life character, according to recent rumors, has become less obnoxious.
9 Chris Jericho: sleeping with Kelly Kelly
Despite Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, and The Undertaker dominating the main-event scene, Chris Jericho managed to hold the WWE Undisputed Championship after defeating the Texas Rattlesnake and People's Champion on the same night. He is currently one of the very few Attitude Era stars to be still relevant.
8 Dwayne Johnson: beef with HBK
The Rock was easily one of the pillars upon which the WWE built the Attitude Era. Thanks to his outstanding promo skills and unmatched charisma, he managed to sweep the fans off their feet; it is safe to say he was one of the first few feels to be cheered by the audience. Throughout his wrestling career, he has wrestled many all-time greats, including Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Goldberg and John Cena. However, he never locked horns with Shawn Michaels, at least inside of the WWE ring.
7 Kurt Angle: sleeping with Jacqueline
Kurt Angle signed with WWE in 1998. Despite being green at the time of signing, he swiftly learned the ropes as he managed to earn 11 title reigns, becoming a Grand Slam Champion in the process. Despite not being adored as much as Steve Austin, The Rock, and Triple H are, hardcore fans acknowledge his accomplishments; it is safe to say he will receive the loudest pop in recent history if the WWE brings him on as a surprise entrant in the 2017 Royal Rumble. Despite turning 49 next year, he still has a great chance of following in the footsteps of Goldberg.
6 Goldust: almost getting breast implants
Goldust played arguably the most bizarre characters of any Attitude Era star, with his homosexual gimmick coupled with his strange attire being completely different from what the fans had been accustomed to seeing. His hitting on The Undertaker may not have looked all that strange at that time, but those who were never around to witness that live should feel weird watching Goldust hit on The Phenom of all people.
5 Shawn Michaels: being a Heartbreak Kid
Shawn Michaels sowed seeds for the Attitude Era, taking in part in the Montreal Screwjob of Bret Hart before The Hitman joined WCW. Despite leaving the McMahon Empire for the better part of the Attitude Era due to an unfortunate injury, HBK played a major role in the success of the Attitude Era. Ironically, the death of The Kliq's influence was one of the major reasons behind the success of Attitude Era.
4 Mick Foley: abusing blue cheese
Mick Foley was one of the major attractions of the Attitude Era as he was entirely different from what the wrestling fans had previously been accustomed to. While the Montreal Screwjob marked the birth of the Attitude Era, his winning the WWE World Championship on live television ensured it became the most successful period in the company's history. His win also served to dethrone WCW as the big dogs in Monday Night War. Given his admirable personality, he hardly has any dark accusation against him.
3 Luna Vachon: being used by Fabulous Moolah
Luna Vachon returned to the WWE upon the birth of the Attitude Era after spending a year with the company in the early 90s. Her dark persona and chemistry with real-life husband Gangrel ensured her gimmick became a success. Although she never won a championship throughout her reign, she was influential enough to be ranked 14th in WWE's official list that ranked the most influential women in the company's history.
2 The Undertaker: Fear of Cucumbers
The Undertaker debuted much before the birth of the Attitude Era, and much like Attitude Era's biggest star Steve Austin, his WWE career kick started under Ted DiBiase's wings. However, he made his transition from a giant peripheral talent to a superstar thanks to his superb ring psychology during the Attitude Era. With factions taking the center stage in the WWE then, The Phenom took things to a different level with his Ministry of Darkness faction.
1 Steve Austin: assaulting Debra
Steve Austin was the poster boy of the Attitude Era. After shedding the Ringmaster moniker and adopting the "Stone Cold" nickname, he proceeded to enjoy arguably the most successful WWE run of the recent years. Tussling with Vince McMahon and the WWE head honchos, he managed to legitimize the show, thereby drawing more fans than ever before.
However, he could never be the poster boy that Dwayne Johnson and John Cena are, courtesy of his domestic abuse history. Debra Marshall, his ex-wife, revealed that he beat her three times, and that she was issued a gag order by the WWE. His ex-partner, Tess Broussard, has confirmed the same; it is alleged that his steroid usage made him the monster he was. Despite his dark history, he seems to have turned his life around for good.
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