Wrestling is always changing and what’s popular in society will tend to dictate what becomes successful in wrestling. Throughout its history, wrestling has seen many different eras from the territory days to the glory days of the 80s and Hulkamania. The 90s saw an edgy product that mainstream America loved in the Attitude Era until that type of television went out of style and WWE switched to the Ruthless Aggression before slowly transitioning into a PG product again. Today, there’s still the PG element involved in WWE but there’s a bit more of a desire to see a fast paced ring style with reality aspects in storylines.
Not all successful wrestlers in a specific time period would have thrived in another and that’s not a slight to their work, as some strengths were better suited for the 90s and some are better for today’s fan. For example, many of the strengths of the Attitude Era were a program aimed towards the culture of sex, violence and obscene language being what America gravitated towards at the time. If a new fan watched an episode of Raw or a PPV from the late 90s in WWE, there’s a great chance they would be offended or disinterested, but fans at the time ate it up.
Today, society and American culture is not as into edgy content in the mainstream and there’s more of a reality factor involved in wrestling. Social media has dominated the entertainment industry and fans of wrestling basically get to find out everything about who a wrestler is in real life, what he or she likes or dislikes and their relationships with other wrestlers and fans. That plays a role in fan support as seen recently with Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns at the 2015 Royal Rumble. With the changes in today’s wrestling industry, these are 15 Attitude Era stars that wouldn’t have succeeded as much today.
13 Shane McMahon
12 The Big Boss Man
11 Al Snow
9 Val Venis
8 Road Dogg
6 Hardcore Holly
5 Stone Cold Steve Austin
4 The Godfather
2 The Dudley Boyz
Something that fans of the Attitude Era didn’t realize at the time but come to terms with any time they watch an old show is that Chyna was terrible. After her time in DX, WWE decided to push Chyna as the only female performer to wrestle against men in intergender matches. Despite the impressive use of her, Chyna’s matches were always terrible and even though she had a unique look, it wouldn’t be that special today. WWE invests in more athletic female wrestlers today who can give great performances. If they wanted a stronger woman to wrestle against men, Chyna wouldn’t have compared to someone like Awesome Kong aka Kharma, thus removing her only strength.
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