WWE fans seem to look back on the Attitude Era as the greatest time in professional wrestling history. However, what many fans don't seem to understand is that the Attitude Era is not what made that period of wrestling great. What made it special was not the attitude of the era, it was the wrestlers.
The Attitude Era had more stars on top of the wrestling world than almost any other time in wrestling history. Undertaker, Stone Cold, Mankind, The Rock, DX, and more were all able to move in and out of the main event scene and that made wrestling exciting. However, here are 10 reasons the Attitude Era wasn't as great as WWE fans might remember.
10 CHEAP INNUENDO
There is an entire generation of men who watched the WWE Attitude Era at a time where they reached puberty while watching women like Trish Stratus and Stacy Keibler wrestling in bikinis and lingerie matches. However, the fact of the matter is that the entire situation reeked of cheap innuendo aimed at pre-pubescent boys.
That is not to say that the women of the time were not talented. Trish Stratus, Tori Wilson, Stacy Keibler, and more are now WWE Hall of Fame superstars, but it often seemed the Attitude Era was all about the women battling each other for a cheap thrill.
9 VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
On top of the women in the Attitude Era used as objects for young boys to ogle on Monday Night Raw, they were also put in harms way more often than not. There were some women like Chyna who could easily hold her own against the men, but there were too many moments of men easily dispatching women.
Possibly the most erroneous was Bubba Ray Dudley. The 280-pound superheavyweight put the 130-pound Stacy Keibler through a table. He put 77-year-old Mae Young through a table. Yes, the women agreed to it, but having fans cheer the beating of an elderly woman is nothing to be proud of.
8 TOO MANY BAD MATCHES
The best thing about Monday Night Raw during the WWE Attitude Era was that anything could happen at any time. It was the uncertainty of the television show where anything could happen that brought people back for more. It brought in the highest ratings in WWE history but it had nothing to do with the matches.
There is no argument that wrestling matches today are a thousand times better than they were in the Attitude Era. Most matches lasted a few minutes and anytime major stars were involved, there was never a clean ending. Run-ins and screw finishes ruled the era and good matches were an afterthought.
7 ULTRA VIOLENCE
Likely in response to the popularity of ECW, WWE Monday Night Raw during the Attitude Era brought in ultraviolence. However, when it comes to WWE, it was almost just a case of trying to increase the violence. There are moments where the violence was memorable, such as Undertaker tossing Mankind off the Hell in a Cell.
However, there were other violent moments that went way over the line. Look at the moments where wrestlers would smash each other over the head with unprotected chair shots. It is no surprise that so many superstars from the Attitude Era are suffering from medical problems as they get older.
6 INSULTING FOREIGN CHARACTERS
It seems like Vince McMahon loved to create foreign caricatures during the Attitude Era. Sure, WWE always had evil foreign wrestlers with names like Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Yokozuna as perfect examples. However, when the Attitude Era arrived, there were too many insulting characters.
WWE signed three top Latino superstars and then dressed them like lawn workers and had them drive lawnmowers to the ring. Japanese wrestlers were not treated any better with the Val Venis "choppy choppy" gimmick a perfect example.
5 THE GANG RIVALRIES
Not all the angles in the WWE Attitude Era were built the same. While there were great angles in the era involving factions, with possible The Nation of Domination vs. DX being a highlight, there was also the gang warfare angle.
The Nation of Domination, Los Boriquas and the Disciples of Apocalypse got a lot of screentime in the Attitude Era and this was one of the worst angles to take place in WWE at that time. There were a lot of angles like this during the Attitude Era but this was the one that signified the problems with Vince Russo's writing during the era.
4 TOO MUCH MCMAHON DRAMA
Fans today like to complain about Shane McMahon being on television too much. When Stephanie McMahon and Triple H were leading the Authority, fans said there were too many McMahon's on television. In the Attitude Era, it was all about the McMahon family.
Even Linda McMahon came out and took part in angles. There was a WrestleMania match with a McMahon in every corner of the ring. WWE vs. WCW was turned into a war between Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon. Vince was the Higher Power and won the WWE world title.
3 KISS MY A** CLUB
Speaking of Vince McMahon, the entire Kiss My A** Club was ridiculous. No one wanted to see Vince McMahon drop his pants in the ring but he did it over and over. He made Jim Ross kiss his backside and somehow got Undertaker involved in the angle.
If this was all about making someone like Stone Cold Steve Austin kiss his rear as part of their feud, it was one thing. However, this was about Vince McMahon putting himself in the center of all angles in the Attitude Era and making himself the top heel above all others. If it happened today with Shane, fans would hate every minute of it.
2 HUMILIATING LEGENDS
The Attitude Era saw the rise of a ton of new stars, from Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to Kane, Mankind, and more. However, there was also the fact that the entire era took great liberties in humiliating legends of past WWE history.
Take a look at what they did to Pat Patterson, the first-ever Intercontinental Champion. Look at what they did to Gerald Brisco, one of the top tag team champions in wrestling history. They took Hawk, who suffered from alcoholism and put him in an embarrassing angle playing off it. WWE showed no respect for legends during the Attitude Era.
1 PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES
The Attitude Era went through some interesting angles that showed why the era was no longer for kids. There was innuendo. There was excessive violence for no reason other than being violent. However, there was also no boundary they would not cross. Look at the Katie Vick angle for example.
Look at Vince McMahon humiliating Trish Stratus by making her get on her knees and bark like a dog. The entire angle of Vince cheating on Linda McMahon had nothing to do with wrestling. Mae Young gave birth to a hand via Mark Henry. Honestly, the WWE Attitude Era was nowhere near as great as people seem to remember.