Ah the Attitude Era, it will always be viewed with rose-colored glasses.
Whether it’s the Rock & Wrestling Era, PG Era, Reality Era, or the Attitude Era, every pro wrestling fan has an opinion on the particular era they grew up on.
On this week’s episode of the WWE podcast After The Bell, Corey Graves goes on an epic rant about the Attitude Era. The crux of Graves’ argument, and he’s right, is that WWE can not relive their past successes in order to project future results.
“The things about the Attitude Era that we miss are not cheesy, Jerry Springer storylines, and four-letter words, and boobs. The Attitude Era was awesome because you had a bunch of superstars who were allowed to figure things out, allowed to be themselves, allowed to connect and weren’t pigeon-holed or forced into these garbage circumstances.
And every once in a while, there was a terrible storyline, but people made it work because you could laugh at yourself. It was tongue in cheek. And the talent made each other better. It was a competition, night after night.”
“You had to figure out how to survive. And it made everyone better. It made the product better. There were a ton of awful, horrendous storylines. Mae Young gave birth to a hand. There was Katie Vick. Some of the worst storylines in the business’s history took place in the Attitude Era. But as a whole, the business was on fire because everyone had to step up, even if you were in a garbage circumstance, a terrible story, you had an opportunity to make your own path. That’s what we need, that’s what we as fans miss from the Attitude Era. Not crude storylines, lewdness, not ‘puppies’ and jokes like that. We need more action and guys who are badasses allowed to be badasses and allowed to be entertaining.”
Okay, when Graves compares WWE’s first Fist Fight to the fight scene in Anchor Man, that’s pretty funny.
You hate to say it but Graves is right here. The key to WWE’s future success isn’t as simple as just replaying their hits from the past. An underrated part of the Attitude Era is that WWE went out and created new stars in-house. The WWF in the late 90s did not need to rely on the stars of the 70s and 80s in order to win the Monday Night War.
The foundations of a good pro wrestling promotion will always be the ability to create new stars and then putting those characters into storylines that fans care about. The million dollar question is, what can WWE do to enter their next Attidue Era like boom period? Or with the way WWE is now structured, is that type of success even possible?