WWE’s Attempt to Recreate the Attitude Era's Main Event - Wrestle Newz twitter google

WWE’s Attempt to Recreate the Attitude Era’s Main Event

The heyday of WWE wrestling was the Attitude Era, rife with talented young stars, captive audiences, and excitement around the product. That era became the launching point for turning wrestling company WWF into entertainment conglomerate WWE. That era was possible because the product was highly enjoyable and wildly popular. Growing up watching the product during the Attitude Era, the excitement for a Raw or Smackdown was uncontrollable in certain circles, and it showed through the ratings. Although we’re in a vastly different time, with more distractions, a different format, and less competition, the WWE is trying to bring back one facet of the Attitude Era: the viability of several high-level, main event guys.

One of the hallmarks of the Attitude Era was that there were a plethora of guys in the Main Event scene who could legitimately be champion: The Rock, Triple H, Stone Cold, Kurt Angle, Mankind, Undertaker, Big Show, Jericho and Kane were all wrestlers who had championship pedigree and who could have easily become WWE Champ once more at the drop of a hat or a ref for a 3-count. All of those men held the WWE Title during the Attitude Era, and if they didn’t dominate the scene as champion they were very legitimate threats (Kane, Mankind, Jericho, etc.) to the champion. With several wrestlers having WWE Title potential, you never knew if a feud would establish a new champion or buttress the current one, and that uncertainty made watching it fun. Having this many wrestlers involved in the Main Event, (or at least threats to the title) never devalued the title; on the contrary, it made the title more important because several huge names were always jostling for position to once again wear the crown.

Enter the modern-day and we can see that the WWE is trying to create a nice roster of guys in the general Main Event scene. Cena, Del Rio (like him or fall asleep during his matches), Punk, Orton, Bryan, and Big Show are all guys who have held the WWE title or WHC title that could all easily be in play for another run with either of those titles. All but one of those names are currently involved in storylines that are directly relevant to the WWE title or WHC title, and Punk is headed back to the WWE Title scene once his vendetta with Heyman is through. Yes, there are two Main Events, unlike in the Attitude Era but with the way Cena’s returning, it’s clear that the Main Event scene is becoming fluid. Instead of worrying about having enough people to fill the Main Event scene on each show, the WWE is trying amass a good roster of Main Event talent, as Main Event stars switch from scene to scene. All of these stars have a legit shot at winning one of the two main event titles. In a sense, having all of these wrestlers so close to the WWE and WHC title scenes is similar to what the WWE had with their Main Event in the Attitude Era: several convincing threats to the security of a Main Event Title.

With a man who was involved in the Attitude Era Main Event scene at the helm, it’s not surprising to see that the WWE is attempting to structure the Main Event in the same way that they did during their most recent and most popular era. There are a few names that should also be a part of the current Main Event roster: Dolph Ziggler, Christian, Mark Henry, Sheamus, etc. but for whatever reason, they are not: injury, punishment, general dislike from booking. Still, it’s clear to see that the WWE is trying to recreate the magic of the Attitude Era by structuring today’s PG era in a way that’s reminiscent of how they structure the Attitude Era’s Main Event. Multiple wrestlers with legitimate shots at a Main Event title is good for business. It keeps fans guessing, makes the title incredibly important, and produces a better quality product.

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  • Sieg

    From my perspective there is no attempting to recreate the Main Event scene from the Attitude era. Bryan got so over with the crowd that they had no choice but to push him, Cena has been in the Raw Main Event since forever, Orton has recently returned there, and now they seem to be putting Show back in there. The Main Event scene on Smackdown looks terrible but it shouldn’t considering the calibre of young talent they have on the roster and I partly blame the complete lack of brand separation.

    If WWE was really trying to amass a good roster of Main Event talent then we’d see guys like Ziggler, Barrett, Cesaro, Kofi, and Swagger being primed for the Main Event. Some of those guys need repackaging but with veterans like Henry and Christian getting older and more injury-prone WWE isn’t doing anything to ensure they have stars to replace them. Christian has been relegated to the mid-card, Henry is off with injury and he’ll probably be relegated to the mid-card as well, Sandow has the MITB briefcase but they’ve been booking him to be weak as opposed to making him look like a serious threat. WWE COULD have excellent main event scenes on Raw and Smackdown with a great mix of veteran and young talent but they push out the same faces consistently with Bryan being a breath of fresh air. They seem to put very little effort into anything besides the RAW main event when really the mid card should be very strong with the lower card containing a mix of comedy talent and also the lower card jobbers.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aMVlNPjpbI The Devourer of Dimensions

      I really just blame creative, only one or two are experienced in the business. The others are just a bunch of soap opera and wannabe movie writers.

      • Bite Me You Loser

        Of course they’re a bunch of second rate writers. Vince hired several Hollywood writers.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aMVlNPjpbI The Devourer of Dimensions

          For reasons I do not quite understand, less pay?

        • Jay Ess

          Yeah, that irks me as well. It’s been public info that soap opera writers were being hired, which really baffled me. I don’t get why soap opera writers would be good for as unique an industry as professional wrestling.

          I’m not in favor of the soap opera writers being in the WWE, just because I feel that the product suffers when people who don’t understand the particular nuances and history of pro wrestling try to create it at a high level. Besides, who wants to watch the same people who created General Hospital try to book a WWE Championship match?

          • JMD

            isn’t freddy prinze jr still writing for WWE?

            sad thing is…with soap opera writers being on payroll…just lends more credence to call wrestling the male soap opera

    • Milton Vadell Butler

      what about the divas

  • Tyler Drummond

    I don’t think they are directly saying “Ok, this worked in the attitude era so let’s do it now” I think it is more of WWE trying to build a roster for the future. They must realize that a lot of their top names are in their mid-late 30s or even 40s and for some the road could be coming to an end. They need to start bringing up the guys that will carry the company into the future, which I think the company is doing slowly. Another thing to add that is similar to the attitude era (but again I dont think is directly trying to take from it) is that we are seeing a lot more midcard characters. And by that I mean gimmicks like Santino, Fandango, Los Matadores, Tons of Funk, 3MB, etc. Like em or not, agree with the booking or not, they are there. I am not directly comparing it to the attitude era, but its a similarity and I think these kinds of are taking the company in the right direction. They shouldnt try to copy the attitude era (which I dont think they are), but of course a lot of things will seem similar because those what they did in the attitude era worked. We’re in a transition period as HHH starts to take more and more control so while not everything is perfect, I think overall the company is headed in the right direction.

  • Staynes

    Just picking that one line out cause it annoys me: You can not fall asleep during a Del Rio Match he always delivers inring during his promos though thats another thing.

    • Jay Ess

      It was an exaggeration. I’m actually a fan of Del Rio’s in-ring work, and I recognize how clever he is between the ropes. At the same token, some find him dry both during promos and in the ring.

      • cubfan4life

        So you find him dry in the ring but youre a fan of his in-ring work? Sure makes sense I suppose.

        • Jay Ess

          Nope. I am a fan of Del Rio’s–I even wrote an article about how he’s unappreciated–but I’m also very aware that many find him boring.

          So I’m saying that although I think Del Rio’s pretty good, there are many who find him dull.

    • YoungAngryMan

      ADR couldn’t get heat even if he lit himself on fire.

  • KingBack

    WWE is building the future now which is one of the reasons why they get lower ratings than before.
    People wants to see Cena, Orton, Bryan and Punk because they draw.
    Guys like Wyatt, Ryback, Big E, Fandango, Shield etc.. don’t do yet.
    So since these new guys are getting pushed it turns away many of the viewers because they don’t care about them (sadly).

  • Danny Morgan

    I would like to see them drop the world title and have one major wwe heavyweight title between the two brands. I think this would ultimately elevate the fringe min eventers as sometimes the WHC is alost given away a consolation and dilutes he main event status

  • Jordan

    The major difference from what I can see, is that no one can cut a promo anymore. Lets take The Rock for example, The Rock and Dwayne Johnson have such a blurred line of kayfabe, it makes it interesting, you believe that character could be that person. Everyone I see cut a promo now, sounds so mechanical and redonkulous that they don’t even sound remotely genuine. Also things like structure during raw and such could be better but that’s a different rant all together. Start by fixing your promos so the matches hold some weight… then we’ll work on phase 2.

  • Milton Vadell Butler

    maybe if aj joins the attitude era divas will rule

  • Joseph_Rocha

    If anything they are stealing ideas from the Attitude Era but everything seems recycled…apart from John Cena, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, there’s nobody that is really expendable. Sure, there is unreal talent but those three people are what reminds us of an era where The Rock and Austin were leading the charge every week to stars we wanted to see all the time…If there was no Cena, no Bryan and no Punk tomorrow, this company could be eerily similar to its dying opposition

  • CatchWrestler

    I’m sorry but nothing of today’s WWE is remotely close to the Attitude Era

  • puckdinah1

    They should do a tournament for the vacant title – its been a while since we’ve seen those

  • CatchWrestler

    They are so recycling storylines. If there is an undisputed title story and Daniel Bryan wins, then they just pulled up Chris Jericho 2000 files.

    • mika009

      After that they can have Cena lead the whole roster out like the Rock did in 2000 and tell HHH and Stephanie that the McMahon/Helmsly era is over or we walk.

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