Originally Posted by ThirtyYearFan
I have watched wrestling since 1979 so I experienced both eras when they happened. The truth is that the wrestling business as a whole had more to offer in the 1980s then the Monday Night Wars/Attitude Era. If a person did not like the "cartoony" WWE then there was still several healthy NWA territories that offered non over the top gimmicky wrestling with Jim Crockett promotions and Florida and Georgia Championship wrestling as examples especially for people in the southeast. The NWA territories featured more serious wrestling. If those two(WWE and NWA) were not enough then there was the AWA and World Class wrestling organizations that also appeared on cable television. In other words the 1980s offered a wide variety of great wrestling for a person to choose from or to watch all the varieties.
But the same applies today and in the 90s.
In the 90s, if a fan didn't like WWE, they had WCW, Smokey Mountain, ECW, USWA, for starters. Nowadays, you have TNA, ROH and the dozens of quality indy promotions out there.
Problem is TV & cable wasn't like it was in the 80s as compared to the 90s and now. I, for one, only watched WCW regularly until I caught a syndicated WWF show on Saturday Night, after Smokey Mountain Wrestling. So, while more wrestling may have been available in the 80s, it wasn't necessarily accessible. During the Attitude Era, you had 3 different promotions regularly holding PPV's and thanks to satellite television, various syndicated and international promotions. And now with the rise of the internet and DVD sales, it's even more options.
But for a kid like me in the 80s, with a cable company that only provided 11 channels at the time, WCW was my only option to watch wrestling. So overall for the business, I feel the Attitude Era was better basically as a reflection of how advanced cable broadcasting & PPV had become.