Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, ROH, Wrestling Videos, Women of Wrestling Forums
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

While Attitude Era is mostly used to refer the period of WWE from 1997 to 2001 give or take a few years before or after, it also can be expanded to the extreme and shocking programming style that was prevalent in ECW.

If we look back now, the programming before the AE and after AE have been pretty much similar atleast in terms of TV viewership ratings and booking style in terms of being clean aimed at pleasing kids. The kids and adults who got the taste of the extreme during AE, however, could not get past the taste of AE constantly comparing it to the current day WWE's "PG era".

What, in your opinion, is the impact of Attitude Era on pro-wrestling in general and for people who started watching before or after Attitude Era, does AE matter to you as much as it is to us guys who started in it?
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

Attitude Era=Only done because WCW was destroying them in the ratings/financially

Why do you think the WWE is PG nowadays? Because that's what Vince wants, he never really cared about the Attitude Era, he did it because he had no choice.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

I don't think the Attitude Era had a lasting impact on wrestling at all, especially not in the WWE. It was monumental and fresh in it's time but I can't name any companies that are still doing attitude era type story lines. It wore off and I don't see it coming back, at least not as strong as it was.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

The Attitude Era was just another natural progression in pro-wrestling, it started with ECW in 95 when Heyman took over, then WCW made it huge with nWo in 96 and then the WWF took the ideas from ECW and WCW and repackaged them with better production and results. The Attitude Era did have a big impact, good or bad is another question.

Obviously it gave wrestling mainstream attention and the product was incredible every week. But the lasting impact of the attitude era did have some negative effects. WWF became a publicly traded comppany, so Vince didn't have that control over everything like he did before. This was mainly done so he could get in more money quickly, to try and match Turner. They gave away gimmick matches or title matches on tv for free, this was a desperate attempt to try and increase ratings at the time. But I think the most important reason that The Attitude Era had really bad consequences was that it put both ECW and WCW out of business. WWF had no other real competitors now, which meant they could slack, it also meant that wrestlers could only work at one place to truly hone their skills. It also meant less variety as a whole in wrestling. In the 80's if you didn't like WWF you could watch WCW, WCCW, Mid South etc. And you had the same variety up until WCW and ECW went out of business. Wrestling as a whole has been a lot worse since there was only one major promotion.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

I sort of grew up with WWE. It sort of mirrored where I was at in life. When I was a kid in the 80's the product was very cartoony with Hogan, Warrior etc. and that appeals to young kids and when I became a teen in the late 90's the product was more edgy with guys like Austin, Rock, DX, etc. and that fit my teen years perfectly.

Attitude is still my favorite era of wrestling. I don't think it's as simple as going back to the attitude era though. The tv-14 rating allowed for characters like Austin, Rock, DX etc. that you couldn't really have in today's PG era but guys like Austin and Rock are once in a generation anyway. Going back to TV-14 or Attitude era storyline etc. doesn't work without the great talent they had back then.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

It set a bar that future generations couldn't match
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

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Originally Posted by The Gorgeous One View Post
The Attitude Era was just another natural progression in pro-wrestling, it started with ECW in 95 when Heyman took over, then WCW made it huge with nWo in 96 and then the WWF took the ideas from ECW and WCW and repackaged them with better production and results. The Attitude Era did have a big impact, good or bad is another question.

Obviously it gave wrestling mainstream attention and the product was incredible every week. But the lasting impact of the attitude era did have some negative effects. WWF became a publicly traded comppany, so Vince didn't have that control over everything like he did before. This was mainly done so he could get in more money quickly, to try and match Turner. They gave away gimmick matches or title matches on tv for free, this was a desperate attempt to try and increase ratings at the time. But I think the most important reason that The Attitude Era had really bad consequences was that it put both ECW and WCW out of business. WWF had no other real competitors now, which meant they could slack, it also meant that wrestlers could only work at one place to truly hone their skills. It also meant less variety as a whole in wrestling. In the 80's if you didn't like WWF you could watch WCW, WCCW, Mid South etc. And you had the same variety up until WCW and ECW went out of business. Wrestling as a whole has been a lot worse since there was only one major promotion.
Good observations, and I agree the AE really started in 95. While ECW obviously had some influence on pushing the WWE into the AE, I think it was more a reflection on society itself. The late 90's was an era of "attitude", it was a trickle down from the changing limits on television, to the upheaval in the music industry. That era just felt a little more edgy on every level. Attitude went from a counter culture to mainstream and therefore wrestling took up attitide as well.
dddsssccc also made a good point, the large numbers of children who grew up on the "Rock and Wrestling" era were college kids when AE came around, so it was also a little perfect timing.
I think another thing that is lost on fans is maybe the fact that the AE was not just an era that changed the face of the sport, it was the stars and the booking as well. The main focus of the attitude era was on the the WWE title. That focus combined with the WWE'S deep roster at the time was the perfect match for vaulting the AE. To me at least the AE without the title chase booking and numerous stars in the main events was just another era. The ECW which itself was influenced by the madhouse territories Heyman was raised in, taught the WWE how to get the attitude thing done. However the WWE had the roster to really make it explode. The Rock, D-X, Stone Cold, Taker, etc...they were all there to pack the houses. Sure without the "attitude" the talent may have not exploded as well, so it was really a matter of all these things coming together.
For example, lets say the WWE went back to attitude today. Do they have the roster to help make it special? Would they be willing to put five to ten guys rotating in the main events? I would say based on what I see, no to both questions.

To me the era itself is given too much credit and the personalities and booking are not given enough. As for impact on today, other posters have made good points, but I would say it is directly responsible for the product we have today. Every aspect or movement in soiciety is a direct result from the last movement.

When they took away the AE they neutered the product to make it more pallatable for younger viewers. This maybe a stretch but could it be because their huge 80's fanbase, who were college students during the AE, had moved on to different stage of life, sharing the sport with their children? Their reaction, was to make it PG. Just a theory.

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Old 11-24-2012, 02:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

I've ranted & raved about this so many times I can't be hassled to type it all out again. If someone cares enough, they can search my post history to find me shitting all over the Attitude Era. We're definitely still reeling from after-effects of that era & it certainly did more harm than good.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Analyze This: Impact of Attitude Era on Pro-wrestling

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Originally Posted by Greenlawler View Post
Good observations, and I agree the AE really started in 95. While ECW obviously had some influence on pushing the WWE into the AE, I think it was more a reflection on society itself. The late 90's was an era of "attitude", it was a trickle down from the changing limits on television, to the upheaval in the music industry. That era just felt a little more edgy on every level. Attitude went from a counter culture to mainstream and therefore wrestling took up attitide as well.
dddsssccc also made a good point, the large numbers of children who grew up on the "Rock and Wrestling" era were college kids when AE came around, so it was also a little perfect timing.
I think another thing that is lost on fans is maybe the fact that the AE was not just an era that changed the face of the sport, it was the stars and the booking as well. The main focus of the attitude era was on the the WWE title. That focus combined with the WWE'S deep roster at the time was the perfect match for vaulting the AE. To me at least the AE without the title chase booking and numerous stars in the main events was just another era. The ECW which itself was influenced by the madhouse territories Heyman was raised in, taught the WWE how to get the attitude thing done. However the WWE had the roster to really make it explode. The Rock, D-X, Stone Cold, Taker, etc...they were all there to pack the houses. Sure without the "attitude" the talent may have not exploded as well, so it was really a matter of all these things coming together.
For example, lets say the WWE went back to attitude today. Do they have the roster to help make it special? Would they be willing to put five to ten guys rotating in the main events? I would say based on what I see, no to both questions.

To me the era itself is given too much credit and the personalities and booking are not given enough. As for impact on today, other posters have made good points, but I would say it is directly responsible for the product we have today. Every aspect or movement in soiciety is a direct result from the last movement.

When they took away the AE they neutered the product to make it more pallatable for younger viewers. This maybe a stretch but could it be because their huge 80's fanbase, who were college students during the AE, had moved on to different stage of life, sharing the sport with their children? Their reaction, was to make it PG. Just a theory.
I agree. You have to have the talent to make it work, they tried the cartoon style of the 80's again and it didn't work, because they didn't have that same level of talent and as a whole society has turned into a much more reality influenced society. No matter what anyone says, John Cena is no Hulk Hogan. To another point I think WWE is reflective of society, which is maybe why it does so well. In the late 90's rap music exploded and became mainstream. The nWo gave that gang type feel and then in WWF you had Austin as the rebellious character and The Rock who was the guy you wanted to be. Even the mid-card was stacked, the same in the 80's, now can we even say there is a mid-card?

Now our society is pc and very bland, everyone has to watch what they say in case someone sues them. I think WWE is reflective of that. I don't want to hate on the current talent. because I think they are fairly restricted in what they can and can't do, especially if you listen to The Art of Wrestling podcast, you hear about all the restrictions and fights with creative. Back in the 80's and 90's the talent were given a lot more control over there characters and had a lot more input. I do agree with your theory about WWE turning PG to create that new set of fans for the future generation, but I also think it would be naive to think that Linda's senate campaign didn't have importance in that move. PG can be good, but they have to go full force with it, and keep the product edgy to a point.

All in all I think this just shows Vince's obsession with being accepted by mainstream. He created XFL, WWE studios and always tries to link with society, which may be a good business move. I don't think wrestling will change until Vince hangs up the boots or society changes. Shane got tired of waiting for the old man to quit and now Stephanie and Hunter are next in line and although HHH seems to have a good business mind, Stephanie seems to surround herself with yes men, who don't have a clue about wrestling.
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