Asking SCOTT STEINER for Wrestling Advice
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Re: Top 10 PPV's of Attitude Era (WrestleMania 13 - WrestleMania 17)
1. No Way Out 2001
This PPV was ridiculously good. A really good WWE Championship match that is one of The Rock’s best (yet oddly overlooked) matches. Two hidden gems in Stephanie/Trish (it’s shocking how good that match is) and the Fatal-4 Way for the Intercontinental Championship. Fun matches for the Hardcore Championship and Tag Team Championships. And the best match of 2001, concluding one of the best feuds in wrestling history, between Steve Austin and Triple H.
2. WrestleMania X-7
What hasn’t been said about it? Rock/Austin was the era personified in one match; fitting, then, that it was the curtain call for said era. HHH/Undertaker was a really fun brawl, and one of the first truly good Streak matches. TLC II was spectacular, and has as much re-watch value as any match in history. Shane/Vince was fun, and the crowd really got into it. Angle/Benoit put on a wrestling clinic that the crowd really appreciated. The rest was relatively weak, but still the stuff that was good is now legendarily good.
3. IYH: Canadian Stampede
Four matches, all ranging from good to excellent. The opener is one of the best ever, and is criminally forgotten. Mankind and Triple H had chemistry as good as anyone’s, and this was just a prelude to their later, more legendary contests. The match between Sasuke and TAKA is probably the best that was ever contested for the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship. Undertaker/Vader was a good contest between two of the best super heavyweights ever, and the main event is probably the best elimination match ever.
4. SummerSlam 2000
The triple threat main event is really underappreciated, and to this day I think WWE dropped the ball by not pushing the Angle/HHH/Stephanie story further. TLC I was outstanding for spots, and Benoit/Jericho was a good technical contest between two excellent rivals. Meanwhile, Shane O’Mac fell into history with one of the sickest bumps ever. Who didn’t love seeing him do that crazy stuff? This PPV was extremely representative of all the stuff the Attitude Era got right at its very best.
5. WrestleMania XIV
The spark was there since 1997; it caught fire here, and it would burn bright for three years. Austin was officially crowned the biggest star in wrestling; Kane/Undertaker began their now historic rivalry. The undercard was nothing spectacular (though NAO vs. Foley/Funk was fun), but this is so historically significant that it has to be listed.
6. Royal Rumble 2000
Mick Foley and Triple H simply had a phenomenal main event. It’s still the best match of both men’s careers, in my opinion. If not for The Rock, I think HHH would have retired Mick at WM 2000 rather than No Way Out. Oh well. The Royal Rumble match was fun. Tazz debuted and got one of the biggest pops you’ll ever hear; it’s a shame they didn’t/couldn’t push him to the moon. And the tables match between the Hardy’s and the Dudley’s was an really good prelude to the later TLC matches.
7. Fully Loaded 2000
The Rock and Chris Benoit had a great, albeit overbooked, contest. He might not have been an outstanding wrestler, but Rock was good enough to hang with most. He and Benoit tore it up. Triple H was the best wrestler in the world this year; every match with him felt outstanding. His match with Jericho was definitely the best Y2J had ever had at that point. Rikishi and Val Venis had a shockingly good Steel Cage match. The only disappointment was Angle/Undertaker, and that’s only in retrospect because we now know how good their matches could be.
8. Backlash 2000
Who can forget the main event? Sometimes overbooking works, and here it did. The pop for Austin is perhaps the best ever. The pop for Rock hitting the spinebuster isn’t far behind. Proof of how beloved these men were, and how detested Triple H was. All GOAT contenders, in my opinion. Benoit/Jericho was good, though they would later do better. And Malenko/Scotty is perhaps the greatest example of a hidden gem in wrestling history. Everything else was decent or fun.
9. SummerSlam 1998
I loved Austin/Undertaker. The poster for this was of them tearing up buildings in a monster movie-style way; this felt like that. A clash between two titans of wrestling, where no hijinks would prevent a genuine outcome. HHH/Rock were in many ways bigger rivals than Austin/Rock, because their history was of climbing to the top at the same time, often on the backs of one another. Their ladder match here was excellent. And finally, Mankind vs. The Outlaws was fun. Everything else was okay or inoffensive.
10. Royal Rumble 2001
My second favourite Rumble match ever, after 2004. Incredible star power; and even those that weren’t big stars got reactions, which was always the best thing about this era. Benoit/Jericho had a contender for greatest ladder match ever, and Angle/HHH worked a methodical, old school match that was good but underappreciated.
Nothing from 1999; that year was the pits, and if anything you get the feeling WWE was more focussed on killing WCW once and for all by giving everything exciting away on TV rather than PPV. When WCW was basically killed of by late 1999, it was reflected in the really good stuff being reserved for PPV once again.