Thursday, May 30, 2024
EditorialCould The WWE Attitude Era Be Making A Comeback?

Could The WWE Attitude Era Be Making A Comeback?



After ratings for both RAW and SmackDown have declined in the last several weeks, it seems as if though the WWE is walking on thin ice as of late as the WWE is experiencing a mid-1990s renaissance of lackluster ratings, overused matchups and stale Superstars.

Let’s go back to the early 1990s: many of the top Superstars from the 1980s wrestling boom (i.e., Rowdy Roddy Piper, Junkyard Dog, Hillbilly Jim and most notably, Hulk Hogan) were considered to be out of date according to much of the fanbase who were kids at that time now in their teens. At the same time, a new crop of Superstars such as Undertaker, Curt Hennig, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were becoming very popular. However by the mid-1990s, WCW was just starting to make a dent with WWF’s ratings thanks to entertaining shows such as Nitro and Thunder.

Desperate to seriously challenge WCW, Vince McMahon decided to revamp WWF’s family-oriented programming by making shows such as RAW (then known as RAW Is War and The War Zone) and to a lesser extent, SmackDown more adult-oriented complete with more intense violence, adult language and scantily-clad Divas which began with the 1997 Survivor Series PPV which featured the infamous “Montreal Screwjob” between Michaels and Hart.

The result was that WWF was regaining the ratings lead over WCW thanks to a eccentric cast of characters which included Big Show, Chris Jericho, Chyna, Triple H, Kane, Sable, Goldust, The Godfather, Mick Foley, DX, and of course, the two biggest stars of the Attitude Era, The Rock and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Meanwhile down in WCW, its ratings have declined as much older talents such as Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting have been getting main event slots over promising younger talent such as Rey Mysterio and Booker T which saw WCW Programming canceled by Turner Networks in order to give TNT and TBS a more more contemporary image.

Now, let’s fast forward to 2015: it seems as if though the WWE is making the same mistake as WCW in the early 2000’s as it tends to rely on the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Big Show, Kane, Undertaker, Batista, Sting, Brock Lesnar and The Rock over younger talents such as Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler in key main event slots while using the likes of Stardust and Heath Slater as comedy fodder.

As SmackDown makes the move from SyFy to USA next month, don’t be surprised to see NBC Universal executives to pressure Vince McMahon into making some major changes to WWE TV Programming. While McMahon’s right-hand man Kevin Dunn won’t be fired anytime soon, expect Triple H to get more backstage power as a result. You can also pretty much expect a major character change for Cena (don’t expect him to turn heel, however) as well as WWE Programming returning to TV-14 rated territory. This will allow Stardust to be a much more darker character (sorry fans, Cody Rhodes is never coming back), more bra-and-panties matches among the Divas and more violence and intense language as a result.

Don’t expect the WWE programming to be lame not much longer as Attitude Era 2.0 is coming up very soon.

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