Professional wrestling might be more than 20 years removed from the Attitude Era, but the boom period is still praised to this day.
Although no one is exactly sure when this fabled period began, some say it’s 1996 and the birth of Stone Cold Steve Austin, others claim it was later into 1997, it ended with Austin shaking hand with Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 17 in 2001.
During that four or five year period WWE pushed the boundaries of their programming like never before. Their female performers became increasingly sexualised and storylines became more outlandish and X-rated. While there were some significant misses along the way, this era also saw the rise of a number of the biggest stars in wrestling history such as Steve Austin and The Rock. This launched WWE (WWF at the time) into a new stratosphere of popularity and mainstream acceptance.
WWE Hall Of Famer Stakes Claim As Peron Who Kick-Started The Attitude Era
With the start of the ‘Attitude Era’ being very much open to interpretation, a top WCW star and WWE Hall of Famer has now staked their claim for playing a part in it’s creation. Speaking on a recent episode of his Kilq This, podcast, Kevin Nash claimed that the Attitude Era wouldn’t have existed if he didn’t join WCW from the WWF in June 1996.
Nash arrived in WCW two weeks after best-friend Scott Hall as ‘The Outsiders’ who were there to launch a takeover. Their arrival set up a match at Bash At The Beach against Lex Luger, Sting and Randy Savage while they teased being joined by a mysterious ally. At the event, Hulk Hogan famously tuned heel to join the pair and the nWo was born.
This sparked a period of incredible success for WCW who became genuine competition for the WWF and saw Nitro top Raw in the TV ratings for 83 consecutive weeks.
The competition spurred the WWF on to try something new in order to retain their popularity, and the Attitude Era arrived. Although WCW was successful for a lengthy period, things eventually went off the rails in a spectacular way. Against a backdrop of falling television ratings, heavy financial losses and chaos backstage, the WWF purchased the WCW in March 2001.