WWE during its “Attitude Era” was big. As fans and as people, WWE was able to give us a show that not only helped us get through life, but they gave us happiness, hope, understanding. When Stone Cold did the Stone Cold Stunner on Vince McMahon, it was not just Austin stunning McMahon, it was us – the fans – stunning our bosses. It was the people fighting against the machine. It was us, in a nutshell, fighting for us. WWE was emotional during that time. However, it was not without it’s unneeded material.
Should a woman go around a ring half naked barking like a dog? Should a man cut himself in a ring or get hit in the head with a chair just to make a match “more devastating”? Should we encourage people to commit random acts of rage against people just because they didn’t agree? The answer to these questions is “no.” However, it was a show. From beginning to end, like all movies or TV shows, we saw men and women perform. We saw them do things that could have killed them. Yet we saw them do things that, in a word, was awesome.
In that time, we needed this. WWE needed this. WWE needed to do everything to get our attention and they got it. It was mostly a scattered mess, full of mess-ups and stupidity that had it’s moments. It was clearly not a show that would do well today. We’ve already seen how that is factual.
We see WWE give us “Attitude Era-like” moments and yet we talk about how they went too far. We talk about how it’s dumb or how it makes no sense. Men, women and little children all can watch today’s product, and that is a good thing. WWE has to cater to all and not one, and that is needed. WWE gives us moments that we ask for, and we (the fans) spit in their face for them doing so.
We think too much and feel too little.
Many who claim they want to see another Attitude Era hardly even knew it. The era happened over 15 years ago, yet teenagers claim they want to see it. How can you claim that something is “better” when you weren’t even around to witness it? The moments back then were new, they were unique, and they were emotional for THAT time. Today, those same things couldn’t work as well because we need something different TODAY.
An 18-year-old man now was around 3-years old back then, and could never know today what it was like to witness that era. A normal human brain cannot remember as much back then. That is why we have the WWE Network today. The era was good in moments, but that is all it is ever remember for…moments. It was not day-to-day. Today, that is what WWE is…a day-to-day operation always thinking toward the future. Back then, it was about the time. Shocking things would happen because they had to. A lot of things were done simply to give you a shock. In reality, we didn’t need this as often as WWE tried to give it.
Today, we are not as surprised as we used to be. The wrestling media seems to know just about everything before it happens; and with the rise of social media, nothing is kept quiet. People who used to never have a voice NOW have a voice. This is both good and bad. It gives people opportunities to be counted and heard, yet it gives those with a terrible opinion or ideology a platform to share the pablum they have come up with.
WWE wants to give us something we can remember each and every week, just like before. Yet shows are almost ruined, because many are known. WWE tried to remedy that with random shocks and yet we still complain. We chant for a man who hasn’t been in WWE since the beginning of the year (C.M. Punk), and do not try to move on to another potential favorite.
Fans today have been spoiled from the past, and the past was only as good as it was for reasons of that time. Older fans crave for something edgier, which WWE gives at times. Yet it’s never enough. Younger fans listen and repeat. It is a sociological problem that has been an issue since day one. If something is said enough times – wrong or right – people will in-turn start to repeat and/or believe in it.
It is now cool to complain, before it was cool to feel. Before we wanted to see what happened next, and left complaining for later. We wanted to witness something, not be ready to criticize it well before it happened. That was the true difference between the Attitude Era and today’s Reality Era. Yes, the rating was different and the players have changed. We have to give these wrestlers a chance, yet we want to complain about how they cannot be as good as the people before.
If we want WWE to change so badly, why do we watch it to begin with? Do we watch hoping it will change or just to complain about how it doesn’t?
If those who could not witness the Attitude Era before want to witness it, check the WWE Network. Feel free to enjoy the thousands of hours of content for just $9.99. However, do not expect that era to come back. It won’t. There is no need for it to. We need something for today, we need our own era. That is the beauty of eras, they pass and others come up. If we never let another come up and thrive then yes, we will only think about past ones. So I ask to let this one thrive. Let it breath a bit. Give it the opportunity we once did before. Give it the time and attention you once did before. Things changed for a reason, and they can still be great. We just have to watch and see.
[IMG Credits: WWE.com, IGN.com, SBNation.com]