The X-Factor: WrestleMania - The Attitude Era Submitted by Victor Mariscal on 03/15/2019 at 06:54 PM
These last four years, I get on the WWE Network during WrestleMania season and watch my favorite WrestleMania matches. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I go in order, kind of.
1999 and beyond are the ones I’ve watched in full, so I’ll only focus on those.
WrestleMania XV That opening video with Freddie Blassie’s narration, everything else that came before just doesn’t measure up. In fact, watch the opening vid to ‘Mania XIV and it’s easy to see the divide in production quality.
It was billed as “The Ragin’ Climax”. It’s fitting. Mr. McMadman - something I borrowed from J.R. - had thrown everything at his worst enemy. It was all leading to this.
Stone Cold Steve Austin was unhappy with his first WWF title win. In short, the match wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. If he was trying to make up for it in ‘99, he succeeded.
Steve Austin and The Rock had a very fun match, which played to the strengths of the Attitude Era and the amazing chemistry between its two biggest stars. Back then, kicking out of a finisher carried real weight. Give Vince Russo credit, even he knew better than to mess with finishing moves.
Mankind won the right to referee the closing match, but as was often the case in ‘99, twists and turns happened. Vince inserted himself as the ref, but Shawn Michaels showed up, reversed his decision, and barred the rest of the Corporation from ringside. Very entertaining segment, but when is HBK not entertaining?
But, the main event would’ve looked different had it been up to HBK and Vin Diesel, uh, sorry I meant Triple H. You get it, right?
Those two pitched Steve Austin vs. Triple H to close the show in Philly. The Rock was an obstacle in The Game’s way and felt threatened for years. Let’s be thankful he didn’t have more pull then.
Believe the source if you want, but Russo has said he pitched adding Mankind to the main event as a reward for the hard work he put in. For reasons Russo didn’t know, Michaels got Stone Cold to veto that even though Vince McMahon gave his ok.
Marquee name he was not, nor did he ever become one. That was his intended goal when HHH ended the very DX era he begun a year before.
WrestleMania 2000 In their greatest year ever, WrestleMania wasn’t their greatest show. Gasp!
The Tag Team ladder match with Edge & Christian, The Hardys and The Dudleys tore the house down. E&C nabbed their first tag titles. Other than that, Kurt Angle losing his two singles titles to up-and-comers Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit was a good call. Angle was never pinned, which served to protect him AND provide the comeuppance he deserved.
After he saw what Jericho could really do, Vince McMahon knew he missed the boat with him. Mick Foley was better off staying gone.
The Rock wasn’t called the “People’s Champ” for nothing, as his star rose as high - maybe higher - than Austin’s. Rocky had gone a year without the title and it was time for Triple H to “get his”. Sadly, Triple H retained, and a little garbage was thrown into the ring. Some fans were happy at the sight of Vince, Shane and Stephanie getting taken out by The Rock, but it wasn’t the happy ending people wanted.
This was the time they really could do no wrong.
WrestleMania X-Seven The greatest WrestleMania of all time? Yeah it was!
It was the only ‘Mania to have Paul Heyman on commentary. Just sayin’.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock were the biggest alpha dogs around. Their main event practically wrote itself. Limp Bizkit’s “My Way” somehow acted as the perfect compliment / theme song.
Austin said he needed to be the champion. That should’ve been a dead giveaway, but the idea of Austin “[selling] his soul to Satan himself” was unthinkable. The match kicked ass at any rate.
It followed a Street Fight between the McMahon’s, the greatest TLC match of all time, and a pseudo No Holds Barred brawl between The Undertaker and Triple H. How did the crowd have any energy left?
You ever wonder why Trish Stratus retired with such grace? Look at the abject humiliation she suffered from Stephanie, but more so from Mr. McMahon: dirty water poured on her; stripping; crawling on all fours and barking like a dog; and playing tonsil hockey with Mr. McMahon in front of his medicated wife. Shane McMahon, Mick Foley, Trish, and Linda made them pay for it big time.
What I miss about the Attitude Era is how much Stephanie got hers.
The majority see this as the end of that Era, but for me, it ended when Chris Jericho defeated its two biggest stars in the same night to become the first Undisputed Champion.
Too bad that reign didn't end well.
What came next?
WCW was done. All those “What if’s” and dream matches were about to become a reality.