Are WWE Trying To Recreate The Attitude Era?
A little while ago, I put out a tweet during Survivor Series after Charlotte Flair attacked Ronda Rousey wondering if the WWE is indirectly trying to recreate the Attitude Era. A lot of people liked the idea so I started to dig and I found a lot of examples. Now are these one for one examples, meaning that they are exactly the same, no. But some of the attributes are tough to miss. This is going to be a long one, so let's dive right in.
Then: The Undertaker
Now: Aleister Black
This is the easiest of the comparisons to make. In his day, Undertaker was the best strikers in the game, he was a feared figure, and he was the demon from Death Valley. Aleister is the current best striker in the game and is a feared figure. Their entrances are very similar as both rise up in a cloud of smoke and have a slow, methodical walk to the ring. Their promo styles are the same, and even their look is similar. They are both heavily tattooed and have long hair. If he is used right when he is called up, then WWE may have the next Undertaker in their hands.
Then: Stone Cold
Now: Becky Lynch
This comparison has been made countless times but it is such a true comparison. Becky can get away with anything right now and we are all going to cheer her. She has also taken up a bit of the Stone Cold style of promos in speaking in a slower and shorter form. Her in ring style has also changed as she is now more of a brawler than all arounder. She is also the hottest act in the company, so she is more like Stone Cold than any other act in the company.
Then: The Rock
Now: Tomasso Ciampa
Okay, now in the tweet I said that Roman Reigns is the most like The Rock, but I think that Tomasso Ciampa is actually a better fit. Ciampa started as a face and became a heel. Rock started as the same thing but he a far better heel than he is a face. And Ciampa is the exact same. Ciampa also has great charisma just like Rock. Look at any of his promo works as a heel and he has become very similar to Rock in the ring. He doesn’t focus on flashy moves or pleasing the crowd as he just cares about one thing and that is keeping the championship, and that is similar to Rock with the WWE Championship.
Then: Triple H
Now: Seth Rollins
Now I know Seth can be compared to Shawn Michaels as well, but I think he seems to fit more of the Triple H role. In the Attitude Era, Triple H did have a lot of success, but he was never the guy like Rock and Austin. Seth is a great wrestler like Triple H, but has taken a back seat to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Seth also has the confidence of Triple H in the Attitude Era. Hunter thought that he could beat anyone and everyone and he could. Seth is the same way as he has been able to beat those top guys before. Also remember that a lot of Triple H’s success came after the Attitude Era so Rollins may still have more championships coming his way.
Then: Mick Foley
Now: Dean Ambrose
This comparison has been made but can you blame me for making it again? If they use this recent heel turn correctly you can make Dean a psychopath and deranged man, a lot like Cactus Jack. These two also are similar in their styles as they are similar as they are both brawlers. Dean is a bit of a hardcore legend from his work in CZW. They also have the same finishing move so it is an easy comparison to make.
Then: Shawn Michaels
Now: Adam Cole
These two have charisma you just can’t teach, and they also have such a natural wrestling ability that is scary good. The way they both cut a promo just so naturally. What is very interesting also is that they are both leaders of great stables. Michaels was a future star when he went to his singles career. People know Cole is a future world champion, the only thing we need to do is wait.
Now: Charlotte Flair
This is one of the exceptions to this list. Don’t like it? Well it’s my list, so it’s my rules. Edge didn’t really hit his stride till after the end of the attitude era. Edge had a great unhinged persona, which is what I think is what WWE should do with Charlotte Flair. A lot of people think that Charlotte’s turn is a knockoff of Becky Lynch, and in some aspects I see that. But if WWE makes her a psychotic wrestler who thinks that people are out to get her, then WWE would have another Edge in there company.
Now: The Velveteen Dream
This was one comparison that a lot of people made on Twitter. I think that it is a worthy comparison. Goldust is a wrestler who was never given the respect from WWE that he should’ve gotten. Much of Goldust’s gimmick before it got weird (We are not going to get into that) was similar to the one that Velveteen Dream. They also have very similar styles, slow and methodical with some big moves sprinkled in. He has a big sexual undertone but he is a solid wrestler who hasn’t gotten his dues yet. Dream is thankfully still young so their is time still for him to get to his potential.
Then: Chris Jericho
Now: Johnny Gargano
Jericho and Gargano are two of the best pro wrestlers of their time. If you look at similarities, both guys were to small to be taken seriously, and they got good at perfecting the little things. This has helped both men make it to the big time and helped them stand out amongst the land of the giants. They are also two of the most charismatic wrestlers in the world. When Jericho talked, you listened. While Gargano is good on the mic, he tells a great story in a match, much like Jericho can do and still does.
Now: Baron Corbin
Kane always seemed like a missed opportunity. He had a fantastic debut and he did win the WWE Championship, but it was only for one day. WWE never really gave him the main event push that he should’ve had and never really seemed to invest in him. Right now Baron Corbin seems to be on the same track as this. He is very decent in the ring, but he just doesn’t have the people behind him to get any sort of push. Baron is a bit more athletic than Kane but he just needs some sort of push and to actually wrestle.
Then: The Big Show
Now: Braun Strowman
Big Show is someone WWE was always high on, but never seemed to pull the trigger on. The same can be said for Strowman. He has had chance after chance for WWE to pull the trigger and put the Universal Championship on him, but he just can’t seem to finish. Both guys were built to be huge unstoppable monsters, but seem to be just one thing short of being the man for the company.
I’ve always liked Christian, he just seemed like a guy that would make for a full time main eventer. Then he reinvented himself when he was in TNA. When he was in NXT, none of us were invested in Elias. A few months after his call up, we were all invested in him. Elias is one of the best kept secrets and has bloomed into a potential main eventer. He is someone that has amazing potential and that is what we all saw in Christian for years. He eventually won a world championship after a long time, hopefully the same doesn’t happen to Elias. Also, hopefully Elias doesn’t have to leave the company for WWE to realize how good he is.
Then: William Regal
Now: Pete Dunne
Regal is a lot like Goldust. He was a great wrestler but never got his due. But if you look, the similarities between Regal and Dunne are immense. Both had brutal offenses and also their are the similarities in their promo and the level of brutality that they are capable of. Look at any of Dunne’s matches on the indy scene and you will see that. I think that the more you see Dunne the more you see the similarities.
Now: Lars Sullivan
Now there were two sides to the Attitude Era. All the talk up to this point has been about the WWE side, so for the next few lets focus on WCW. Goldberg looked like an unstoppable monster while in WCW with his undefeated streak. He was never the tallest or biggest in the ring, but he was dominant. With the vintages that WWE has been using for Lars Sullivan, they are making him look like a dominant figure. Both men aren’t the most polished wrestlers in the ring, but they are both some of the most interesting and fun to watch. They both are able to treat most opponents like ragdolls and would be able to stand toe to toe with any of the bigger men in wrestling. Plus both are actually better storytellers than we give them credit for, with the best example being Lars match with Aleister Black and the story that that match told.
Then: Rey Mysterio
Now: Mustafa Ali
One of the things that helped WCW differ from WWE was their cruiserweights. Rey Mysterio was the guy that came in that had a very limited sample size, with only having 10 matches in ECW, and was able to show off in front of the WCW crowd and became the legend he is today. Mustafa Ali competed in DREAMWAVE Wrestling and Freelance Wrestling. He had one match in the Cruiserweight Classic, but apparently Triple H saw something in him. I think that these two are both men that were able to carve their own way and wrestle with their heart on their sleeve and are willing to sacrifice it all so the fans can enjoy the show.
Then: Eddie Guerrero
Now: Cedric Alexander
Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio led the WCW Cruiserweight division and Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali lead the new WWE Cruiserweight division. Both Eddie and Cedric look pretty big for the division, and were able to dominate. The reason that I think that Cedric is the most like Eddie, is how solid both guys are as both high flyers and as ground wrestlers. Cedric and Eddie both have very underrated ground games, but it is the high flying where they both excel. Plus, The Lumbar Check is the most unique finishing move since the Frog Splash in my opinion (that was before I ever saw The 054)
Then: Dean Malenko
Now: Drew Gulak
As far as technically sound Cruiserweights go, it doesn’t get better than Dean Malenko and Drew Gulak. These two would love to tie you in knots if given the chance. Neither was about being able to do three flips over the top rope or doing tope suicidas. They want to wear you down and make you tap out. Both are also phenomenal heels that just seem to have a knack for drawing heat because they don’t like to play by traditional cruiserweight rules.
Then: Trish Stratus
Now: Mandy Rose
Now we get into the women’s division of the Attitude Era. Let me start this entry off by saying that this is based off of looks and in ring ability. Trish hit her stride in the Ruthless Aggression Era, but people noticed that she had something that made her stand out, if only they invested in her. Mandy has a lot of wrestling ability, just watch her match with Asuka on Smackdown. Mandy has been able to show off her ability in a few other instances, but now seems to be able to finally have something to sink her teeth into.
Now: Ruby Riott
I made the comparison between these 2 in my Evolution article. Both are rebels against the WWE norms. Lita was the high flying daredevil and had a different style than her fellow members of the roster when it came to attire. Ruby is a tattooed, dyed hair, ‘riot’ creator and the whole Riott Squad is against the socially accepted norms. Both can also go in the ring, especially when the company gives Ruby some time in the ring as proven by her match at Evolution and her match against Charlotte last year. Their styles may clash, but they are very similar in all the other aspects.
Now: Rhea Ripley
These women are some of the strongest women in WWE. Victoria had a tough time getting over in her era because she had so many other women that were more over than she was. Victoria was very solid in the ring and the first time I saw Rhea Ripley in the ring, I had flashbacks to Victoria. She has a great power game and is great at wearing someone out. She has been dominant like Victoria was for a while in the women’s division, but WWE seems to have invested in Rhea more.
Now this one is a bit weird, but in my opinion Ivory is one of the most underrated women in the history of the WWE and Carmella is one of the most underrated right now. I think that Ivory was the first real character for the women’s division in Right to Censor, and Carmella has a great character going whether its heel or face. Also, Carmella has improved a lot. Look at her first championship defense compared to her last defense at SummerSlam. That match was not just carried by Charlotte or Becky, but surprisingly by Carmella. Both women are underrated and are actually very talented in the ring.
Now: The Undisputed Era
Undisputed may be the best stable since DX, and they could be the next DX. Both stables are full of egotistical wrestlers who are only looking out for their fellow stablemates. They want all the championship gold and have had some success. They also have a very great pool in wrestlers. They both are also going against the grain of authority. DX always had their rivalry with Vince, while Undisputed Era has made it a habit of being a thorn in William Regal’s side since their debut.
Now: The New Day
Now this one is a bit weird but here me out on this one. APA took Bradshaw and Simmons from being midcard talents to being one of the most respected tag teams of all time. New Day did the exact same thing. Kofi had one main event push but that was ended thanks to Randy Orton, who apparently hates fun things. They also have both won a lot of tag team championships and are respected by the locker room. Both also are some of the biggest names to ever win the tag team championships.
Then: Too Cool
Now: Street Profits
All Too Cool wanted to do was have fun and wrestle. That seems to be the same thing driving The Street Profits right now. They are just two guys that want to have fun. They are focused on some of the entertainment factors that make WWE what it is. The interesting feature is that both teams have some really good wrestlers. The have a very unique entertainment factor that can help set a good wrestler to great if they get the fan support that they need, which both teams had/have. Just don’t let Montez Ford start doing The Worm. Only Scotty 2 Hotty can pull that off.
Then: The Dudley Boyz
Now: War Raiders
The Dudley Boyz were never the type of wrestlers you expected to see in WWE. They just didn’t fit the mold of a typical WWE Wrestler. The same can be said for The War Raiders. While Hanson and Rowe aren’t putting people through tables, they are coming up with some of the most innovative spots since the Dudley’s were popular. The War Raiders are also not the most athletic wrestlers, but offer a lot in the promo department. A lot of what the Dudley’s said was unique, and War Raiders are the same in that department.
Then: The New Age Outlaws
Now: The Revival
Now The Revival don’t have the same charisma as The New Age Outlaws in their promos, but in the ring they are very similar. Both teams are brawlers that will wear you down. They tag in and out very frequently, and they have some of the best tag team moves. While Dash and Dawson will probably never have the same individual success that Billy Gunn and Road Dogg had, they could easily be one of the best tag teams like the New Age Outlaws.
Then: The Hardy Boyz
Now: The Usos
The Hardy’s are one of the most successful tag teams of all time and The Usos are the modern day version of that. Both teams have one wrestler that is more mat based in their wrestling and one that is more highflying. The Hardy’s are 7 time tag team champions, while The Usos could break the 10 time tag team champions barrier if they’re not careful. Both also are amazingly over with the crowd, which is hard for a normal tag team to do. The amazing part is the longevity of both teams. Matt and Jeff are both in their 26th year of professional wrestling, and who knows how long they have been teaming together, The Usos are in their 9th year as a team. All are relatively safe in the ring (looking at you Jeff) and it’s amazing how long they have been together.