Wrestle Binn: Bring Back the Attitude Era

What happened to wrestling? It used to be real. Now, it’s fake and not cool. Why aren’t people saying curse words? Why aren’t people bleeding anymore? If professional wrestling wants to be cool again, it’s as simple as this – bring back the Attitude Era.

Turn on the TV nowadays, you see Roman Reigns beating people up and being mean, but he said “suffering succotash” years ago, so he’s not real. Kenny Omega acts all cool and has a lot of belts, but he doesn’t even drink beer! “Stone Cold” Steve Austin drank beer, and it was cool. Kenny only poured out a can of beer and drank milk instead. Kurt Angle did it better. You can’t be Kurt Angle, Kenny Omega. You’re not good enough!

We may have Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, and the Hardy Boyz still around, but that’s not enough. I know everyone’s either busy or old and hurting, but they can still wrestle better than today’s “wrestlers” because they’re actually real. They would mess up a lot and the matches looked sloppy, but that’s what made them real.

Vince McMahon, please bring back the Attitude Era
Credit: WWE

Also, we have zombies and dinosaurs and aliens now? What?! Those aren’t real. They don’t exist. The Undertaker was real, he was dead and crucifying people. Godfather was a jovial pimp, trading his escorts for victories. Gangrel was a vampire, and he was drinking real, actual blood (plus his music was awesome). People back in the Attitude Era were masters of psychology and in-ring prowess. Nowadays we have Luchasaurus being big and agile. Big guys flying around? No thank you! Kris Statlander having charisma and having superb in-ring skills? How is that even possible – back in the Attitude Era, she wouldn’t even have had over five minutes in a match!

Why is everyone so nice? John Cena is nice to little kids when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin would flip them off. That’s great. I hate kids. Kids ruin wrestling because they don’t know about the Attitude Era. If they knew how bad wrestling was before and after, they would agree, but they only like John Cena and Roman Reigns.

The only good thing the modern era does is putting the cruiserweight division on their own show, so I don’t have to watch. Short men aren’t fun to watch, and let’s be honest – nobody cares about short and light-weight men. If they’re not a castle made of meat and muscle, it’s not entertaining. Short men have no value and must only be used for comedic purposes. You mean to tell me that Finn Balor can beat Bobby Lashley? I would rather see Lashley beat up Balor up several weeks in a row to show him his place! Yes, Balor was a great talent on NXT and NJPW, but he can’t square up in the big leagues with a powerhouse like Lashley. Just not possible.

Another reason the Attitude Era was great was because WWF beat WCW and ECW and took their talent and made them better, which today’s promotions like WWE, NJPW, and especially AEW cannot do. Diamond Dallas Page was harassing The Undertaker and his wife, and he became better. Raven killed Perry Saturn’s beloved mop and showed just how deliciously evil he was. Speaking of delicious, does anyone remember when Big Boss Man fed Al Snow his dog friend? And how can we forget when The Undertaker crucified “Stone Cold” Steve Austin?

This is professional wrestling without Attitude Era
Credit: WWE

Now, I don’t normally watch AEW because it isn’t as real as the good old days, and they almost had me hooked at their Blood and Guts match on May 5, 2021, because there was blood and it looked gritty. However, there were no guts, and Chris Jericho fell on cardboard and mattresses on the ramp instead of hard steel and concrete. What’s up with that?! That’s obviously fake, no matter how much Jim Ross told me it was concrete, and that Chris Jericho’s back was broken. When Mick Foley fell off and fell through the Hell in a Cell at King of the Ring 1998 (don’t tell my parents I said the H-word, please), that was real. He was in pain, and it might have been one of the spots that shortened his career. What were they thinking, making sure Jericho was safe and mostly unharmed? Yes, the match was physical and dirty and ugly and what everybody wanted, but it was no Foley!

Don’t even get me started on when Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega fought in that Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match at AEW Revolution 2021 – the one that ended in sparkles. Jon Moxley gets a pass though because he reminds me of the Attitude Era and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, but nobody can be “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Despite the lackluster ending, the match lived up to the name, as both men put their bodies on the line. But do you know what would have made it better? If it had been Undertaker vs Big Boss Man in their Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania 15. Undertaker and the Brood even hung Big Boss Man from the cage! Don’t worry about following up with what happened, because who needs continuity when you have something tasteless and unsettling? If you ask me, Moxley and Omega didn’t go far enough into traumatizing viewers everywhere, even if their performances were far better than Undertaker and Big Boss Man’s!

Perhaps WWE would have won the Wednesday Night Wars if they had brought back the Attitude Era, and AEW would be gone. People on NXT are too young and don’t look as cool, and it is boring, but not as boring as AEW. Sure, Io Shirai vs Sasha Banks at NXT: Great American Bash was spectacular, and Thunder Rosa tore the house down against Britt Baker in their unsanctioned match on Dynamite, but could their in-ring action have compared to the spectacle of the bloody and unnecessary Brawl For All? I almost want to turn on my PlayStation 1 and drink some Surge than to engage in today’s stupid wrestling. Wrestling was great when WWF was winning in ticket sales and views on television.

Perhaps the most egregious example of how lazy and pathetic today’s wrestling is the series of matches against Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada in NJPW. There were so many spots and they kept referencing past matches, how are intelligent callbacks or a well told story supposed to draw in a crowd?! Building an organic rivalry in the ring pales in comparison to the Ernest Hemingway elegance of having wrestlers kiss Vince McMahon’s ass.

Why is nobody saying “What?” or engaging in the “suck it!” gesture? Today’s wrestling fans have been exposed to some of the most stupid things and don’t know real wrestling at all. Okada vs Omega may have been great in their series of matches, but they never could compare with the greatness of Big Boss Man vs Al Snow in the all-time great Kennel From Hell match at Unforgiven 1999!

So, I end this in a plea to WWE, end PG storytelling once and for all. Think of how great Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 26 would have been if they were bleeding profusely. Think about CM Punk’s rivalry with John Cena and how better improved it would have been if Punk said the F-word. If you want people to watch wrestling again, I’ll say it again in case I have not been clear in this piece: Bring Back the Attitude Era or we will be in a Sad-itude Era.

Wrestle Binn is a satirical series, a creative avenue for our team to have fun writing about the less enjoyable aspects of wrestling.

This is all of us when they bring back the Attitude Era
Credit: WWE