The EXACT Moment The WWE Attitude Era Started!

The EXACT Moment The WWE Attitude Era Started!

It’s the most influential era of professional
wrestling, a boom period that brought in mainstream success that hasn’t been seen since. It
made household names out Steve Austin and The Rock and created wrestling legends in
Triple H, The Undertaker Mankind and many more. But there is a big question over when
it truly began. I am Luke Owen and this is the exact moment The Attitude Era started. A lot of people have theories about when The
Attitude Era came to life. The chaps from The Attitude Era podcast argue it was WrestleMania
14 when Austin won the WWF Championship, Bryan Alvarez has stated he believes it was the
Austin home invasion angle with Brian Pillman and WWE’s own documentary about the era
says it was Vince McMahon’s December 15th 1997 promo. Although they’ve also said in
other interviews and on commentary that D-Generation X were the architects of the Attitude Era,
and have since changed their mind to say it was all of 1997. That was a big year of change in the WWF.
The traditional good guys like Bret Hart were now the bad guys in the eyes of fans, as edgier
characters began to take centre stage. The smiling good guy Rocky Maivia was now a part
of the Nation of Domination and shouting down the fans who wanted him to die. But there
was one date in particular – at least according to former WWF writer and producer Bruce Prichard
– that kickstarted The Attitude Era. The date is September 9th 1997, and WWF are
taping an episode of Raw that would air the following to help build towards Bad Blood,
where Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker were set to go one-on-one inside the very first
Hell in a Cell match. What’s uncommon about this taping, however, is that Vince McMahon
– who was always present for TV tapings – wasn’t there for it. Instead, Prichard
and Jim Ross were put in charge. Someone else who wasn’t at the show was The Undertaker
who had the day off, and was instead scheduled appear in a pre-taped video later in the night
when HBK cut a promo on him. However, just cutting a promo on The Undertaker
was not Shawn’s plan. Instead Michaels – just before going out
in front of the crowd – stuffed his shorts and then proceeded to jump around in front
of JR, crotch chopping in order to draw attention to what he’d done. He then proceeded to
swear throughout the interview, and went against script by calling The Undertaker names and
challenging him to come out to the ring. Now remember, Taker wasn’t there in the building
and was only appearing as a video on the screen, which allowed Michaels to call him “a chickens**t”. “Michaels, knowing Undertaker wasn’t in
the building, responded by calling Undertaker to the ring. He said if Undertaker was as
brave as he appeared, he should come to the ring and face him right then and there. The
crowd popped thinking that, of course, Undertaker would accept the challenge. Instead, Undertaker
could do nothing about it since he was sitting at home, unaware of Michaels’s comments. The
crowd left the arena with the impression Undertaker avoided Michaels’s challenge. When Undertaker
heard what happened, he was said to be very upset.” – Wade Keller, Pro Wrestling Torch,
September 20th, 1997 “I was in gorilla, watching the whole thing.
I was livid. I was pissed. This wasn’t what we had gone over with Shawn. And he’s stuffed
the towel down his shorts before going out. He went out and got in JR’s face. I think
it was, in many ways, a slap in the face to me and JR because we were the ones that we
were running that taping. It was a slap in the face to Vince for not being there. Vince
was not happy about it. Kevin Dunn was not happy about it, none of us were happy about
it.” – Bruce Prichard, Something to Wrestle, October 6th 2017 The entire interview had to be heavily edited,
and there was even a lot of discussion backstage that Shawn cut this promo because he was trying
to get himself fired so he could go to WCW and hang out with his Kilq buddies Kevin Nash,
Scott Hall and X-Pac. “Whether Michaels was doing it in another
attempt to get fired so he could go to WCW or he had other ideas up his sleeve, it’s
definitely brought a lot more negativity toward him in a lot of circles.” – Dave Meltzer,
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, September 22nd 1997 Vince fined Shawn Michaels heavily – rumoured
to be around $10,000 – and was said to be very upset about the whole situation. However,
he then changed his mind about the promo. “Vince gets JR and I in a room and starts
pointing at Shawn and saying, ‘what he’s doing is showing attitude, we need more attitude.
That’s attitude pal, the roster needs to find some attitude.’. Attitude became the
catchphrase for the next few years, all off that one promo… It went from Vince being
infuriated about it [and] fining him, to, ‘that’s what we need more of’” – Bruce
Prichard, Something to Wrestle, October 6th 2017 So there you have it boys and girls, at least
according to Bruce Prichard, the exact date the Attitude Era started was September 9th,
1997. Do you think it was a different date or moment? Let us know in the comments below. And while you’re at it why not check out
my opinion piece of WWE creating new stars. And did Hulk Hogan really sue WCW over a storyline?
Click the videos to the left to find out more. Press subscribe and support WrestleTalk on
Patreon. I’ve been Luke Owen and that was wrestling.

100 Replies to “The EXACT Moment The WWE Attitude Era Started!”

  1. The Attitude Era made Undertaker? C'mon Bruh… He was 1 of the great influences of the Era, but no way in hell did it make him.

  2. To me I always felt it was around WM 13. When they started making changes to everything. The set, the ring, the way even the announcers dressed and it course the wrestlers began showing it. Bret Hart out there cussing and getting into with Vince. So I say WM 13 is a good starting point for the Attitude Era.

  3. For me, the "Attitude Era" began in 1996 with the debut of GOLDUST and MARLENA's gender
    bending antics! They started the trend toward pushing the envelope. Also, the profanity laced promos The Ultimate Warrior launched in response to Goldust got a big "pop", I remember because I heard not only the audience but I saw Vince's facial expression! He didn't like Warrior's comment which may be why WWE didn't build on it. But the truth is, before there was Shawn or Austin, there was Goldust, Marlena and Warrior!

  4. i would say…. the birth of stone cold and the rock great rivalry…. or the birth of stone cold and Vince McMahon rivalry….. Austin really start the golden era…

  5. Attitude Era is when I first watched WWE and after that me and my cousins would always copy it. "Don't try this at home WWE?" yeah right we wrestle when we were kids hahaha

  6. The exact moment was when Bret Hart pushed Vince McMahon down in the ring at the beginning of a post-match interview after losing to Sid Vicious in a cage match. At that point, he started to evolve into an anti-American heel, which was a totally original concept in professional wrestling. Nobody touched McMahon or any of the on-air interviewers before that. Watching the normally low-key Hart suddenly screaming his frustration over his recent setbacks and swearing on live TV was both a shock and a signal that there is a new normal in WWF. .

  7. HBK started the attitude era and I've always said it !!
    Yes Austin was the biggest star of it but Shawn Michaels was the innovator of it

  8. I honestly believe that the attitude era began when Golddust first came to WWE television. The sexual overtones with the lip licking, the homosexual gestures towards opponites, sexual innuendos in his promos, how he acted toward Marlena in the ring, So to me it was the debut of Golddust that started the attitude era. Austin, Rock and DX kinda followed suit.

  9. Does anyone remember the most famous line of all time!!! When Stone Cold said "Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass" for me that's the beginning.

  10. Well, I would think it would be Austin at King of the Ring 1996, where he had his speech. It was pretty aggressive and in your face for the time. It just steam rolled from there.

  11. Attitude Era is the most OVERRATED Era! Classless low brow shock value content for pimple popping teens ! Stunning sensitive bitch Steve Austin most OVERRATED wrestler in history ! Baaah sheep baaah

  12. i find it funny HHH and Stephanie's Totalitarian mentalities were all inspired off of HHH's friends antics.

    Again, HHH saves his buddies but everyone else pays for it.

  13. I´d say ATTITUDE started just with the Bret/Austin/Michaels feud early in 1997…these guys were the pioneers!

  14. A couple of things were big part of kicking off the additude era

    Stone Cold passing out (after being busted open by Brett Hart) and put into the sharp shooter. It was the first time we as fans got to see how tough Steve Austin was

    Rocky Miavia turning into the Rock and joining the Nation of Domination.

    DX being formed.

  15. be on the look out for a guy named J crash, he argues and defends the Attitude era the same way nwoWOlfpackTv2016 guy defends Kevin Nash. he also like to argue of when it started.

  16. Bret Hart vs Stone Cold at WrestleMania 13. Greatest match of all time. The blood flowing from Austin’s face trapped in Bret’s SharpShooter was the stuff of legends!! This is when the attitude era started. The greatest double turn in history. Double turns are hard to do. #CrimsonMask

  17. For arguements sake, u can say that if started with Bret Hart'sfamous rant on Raw. It was unscripted and the wwe kinda ran with it ever since.

  18. The RAW before Wrestlemania 13 is it’s true birth. The following Raw, Stone Cold gave the greatest solo promo in history and declared war on the new Hart Foundation.

  19. I just started watching rigt before the attitude era I didn't watch every week then the attitude era started and I couldnt miss a episode of raw or ppvs thsn when smackdown started

  20. I watched and loved wrestling from 1997 right up until 2009 when I got into MMA, many great memories from back then

  21. Attitude era started with stone cold and Bret Hart.little to do with Shawn Michaels .Just like wwe has been trying to revise history saying hbk was bigger than Bret.bret was the biggest star until he left and got paid the most. I remember March 1997 and even late 1995 abd 96 wwf knew what ecw was doing and wanted attitude era wasnt vinnces idea

  22. It always seemed liked Shawn was Vince's favorite wrestler.  I bet when he watches HHH and Steph get busy, he makes her call him The Heart Break kid, and pictures Michaels.  That was a really weird comment to make.  I should probably just delete it, and get on with my life. I'm not going to.

  23. How I remember it is NWO in WCW pretty much squashed WWF in 96 and it burned itself out by late 97 and early 98 sucked in WCW …..So late 97 or early 98 was the attitude era

  24. WWF Attitude Era. Not long after they lost the F, it all went downhill. Ratings/crowd pops will never reach those heights ever again.

  25. I think big daddy cool diesel started it. when he started fist pumping fans who wore his gloves!!! i wasnt sure if big d was a heel or not for first time in wwf history i couldnt tell if a character was a hero or a heel.Diesel was becoming the 1st stone cold before leaving to wcw.

  26. Some people say Wrestlemania 13 or 14, survivor series '97 etc., but KOTR '96 years with the Austin 3:16 promo is definitely the true birth. Not only was it unscripted, but Triple H was actually supposed to win that before he got punished for the curtain call. Wwe made the big change to push Austin and things would never be the same after that.

  27. this is sad because Austin started it by beating Jake the snake and his wonderful speech and it all ended at WrestleMania 19 the rock vs stone cold three rock bottom two kickouts who else can do that?!

  28. It started with the double turn of Bret and Stone Cold.
    The moment that one of the greatest babyfaces in history was born and the night when everything from there on started to blow out of the water in terms of both Hart and Austin don't give a damn on TV.
    The Attitude Era was born in a classic Wrestlemania match in 1997 between Bret and Austin, and
    ended with the classic between Stone Cold and The Rock in 2001, Wrestlemania X7 when Austin shook Vince's hand , turning on everybody watching the event and ends an era.

  29. im partial to the mar 17 1997 bret hart pushing vince and the whole debacle that followed with taker stone cold n sid

  30. I always thought the attitude era started whenever Bret Hart lost it after the steel cage match with Psycho Sid and ended up chewing out Vince McMahon after the match

  31. No this is wrong it’s when Bret Hart pushes Vince Mcmahon called out sid and stone cold pulled a promo on how he was a baby, fuck wrestle talk gone down hill

  32. We got to honestly say Vince was the mastermind behind the attitude era. He sparked most if not all the drama. ??????????

  33. My theory was since the stars of the "New Generation Era" Bret Hart and HBK were no longer there it fueled into Austin and The Rock getting pushes because Hart quit because of the Montreal screw job and Hbk got injured, Half of it was cuz of WCW and old wwf stars were leaving to wcw and they had to think quickly so they had Hbk and Hhh form Dx.

  34. the exact moment was when diesel cut the tip of the iceberg promo after survivor series 95 diesel was a precursor to stone cold steve austin.

  35. Either after 1.)"Stone Cold's legendary "Austin 3:16" speech or 2.)Survivor Series 1997 after the Montreal Screw Job

  36. Wrestling fans need to get excited as the new era has started.
    The new promotion aew seems based for 18- 35 age.

  37. Totally disagree. To me the Attitude Era began the moment Stone Cold delivered his Austin 3:16 Speech at King of the Ring in 1997 and it all ended at Survivor Series in 2001 during the Invasion war. The whole Attitude Era revolved around Stone Cold. He was the leader of the group. Everyone else were supporting characters behind him.

  38. Screw the fake copycat Vince McMahon and WWF at that time. WCW and Eric Bischoff push the envelope first and let's give credit to ECW as well. All of you WWF Fanboys can argue and say they put out a better product again matter of simple taste and opinion. Who decided to turn the heel boss character first that would be Eric Bischoff sorry folks the Montreal screwjob did not create the mr. McMahon character obviously Vince had to do something 2 Chainz his stale product Bischoff was running rampant as a heel manager for a year before Vince it is over the top garbage character mr. McMahon. And let's not forget about the NWO anybody who says that DX it's not a copycat please not even worth the debate. The Attitude Era was a garbage product with horrible stupid moronic storylines not to say WCW did not have their fair share at that time everybody wants to talk about what an innovator and creative genius McMahon was sorry Eric Bischoff was the one that pushed the envelope first. Attitude Era sucked thank heavens it's gone.

  39. Would you guys consider the Invasion Era (WM17-WWF Draft/Name Change) as the end of the AE or the beginning of the RA Era?

    I feel as if it’s an extension of the attitude era and clearly more polished but I’m more inclined to include in the former than the latter.

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