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  #1  
Old 08-18-2015, 02:32 PM
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Default Calm before the storm: Attitude Era

This thread is not to discuss when the Attitude Era began. That has been debated to death as popular dates include WrestleMania XIII, Survivor Series 97 and WrestleMania XIV.

This thread instead is about the calm before the storm. More specifically what moment/moments, do you site that weren't quite as huge as the events of the previously mentioned events but signified to you that change was on the way.

For me one such example is Sunny. She started off as one half of the Body Donnas and served as Skip's manager. While she wasn't covered up from head to toe, she also was not dressed provocatively when she debuted in the middle of 95. Being in the middle of rewatching 95-96 WWE she would always wear the same outfit which other than showing off some thigh and stomach didn't reveal too much else. However, change was in the air as towards the end of the year she changed her top which revealed some cleavage. At the 95 Survivor Series she did a bit with what was supposed to be Bill Clinton sitting on his lap and playing off of some suggestive language.

But the real moment that signified change was coming came during the 01/08/96 Monday Night Raw. Throughout the program there were multiple 30 second spots which advertised the show. In those spots Sunny was blatantly selling herself in different scenes which included shooting pool in a unbuttoned top revealing her bra as well as being in the tub naked covering her body. This was really the first time I can remember WWE using sex to sell which was one of the big factors in the Attitude Era.
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Old 08-18-2015, 04:23 PM
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Definitely Sunny.

Some other underlying underlying moments/factors.

1) the Stone Cold-Pillman gun angle RAW 11/4/96. A true "WTF" moment. I remember watching that and being literally shocked at what just happened. Not only did it catapult Stone Cold Steve Austin's character it solidified Pillman's "Loose Cannon" character.

2) Bret Hart snaps 3/17/97. Bret Hart shoves Vince McMahon then goes on a legendary "worked-shoot" rant complete with profanity. I think this was Vince's version of what WCW did with Hulk Hogan, a legendary "good guy" turning heel and Bret pulled it off perfectly.

3) The Undertaker-Mankind feud from 1996. Hardcore. Legendary promos. Legendary matches. The is exactly what 'Taker's character needed after lackluster feuds with Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy, and Mabel. It also elevated Mankind's character to main event status. This was one WWF's first hardcore matches.

4) the debut of Goldust. Need I say more? I would also throw the Hollywood backlot brawl with Piper from WM 12 in this category.

5) The Huckster/Nacho Man/Billionaire Ted skits. The WWF's first shots at their formers stars. It was also the first time WWF acknowledged the existence of WCW.
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Old 08-18-2015, 07:24 PM
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Awesome topic. I Agree with everything mentioned above and will add some things.

Bret/Diesil SurSer 95 table spot. Pretty sure this was the first table spot in WWF. It was sold so well and contributed to the epic end of that Match. I feel like the table spot has become such an overkill and this was a perfect example of how to use it.

Shawn Michaels matches at IYH April 96 with Diesil and IYH Sept 96 with Mankind. The style was changing and becoming mainstream. The match with Mankind was important for Shawns character and the toughness the crowd wanted for his character.

Shawn Michaels and Bret Harts promos in 97. It started with little real life jabs and each other and ended with them basically shooting on each other regularly. Everyone knew they hated each other in real life and it made great TV.

Austins promos in 97. He was cursing and they were embracing the anti hero as the face.

Personally, I think the summer of 97 was all attitude. Great TV each week. If you missed the Raws during the summer of 97 I highly recommend watching them on the network.

Not to get into a "when the attitude era started" discussion but I think the WWEs opinion is very late in 97. Just look on the network at which Raws are under the regular Raws and which ones are classified as Raw attitude era.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBKperfect23 View Post
Awesome topic. I Agree with everything mentioned above and will add some things.

Bret/Diesil SurSer 95 table spot. Pretty sure this was the first table spot in WWF. It was sold so well and contributed to the epic end of that Match. I feel like the table spot has become such an overkill and this was a perfect example of how to use it.
LOL, Harley Race went through a table in WWF before Kevin Nash ever got in the business and when Bret was still singing back up for the Honky Tonk Man:

https://youtu.be/3koRg7mWu1M?t=5m31s
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:07 AM
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Big Daddy Cool

Diesel was planting the seeds for the Attitude Era six months before jumping to WCW, seven months before Austin 3:16, and over two years before DX.

Someone mentioned the table spot from Survivor Series 95. That was a memorable moment but was just the tip of the iceberg. Just minutes later Bret pinned Diesel for the title and instantly a new attitude for Big Daddy Cool was born. At first it appeared to be a standard heel turn but the next night Diesel became one of the WWF's first real tweeners. The Attitude Era wasn't all about sex and violence. A lot of it was about pulling back the curtain and exposing some of the secrets in the business. Diesel cut a promo explaining how after he won the title the office told him to smile and be a nice guy. It may not sound like much in 2015 but in 1995 nobody talked about the office or anything behind the scenes. We were just supposed to believe the guys we saw on tv were exactly like that in real life. To think Diesel was just being a good guy because "the office" told him to be was a little hard to comprehend. After that Diesel would take little jabs here and there talking about things that usually weren't talked about and sometimes calling out Vince as the guy running the show a full year before that became commonplace. There were also little things like Diesel flipping off The Undertaker before it became part of Austin's gimmick and calling himself "the shit" on camera. It wasn't an immediate major shakeup but I think Big Daddy Cool post Survivor Series 95 was the calm before the storm.
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Old 08-19-2015, 12:26 AM
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Personally, I can't pinpoint a few moments that signify that a new era was about to be ushered in. The 95-97 era in the WWF was unique because you had this new generation of stars with boring or corny characters (ie: Rocky Maivia and the Ringmaster) with constant rating losses to Nitro. I just look at the "attitudes" (npi) of the wrestlers during that time beginning to shift. Everybody was literally fed up. Bret was tired of the Kliq and their political games, Austin and Rock were fed up with being bottom of the card nobodies, HBK and HHH were tired of being limited to play "on-screen" characters. As months went by during that time period, you began to see their real life personalities air out on screen. All of the frustration and drama going on behind the scenes began to come through our screens and make for compelling television. Think about it: Austin 3:16 at KOTR '96, Bret's post match rant with Vince, the infamous Screwjob. There was so much frustration and tension at the time, and without those new "attitudes" coming to prominence, we would have never seen the likes of DX, "Stone Cold", The Rock, etc. Thus, there would be no Attitude Era.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:46 AM
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Going to concur with others, Survivor Series 1995 was when WWE began trialling a more 'ECW' style worldwide. From the smaller, lesser fancied wrestlers putting on the match of the night (they even called it the underdogs match FFS); bringing the women over from Japan; the 'wildcard' match which pitted faces and heels on the same teams and against other heels and faces; the original version of the Goldust character; and prettying the whole Bret Hart v Diesel title match. Indeed, perhaps the biggest sign of impending 'attitude adjustment' was that most of the more cartoon-like characters were all put in the same match (team Undertaker v team Lawler), which was the worst of the night, but it made all the other matches appear that much more serious.

The other genius aspect of WWE's transition, which I mentioned on a previous thread on Shotgun Saturday Night, was that they didn't simply 'reboot' the company; they slow-burned it, so they could see what worked and what didn't, and how much their audience would accept. There is a lot to be said for slow builds, a big problem with today's product is that it has become far too rushed, which leaves little room for future dream matches down the line, and adds repetitiveness and illogical results/storyline angles as the office change things around too quickly.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:53 AM
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A lot of the moments I'd pick have already been mentioned. Diesel putting Bret through the announce table was one of the first 'holy shit' moments I can remember, I'd never seen anything like that in WWF and I'd been watching for six years at that point.

Sunny's character is another obvious one. She did some lingerie shoot for the Raw magazine in 1996 (I think) that was above and beyond what the likes of Maxim, FHM etc. were doing.

Roddy Piper v Goldust was wild at Wrestlemania 12, just a crazy match that really showcased just how far you could push things.

Big Daddy Cool post Survivor Series 1995 as well. Just that cocky swagger, calling Vince out as being the owner, smacking HBK with a chair at a house show, mocking the Undertaker and just being a badass. That character run not only helped birth the tweener, but it kickstarted the nWo, the Big Sexy character and the Attitude Era. That's why Nash deserves so much credit for revolutionising the wrestling industry from 1995-97.

Bret snapping on Vince and his feud with Austin are probably what solidified the Attitude Era as the direction for Vince to go more than anything.

Brain Pillman. Just Brian Pillman in general.
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Old 08-19-2015, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaveli31 View Post
Definitely Sunny.

Some other underlying underlying moments/factors.

1) the Stone Cold-Pillman gun angle RAW 11/4/96. A true "WTF" moment. I remember watching that and being literally shocked at what just happened. Not only did it catapult Stone Cold Steve Austin's character it solidified Pillman's "Loose Cannon" character.

2) Bret Hart snaps 3/17/97. Bret Hart shoves Vince McMahon then goes on a legendary "worked-shoot" rant complete with profanity. I think this was Vince's version of what WCW did with Hulk Hogan, a legendary "good guy" turning heel and Bret pulled it off perfectly.

3) The Undertaker-Mankind feud from 1996. Hardcore. Legendary promos. Legendary matches. The is exactly what 'Taker's character needed after lackluster feuds with Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy, and Mabel. It also elevated Mankind's character to main event status. This was one WWF's first hardcore matches.

4) the debut of Goldust. Need I say more? I would also throw the Hollywood backlot brawl with Piper from WM 12 in this category.
Hard to argue against any of these four here. I came to say the same things.
Particularly, late 1996 is when the tide really started to change. The shift from bright colour cartoon gimmicks to darker, edgier, more realistic storylines began around this time.

The n.W.o. was in full swing at this point, and as evidenced by the examples above, WWF started to follow suit with Austin, Pillman, Bret Hart, Undertaker and Mankind leading the charge. Pretty much everything Austin did after King of the Ring 1996, and everything Bret Hart did after he returned in November 1996, planted the seeds for the Attitude Era.

Bret should get more credit for his role from Survivor Series 1996-1997, because he was definitely a leading man in the "realistic angle" category.
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