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  #21  
Old 03-23-2017, 08:18 AM
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I think the WWF was feeling pretty tired by 2001. 2000 had been a great year from an in-ring perspective but the soap opera storytelling had grown stale and taken the product to ludicrous places. That's without even talking about WCW. So I would argue that it had peaked and that WM17 was just a last hurrah with Rock v Austin being a nice cap on the boom times.

I think people forget that Rock, Austin, Taker and Triple H all felt a little bit stale by the start of 2001. We'd seen them put it all on the line a few times by that stage and the characters were in need of stepping back somewhat. The only problem was that only Kurt Angle had made the transition to being considered on their level. The likes of Jericho, Benoit, Jeff Hardy, Kane and others were nearly there but not quite.
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2017, 11:31 AM
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Another point that people tend to mostly forget about that helped bring about the decline in ratings and viewership was the disastrous move to move Raw from the USA Network to TNN in September of 2000.

TNN was not near as big of a tv channel then as it is today, and it was probably in about a third of the households in America that the USA Network is. Sure they may have got more money in the short term, but not near as many people were able to watch Raw as a lot of viewers didn't have TNN in their cable packages, whereas just about everyone with cable had USA (along with TBS, TNT, etc.) Their ratings dropped instantly from this move. I remember Raw was still averaging in the 6's in ratings up to this point, and once the move happened they instantly went to the lower 5's and upper 4's. And this only continued as time went on.

Obviously the usual talking points that have been brought up in this thread of course led to the downturn in popularity for the pro wrestling industry. WCW and ECW going out of business was huge and definitely led to a decline in the amount of fans as many were longtime WCW and ECW fans and refused to become WWE fans (many of those ended up being loyal to TNA and/or ROH, even to this day, or just gave up on wrestling period). The big name WCW guys not coming in definitely made the Invasion angle weak. Also not having Rock and Triple H around hurt the WWE side.

But the ratings decline didn't begin with WCW and ECW going out of business, or Austin's heel turn, or Rock's sabbatical for Hollywood. It began instantly when WWE moved Raw to TNN. Go back and look at the ratings. The decline was instantaneous, because again TNN was a much smaller channel back then, and many fans didn't have access to TNN and thus couldn't watch and mostly just gave up. There was no streaming, Hulu, YouTube, WWE Network, or even illegal streaming sites on the internet in 2000-2002 for fans that didn't have TNN to watch. So yeah, that was a major point in the beginning of the ratings and overall viewership decline for the WWF/E.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2017, 07:18 AM
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The Attitude Era didn't end at Wrestlemania X7. The Attitude Era ended when 2001 ended. The Invasion was part of the Attitude Era.

Why people attribute the AE ending to Austin's heel turn, The Rock leaving for just only 3 MONTHS, it's not like he left for 7 years as he would go on to do starting from 2004, he came back in June 2001, Triple H being out with an injury when he never really had any affect on the product at all, he wasn't some game changer or ratings draw, actually it was because of Triple H's reign of terror that wrestling truly declined in 2002-2003, he was never THE GUY and he drove plenty of fans away from the product, or WCW ending, which spelled the end of The Monday Night Wars, not the actual WWF Attitude Era, I will never get.

There were no actual changes made to the product until 2001 came to a close when the WWF Title and WCW Title were merged to create the WWF Undisputed Title and the main event scene was never the same again with Austin and Rock being mostly out of the title picture and never holding the top prize again except for Rock's 1 month transitional reign in 2002 but his reign wasn't the same as before, the brand split after Wrestlemania X8, the name change to WWE, the Ruthless Aggression marketing, and Austin & Rock leaving mostly for good this time as Austin and Rock's leave were longer and they didn't stay long when they did come back the following years.

For as much shit the Invasion gets for not bringing in the bigger WCW names, the Invasion was still entertaining. Do I agree that it could've been bigger and better with the bigger WCW names coming in? Yes. But we still got great moments, great matches, great PPV's and a great roster from the names we did get. And people may not have wanted to see Austin not play the badass character anymore but Austin was still a goddamn entertaining heel and played a great set of heel characters as the ruthless psycho chair wielding madman in The Two Man Power Trip, the beatings they gave The Hardyz, Lita and Kane with the Steel Chairs were brutal and the psychotic looks on Austin's face at times during his 2001 heel run were just wow, and the comedy entertaining heel with his segments with Kurt Angle and the "WHAT?" promos. Austin and Angle's feud was also great even if it seemed that Triple H was originally supposed to be the one feuding with Austin in the summer. Austin also put on the greatest in-ring year of any WWE wrestler in history in 2001 all year long on TV and PPV with his matches against Triple H, Rock, Undertaker, Benoit, Jericho, Angle, RVD.

2001 was still attitude after Wrestlemania X7 and the downturn didn't start until 2002 with all the changes I mentioned above plus Triple H's reign of terror.

Last edited by Big Poppa : 04-30-2017 at 07:30 AM.
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  #24  
Old 05-03-2017, 01:11 PM
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It wasn't Austin's heel turn, it was a number of things. Most of all, it just wasn't as entertaining as it used to be. I don't remember the exact timeline, but it probably started sometime after WM 2000, with Austin out injured and the Rock out making a movie, it became the Triple H show. He would cut long, boring, 20 minute promos every week and fans just started to tune out. With WCW dying around this time, they had no real competition to keep pushing them. By the time WCW folded for good and they turned Austin heel, it just wasn't the same as it was in 1997 -1999 were both WWF and WCW felt like must see TV.
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  #25  
Old 05-03-2017, 02:47 PM
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I always consider the Raw where Rikishi was revealed to have sun over Stone Cold as being the end of the Attitude Era.

It was the first instance of a ludicrous storyline that the Ruthless Aggression era would become known for. Most of my wrestling friends lost interest when the payoff to the biggest late Attitude Era storyline was revealed to have been mastered by a big fat guy in a thong.

That's my story though. Three of my main wrestling friends lost interest. I remember some kids talking about the Austin/Triple H match at Survior Series 2000 and getting made fun of at high school. That was unusual for the time as wrestling was generally considered very cool.

Throughout human history, we like to try and find these exact moments when history changes. An example would be the shooting of Franz Ferdinand starting the Great War (World War I). The truth is that multiple factors were at play that were sending Europe to war, that's just a significant moment/factor that makes for a great and easily digestible story.

What if history were different? Triple H is revealed to have driven the car that hit Austin and Austin fought Rock and X7, but won clean. Would things be different?

Probably not. Wrestling was just gradually becoming less popular. Nothing lasts forever, and wrestling proved that its most exciting concepts simply weren't sustainable. WCW hit the crapper creatively, and come X7 it had been bought by WWF.

The Rock left for Hollywood right after X7, another factor to consider. Mick Foley was semi retired and would only show up once a year or less. Goldberg was gone from WCW and wouldn't show up again until 03. Even by then his popularity had waned given WCW's masterclass in how to not get anyone over booking.

Even before the buyout, WCW's failures became WWF's. All the awful stuff happening there would have been incentive for people to change the channel away from wrestling altogether.

Austin didn't shake Vince's hand and then suddenly millions were done with wrestling. The truth is that there was just a change in times coming. A form of entertainment was becoming less viable to casual fans.

Reality TV was on the rise, internet connections were becoming commonplace in homes, film CG was becoming quality enough that superhero films were able to be blockbusters instead of b films, there were just so many changes in the world already in place come 2001 that it's hard to blame any one thing.

That's long winded and makes for a piss poor story though. It's way more exciting to single out the Rikishi heel turn, or the Austin heel turn, or the death of WCW, or the the exit of Dwayne Johnson, or the mishandling of the Invasion, or having to drop the WWF name as being these cynosures for the end of an era.

The exact moment it ended varies for everyone. I've even heard some argue that it ended when Austin got hurt in 1999. I've heard some people argue that it ended when Foley left. Some consider the Invasion, all the way up to the 2002 brand extension.

It doesn't really matter though. There's no wrong answer, just as there's no exact right answer either. It ended, wrestling's popularity subsided and we've been in this 15-17 year decline depending on who you ask.

Regardless when you decide it ended for you, it was in the process of ending after Mania X7. Some had left ages ago over the New Blood angle, some tuned out when May Young gave birth to a hand, maybe people left when Bubba Ray was assaulting women for a face gimmick, maybe the Booker T, DDP and the jobber Invasion squad made you change the channel.

Would babyface Austin vs WCW have saved wrestling? Not unless that WCW featured anyone that casuals might have been interested in ie Bischoff, Sting, Austin, Hogan, Hall, Nash, Goldberg, or Flair. Rock showed up later in the Invasion and barely made difference.

It would have taken WCW staying good until its death (which may have prevented the death), the Invasion being good, Rock and Foley sticking around, and less gross storylines to keep the quality of the Attitude Era rolling. Face Austin couldn't have been enough, just as face Austin wasn't everything about that era.
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2017, 07:36 PM
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Well WWE didn't downgrade into mid 1990s territory where the company taped TV in HS gyms, small arenas. For a "17-year" slump they manage to have growth every year and have fans attending WrestleMania in football stadiums.
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  #27  
Old 06-10-2017, 07:24 PM
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The Rock becoming a part timer was a big factor too. Austin was the guy when WWF came "back" and broke through. The Rock took it to the next level and he was the guy when the WWF was at its absolute peak in popularity. People who had stopped watching wrestling years ago came back for The Rock, non wrestling fans even became fans for awhile because of The Rock. Once he started leaving to make movies, a lot of non-diehard wrestling fans left too.
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  #28  
Old 06-11-2017, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sikkbones View Post
I consider 19 the end of the attitude era if for no other reason that 18 gave us the ultimate attitude era match.

The rock vs hogan has to be considered attitude era, as does jericho /hunter.
The Attitude Era didn't really end until SummerSlam 2002, when Brock beat Rock for the title. That's when I feel like the torch was passed to the Ruthless Aggression Era. That era in my opinion ended at WrestleMania XX, when Brock, Rock, Goldberg, Foley, and Austin left WWE.
Quote:
Signaficant notes:
-We was seeing the slow pushes of Batista, Randy Orton, John Cena, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero, and Edge among others.
-Brock Lesnar/Kurt Angle shared the crown as the Top babyfaces, while Triple H had the crown of Top heel
-We saw the WWE debut of Goldberg
-We saw Rock officially retire from the ring.
2005-2011, I would consider the Brand Split Era. I'd say that era started at WreslteMania XXI when Batista beat HHH for the World Heavyweight Championship, and Cena beat JBL for the WWE Championship.
Quote:
Signaficant notes:
-We saw the rise of Edge, Batista, Jeff Hardy, John Cena, Randy Orton, Christian, Sheamus, and Triple H become a Top babyface once again.
-We saw slow pushes of CM Punk, Matt Hardy, MVP, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Chris Masters,
-John Cena/Batista shared the crown as Top babyface with Triple H, The Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels not far behind, while Randy Orton had the crown of Top heel with Edge not far behind.
-We saw the full-time retirements of The Undertaker, Triple H, Shawn Michaels (completely), Edge (completely), Batista (completely), Kurt Angle (from WWE), Jeff Hardy (from WWE) among others.
-The Rock returned to WWE, Bret "The Hitman" Hart returned to WWE, Kevin Nash briefly returned to WWE
2011-2015, I would consider the Reality Era which started with a Pipebomb and ended when Seth Rollins got injured.
Quote:
Signaficant notes:
- John Cena shared the crown as Face of WWE with CM Punk, and later Daniel Bryan, while CM Punk also shifted to being the Top heel at times and later taken over by Seth Rollins.
-Brock Lesnar returns to WWE, Batista returns to WWE, Sting FINALLY debuts in WWE, Then Face of Independent scene Kevin Steen debuts in WWE and defeats John Cena, Hulk Hogan returns to WWE, The Ultimate Warrior returns to WWE, Bruno Sammartino returns to WWE.
-John Cena vs. The Rock FINALLY happens!!
-The Rock wins WWE Championship one last time
-End of the brand split, WWE and WHC unified (effectively retiring the World Heavyweight Championship)
-The Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak ends.
-The rise of The Shield, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Ryback, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt & The Wyatt Family, among others.
-Slow pushes of Big E. Langston, Fandango.
-Triple H turns heel again
-Daniel Bryan wins WWE Championship
-CM Punk walks out on WWE for fake and for real
-Wrestling greats Shinsuke Nakamura, James Storm, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Prince Devitt (Finn Balor), KANA (Asuka), and Samoa Joe pops up in NXT
-Sting wrestles in WWE, competes for WWE Championship, get's inducted in the Hall of Fame and retires
2016-present, I'd consider the NEW Era which started when Roman Reigns beat Triple H for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 32 and really got cemented when he defeated AJ Styles at Payback.
Quote:
Signaficant notes:
-Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins took the crown as the NEW Faces of the WWE with AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose not far behind, while Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt took the crown as the Top heels.
-The Undertaker retires completely
-John Cena retires from full-time competition
-Kurt Angle returns to WWE (get's inducted in the Hall of Fame), The Hardy Boyz returns to WWE at WrestleMania and wins the RAW Tag Team Championships, Goldberg returns to WWE, AJ Styles FINALLY debuts in WWE, Samoa Joe FINALLY debuts in WWE clubbing Seth Rollins,
-Brand Split returns
-Women's Championship returns, as does focus on Women's Wrestling!!!
-THE (BULLET) CLUB IN WWE!! (well somewhat)
-Cody Rhodes leaves WWE
-Ryback tries to be CM Punk but it backfired BIG TIME!!
-Debut of Universal Championship
__________________
WCWF- JOHN CENA
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT- AJ STYLES
IC- BOBBY ROODE
US- BRAY WYATT
WORLD TAG TEAM- THE ASCENSION
ROYAL RUMBLE- AJ STYLES
MONEY IN THE BANK- SAMI ZAYN
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