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  #11  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:59 AM
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I think people overrate Austin turning heel as the end of the attitude era. As hot as the Attitude Era was wrestling, at the time, was just a fad. A fad that lasted for 3+ years but like all fads people moved onto different things. Plus also with all the raunchy angles being presented, it was just a matter of time until viewers grew tired of it.

I mean even before Austin turned heel the months leading to WMX-Seven you could see RAW ratings softening from high 5's to low 6's to high 4's to mid 5's. So you could already see a steady decline in viewership.

I also remember a few wrestling articles back in early 2001 and remember reading that they predicted 2001 would start the downturn of the WWE product. And these were articles before WM17 even took place.

Could Austin turning heel have accelerated the end of the Attitude Era? Sure but it would have ended sooner than later.

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Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
WCW dying was one factor. But another factor was that Attitude had run it's course. 2002 saw "Billy and Chuck's wedding", Hot Lesbian Action, Katie Vick, and, in upstart TNA, masturbating midgets in the other semi-major US promotion.
I often call 2002 to 2007 as the black hole era. It's the era when WWE was still trying to recapture the success of the attitude era but failed miserably.

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I'm not saying HLA was as bad as the other three, but people forget there were strong reasons at the time that the sponsors pushed for the PG Era.
One theory about the PG era as the new direction I have is maybe with ratings, attendance, and buy rates being so soft the WWE probably needed to attract advertisers again. If I recall in The Attitude Era WWE lost a lot of advertisers but the product was so hot that the ratings, the attendance, and PPV buys offset what they lost in advertising revenue.

Last edited by shooter_mcgavin : 12-02-2016 at 04:08 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2016, 08:02 AM
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That and things were not as interesting after the dream match of hogan/rock.

We had the wcw imports finally showing up as stars and not jobbers, and it was a weird year for headliners.

Hogan should not have been given a nostologia run with the title...just like taker should be nowhere near one today.
I was only mildly unhappy with the Hulk Still Rules title run. Sure it was pushing 20 years since Hulkamania v 1.0, but we were only 2 years past Bash At the Beach 2000, less than 5 years past Hogan-STing at Starrcade. Hulkamania never did much for me (either in the 80s when I was a little kid or in the nostalgia runs), but other people were enjoying it.

And, for one of the few times in his career, Hogan did what's best for business and did the job on the way out, in clear, convincing and dominant fashion, helping to build a new star in Brock Lesnar.

(I am a total mark for Lesnar wiping Hogan's blood across his chest to clean his hand off and retiring the legend. That's a star-making moment.)

I agree about Taker today, but Hogan coming back to WWF from WCW and changing back from NWO black-and-white to Hulkamania red-and-yellow didn't drag on too long--less than six months from Wrestlemania to August. I just checked--Hogan only had the title from Backlash to Judgement Day, just enough that it didn't seem like cheating the fans.

Did resetting the clock to 1985 do something to cause Attitude Era fans to check out? Maybe. The Monday Night Wars were over, everybody's seen Hulkamania, so maybe it's not as compelling--you're not seeing something dramatically new and awesome, so you drift away.
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  #13  
Old 12-03-2016, 10:01 AM
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WMX7 was the point in wrestling history:
- monday night wars were over, WWF won, and WMX7 was it's triumph
- almost all the best things WWF could do with their roster at the time were done
- WCW fans were gone by the big part, no more channel switching
- Austin goes heel, HHH gone, Rock gone, there is no megaface anymore
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2016, 02:57 PM
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As far as when the Attitude Era ended, that's WM 17. Why did interest suddenly decline around this point in time? It was many things, but the biggest were WCW folded and injuries.

When WCW folded and the invasion angle started, a lot of fans, including myself, were expecting the WCW team to be led by Sting, Goldberg, Hall, Nash, Flair, Hogan, DDP, etc. Instead we got Booker T and others. Could you imagine if those guys had of participated in the Invasion. It would've been bigger than the Attitude Era for a time. Also, everyone was gone after WM 17. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people were gone. Trips was gone, the Rock was gone, and others. Plus Austin turned heel. So the biggest face we had was probably Angle. I would say 'Taker but people were still getting acclimated to his American Bad Ass gimmick. Sure, he was the Undertaker, but he wasn't The Undertaker. If that makes sense.

All in all, WCW folded and we had very few top guys on the product at the time. Sure, these guys would come in, incrementally from time to time, but if they had of been there for that angle, it would've been the biggest thing wrestling had ever done.
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Thus why I'd let a girl put on a strap-on and get in there. You only live once.
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2016, 03:55 PM
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Austin turning heel was a cosmetic mistake that had no real effect on the downward trend that WWE and professional wrestling as a whole was going in. Mainly what happened was that Austin and Rock were barely around after 01, no new stars emerged until Cena and to a lesser extent Batista, and creatively the WWE had gone as far as they were going to go with the Attitude Era. They had to change their philosophy and head in a new direction as a company. It took them long enough because the Ruthless Aggression era was just an extension of the Attitude Era.

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As far as when the Attitude Era ended, that's WM 17. Why did interest suddenly decline around this point in time? It was many things, but the biggest were WCW folded and injuries.

When WCW folded and the invasion angle started, a lot of fans, including myself, were expecting the WCW team to be led by Sting, Goldberg, Hall, Nash, Flair, Hogan, DDP, etc. Instead we got Booker T and others. Could you imagine if those guys had of participated in the Invasion. It would've been bigger than the Attitude Era for a time. Also, everyone was gone after WM 17. Well, not everyone, but a lot of people were gone. Trips was gone, the Rock was gone, and others. Plus Austin turned heel. So the biggest face we had was probably Angle. I would say 'Taker but people were still getting acclimated to his American Bad Ass gimmick. Sure, he was the Undertaker, but he wasn't The Undertaker. If that makes sense.

All in all, WCW folded and we had very few top guys on the product at the time. Sure, these guys would come in, incrementally from time to time, but if they had of been there for that angle, it would've been the biggest thing wrestling had ever done.
Couple of issues I have with this belief. First off, paying off your competitions Turner contracts to the last day then reworking a new deal with them does not send a great message to your employees who stayed loyal to you when you were floundering. What would have an Austin, Undertaker, Kane, Rock, HHH thought? What would the guys who jumped from WCW to WWE thought of that these guys were not only getting their contracts paid out, but were now getting to work in WWE again?

Which leads me to my next point; WCW was a trainwreck from 99-01 and no one wanted it. They pissed people off, and that brand wasn't worth bringing in. WWE tried an angle that would have been major in 1998. In 2001, people hated WCW and that infamous Bagwell/Booker T match proves it.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2016, 05:09 PM
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Which leads me to my next point; WCW was a trainwreck from 99-01 and no one wanted it. They pissed people off, and that brand wasn't worth bringing in. WWE tried an angle that would have been major in 1998. In 2001, people hated WCW and that infamous Bagwell/Booker T match proves it.
Yup. The only enthusiasm the Invasion angle generated was when ECW entered the equation. That, and a few weeks after September 11, bona fide American Olympic hero Kurt Angle hosing down the heels with a milk truck. (That was maybe just me.)
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2016, 12:08 PM
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Attendance and ratings didn't "collapse" immediately following the turn it wasn't until the Fall during the Invasion flop when there was a true decline in ratings and business.

Attendance in 2001: https://sites.google.com/site/chrish...s/avghouseshow

Not on the level of 1998-2000 but still stronger than it would be in 2002 after the roster split, the Fall portion of the year were huge down months for the time though.

Ratings in 2001: http://www.gerweck.net/tv-ratings/2001-ratings/

Smackdown's ratings dropped a bit but Raw's were constant throughout the year although there were some months where they were noticeably lower than others.
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  #18  
Old 12-29-2016, 05:22 PM
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It was very odd timing for wrestling to lose its popularity. It does makes sense in some ways: Where could they have gone with Austin vs McMahon which was the driving force of the AE for WWF. You can only beat up your boss and get fired and re hired so many times. The NWO which highlighted WCW during this era was completely watered down and dead. WCW in general was unwatchable even before it died. That being said, we on the verge of finally getting WWF vs WCW. How can you not hang on to watch? Like someone mentioned above, I think people were just ready to move on from wrestling. It couldn't get any more popular then the late 90s.

Looking back with what he know now, they should have simply waited for the invasion angle. Kept WCW going as it own company with Shane as the owner. WWF continues the same storylines and angles all through 2001. Granted, this year will be very transitional and will lose popularity. In 2002, sign the big names, Hogan,Hall,Nash,Flair,Goldberg, probably could have got sting. Then do the invasion angle leading into wrestlmania 18. Would it have drawn all the artitude era fans back? Possibly. I think that would have been the best shot.

Last edited by HBKperfect23 : 12-29-2016 at 05:24 PM.
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  #19  
Old 03-16-2017, 04:12 AM
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1) The end of the MNWs really sapped a lot of the energy out of things. Yeah, it had long ceased to be much of a war at that point but 2001 put an official full stop on things - Vince won, WCW was never going make a grand comeback and ECW was never going to grow beyond what it had been. It all just felt a bit depressing.

2) The WWF vs WCW stuff was not even close to what people used to dream about when the MNWs were still hot. WCW looked about as impressive and threatening as TNA, even with them illogically partnering with ECW.

3) Austins heel turns were not great. I dont think people were fully ready to accept the face of most of the AE and a former anti-authoritarian badass sucking up to Vince and being more of a comedic, cowardly character. Then the 2nd turn with him joining WCW was even worse because it just didnt make sense and was annoying after the old Stone Cold had come back before that.

4) By 2001 the WWF had been putting out edgy content for like 4 years. Austin, Rock, the NWO, blood, swearing, sexuality etc had all been exposed a ton and there was just no real freshness or novelty left to it anymore. Things were kind of starting to run their course naturally irregardless of booking decisions. Even if the invasion had been handled perfectly it might have kept things hot for another year but the decline was still going to come eventually.
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  #20  
Old 03-16-2017, 12:14 PM
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The death of WCW and the end of the Monday night war had a much bigger impact on the wrestling boom ending. Like mentioned above, Wrestlemania X7 ended the attitude era. The combination of Vince buying WCW, Austin turning heel, and the length of the wrestling boom was the perfect trifecta to end the attitude era. If it were a fictional story, that's most likely how the end would be written. What would have been interesting is to see if the casual fan base who only watched the Attitude era would have stuck around for a Austin/Rock/DX vs the NWO/Goldberg/Flair true WWF vs WCW war. I still thing wrestling in the mainstream would be dying off due to the length of the boom
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