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Friday, September 18, 2015

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The New Generation vs The Attitude Era

By Nathan Neumann 

Hello ringers and welcome to an article that came to be by accident. Now, you may be asking yourselves Nathan, how is this possible?  Well Sunday night we do the radio show (Cheap Plug) and I made the comment that I thought that the New Generation Era was better than the Attitude Era.  Now, you may be saying that I’m totally out of line in saying that, but I’m going to explain in the best way possible why this is not just my opinion, but also a fact.

The New Generation Era was an era in WWF/WWE from 1993/1994 until the end of 1997, on November 9th to be exact when the Montreal Screwjob happened and became the catalyst to kicking off the Attitude Era. The New Generation Era had some of the worst characters that I’ve ever come across in wrestling. For example, Duke The Dumpster Droese, Kwang and the ever so loved Mantaur.

Mantaur was a half man, half bear half pig… No wait wrong show, I’m thinking of South Park.

So he was a dude in a weird costume, and while he was bad, this was just part of the New Generation Era and it doesn’t represent the entire era.

The Focal point of the New Generation Era should be the work horse wrestlers like Razor Ramon (when he was motivated at least), Shawn Michaels (Again when he wasn’t coked out of his mind) and of course the ever so popular Bret Hart.  I’m a huge Bret Hart fan, so one of the reasons as to why I almost prefer the New Generation Era to the Attitude Era was solely due to his existence in it(because lets be honest he only saw the beginning of the Attitude Era and then he was gone).

The New Generation, while for the most part cheesy with all of the weird gimmicks like the ones I mentioned above, had some pretty good wrestling. In fact, the wrestling of the New Generation Era was far better than the wrestling of the Attitude Era, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

The best part about the New Generation for me was that you would get matches with CLEAN finishes. I will discuss more on this once I start talking about the Attitude Era in a bit.

There are a lot of people who will probably think I’m crazy for my opinion on this whole thing just like my colleagues at Eyes On The Ring, but I will stand by my opinion and maybe convince others to change their minds, because get ready we are now going to talk about the ever so loved Attitude Era.

The Attitude Era is perhaps the most popular era in wrestling, but believe it or not, it wasn’t an original idea. Vince McMahon will openly admit to lifting ideas from ECW and turning it into his own vision of what the Attitude Era would become. I’ll be the first to admit that 12 year old me back in 1997 absolutely loved the Attitude Era, but as I’ve gotten older and the WWE Network has become a thing and I can go back and watch anything from the Attitude Era I want at any time without hesitation, It made me realize one thing. The Attitude Era was HIGHLY overrated.

In The Attitude Era, you had bold dynamic characters like Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

If you were one of the ones that believe that the Attitude Era was better than the New Generation Era on a character perspective, you would be 100% correct in your statement.  However the wrestling on RAW and Pay Per Views is pure 100% Garbage and here’s why.

First and foremost, the wrestling while many seem to think it was great, it was in fact absolutely atrocious. However this horrid wrestling was often overlooked by the storylines and the angles and the fact that the crowd was white hot every single week, so there was no possible way that the WWE could screw any of this up.

If you want to prove my point go back and watch an episode of RAW on the WWE Network that took place during the Attitude Era and count all the clean finishes you see.  You're lucky if your tally is at one by the end of the night. I’ve literally sat through three or four Attitude Era episodes of RAW at time in succession and seen not one clean finish and that is my main problem with this era.

The wrestling was often times sloppy as hell and if you weren’t Austin, Rock, Mankind, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Kane or The Undertaker, nobody cared about you for the most part. Here’s a challenge, think back to the attitude era and name five good wrestling matches and let me see your list.  Go back to the New Generation and I could probably name at least five good Bret Hart matches alone that were better than anything in the Attitude Era, namely my favorite match of the all time, which was Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret "The Hitman" Hart in a submission match at Wrestlemania 13 which took place in the New Generation Era.

Lets look at The Wrestlemania’s of the said eras. In the New Generation Era you had Wrestlemania 10, which was pretty good for the most part and it was a solid show.  Wrestlemania 11 I’ll admit was one of the worst that I’ve ever seen and anyone else with working eyeballs would probably say the same. Wrestlemania 12 was good for the big matches as well, and Wrestlemania 13 for the most part was a good show as well.

Now lets look at the Wrestlemania’s of the Attitude Era: Wrestlemania 14 I’ll admit was highly regarded as one of the best Wrestlemania’s of all time at least from my perspective. The follow up Wrestlemania 15 was absolute trash and same with Wrestlemania 16 which took place in the year 2000. The one thing that the Attitude Era does have over the New Generation Era was that it does possess the greatest Wrestlemania of all time in 17 and I don’t think we even need to discuss that.

In closing before this article gets to be too long, The Attitude Era Was NOT known for it’s wrestling quality.  It was known for it’s over the top storylines the blurring of the lines (all ripped off from ECW by the way) and the TV-MA humor and antics.

The New Generation Era was known for it’s terrible gimmicks and subsequent cheesiness, but what it lacked in those departments it made up for in wrestling quality.  The Attitude Era may be the most beloved era in all of wrestling but it’s also the most overrated era in the history of the industry and has aged like sour milk.

So in conclusion, do me a favor, go fire up the WWE Network and watch an episode of RAW from both Eras and then hit me up on twitter @Headliner5 and let me know your opinion. You may think I’m crazy,  but anyone who has ever told me that the Attitude Era stuff still holds up I will laugh in their face because the truth is that it does not.



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