Remembering WWE in the early 1990s

When you mention WWE In the 1990s, people automatically thought of one thing: the Attitude Era.

They enjoy looking back at the fierce rivalry between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, which is perfection in the ring and a shipwreck backstage. Fans still talk romantically about that breakthrough moment. It was an event that witnessed the rise of Humanity, the formation of Generation D-Generation X, and the continued dominance of Receiver.

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And of course, there are the million stunners that Stone Cold Steve Austin has given us. No one is safe.

Here’s Stone Cold Steve Austin giving everyone on his way a stunner in an episode of Sunday Night Heat.

But the first half of the decade, known as the ‘New Generation Era’, could be much different from the Attitudes Era. As every wrestling fan knows, it was a bad time for business, and promotion was throwing things against the wall to see what would happen.

It’s a total circus, complete with its own evil clown.

Nearly every conceivable profession is represented: plumber, clown, race car driver, and even men from space. Most of these ludicrous gimmicks are portrayed by men who have loads of wrestling experience and the skill to overcome just by being themselves. Bill Irwin (The Goon) and Tony Anthony (TL Hopper) are both mainstays of southern wrestling and have been champions in several territories. However, they had to be given ‘something’ to help them integrate into the WWE circus.

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Despite all the neon and fluorescent colors that prevailed in the early ’90s, this was seen as the dark ages for the company. Not only have they experienced a steroid scandal, but sales aren’t flowing like the HulkaMania days either. Almost everyone has heard stories about Vince McMahon take the water cooler out of the Titan Tower to cut costs. When the WCW finally lit the fire and launched the Nitro, it looked like the wolves were at the door.

In the context of that timeframe, it means that hardly any of these silly gimmicks work. But that’s because times have changed.

The kids grow up watching Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper grew up. Now they are in high school or college and their tastes have changed. Not just in wrestling, but in all forms of media: music, movies and television.

The world has gotten worse and has moved away from the fun 80’s. Metallic hair was replaced with grunge, and neon-colored clothing was exchanged for plaid jackets. So it only makes sense that sports entertainment will also have to change.

WWE will soon find the right formula when a trash-talking anti-hero shows up and debunks the bird yesterday. The future is ahead of us…and we don’t even know it yet.

What are your memories of WWE in the early 90s? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Edited by Genci Papraniku Remembering WWE in the early 1990s


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