WWE: THE ATTITUDE ERA – 3 Disc Set
Available on Region 2 DVD and Blu-Ray from 18 February 2013
Also available on Region 1
“Can you smell what The Rock is cookin?!” We sure can! WWE: THE ATTITUDE ERA propels us back to 1997, when WWE was then known as WWF and president Vince McMahon vowed to spice up his wrestling entertainment show to make it the one to watch on a Monday night. Introducing RAW IS WAR, he unleashed a wave of engimatic wrestlers that grabbed the attention of the audience. Not to be outdone by rival wrestling organisation WCW, WWE took their brand of entertainment to the next level, pushing it beyond the boundaries, injecting saucy and rebellious characters and storylines into what had become a stale medium. It’s over-the-top, in-yer-face attitude won fans everywhere, from the kids to college students and adults, not to mention some high profile people such as Mike Tyson and Arnie!
Disc One of the 3 disc set of WWE: THE ATTITUDE ERA features an hour long documentary looking back at the Attitude Era of 1997-2001. Talent such as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley (Mankind), Road Dogg, Val Venis, The Big Show, Rakishi and Mark Henry (Sexual Chocolate) describe their years in which the WWE produced the most insane storylines that grabbed peoples attention and ultimately won the audience from rivals WCW, who were eventually bought out by WWE in 2001. Without a rival company to compete against, the once hectic, controversial and rebellious WWE didn’t have to prove itself any more, as they monopolised the wrestling entertainment division, and subsequently toned down its shows to become much more family friendly. Thus, the years leading up to the acquisition are now referred to the Attitude era. The Attitude Era will be remembered with fondness. This was a time when wrestlers music and intro videos were introduced, which became so iconic with fans they’d react as soon as the entrance music blasted through the speakers into the arena. The Attitutude Era also brought some legendeary rivalries to WWE, such as Texas born, Stone Cold Steve Austin, against WWE management Vince McMahon and subsequently Austin against The People’s Champ, The Rock. The wrestlers at the time really made the company what it was, with each wrestler having his or her unique, larger-than-life personality. So crazy were some of the characters, such as Val Venis who emerged wearing a bath towel around his waist, spouting innuendo and double entendres and the infamous team D-Generation X, that they inspired the audience to create banners. Soon after, the crowds would be a sea of placards and banners supporting their favourite wrestler or dissing their least favourite, and even some of ladies in the audience showed their fondness for certain wrestlers by flashing at the camera. It was a manic, boisterous period for the wrestling federation and the documentary is an interesting insight and lookback at times which, some might say, was a more entertaining WWE. Disc One also features a handful of iconic short clips from the era in the Special Features section.
The second disc features 150 minutes of eye-watering action, including the infamous Brawl For All, where Bodacious Bart Gunn KO’d his opponent Steve ‘Dr Death’ Williams in a real life fight wearing boxing gloves, something which the WWE finally dropped after the wrestlers ended up being seriously injured. Other clips include Mike Tyson’s allegiance with DX and curvacious Sable giving Marvellous Marc Mero a beat down. What Attitude fans will really enjoy is the tag team championship match between The Rock and D Lo Brown, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn (as New Age Outlaws), Kane and Mankind and The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin. The match is crazy and unpredictable, with the commentators eagerly trying to guess who will get the pin and whether enemies The Undertaker and Steve Austin will actually work together to retain the title. There’s so much to sink your teeth into with the second disc that it’s impossible to be bored, especially with the notorious storylines. After having been injured by Ken Shamrock before the Tag Team match, Owen Hart faces off with UFC fighter Ken Shamrock inside the cage at Superslam in 1998. Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker also fight at the event. In other clips, we see see Steve Austin comandeer a Cors Light beer truck and drench WWE president Vince McMahon and The Rock with beer after tormenting them. The crowd erupt at his unexpected presence and it’s stunts like this that really got the crowd on their feet. For fans of the old skool WWF, this nostalgic disc will surely bring back a lot of fantastic, kick-ass memories.
The madness ensues into the third disc of The Attitude Era and whilst it runs shorter at 80 mins, there’s plenty of shorter controversial scenes on offer. One that definitely springs to mind is when Mark Henry interrupts The Godfather, D’Lo Brown and Too Cool’s party in the ring to announce that his 76 year old girlfriend, wrestler Mae Young, was pregnant. With Henry and Young celebrating, the look of pure shock and horror upon Scotty Too Hotty’s face is priceless as the crowd too are freaked out at what they are hearing. Other scenes include Miss Kitty and Jeff Jarrett knocking Chyna unconscious and wheeling her away in a laundry bin whilst her tag team partner, Triple H, is being thrown into the crowd, beaten up backstage and hauled into a nachos stand by Stone Cold Steve Austin. WWE really pushed the boat out at the time by using the whole of the arena to get the crowd motivated and on their feet. Involving the use of chairs, tables and throwing Triple H head first into a wall and barriers are what differentiated WWE from its competitors. With most matches and clips shown in their entirety, fans from the Attitude Era and kids who grew up in the 90’s will cherish these discs. The rest of this action packed disc includes: Buried Alive Tag Team Championship 1999 with The Rock and Mankind vs The Undertaker and The Big Show (with guest appearance of Stone Cold Steve Austin driving a lorry into an ambulance containing Triple H); The Wedding of Stephanie McMahon and Andrew ‘Test’ Martin; Euro Championship Title Match at RAW in 2000 between Chris Jericho and Eddie Guerrero; Steelcage Match for the Intercontinental Belt at Fully Loaded in 2000 between Rikishi and Val Venis; Tables, Ladders and Chairs Tag team Championship at SummerSlam in 2000 between Edge and Christian vs The Hardy Boyz vs The Dudley Boyz; Hell In A Cell Championship at Armageddon 2000 starring Kurt Angle vs Stone Cold Steve Austin vs The Rock vs The Undertaker vs Triple H vs Rikishi; Womens Championship, 2000 RAW between Lita and Stephanie McMahon.
There’s plenty more to watch than what I’ve described here and the documentary on Disc 1 really offers a nice reflection into the past of WWE when it was still known as WWF. I remember those days well and this DVD set serves as a great trip down memory lane for all fans of wrestling.