Wrestling fans look up to The Attitude Era fondly for the number of careers they created and the famous moments they produced. WWE it experienced an incredible boom period during the 1990s that has continued to carry them through the modern age. While fans are still nostalgic for the Attitude Era, there’s no denying that not every moment during this period was on the right side of history or has aged well.
Looking back at some of WWE’s moments in the 1990s with an educated perspective of the modern era, it’s clear that they crossed many different lines on multiple occasions. In fact, the Attitude Era was all about crossing borders, but there are many who crossed the line too far and aged like milk sitting in the sun. Many moments had incredibly problematic stories and situations that would not make it to television today.
10 mae young pregnant
Romance in professional wrestling is nothing new, and can sometimes enhance a wrestler’s career by injecting romantic feelings into the mix. Going back to Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth, a relationship between two roster members can sometimes be great for those involved.
Unfortunately, one of the Attitude Era’s most memorable romances isn’t fondly remembered for the warm feelings it generated. It was unsettling for fans when Mark Henry started having an affair with Mae Young, then 76 years old, but it got even worse when she was about to give birth during an episode of RAW. The angle of her infamously ended with her giving birth to a hand from her, which remains haunting to this day.
9 Falcon outside the Titantron
It is well documented that many professional wrestlers have wrestled with their personal demons of substance abuse, and it has derailed many promising careers. While the legendary team Road Warriors were known for their in-ring skills, they were also known for Road Warrior Hawk’s own battles with personal demons.
Unfortunately, WWE decided to build a story around this in 1998 where Hawk’s private battle was put on display for all the fans to see. In a sickening display, Hawk’s character appeared drunk for matches and even tried to kill himself by jumping off the Titantron. It comes as no surprise that The Road Warriors left WWE shortly after this angle was produced against their wishes.
8 hanging the big boss
The Undertaker’s Dark Lord gimmick was innovative during the Attitude Era and he became one of the company’s most popular characters. Despite being a major fighter during this time period, not everything he worked towards was gold.
At WrestleMania 15, The Undertaker faced The Big Boss Man in a Hell in a Cell match without much preparation, but it is still remembered today for its ugly ending. After defeating The Boss Man to win the match, The Undertaker proceeded to place his neck in a noose and lift the cell. Even for the Attitude Era, this showcase crossed a line that shouldn’t have been broken.
Adult film star Val Venis’s character was controversial in his own right during the Attitude Era, but audiences made him incredibly popular. However, the first angle he was involved in during his introduction to the company was almost enough to turn fans away from him completely.
In 1998, Venis fell out with the Kaientai stable after allegedly sleeping with Yamaguchi San’s wife, causing them to attack him. Rather than handle this in the ring like normal pro wrestling issues, Kaientai vowed to “chopped chopped [his] peeWWE even went so far as to have the group hold on to Venis and wield a samurai sword, which luckily was as far as this angle was willing to go.
6 pepper for dinner
Part of the hallmark of the Attitude Era is that not only main event level stars received storylines, but all levels of wrestlers had a role on television. While this concept is fondly remembered by 1990s wrestling fans, not all of these stories shone gold.
Al Snow and The Big Boss Man feuded for a long time over the Hardcore Championship, and in an attempt to make it personal, The Big Boss Man did the unthinkable. Boss Man cooked Al Snow’s chihuahua pepper and fed it to Snow for dinner. The angle was not only absurd, but crossed too many lines with too little payoff.
5 Royal Rumble 1999
There’s no denying that the feud between The Rock and Mankind was one of the best of the Attitude Era and helped propel both wrestlers to stardom. In fact, had it not been for this feud, Mankind may not have made the full transition to the main event level.
As important as their feud is to WWE history, their match at Royal Rumble 1999 remains one of the sickest matches in WWE. Mankind received eleven chair shots to the head while handcuffed during the I Quit match, which helps illustrate why WWE banned them in the future due to how brutal this match was and the toll it took on Mick Foley’s career. .
4 DX and the nation
Looking back at many of the Attitude Era moments with a new lens provides the ability to reflect on things that shouldn’t have happened. For moral reasons, some of the jokes and innuendos made during this time period don’t age very well, particularly when they cross racial lines.
Fans in 1998 may have laughed when D-Generation X parodied Nation of Domination during an episode of RAW, but a modern lens shows just how problematic this really was. Featuring white wrestlers dressed in black, this joke ages very badly and crosses lines that shouldn’t be addressed and will never happen again.
3 Terri’s abortion
Terri Runnels’ role in WWE was never that of a constant in-ring fighter, but rather as a valet and manager, primarily to show off her sex appeal. While she spent a lot of time in the wrestling business, not everything Terri worked on is fondly remembered.
In 1998, Terri claimed that she had become pregnant following an affair with Val Venis, but he quickly dumped her when she broke the news to him. However, things came to a tragic end when she Terri was knocked off her apron during a match by D’lo Brown and subsequently miscarried her. Finally, she admitted to faking her entire pregnancy, which added another problematic element to this story.
2 the fight for all
Part of the appeal of professional wrestling is the blurring of the lines between real action and staged in the ring. As the wrestlers put their bodies on the line, they are specially trained to prevent real life injuries and continue to perform for the fans. Unfortunately, WWE decided to remove this item during the infamous Brawl for All tournament.
By removing the performance element and allowing wrestlers to wrestle for real, WWE created a shoot wrestling tournament for wrestlers. Ultimately, the tournament resulted in several injuries to the wrestlers and remains one of the biggest blunders in WWE history due to little return on it.
1 Triple H and Stephanie’s wedding
During the modern era of wrestling, the real life relationship between Stephanie McMahon and Triple H is well known and has resulted in a beautiful family outside of the ring. However, the start of their relationship in 1999 is incredibly troubled and crossed many different lines.
While Stephanie was about to marry Test during an episode of RAW, Triple H revealed that he had drugged Stephanie and illegally married her at a drive-in chapel. With so much going wrong in the story, he managed to make Triple H the ultimate bad guy, but it’s incredibly unlikely that he would want his real-life kids to ever read about this story.