At some point between 2002 and today, the WWE made some major changes to their roster and programming. Some of today's brightest and most loved superstars would find themselves stuck in a rut, if they were even given a chance to begin with during the Attitude Era. In the "good old days", we saw stars that towered over their opponents, and lots of charisma and intimidation. It was a totally different world for the WWE and its fans. Not one that was necessarily better but definitely one that's hard to recognize today.
In today's more kid-friendly wrestling world, we see less nudity, nothing too hardcore, and more family-friendly programming. We recently posted an article about superstars of that era who would not be able to make it on today's roster. Back then, genuine wrestling talent was put on a back burner in exchange for personality, brawn, and shock factor. Viewers would tune in hoping to see true hardcore matches, blood, beer, and naked women. Nearly fifteen years later the WWE world has drastically changed. They're less focused on shock and violence, and more on PG programming and genuine wrestling abilities.
So it's no surprise that many of today's biggest stars would struggle heavily if taken back in time and given the opportunity to perform during the Attitude Era. Some of their greatest strengths today would have been their biggest downfalls back then. Some of them probably would have never even made it onto the roster in the first place. Things have definitely changed, and these are wrestlers of the new era who would not have been able to survive the Attitude Era.
10 10. Sheamus
If we are going by looks and strength alone, you may be surprised to see Sheamus on this list. Sure, Sheamus has the looks and the brute strength that the Attitude Era is known for. The tough, fighting Irishman is all look, but his character tends to get old and stale quickly. His mic skills aren’t half bad, but you’ve probably noticed that his promos always tend to feel forced and dry, plus he has no real charisma to boost his character.
9 The Miz
The Miz stands out in this category for some pretty obvious reasons. He’s got great personality, he does great on the mic, and although he’s not a bad wrestler, he doesn’t quite have the look, size, or strength that we saw of the biggest stars in the Attitude Era. His stature wouldn’t quite fit the mold, however many still believe that he would fit in just fine during the Attitude Era – but as a manager, not as a wrestler.
8 8. Sasha Banks
7 7. The Usos
The Usos started out impressive and strong, however it didn’t take very long for their gimmick to fizzle out and become mundane and stale. They tend to show us the same things over and over again, and their act is nowhere near as exciting as it was in the beginning. The Usos certainly have potential, and given the right Attitude Era opponents, it is possible that they could have put on a good show.
5 5. Jack Swagger
Jack Swagger would never in a million years survive the Attitude Era. He’s got the look, and his athletic ability isn’t half bad either, but he lacks in so many other departments that make it incredibly hard to imagine him gaining any sort of success during that time. He is simply as stale as they come. There is no real personality there, no character development, and his character got old and quite boring over time.
2 Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn wouldn’t survive the Attitude Era for quite a few reasons. His character is an upbeat, relatable, nice guy who is passionate about what he does. The biggest downfall would probably be the fact that he doesn’t have the, well, attitude. It was called the Attitude Era for a reason, you know!
1 Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan had such passion, and such genuine talent that it ended up skyrocketing him into super stardom in today’s roster. His charisma on the mic, true wrestling skills, and good guy gimmick worked out perfectly for the image the WWE looks for today. However, if Daniel Bryan tried to get a spot on the roster in the Attitude Era, the things that made him so successful today would end up being his downfall. Back then, fans didn’t want to hear how much a wrestler loved his job, or his fans, or his boss and the company.
No, they just wanted someone to get beat up – all the time. Aside from one of the biggest gripes about Bryan being his size and stature, it is also his love of his career, always wearing his heart on his sleeve, and people being able to see themselves in Bryan that would hinder him from being successful in the Attitude Era. The exact reasons that fans love him today, are the exact reasons that he would probably be laughed right out of Vince McMahon’s office back then.
Sources: wwe, wikipedia
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