A review of the mega 9 disc collection that covers all things Attitude Era. Classic matches. Iconic moments. Give me a Hell Yeah.
WWE Attitude Era – VOLUME ONE
The Attitude Era is the most romantised era in the history of WWE. When we think of iconic moments, larger than life superstars and classic matches, we often think of RAW and SmackDown in the late 1990s. This collection provides a stacked overview of all of those amazing moments, starting in 1997, with the Monday Night Wars already in full swing.
Disc One is a documentary that includes interviews from the likes of Stone Cold, HHH, Chris Jericho and Mick Foley among many others. The documentary provides a very nice overview of what the business was like at that time. It skims over some of the more infamous moments and gains insight from the superstars involved.
A huge core of this documentary focuses on the Monday Night Wars and a lot of the content that was being created by the WWF at the time was indicative of the culture of the 1990s. While most of these outlandish storylines would not play out well in today’s production, I find it interesting that in 2020, we have a renewed ratings war between WWE/NXT and AEW. Some things never change.
Discs Two and Three contain over 15 matches spanning across 1998 and 2000 including bouts from RAW, SmackDown and some big PPV’s too. These aren’t just normal RAW filler matches either, the collection shows us some classic bouts featuring Stone Cold, The Rock, DX and the Undertaker.
I gave myself the very difficult task of choosing one match and one moment from each volume as my favourite, so here goes…
Edge & Christian vs the Hardy Boyz vs the Dudley Boys – TLC Match for the World Tag Team Championship (SummerSlam, 2000)
First of all, I would like to say I thoroughly enjoyed trawling through all the matches on this volume but my personal highlight was revisiting this match and ultimately reminding myself of how immense these TLC matches were.
For me, they are some of the most underrated bouts of all time. Many often think of the Wrestlemania 17 TLC match as the best, probably because of Edge’s jaw-dropping spear on Jeff Hardy, but I feel that this match at SummerSlam 2000 goes toe-to-toe with it’s Wrestlemania counterpart.
Y2J Debut – RAW, August 9th, 1999
I’ve long been a fan of Chris Jericho and I fully believe him to be one of the greatest characters in professional wrestling history. This moment serves as the first installment of Y2J in a WWE arena.
While this moment doesn’t achieve much, the reaction of the crowd in Chicago is one of the biggest debut pops of all time and the fact that Jericho interrupts the Rock makes it classic.
Y2J himself has often said in interviews he doesn’t like this debut. He said that he finds it “goofy”. Nevertheless, this moment stands the test of time as one of the most iconic debuts ever.
Kicking off volume two, Michael Cole tells us that this collection follows the crazier, wilder moments from the Attitude Era. Different from the first collection, Disc One is not a long feature documentary but rather a series matches followed by insight from those involved. Thus, there are plenty of classic bouts for fans to relive.
The Rock vs Ken Shamrock – Intercontinental Championship Match (Royal Rumble, 1998)
My favourite match from Volume Two is one of the first on the collection and perhaps not a particularly memorable bout for many. However, I was hooked from the word go.
As mentioned above, by and large the matches on this set are new to me. I can only pick out a handful of them that I have seen before and watched multiple times. This results in a backlog of brilliant matches that I simply need to see. This one was a welcome surprise, especially as I have not seen many matches with Ken Shamrock.
This match is the epitome of the Rock’s early run as a heel, as part of the Nation of Domination. You can just tell that the brash, cocky ‘Great One’ persona is really heating up here. It was hard-hitting and fast-paced, a solid match. I was completely done by the reversed finish at the end and so was the crowd that night. This match is by no means the most popular on this volume. For me, it was an indication of just how excellent the lesser known matches of the Attitude Era actually were.
While scanning Volume Two, it was hard for me to pick out one moment in particular as my favourite. This volume focused on the more wacky and wild segments throughout the Attitude Era, some of which I find very cringe worthy even to this day.
Yet one faction that I really enjoyed watching was the Brood. This group was Edge and Christain’s first real introduction to WWE, flanked of course by the leader Gangrel. They had cool music, their entrance would consist of them rising up to the stage through flames and infamously, they gave people ‘bloodbaths’.
While not necessarily a staple of the Atitude Era, the ‘bloodbaths’ were a highlight of this volume for me. In general, I think that the Brood was very influential in allowing Edge and Christian to begin to make their mark on the business.
The 3rd and final volume to this 9-disc mega collection comes with the banner “Attitude Era:Unreleased”. This collection features never before seen matches from 1996 to 2000 with some even being non televised, giving viewers an exclusive look into the crux of the Attitude Era. And it’s just not filler house show matches. These are classics.
Stone Cold vs HHH – Madison Square Garden, March 22nd 1998
Coming across this absolute gem of a match was a revelation for me. Of course, Stone Cold and HHH have had many memorable matches during the Attitude Era but this one, as per the moniker of this volume, was unseen.
Just one week prior to Wrestlemania 14, where Stone Cold would win the WWF Championship in a classic match with Shawn Michaels, the ‘Rattlesnake’ squared off against HHH in Madison Square Garden.
This was just as good in my opinion as any major PPV match the two have had. It’s very different from what you would expect but still solid.
In terms of favourite moments from this final volume, a lot of them are never before seen so I don’t want to spoil any in particular. Rest assured there is absolutely plenty to go through.
Overall, this collection is a bonanza of Attitude Era wrestling and iconic moments. With each 3-disc set giving a different perspective of the most talked about era in wrestling, there is something for everyone here. Whether you are an AE expert, reliving your favourite matches or a complete novice, like me, discovering incredible moments you’ve never seen before. An absolute must-have for all wrestling fans.