Kurt Angle’s Perspective on the Attitude Era: A Focus on Storyline Promotions Rather than Wrestling

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On a recent edition of his “The Kurt Angle Show” podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle discussed The Attitude Era and the extremes of the period.

Angle noted that the Attitude Era suffered from an overabundance of match interference and a complete lack of genuine wrestling.


You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On the foundational aspects of the era: “The Attitude Era was storyline promo city; it wasn’t even wrestling. It got to the point that there was so little wrestling that none of the wrestlers tied up when they started the match. They’d start with action, punch, punch, shoot, reverse off the ropes. It was all high action because they didn’t have time to tell a story at the beginning of the match.”

On where the Attitude Era went too far: “What they did a little bit too much though, there was a lot of interference back then. It was like — gosh let us beat each other and that will build each other up, you don’t have to protect this guy and have one guy cheat and get the win. It was just too much.”

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The Attitude Era of professional wrestling is often regarded as one of the most memorable and influential periods in the history of the sport. It was a time when WWE (then known as WWF) pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on television, embracing a more edgy and controversial style of storytelling. However, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle recently shared his thoughts on the era, highlighting some of its shortcomings.

During an episode of his podcast, “The Kurt Angle Show,” Angle discussed the Attitude Era and expressed his belief that it suffered from an overabundance of match interference and a lack of genuine wrestling. He noted that the era focused heavily on storyline promos rather than in-ring action, to the point where wrestlers would often skip the traditional tie-up at the beginning of a match and jump straight into high-action sequences.

Angle’s observation sheds light on an aspect of the Attitude Era that is often overlooked. While the era is remembered for its controversial storylines, larger-than-life characters, and groundbreaking moments, it is important to acknowledge that it may have sacrificed some of the fundamental elements of professional wrestling in the process.

One of the key criticisms Angle raised was the excessive interference in matches during that time. He felt that there was too much reliance on outside interference and cheating to determine match outcomes, rather than allowing wrestlers to showcase their skills and build each other up through clean victories. This constant interference not only detracted from the wrestling itself but also made it difficult for wrestlers to tell compelling stories within the confines of a match.

It is worth noting that Angle’s comments do not diminish the impact and significance of the Attitude Era. The era undoubtedly played a crucial role in catapulting professional wrestling into the mainstream and attracting a wider audience. It pushed boundaries and challenged societal norms, creating a cultural phenomenon that still resonates with fans today.

However, Angle’s perspective offers a valuable insight into the potential drawbacks of the Attitude Era’s approach. It serves as a reminder that while controversy and shock value can be effective tools in storytelling, they should not overshadow the core essence of professional wrestling, which is the physicality, athleticism, and technical prowess displayed inside the ring.

In conclusion, Kurt Angle’s comments on the Attitude Era provide a thought-provoking perspective on a period that is often romanticized in professional wrestling history. While the era undoubtedly had its merits, it is important to acknowledge its shortcomings, such as an overemphasis on interference and a lack of focus on genuine wrestling. By reflecting on these aspects, fans and industry professionals can gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of professional wrestling and appreciate the different eras for their unique contributions to the sport.