It’s a slow news Friday as I like to call it, so for this opening section today I figure I would remind you of what happened 20 years ago on Raw. The December 15, 1997 episode featured this famous speech from WWE’s Chairman Vince McMahon introducing us to what WWE called “The Attitude Era.”
If you’re too lazy to watch the two minute clip, here’s part of what Vince said:
“The WWF extends far beyond the strict confines of sports presentation into the wide-open environment of broad-based entertainment. We borrow from such program niches like soap operas like The Days Of Our Lives or music videos such as those on MTV, daytime talk shows like Jerry Springer and others, cartoons like The King Of The Hill on Fox, sitcoms like Seinfeld and other widely accepted forms of television entertainment.”
A little later, he had a famous line that wrestling fans would fire back at him when WWE would do stupid storylines: “We in the WWF think that you, the audience, are quite frankly tired of having your intelligence insulted.”
I remember this moment well and I thought this speech was about eight months too late. I think the real turning point was when Bret Hart did that expletive filled promo on Raw in March 1997 leading into his amazing WrestleMania 13 match against Steve Austin. It led to Austin becoming the biggest babyface in the company because Austin exemplified “attitude” as well as anybody in the wrestling business back then or in the present day. The reason why Vince did the promo in December is because it was month after the Survivor Series screwjob, so he wanted to try to “reset” things in WWE without Bret Hart and to kind of let fans know how WWE views themselves as as product.
After doing some digging, I found this video WWE produced with Corey Graves and Kyle Edwards (Arda Ocal) talking about how the March 10, 1997 episode of Raw is War ushered in the Attitude Era because that’s when WWE debuted the Titantron.
As for when The Attitude Era officially ended, that’s up for debate. Some people might say WrestleMania 17 (April 1, 2001) because it was the best show in WWE history and the culmination of what The Attitude Era was about. Others would probably push it back another year around WrestleMania 18. That’s where I would it, so I would say it ran for about five years from March 1997 to March 2002.
After WrestleMania 18, they changed the company name to WWE, did a draft to split up Raw and Smackdown, so that era is known as the Ruthless Aggression Era by most people.
Anyway, check out that Vince speech if you’ve never seen it because looking back at how lame today’s product can be, it sure would be nice if they infused some “attitude” to make it more aggressive again. I’m not saying WWE has to go back to swearing, blood and scantily clad women. Just saying that some aggressiveness would help. Sadly, in today’s PG world it’s probably not happening any time soon.
The Rock Spoke About A Presidential Run Again
Whenever there’s a story about Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock in the news there’s a question, at least in my mind, of whether it’s a wrestling story. After all, he moved on from the business many years ago, but we like to think of him as “one of us” so to speak and what he said in a new interview is pretty huge.
During an interview with Variety where he was promoting his new movie Jumanji, Johnson was asked again about if he was serious about running for President of the United States. Here’s what he had to say about it while noting he couldn’t keep to his busy acting/producing schedule and running for President at the same time.
“I couldn’t do both. Realistically, as we go into 2018, when you look at my slate as we’re developing and shooting into 2019 and 2020, the slate goes deep into 2021, so it feels like the realistic consideration would be 2024.”
Johnson cited a Washington Post article in June 2016 noting that’s what got him thinking about it.
“It was never something that I trumpeted and beat my chest and ever said publicly, ‘This is what I’m going to do,’ but as that story picked up, Americans picked it up and there was this sentiment of, ‘We’re not joking, and we would really love the idea if you would run.”
“In that, I knew I had to listen to the people and really, really think about it. That’s where I’m at right now — I’m well aware politics is not the business I’m in, so the best thing I can do is continuing to listen and learn as much as I can. I’m continuing to watch our presidency and watch how every new development is handled. I continue to watch our leaders in government, and like all Americans, I continue to be hopeful that our leaders exhibit poise, perspective and the ability to bring our country together during these tough times — which I don’t feel our presidency is currently doing — so that’s where I’m at.”
Johnson considers himself an Independent rather than a Democrat or Republic, so it’s not known if he would run for one party or as an Independent.
All we really know is that he’s considering it and that if it does happen it won’t be until 2021 at the earliest when he may get serious about it for a possible run in 2024. Could he win? Maybe. I don’t think many people thought Donald Trump would have won, but he did. America is a funny place. You just never know.
IN OTHER NEWS
Braun Strowman posted on his Instagram about how he spent a night this week with friends where they caught wild hogs that were destroying farmer’s crops and they set them free.
So last night was a first for me. I went out on an excursion to catch and relocate some #wildhogs that were destroying a farmers crops and land. We ended up catching three. This is about a 200lb live #wildboar we caught and hogtied put him in the truck and took him and released him in a different location. Talk about one hell of an adrenaline rush. It’s crazy how strong these animals are. All and all a crazy fun night!!!! #MonsterAmongHogs #pigs #catchandrelease #KindaScary #wildlife
Strowman accomplished the feat while wearing a WWE 2K18 video game jacket. Way to plug the game to the wild hog community.
– Enzo Amore has a unique signature on his driver’s license. He posted a video on his Instagram talking about how the state of Delaware wanted him to renew his license with a better signature, so here’s a video he posted letting us know what he came up with.
Need another view? Here’s a photo of it.
I guess he’s okay with having a reputation in the wrestling business for being a dick. It is his driver’s license signature after all.
– Keep former WWE manager Yamaguchi San in your thoughts because Pro Wrestling Sheet reports he suffered a stroke recently. Sad news, but hopefully he can get through. He did not have a long run in the company in the late 1990s, but he was funny as an evil manager of the Kaientai group. He’s most remembered for the angle where his wife cheated on him with Val Venis leading to the “choppy choppy your peepy” promo. Hilarious.
THE VIDEO SECTION
Harper was the guest star on the USA Network show Damnation that aired on Thursday night, so here’s a behind the scenes video of him.
Harper is a year older than me, but he looks about 15 years older, so I appreciate him for looking older.
Charlotte Flair posed with the four titles she has won in her WWE career so far: NXT Women’s Title, Divas Title, Raw Women’s Title and her current one, the Smackdown Women’s Title.
All of that within the last four years. It’s been a great run for her.
Here’s a video showing eight times when a title changed hands multiple times in one night.
Lastly, here’s WWE Playback with Cesaro and Sheamus watching the 7th match in their Best of Seven series last year at Clash of Champions. These are fun to watch. You can also see them react to the painful head first landing that Cesaro had towards the end of the match. Worth your time.
THE PLUG ZONE
Check out Kurt Zamora’s NXT Review for this week featuring Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole and Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce. Pretty good show as usual.
Mike Sanchez wrote about how he’s inspired by the work ethic and success of The Rock and Chris Jericho. I doubt he’s the only one. Those two are incredible performers that are more than just two of the greatest pro wrestlers ever.
In addition to writing about wrestling, I also write a weekly NFL picks column for UPROXX. I’ve been doing very well picking games, so if you’re into the NFL please check it out.
Also later today or maybe early tomorrow, I’ll be back with our PPV preview team for our Clash of Champions Preview.
For the closing video, here’s something WWE posted featuring three men that stopped a terrorist attack in Paris a few years ago. It’s a great story.
That’s all for today and this week. Back on Monday with the next WWE News update following Clash of Champions, which I’ll review on Sunday night. Have a great weekend.